Relaunch: INC’s My Countrymen, My Brethren
Reaching out to communities around the world is the My Countrymen, My Brethren Project of the Church Of Christ.
HOST: This week on INC News World: find out more about the international relaunching of the project My countrymen, My Brethren; a cultural melting pot in Miami is invited to the Church; across Canada, a variety of persons and ethnic backgrounds come to have something in common. Your INC News World starts now.
HOST: Welcome to INC News World, I’m Naomi De La Cruz, coming to you from the Los Angeles INC Media studios. First launched in April 2013, the My Countrymen, My Brethren, or Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko project, of the Church Of Christ, aims to give aid to communities, especially to those in need and those affected by calamities.
HOST: This January is the relaunching of My Countrymen, My Brethren, or Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko, helping communities not only with their material needs, but most of all spiritually, through the teaching of God’s words.
Hosting the relaunching is the Philippine Arena in Ciudad de Victoria, Bocaue, Philippines, which holds the Guiness World Record for the largest domed arena in the world. This event was also conducted all over the world, across 6 continents.
HOST: Considered a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities, Miami, Florida shares a unique characteristic amongst other cities in the state: the importance of religion in one’s life. A recent Pew research study showed that over 70% of Florida residents view the importance of religion in their lives.
70 percent of residents in Florida feel religion is important in their lives. Pewforum.org
HOST: And in Miami you would find a diverse group of residents attending a My Countrymen, My brethren event, where they would learn more about the importance of religion and God in their lives. Michael Robinson reports from Miami this story.
MICHAEL ROBINSON: The melting pot of southern Florida, Miami, is home to residents like Taryn who shares a common view of religion and church amongst many in Florida.
TARYN HENDERSON (RESIDENT – MIAMI, FLORIDA): I’ve gone to church more frequently in the past than I do now, but I’m very comfortable with my relationship with God and with my understanding of the Bible. Religion is important. I love learning about religion.
MICHAEL ROBINSON: Then she gladly accepted an invitation from her co-worker to attend the My Countrymen, My Brethren event happening in her hometown.
TARYN HENDERSON (GUEST – MIAMI, FLORIDA): Ellen invited me and I was happy to come. This is probably one of the largest things I’ve ever seen.
MICHAEL ROBINSON: The relaunching of the project My Countrymen, My Brethren is the ongoing effort of the Church Of Christ to bring the truth of the gospel to all communities and neighborhoods. And Taryn firsthand saw the Church’s efforts.
TARYN HENDERSON (GUEST – MIAMI, FLORIDA): See how the people interact, see how the service goes, the study goes and what the ministers here are trying to preach. That way was really nice.
MICHAEL ROBINSON: Also seeing firsthand the Church’s humanitarian efforts in action.
TARYN HENDERSON (GUEST – MIAMI, FLORIDA): But I didn’t know how large it was. You actually see them go to India, go to South Africa, go to Kenya, go to all these countries. And I think that was probably the most wow factor and how much they do in each of these places.
MICHAEL ROBINSON: Places like Bogota, Colombia; Santiago, Chile; and even Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Simultaneously held throughout the world, residents in Miami were amazed to see this global effort of relief and spreading of the true gospel.
ANA ORTIZ (GUEST – MIAMI, FLORIDA): I feel very happy, I feel like I am in another life within the Church. I felt what I never felt, I closed my eyes and thanked Christ. I felt very happy.
MARIZA & MILTHA (GUESTS – MIAMI, FLORIDA): Yes. That’s the best good, the words of God.
MICHAEL ROBINSON: And the result of these efforts spoke for themselves in Miami.
BROTHER EDUARDO JAVIER (DISTRICT SUPERVISING MINISTER): Many more people were able to listen to the teachings inside the Church, and the result is so tremendous. Many more people are being converted into the Church Of Christ.
MICHAEL ROBINSON: People like Lenara, a 7th Day Adventist teacher, amazed at what she experienced.
LEONARA DORF (GUEST – MIAMI, FLORIDA): I saw it for myself here at the Church Of Christ. It’s phenomenal what you guys are doing. It’s just so beautiful to see love in action.
MICHAEL ROBINSON: This is only the beginning to learning more.
LEONARA DORF (GUEST – MIAMI, FLORIDA): This is not the first or last.
TARYN HENDERSON (GUEST – MIAMI, FLORIDA): So, I definitely told Ellen that I have to come back for service so I probably will be back. I’ll definitely be back.
MICHAEL ROBINSON: And with a successful relaunching of My Countrymen, My Brethren here in the District of Florida, in the congregation of Miami, we have already see the diversity of backgrounds and ethnicities of people who have come to learn more about the Church Of Christ. If you’re in the Miami area and want to learn more about the Church Of Christ, visit us at incmedia.org and to find a congregation near you, visit us at iglesianicristo.net/directory. Michael Robinson; Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network; Miami, Florida.
HOST: As we’ve seen, the Church Of Christ is in 156 countries and territories around the world to date, touching countless ethnicities along the way. Psychologists ask this question though:
If the (probably) greatest predictor of religious affiliation is geography (which it probably is), how can any one religion claim exclusive truth?
HOST: A seemingly timeless question, that is answered, seemingly again and again – this time, in Canada. Jessica Garcia has the story.
JESSICA GARCIA: As people entered the Toronto Pavillion, there was nothing but smiles on this January day, especially from Shankar.
SHANKAR SRIKANTHARAJAH (RESIDENT – TORONTO): Seeing those smiles, feeling the positivity in the air, everyone’s here for one purpose, sharing your faith
JESSICA GARCIA: Today’s purpose, the relaunching of My Countrymen, My Brethren here in Toronto where Church Of Christ members share their faith regardless of geographic origins, was a great success by all measures.
MIKE KISAAME (CANDIDATE FOR MEMBERSHIP): I’m so excited but I’m overwhelmed with emotion. When I came here I didn’t expect the event to be so big.
BROTHER GLENDO BAITAN (DISTRICT SUPERVISING MINISTER): Since it was first launched by the Church Administration on April 13, 2013, six years of its program were able to reach out to many people from different races and nationalities in different parts of the world.
JESSICA GARCIA: And throughout Canada from Edmonton to Calgary, Manitoba, British Columbia, Ottawa and Southern Ontario. A truth and commandment that some were hearing for the first time.
EMMANUEL MALLARE (GUEST – CALGARY, CANADA): I didn’t know that there is actually such words in the Bible that you need to actually help those because everyone are actually in need. Because everyone needs spiritual help. Now I’m actually interested to go deeper into the INC.
JESSICA GARCIA: It’s a commandment, the commandment to help, that hits a strong chord among those who are active in the Filipino-Canadian community.
MEIAN AUSTRIA (CONSUL GENERAL OF THE PHILIPPINES TO BRITISH COLUMBIA, NORTHERN TERRITORIES & THE YUKON): In British Columbia alone we are 6% of the population but we believe that most of the community still do not know about us as a people. It’s very important for the Iglesia Ni Cristo to be able to represent the community in such a way that the greater community will know of our talents, our culture and our traditions. We highly appreciate all the efforts of Brother Eduardo Manalo to reach out, he’s been very helpful to the Filipino community at large, even outside the Church and we’re very appreciative of that.
JC CALIMLIM (INC MEMBER – SCARBOROUGH): As you know, the Church is now worldwide whether it be Filipinos, Canadians, Jamaicans, Egyptians, whatever the nationality we are inviting them in we are giving them an opportunity,we are catering to their languages and their needs to that we can share our true faith.
BROTHER GLENDO BAITAN (DISTRICT SUPERVISING MINISTER): Yes we extend our help to them when it comes to material needs. We help them to get back on their feet, but about this is the great blessing all of us would like to receive which is the blessing of salvation.
SHANKAR SRIKANTHARAJAH (DOCTRINAL INSTRUCTEE – TORONTO): When I step into the chapel I feel more connected to God. It’s just, seeing all the smiles around walking in, and how accepting everyone is it inspires me to just come every day and see those people again, pray with them, pray for my well being, pray for my family’s well being. It’s just a positive vibe in there.
JESSICA GARCIA: My Countrymen, My Brethren serves to introduce the Church Of Christ and bring us closer to our neighbors near or far. In fact this event is not only happening in Canada but all over the globe. To find more events like this near you or a congregation where you can also participate go to incmedia.org/inc-news-world. Jessica Garcia; Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network; Toronto, Canada.
HOST: Well, that does it for us on INC News World. Tune in every Friday for new episodes of INC News World on incmedia.org. I’m Naomi De La Cruz. On behalf of the entire INC News World team, thank you for joining us, have a great weekend and God bless!