MORE than 30,000 people came to the Iglesia Ni Cristo’s relief-medical and evangelical mission dubbed as “Lingap-Pamamahayag” Friday, Dec. 13, at the Quezon City Memorial Circle.
The event started at 1 p.m., with the opening of the free medical and dental services that served as a way for the INC brethren to show their concern for their countrymen. Relief bags containing rice, noodles and canned goods were also distributed to the attendees when the main part of the program – an evangelical mission – ended at around 6 p.m.
All these are being done under the project called “Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko” which had been launched by the INC Church Administration, under the leadership of INC Executive Minister Eduardo V. Manalo, in April 2013. Under this project, relief-giving and medical missions are done as part of the evangelical work of the INC for more people to hear the words of God as written in the Bible.
Minister Bienvenido C. Santiago, INC General Evangelist, read the message of the Executive Minister, who thanked the people who came to the event. He explained that it was not only food or the physical well-being of their countrymen that was the concern of the Church, but also the spiritual needs for them to attain salvation come Judgment Day.
He said that this was in accordance to the teachings of God to love others as one loves himself as written in Mark 12:31.
After this, INC General Auditor minister Glicerio B. Santos Jr., officiated the evangelical mission where he expounded on the words of God. He explained that the various extreme weather events and other phenomena happening now, as well as the increasing poverty, are indications of the nearing Day of Judgment.
There was a short video presentation of the various extraordinary calamities and natural disasters happening all over the world, including the tornadoes in Oklahoma and the supertyphoon Yolanda that flattened entire villages in Central Philippines.
At the start of the homily, minister Santos said that ministers of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, in teaching the Gospel, only ask questions and then read the answer from the Bible.
He also read various statements from other religious leaders who gave the observation that the Iglesia Ni Cristo is now one of the fastest growing religions that originated in the Third World.
He added that the INC had also conducted “Aid For Humanity” relief operations in other countries, including Japan, Bundaberg in Australia, New York, and in Oklahoma, USA.
Minister Santos said that the relief-medical and evangelical missions done by the INC, in cooperation with the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation Inc., are done not just during times of calamities, but even during normal times since poverty had already become pervasive in various parts of the world.
The Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko project is being done weekly in various parts of Metro Manila, in the provinces, and even in other countries, Santos said.
Just recently, a relief and medical mission was done in Oxnard, California, in Sabah, Malaysia, and in Tala, Caloocan in Metro Manila. Before this, there had also been relief operations in Pandacan, Metro Manila and in the various affected provinces of typhoon Yolanda.
There were 48 doctors and dentists , as well as more than 120 nurses and paramedics who volunteered for the medical-dental mission. Most of the guests who came brought their children along. There were also old people who managed to walk to the Quezon Memorial Circle, although they had various ailments such as rheumatism. Some even had crutches.
Free medicines and vitamins were given to the young and old. But because of the huge turnout of people, some failed to avail of the free medical service.
People from all over Quezon City and other nearby areas came by busloads even before 1 p.m. By 4 p.m., police estimated the crowd to be already at 35,000.
An entertainment program was also mounted for the guests. Various artists, including 1970s crooner Victor Wood, sang for the audience. Wood, who is undergoing bible studies under the INC, said this was his seventh time to attend a Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko project for the Church.
People watched the show through huge LED screens set up in various parts of the QC circle. They were particularly entertained when Wood sang “Pearly Shells” and danced on the stage with a couple of old women.
Some of the attendees who failed to get relief packs said they enjoyed the program. But what captivated them was the bible exposition, they said.
Aling Mila Oriel came with her two young grandsons. She said even though she failed to get a relief pack, what she heard during the evangelical mission caught her interest that she would want to know more about the Church.
Some 500 policemen were deployed in the area to maintain peace and order.
Eagle News Service