THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE GOD’S LOVE
A woman from Bronx, New York proves that it’s never too late to find God. True Christianity spreads in Alberta, Canada with more INC congregations established.
Learn more about the growth of the Church Of Christ and how it’s reaching out to communities around the world.Show/Hide Transcript
HOST: This week on INC News World a winding journey, leads to the start of a new life; the province of Alberta, Canada establishes a series of new places of worship. Your INC News World starts now.
HOST: Welcome to INC News World, I’m Brother Michael Guerrero, coming to you from the INC Media Studios in the San Francisco Bay area.
HOST: New York City, known as the financial capital of the U.S. is also home to the South Bronx, one of the poorest districts with 38% of residents living below the poverty line.
HOST: We meet one resident who was looking for material help, but found something more. Khemil Jomao-as has the details.
LINDA THOMAS (RESIDENT – BRONX, NEW YORK): So when I moved over here, I remember they told me they [were] giving out pamphlets about the coat drive.
LINDA THOMAS (RESIDENT – BRONX, NEW YORK): They were giving out coats, jackets, food, a whole lot of stuff. But mostly they were giving it away for love, you know, the love of God.
KHEMIL JOMAO-AS: Going through her own financial struggles Linda was also searching for peace of mind.
LINDA THOMAS (RESIDENT – BRONX, NEW YORK): I was going through a lot of depression. I moved here because I was going through a lot. I’ve been asking God for a long time to please find me somewhere where I can be happy.
KHEMIL JOMAO-AS: In her search for happiness she met Lori during the Aid To Humanity event—who would invite her to listen to the words of God taught inside the Church Of Christ.
LINDA THOMAS (CANDIDATE FOR BAPTISM – BRONX, NEW YORK): And Sister Lori kept trying to get me to come. When I came here, and they started reading from the Bible, about like, by the true Bible, what God says in the Bible. Something that just came over me, and told me, you have to keep coming back here.
KHEMIL JOMAO-AS: She has also seen first hand the genuine concern and care for her by the members of the Church Of Christ.
LINDA THOMAS (CANDIDATE FOR BAPTISM – BRONX, NEW YORK): That care about me if anything, if they don’t see me or hear from me, they’re very concerned. And that makes my spirit up, keeps my spirit going. Because I can feel the spirit that kind of spirit from all the sisters and brothers here, the caring, and the concern, you know, not just what they do for you it’s just the Bible, period. It gives me that feeling that I’m home. I made it home.
LINDA THOMAS (NEWLY BAPTIZED MEMBER – BRONX, NEW YORK): He chose me to be here to witness to get baptized, you know? And it took me a long time to get here, but I made it and He was there for me every time I fall.
MARK DUANE CHANDLER (NEWLY BAPTIZED MEMBER – CRANSTON, RHODE ISLAND): I’m glad to be a part of an historic baptism. It feels wonderful, great.
FARELL AND RACHELLE SANCHEZ (MOTHER AND SON, NEWLY BAPTIZED MEMBERS – FOREST HILLS): Now we’re finally part of a religion that’s, you know that you’ll be saved on Judgment Day.
LINDA THOMAS (NEWLY BAPTIZED MEMBER – BRONX, NEW YORK): I was crying like a baby. I mean, it felt so good. And I felt His spirit in me. I really did. For the first time in my life, I felt God’s spirit. You’re never too old to start. You’re never too old, never too late. My fiancè he’s about to become baptized next month and we’re getting married in the Church Of Christ.
KHEMIL JOMAO-AS: And how does Linda feel knowing attending that Aid To Humanity event in the Bronx changed her life?
LINDA THOMAS (NEWLY BAPTIZED MEMBER – BRONX, NEW YORK): The Church has saved my life, that’s for sure. And I’m quite sure saved a whole lot of other lives.
KHEMIL JOMAO-AS: Thousands of people throughout the world are learning more about the teaching inside the Church Of Christ. To speak with a Minister of the Gospel or to find a local congregation nearest you visit incmedia.org. Khemil Jomao-as, Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network, Forest Hills, New York.
HOST: Canada is known to be a socially advanced and tolerant country, and while many Canadians—
HOST CONTINUED: may be personally religious, most also respect the principle of secularism, or keeping one’s faith a mostly personal, private matter.
HOST: But there’s so much happening in Alberta, Canada—it’s nearly impossible to keep the growth of the Church Of Christ in Canada a simple personal, private matter. Zandrhea De Guzman has the details.
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN: The Church Of Christ has been in Calgary for decades. Slowly growing, naturally, as immigrants arrived to Canada, had families, and invited Canadians like Tom Ring to hear the truth found inside the Church.
TOM RING (HERITAGE PARK, CANADA): I was born and raised as a Lutheran, and that was from my mom’s German roots when she was over in Germany. And after a while, of course, you lose interest. But all of a sudden you’re called and you want to start investigating, “I want to go back to church but which church do I want to go back to?”
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN: Tom was baptized almost 25 years ago, and it’s a scene repeated across Calgary and Alberta over the years: more people entering the Church Of Christ. But it seems this growth is rare in Canadian churches.
TOM RING (INC MEMBER – HERITAGE PARK, CANADA): So a lot of the congregations are slowly aging out. And over time the congregations do shrink and they can no longer afford the amenities where they are located.
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN: But that’s just not the case with the Church Of Christ. A veritable explosion of congregations has happened across Alberta recently, beginning in Strathmore.
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN: Just 50 kilometers outside of Calgary, but in the winter—an outright journey.
ROSALYN PAMINTUAN (INC MEMBER): To give you a frame, the drive from Calgary to Strathmore should only be about 35 minutes but it would take them 8 hours to go home.
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN: And as a Group Worship Service was established in Strathmore, a congregation in the beginning steps of becoming a full-fledged local congregation, the future is looking bright for these members of the Church Of Christ.
JOSEPH MALLANAO (DEACON – STRATHMORE, CANADA): It’s much [nearer] to our place, our worship service already.
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN: Strathmore was just the first new congregation in this wave of growth in August and September—next came Cochrane, in another town outside of Calgary as another group worship service is established.
MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL (READING FROM DECLARATION): With the approval of the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, this is in the records of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ), as the Group Worship Service of Cochrane in the District of Calgary, Canada—praise be to our Lord God!
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN: Additionally, the towns of Okotoks and Three Hills were officially established as group worship services of the Church Of Christ. And moving farther out of the metropolitan area of Calgary, 175 kilometers away is Lacombe,
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN (CONTINUED) where another congregation held its inaugural worship service.
RENE RAMOS (INC MEMBER – FALCONRIDGE, CANADA): I feel really happy and excited to be a part of this. We’re growing so fast, so fast, it’s incredible. I feel that it will bring more people to our Church because if you look inside our congregations there’s so many different types of ethnicities—we are spanish, we see some black people, we see some Chinese, we see everything. So I think that even our fellow Canadians are joining our Church.
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN: The hymns of praises sung in Lacombe were the same ones that were sung over 400 kilometers south in Taber, Alberta,
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN (CONTINUED) as they held their own inaugural worship service as a group worship service.
BROTHER CHRISTIAN MIRANDA (MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL): It means a lot for members of the Church Of Christ to have this inaugural worship service because it means that from this day forward, the name of God will be glorified and worshipped in this place.
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN: The next stop in this series of establishments happened 430 kilometers back north, in Ponoka, Alberta. Even facing the pouring rain the blessings could not be denied. The Ponoka gathering was redesignated as a full fledged local congregation of the Iglesia Ni Cristo. And with that designation comes the added responsibility of a greater level of care of the brethren, which is why dozens rose their hands in solemn oath becoming additional officers—caretakers of the brethren in their new local congregation.
GLORICEL CAYAGO (INC MEMBER – PONOKA, CANADA): It’s really a blessing for all of us, especially for my family—given our duties to help the brethren, the district.
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN: A district spanning hundreds of kilometers—as another local congregation was established in Lethbridge.
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN: During a worship service that was standing room only it was so packed with brethren from the Lethbridge area, and brethren from around the district who came to support and praise God. 200 kilometers north of Lethbridge is Heritage Park,
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN (CONTINUED): where yet another local congregation of the Church Of Christ was established. The area of Heritage Park saw an uptick of members of the Church Of Christ, just like the rest of the Church in Canada.
THOMAS RUSSELL (INC MEMBER – HERITAGE PARK): This is a wonderful worship service—a multitude of brethren here today, I mean, it just lifts your heart. From what I see today there’s thousands of members and there’s so many locals and so many group worship services it has to be the work of the Almighty.
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN: And the last stop in this flurry of growth for Alberta, is back in a suburban neighborhood of Calgary, in Pineridge,
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN (CONTINUED): where just like in every location, there was a solemn worship service to thank God for the Church’s growth. And smiling faces as brethren were excited to witness a unique work of God.
MIKE DEAN (INC MEMBER – PINERIDGE, CANADA): I’ve been there since 2000, you get to see the works, you get to see God’s words, and works in motion.
ANA DEANE (INC MEMBER – PINEDRIDGE, CANADA): Yes we did attend all 10 inaugurations, and it’s overwhelming.
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN: An overwhelming experience which will lead to an overwhelmingly bright future for the Church in Calgary and the surrounding areas.
TOM RING (INC MEMBER – HERITAGE PARK, CANADA); I started attending the Church about 25 years ago. I feel proud to be a member of the Church at this point. Hopefully within the next 25 years that our congregations here will be 100% to 200% bigger at that point.
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN: Each pioneering member got the opportunity to sign the scroll of establishment, officially acknowledging their presence at this historic event during a historic time in the Church Of Christ coinciding with the 10 year anniversary of Brother Eduardo V. Manalo’s leadership as Executive Minister.
GROUP GREETINGS: Happy 10th anniversary Ka Eduardo, we love you!
ZANDRHEA DE GUZMAN: A total of 10 local congregations and group worship services were added across Alberta, another testament to the impact and growth the Church Of Christ is having in Canada. To see the times and locations of worship services in these new locations make sure to visit iglesianicristo.net/directory. Zandrhea de Guzman; Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network; Calgary, Canada.
HOST: Thank you to everyone who submitted photos of their pet family members—we always love to see all of our furry, feathered, and scaled friends!
HOST: Our pet corner this week is featuring Lucky! He is a beagle-hound mix and is eight years old. Lucky is a rescue who was adopted from an animal shelter. Little was known about the puppy who was born in Virginia and found with a broken tail, and who was returned to the shelter by another family for being too snippy. But he now lives with the Blanco family in Woodside, New York!
His favorite things are eating, running, squeaky toys and chasing after tennis balls. Always up for a challenge, he has broken every chew toy that has come with a promise of being indestructible.
If you have a pet family member you want us to feature, send us a message at email@example.com with the subject pet corner.
HOST: Here’s what’s happening soon inside the Church Of Christ—if you’re near any of these locations, can’t wait to see you there. Let’s check them out!
- Firefighter Appreciation in North San Diego, California; September 14
- KADIWA Formal in Sacramento, California; September 14
- CBI Friendship Games in South San Diego, California; September 14
- CWS Museum Field Trip in Las Vegas, Nevada; September 14
- Multimedia Bureau Recruitment Day in Mississauga West, Southern Ontario; September 15
- KADIWA Socialising in Altona, Victoria; September 15
- CPR Training in Bellmore, New York; September 15
- Mr. & Mrs. Chef in Orange County, California; September 15
- Musical Evangelical Mission in Southern Ontario; September 22]
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 Brother Michael Guerrero and behalf of the entire INC News World team, have a great weekend and God bless!