MCGI-NCR’s Mahogany Tree Project in Tanay, Rizal turns once-barren land into a fertile one

UNTV News   •   December 19, 2017   •   6462

MANILA, Philippines — It was on the 10th of October in 2010 when thousands of members of  The Members Church of God International (MCGI) visited the mountainous part of the San Andres, Tanay, Rizal as part of the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the longest-running religious program in the Philippines, “Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path).”

Bringing 10,000 mahogany seedlings, the volunteers did not mind the long travel time, the several kilometers of trek, the crossing of streams and the uphill climb.

The group’s Overall Servant, Bro. Eli Soriano himself, who was abroad at that time, and Assistant Overall Servant, Kuya Daniel Razon led the planting of trees.

In 2013, the group revisited the site and saw that many of the planted trees are still standing.

The youth volunteers of MCGI cleaned and cut the grass, which the youth volunteers have always done from the time the mahogany seedlings were planted there. This is aside from hiring a caretaker to monitor the trees.

After 7 years, coinciding with the 37th anniversary of the program,“Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path),” MCGI members have once again revisited the site in San Andres Tanay Rizal.

They were amazed to discover that the previously bald part of the mountain is now full of trees.

According to a group of farmers in the area, the planting of trees in the area by the members of the MCGI helped them a lot.

“This area is among the most visited sites by tourists here in Tanay. That’s why the efforts of MCGI has been a big help…they planted 10,000 trees, and many of those trees remain standing. It looks beautiful. Before it had no trees. Now it’s full of trees. That’s why thank you so much to groups like Dating Daan,” San Andres Tanay Rizal Brgy. Captain Darwin dela Rosa said.

The area’s village chieftain, Darwin dela Rosa said the tree planting activity also helped the indigenous people living there to have extra income.

“Because the indigenous people here have their livelihood in the mountains. They do not cut trees anymore. They now serve as tour guides. If the mountains are beautiful, many people visit. That’s their source of income,” Dela Rosa said.

Antony Ybanez of the group, Samahan ng Magsasaka, said, “That’s how our village became known. Many tourists are going up to the mountains. The beautiful scenery in our village has been restored.”

Tree planting is just one of the charity works being conducted by the Members Church of God International. – Berdard Dadis | UNTV News & Rescue

MCGI kicks off global feeding program with over 120,000 free food packs

Marje Pelayo   •   March 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Members Church of God International (MCGI) — known for the long-running religious program “Ang Dating Daan”— in cooperation with some local government units, served free food packs on Thursday (March 25) to families and individuals who are in need.

Always with the intention to fulfill the commandment of God in the Bible, MCGI in different chapters around the world simultaneously launched a global feeding program following the success of the global opening of the MCGI Free Store on March 14.

Overall, MCGI was able to prepare an initial 122,537 free food packs in 1,203 venues around the world and served around 121,366 recipients on its March 25th launch alone.

Taking note of the spiritual health and physical wellbeing of its members and the recipients, all personnel handling and delivering food strictly followed government-imposed health protocols.

Local officials who graced the occasion commended the conduct of the initiative.

“Isa ito sa masasabi ko talaga na organized, well planned at siyempre with God’s grace talagang ang ganda. 150 beneficiaries ang nakinabang sa mga kabaranggay ko dito at maraming maraming salamat sa bumubuo ng Members Church of God International,” said Jonathan Alcala, a councilor in Barangay Katipunan in Quezon City.

In the Philippines, members delivered the free food packs to residents in remote barangays, street dwellers, medical front liners and uniformed personnel, as well as COVID-19 positive patients under lockdown in different facilities.

“In behalf po ng aming warden at lahat po ng kasamahan ko na BJMP, and staff ng Dapitan City Jail at ang buong 73 (Persons Deprives of Liberty) as of now, malaki po ang pasasalamat namin sa ginagawang feeding program ng Ang Dating Daan,” SJO4 Augusto Wilmar Mabilog, assistant jail warden of the Dapitan City Jail said.

Likewise, CRC information officer SJO1 Rey Lawrence Comprendio also lauded the group’s timely assistance.

“Maganda po itong ginawa ng Church of God, at malaking tulong po ito sa aming institusyon lalong lalo na ngayong pandemya especially wala po tayong dalaw na face-to-face at ma-o-augment din talaga ito sa daily consumption ng ating mga PDLs,” he said.

Romelyn Canteren, a member of the Subanen tribe in Zamboanga Del Sur, expressed gratitude for the unexpected treat.

“Minsan wala po kaming makain kasi walang trabaho yung parents.  Yung mama ko po sa bularan (fish-drying firms) lang po. Ako po minsan walang trabaho kaya masaya po kami na may tumulong sa amin.”

Abroad, brethren reached out to the homeless, poor families and distressed overseas Filipino workers.

“I am thanking God today that MCGI has given us this food so that we have food to eat for the day,” said Joseph Leed, a local beneficiary in Liberia.

Roy Tuazon, a displaced overseas Filipino worker in Saipan, was grateful for the assistance. “Nagpapasalamat po ako dahil nagkaroon po ng ganitong pa-feeding program sa MCGI dahil marami pong taong gaya ko na kinakapos din ng konti sa mga pagkain na ganito. Sana po meron pa po susunod. Salamat po,”  he said.

Director Vicente Gregorio Tomas of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the National Capital Region (NCR) recognized MCGI’s initiative to augment the government’s effort to serve Filipinos especially during uncertain times such as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“Instructions ito ng ating mahal na Pangulo na katuwang ang ibang mga partner agencies na talagang mag reach-out. Kaya nga kami ay nagpapasalamat dahil in spite of the risk, nandyan po kayo tumutulong sa amin,” Tomas said.

Even officials abroad expressed gratitude to MCGI for continuously extending help to people in need across the globe.

“Ito ay isang malaking bagay na maitutulong sa mga kababayan nating Filipino lalong lalo na yung nawalan ng trabaho at na-stranded,” said Esther Chavez, representative of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Singapore.

“Ito po ay napapanahon sa pagtulong lalo na at panahon ng pandemic. Maramig salamat sa pamuuan ng MCGI para sa tulong na ginagawa nila para sa ating mamamayn,” she added.

For its part, MCGI is grateful to God for this opportunity to do good.

“Ang atin pong buhay ay hindi naman natin dapat na sa sarili lang natin iuukol kundi dapat din nating alalahanin ang kautusan ng Panginoon na meron tayong kapwa taong dapat lingapin, dapat tulungan kung nangangailangan,” said Bro. Danny Navales, representative of the MCGI.

The MCGI Global Feeding Program launch was aired live by its official media partner UNTV.

MCGI Free Store, timely and relevant — DSWD

Maris Federez   •   March 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Sunday were delighted by the global launching of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) Free Store.

DSWD-NCR Director Vic Tomas said they were in awe of the concept of the MCGI Free Store, stressing that the project is very timely and relevant amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

He noted that the Free Store is responsive to the needs of the people, especially the poor and those who were rendered jobless by the pandemic.

He also underscored how the project is open to all regardless of religious and political affiliation.

“Thank you po sa opportunity and, of course, sa ating mga kasama sa MCGI. Talagang this is a very noble at saka talagang very timely, very relevant and responsive dahil yun nga ang tulong na ito ay walang pili we are here to share what God has given us,” Tomas said.

Tomas also took note of the strict implementation of the minimum health standards such as physical distancing, wearing of face masks, and face shields in all the free stores.

Tomas said this sets a good example to all in the government and even in organizations in the private sector.

“Even the LGUs, they have their own strengths. Iba-iba yung kanilang istratehiya on how to address the problem. And this is a very good template na matularan na iba pang may ganun ding puso, ginintuang puso to reach out,” he said.

Tomas assures that the DSWD will continue to be supportive of the MCGI in all its public services.

Meanwhile, MCGI representative, Bro. Danny Navales said that these services will continue as all the brethren unite to extend help to others.

“Maimungkahi  tao sa pagbibigay ng hindi naman niya na kailangan o ng gamit na hindi ginagamit o bagay na labis sa kanya na alam naman nating marami ang nangangailangan,” he said.

The MCGI Free Store was originally conceptualized and spearheaded by Bro. Eli Soriano exclusively for the members of the church.

After successfully offering the store to the brethren, Bro. Daniel Razon pushed to open it to the public, in deference to the legacy of Bro. Eli.

“Napakaganda ng bunga nito at yan ay ating ipinagpapasalamat natin ng maraming-marami sa Dios na mayroon tayong isang kagaya ni Kuya Daniel at Bro. Eli na ang malasakit sa kapwa tao hindi lamang sa kapatiran,” Navales added. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV correspondent Dante Amento)

MCGI thanks those who offered support, tributes for the late Bro. Eli Soriano

Robie de Guzman   •   February 18, 2021

The Members Church of God International (MCGI) has expressed its gratitude and appreciation to all those who extended their sympathies and tributes for the passing of international televangelist Brother Eliseo “Eli” Soriano.

It has been a week since Brother Eli, host of the longest-running religious program in the Philippines, “Ang Dating Daan,” died at the age of 73 but messages of condolences and support continue to pour in.  

“While we in MCGI believe that the recorded preachings of Bro. Eli are more than enough to console and heal our broken hearts for his sudden passing, your messages recognizing his efforts and sacrifices give us great joy and a sense of pride as members of the Church of God International and strengthen our resolve to pursue his aspiration—for us to love and care for one another, attain Godly perfection, and make known the words of God in the Bible to all mankind,” the MCGI said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

Among those who offered condolences was President Rodrigo Duterte, who, in a recorded video message, expressed his sympathies to Brother Eli’s family, loved ones, and supporters as he remembered the late preacher’s dedication and efforts to spread the word of God.

Some local politicians, diplomats and even leaders of different religious groups have also sent messages of support and recognition of Brother Eli’s services and charity works.

“We would like to especially thank President Rodrigo Duterte, distinguished senators of our country, governors and mayors, ambassadors, leaders of different religious groups, members of the mass media for practicing fair and constructive journalism, and the tens of millions of netizens around the world for your condolences and expression of sympathy,” the MCGI said.

“It is heartwarming to know that we are one in spirit in regretting the loss of our beloved Bro. Eli,” it added.

“Your words of appreciation on the life, dedication, and sacrifices of Bro. Eli serve as a testament of a life well-spent. His exhortation of God’s words in the Bible not only made a great impact in our hearts and minds, but also to countless people from all walks of life around the world,” it further stated.

Consolations and accolades offered by many people are indeed pleasing to hear, the MCGI said, but if Brother Eli were only around, “he would definitely tell us that all praises and honor belong to the Almighty and that he is merely an unworthy servant.”

The MCGI said that one biblical reminder that Brother Eli frequently told his listeners and viewers are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 17:10: “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”

Brother Eli started his flagship program “Ang Dating Daan” in 1980. After years of challenges to find a permanent home, ADD and Bro. Eli’s other programs “Truth in Focus” and “Itanong mo kay Soriano” finally settled with UNTV on 2004.

He was forced to leave the Philippines in 2005 due to religious persecution. He settled in Brazil where he continued his global evangelization efforts.

He was known for his straightforward and courageous method of exposing errors in doctrines of various religious groups locally and abroad through his signature segment “Itanong Mo kay Soriano, Biblia ang Sasagot” – a non-scripted Bible Exposition being broadcasted live on TV and the internet where guests can ask impromptu questions which Bro. Eli answers with verses from the Scriptures.

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