Tokens of Appreciation
In part two of “A Decade of Blessed Leadership,” individuals who found the truth inside the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) share why they wanted to show their appreciation to the Executive Minister.Show/Hide Transcript
That is called the Basotho Hat. That hat is this symbol of one of the mountains in Lesotho.
That is the flag of Guam. The seal of Guam.
This plaque is the whole North and South Korea template with the flags of the US and South Korea, and there’s a clock.
Bilums are traditional bags. It’s a symbol of Papua New Guinea itself. That is so significant when it comes to presenting to someone that we have very high regard for.
Brother James Raiz, Toronto Canada: Brother Eduardo takes a lot of time to visit the brethren all over the world. And him traveling across different time zones, on flights on boat rides, long travel times, sometimes 12 hour flights. Whatever it takes for him to visit all the brethren. And not just once and then, “Oh, okay, I saw them already, that’s good enough.” No. He’s going to come back and see us again and again and again.
That really showed us how much he loves us. Because every time he comes back to visit us, you could see how much the faith of the brethren strengthened for him showing us how important it is having God in our life.
Brother Marcel Voshol, Rotterdam, The Netherlands: For our Executive Minister to travel long distances many times a year to visit the brethren, deep in our hearts, we know our brother is tired because he works like 24 hours a day. But he never shows his tiredness. He always sacrifices for the welfare of the Church. He sacrifices everything in his life, to take care of the brethren all around the world — traveling in different time zones, in different weather conditions. You can really see his love for the brethren and his love for the Church, and he is really upheld by our Lord God in heaven.
Brother Steven Dormer, Stratford, United Kingdom: When Brother Eduardo visited the United Kingdom, to dedicate the House of Worship of Leeds, I was there, and I was performing with all the brethren. Everyone from all over the United Kingdom is going there. We were all celebrating, we’re all happy.
Brother Tsatsinyane Mahanetsa, Ha-Fochane, Lesotho: Brother Eduardo went to South Africa. And I was very fortunate enough to see him and even talk to him. So I was very happy to see a loving leader who has got the care, the support, and is always there for the people all around the world.
Brother Tsatsinyane Mahanetsa: One of my local congregations in the mountains–it’s Ha Fochane. Because of the care and the love of the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo approved that place to have a chapel over there. And then the people were really happy to see the Church Of Christ in the village, just up there on the mountains. It’s something that people never thought they would have in the village. The brethren in my country gave Brother Eduardo the hat, that is called the Basotho hat. That hat is a symbol of one of the mountains in Lesotho. That was the fortress, whereby they can see the enemies coming far away, so that they can protect themselves. So, that hat that was given to Brother Eduardo is really the symbol of the fortress. The symbol of —we really trust him as our leader. So we really respect Brother Eduardo that’s why we gave him that gift.
Brother James Raiz: It’s truly a blessing whenever our beloved brother comes and visits us in our part of the world. What that really does is it gives us confidence. It strengthens their faith in what we believe– in the teachings of God. To share that with our friends, our loved ones, our family who isn’t in the Church. And in essence, what that does is that helps us, gives us the confidence to help convince them that here in the Church Of Christ, we can truly worship God the way we should worship God.
Brother Calvin Ochieng, Nairobi, Kenya: I was introduced to the Church through the issuing of pamphlets. It was during an Evangelical Mission. Honestly, I grew up in various religions. I’ve been to so many sects, denominations, and churches before. But then never in this religions have ever been given a chance to listen to their basic teachings. But the Church Of Christ was different. Because at least I was given a chance to listen to what they believe in. So that I can make my own decision to decide whether to join or not to join. After my analysis of the fundamental teachings of the Church, I analyzed and I realized that the doctrines are Bible-based. Solely from the Scriptures, by the Scriptures and everything guided by the Scriptures.
Sister Betty Laufa, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: Being inside the Church, it’s a very great privilege that I see things in a clearer perspective where you can really tell right from wrong. The guidance that I get, there is not much chance for me to fall out of the path that I want to follow until I reach the end of my life. I am a proud member of the Church Of Christ because that has made me a better person compared to before.
Brother Frank Santos, Guam, Micronesia: I was really devoted Catholic. I almost become a priest. That’s how close I am in the religion. I am the first Chamorro to become a member of the Church Of Christ or Iglesia Ni Cristo. I give all the thanks and praises to the Almighty God because when you call me inside the Church, I received one of the greatest gifts in my life– that is my membership inside the Church Of Christ. I see a lot of changes, especially the Chamorro, those that are converted inside the Iglesia Ni Cristo. Their life is completely turned around. Once we convert a Chamorro to become an Iglesia Ni Cristo, they are very, very active in giving their services to God.
That is the flag of Guam. The seal of Guam. The people of Guam, not only the government officials, recognize now our Executive Minister. Not only recognize him, our Executive Minister Brother Eduardo Manalo, but they recognize the Iglesia Ni Cristo here on the island of Guam.
Brother Tsatsinyane Mahanetsa: When I joined the church, my family was really supportive to me because you know, they understand that you cannot deprive someone from their religion. Then they were really surprised how devoted and dedicated I am. Every time when they asked me I’m going for, for the activities of the church every time I’m going for the worship service. They were like, “Really? Why all of a sudden, you know, you’re so interested in religion?” That’s where by they get interested to know about this Church.
Brother Jon Ivo Camacho, Pyeongtaek, South Korea: Worship Service is important because as a person, as a member of the Church Of Christ wherever you may be, maybe you’re in the military or you working overseas, we do not worry for the things in this life. What we worry first is, how are we going to serve Him? Wherever we go, is there a place of worship? Or am I going to be able to perform my duties? Sometimes I will pass up every opportunity to get promoted, or to be stationed somewhere else that is nice. I will sacrifice all of that, just so that I can perform my duties and attend worship service with my family. Being in a military service member, brethren that are in the military service will say that they are always challenged when it comes to attending worship services. Not all places of worship are nearby the basis that we’re assigned in. Sometimes they have to drive an hour, an hour and a half, three hours, some brethren drive six hours or even eight– just to attend a worship Service.
Brother James Raiz: Because at the end of the day, our purpose in life is to worship God, to love God, to make God number one in our life. We don’t worship God in our spare time or when we feel like it, or when we’re not tired or when there is some time to kill. No. Our leaders have shown us that. God is our priority in life because God has made our life. He made this world. He made who we are.
Brother Jon Ivo Camacho: Brethren from Pyeongtaek decided to give Brother Eduardo a memento. We feel like we want to give him something just to show our appreciation other than just saying, “thank you po.” Something that we know you will not amount to what he has done for the Church with his leadership. But this is something that he can look back and remember us at that moment. How grateful we are, how strong and well established the Church is here in South Korea. It symbolizes that this is something that doesn’t perish, or it stands through the test of time, something that is solid, like our faith.
Messengers of Truth
Brother Calvin Ochieng: The greatest help from the Church Administration from Brother Eduardo V. Manalo was when he decided to send a Minister to Kenya. Because before, the brethren before, were only studying online about the Church Of Christ. All the Bible studies were conducted online. And for that, the Kenyan people are very proud of that, and they are very happy. And as a greatly opened up the minds of the people.
Brother Steven Dormer: The Church’s teachings helps the young generation to keep the value of what we are losing or have lost in certain parts of the world due to 21st-century technology. And it’s good because you’re always reminding yourself of what’s right and what’s wrong, especially in this day and age.
Sister Betty Laufa: It’s a good thing Iglesia Ni Cristo has come to reach Papua New Guinea. The teachings really opened up the minds of the people. Definitely, I would like for the whole country to be saved on Judgment Day. If only they all come to know that it’s Iglesia Ni Cristo that’s going to be saved on Judgment Day.
Brother Frank Santos: And that’s why we are encouraging all our brothers and sisters here on the island— this is the high time for us to intensify the propagation, to go out and reach for these people because these people are hungry looking for the right religion for them to join. And we members of the Church Of Christ, it is our duty now, and this is what our Executive Minister Brother Eduardo Manalo is encouraging all of us members of the Church Of Christ, is to intensify the propagation of the gospel.
Sister Betty Laufa: That memorabilia is a very important gift to our Executive Minister from Papua New Guinea. There are so many gifts to choose from, but there is only one thing that is so significant when it comes to presenting to someone that we have very high regard for.
That Bilum that was gifted to our Executive Minister definitely it’s from the heart. Having the kind of design that was chosen for this particular special gift, it reflects that the Church Of Christ is already in Papua New Guinea. And that country is already connected to the Church. And we are proud that the Church is already attached to this country.
Brother James Raiz: The thing was when Brother Eduardo became the Executive Minister, you really started to see the growth exponentially, it wasn’t just a small growth. Every single year more and more local congregations were established. There were more ministers being ordained every single year, and you see such growth. I remember before that bridge from Quebec, Canada, and from where we were in Toronto, there was a whole mass of land there, that there were no brethren. Literally, in one year, we’ve doubled the amount of congregations. Really, establishing new congregations, so it’s easier for the brethren to attend services that are closer to them because the number is growing rapidly in different areas of Canada. And not just Canada, but all over the world as well. And again, that’s because of the love that the Executive Minister has shown to all of us, because he really wants us to lead a life that is pleasing to the Almighty God.
Brother Marcel Voshol: The factor contributing to the expansion of the Church in Europe, is the unity inside the Church and, most of all, through the help of our Almighty Father. When the Church Administration launches many activities; in spreading the news, and spreading our faith, we could see that all the brethren who are there, everyone tries their best to spread the word of God and find many more people to listen to the words of God inside the worship service, inside the Bible study.
Brother James Raiz: I knew the centennial–the 100th anniversary of the Church was coming up, and I thought to myself, “I wanted to do something really cool for the Centennial.” What can I do? And I said to myself, “What if for the 100 years of the Church, what if we encapsulated the entire history of the Church? All 100 years, into one big piece?” Then we contacted the Church Administration just to see what was possible. And then they liked the idea. And then they suggested that what we could do is break up the history of the Church into segments, every ten years. Then what I can do is actually draw a piece for every ten years. From the beginning of the Church in 1914, all the way to 2014. And at the end of the day, in my mind, what if all of these images I did, what did they inter combine to make one giant image to totally encapsulate the entirety of the Church. So that’s where the idea came from. So that’s when all of that started coming together. And we thought it would be a wonderful gift also for Brother Eduardo, on the 100th year to have this giant mural all together. But that kind of project, it’s just so fulfilling that words can’t really describe it. And to see the joy on Brother Eduardo’s face when he saw that piece, that really meant a lot to me. It’s a great blessing.
The reason that we’re so happy when we make the Executive Minister happy, the reason we’re so happy when we see him, happy with the work that we are doing because we know that he’s the one—he’s the instrument of God, in showing us how to live our life. So, in turn, by making him happy, by showing that we respect him, we respect the one God has sent to lead us, to watch over us, we know that in doing so, we’re also showing our respect and love to our Almighty God as well.
Brother Marcel Voshol: When we give high regard to our Executive Minister, we truly believe that it is also pleasing in the sight of God— by respecting and honoring our leader inside the Church. It is only fitting that we give high regard to the Executive Minister inside the Church because Brother Eduardo is the instrument used by God for us to be able to attain salvation.
Brother James Raiz: That’s why we don’t hesitate. We don’t hesitate to do what we can to help the Executive Minister, to help the Church Administration, in the work of propagation, in the work of edification all over the world, because we know in doing so, we’re not just making them happy, we’re making God happy as well.
Brother Marcel Voshol: Our dear Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, I greet you on the 10th anniversary of your dynamic leadership.
Sister Betty Laufa: To our beloved Executive Minister,
Brother Calvin Ochieng: on behalf of the Kenyan people, I want to express our gratitude unto you,
Sister Betty Laufa: for the kind of very quality leadership that you have shown within the Church Of Christ.
Little boy: Thank you so much for everything Brother Eduardo. .
Girl and boy: Happy 10th Anniversary.
Brother Frank Santos: You being so good, and so kind to all the members of the Church Of Christ not only here in Guam, but throughout this world.
Brother Tsatsinyane Mahanetsa: We acknowledge everything that you do for the Church. We love you, and we’ll always be one with you. And we really respect your leadership.
Young boy1: Thank you brother Eduardo V. Manalo,
Young boy2: for taking care of us in the Church.
Young boy3: We love you.
Young man: We are so blessed to have such a great and loving Administrator throughout these ten years. Group: We love you.
Brother Jon Ivo Camacho: Wherever you may be, we always pray for you that you will be successful. Always take care, don’t forget about your health. We need your leadership.
Brother Calvin Ochieng: I promise to be loyal, to be submissive, to be obedient, to be trustworthy to the Church Administration.
Brother Steven Dormer: I promise to be more active in my duty and always growing in my faith.
Three kids: Thank you, Brother Eduardo, for all you do for the Church. We love you.
Brother Frank Santos: We always include you in our prayer Brother Eduardo that God may continue to bless you and your family and those that are helping you. That you will present the Church Of Christ on the Second Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Brother Tsatsinyane Mahanetsa: That’s why we will always be one with you in order to give the honor and the glory to our Almighty God.