North Island New Zealand
The Members Church of God International (MCGI) in New Zealand have once again held its get together activity where brethren from all throughout the North Island region flocked as one to participate, experience, learn and strengthen both their spirits and bodies as they continue to strive for holiness through the gospel and good works. The team building activity was held on the 28th of October (Labour Day) at the Howick Leisure Centre in Auckland where a total of 160 attendees were present to experience the event.
Gathering together as one is part of what christians do. In this time and age where most people gather for their own personal interests and not for the Lord's, brethren from North Island were given an opportunity to hold the unprecedented team building and sportsfest activity strengthening both their spirit and body as they exercise and listen to the word of God. As it is written in I Timothy 4:8 (KJV), “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." Bodily exercise is beneficial, but practicing godliness through good works is profitable in this life and in the life which is to come. Doing bodily exercise and godliness at the same time is indeed beneficial!
The event kicked off with brethren conditioning their bodies for the day. Psalms and hymns for the Lord were sung not only to unify the brethren but to guide the day that is ahead of them. The congregational singing was followed by a short prayer led by the church workers. The workers afterwards gave their opening remarks to welcome the brethren and guests. After that, the brethren were asked by the organizers to gather around and were grouped into four - each given instructions to do as what they were instructed. This marked the beginning of the team building event.
The KNC’s or the Kawan ng Cordero’s (Flock of Lambs) were given games and activities as their part of the said event. In their activities, the children of the brethren showed that, even how little and fragile one maybe, with God’s help, they can cooperate and unite to achieve a common goal.
Meanwhile on the main hall, the brethren showed their willpower in every way possible to complete the tasks. Through teamwork, each and every team was able to lift their team members one by one using merely strings with which they ran to and fro, back and forth, and successfully completing the task given to them. This shows how members of a team can work together to get the job done. Through sheer willpower, strength and cooperation, no task is impossible to do with God's help.
Brethren also showcased their wit and ingenuity in building a tower made out of scrap papers. Each team used all allowed means possible to build a tower from scratch. This shows that even the faintest idea of how the structure of the tower's going to be, members can collaborate, cooperate and finally, act by carefully putting pieces together to build a tower.
An inspirational message from Brother Daniel Razon was witnessed after the team building event. Giving the brethren a view on how the church must be and how can the brethren help the church in every means possible, through teamwork and most importantly with God’s help and mercy. “...hindi ito ordinaryong team building.”, “...this is not your ordinary team building.” as said by Brother Daniel himself. This event wasn’t held just because the brethren wanted to, but for the brethren to realize that when a whole group works together in unity, any obstacles that may block their path as they sojourn shall be overcome with God’s help.
Intermission numbers were held as the brethren ate their lunch. Songs from different artists and generations were sung to entertain the brethren. May it be old or modern, music speaks to everyone that hears it. As the day nears its end, the brethren took one last picture to remember this day as they not only exercised in body but also in faith. United as one, the brethren parted ways. Even though distance separates us all, faith brings us closer together.
To God be the Glory!
Written by: Brother John Gabriel Alovera
Auckland, New Zealand
The world we live in is a sign of God’s love to mankind. Genesis 2:9 states, “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil”.
The Members Church of God International (MCGI) appreciates all of His creation. The air we breathe, the birds that sing, and the trees that grow around us. Living on the values that brother Eli Soriano and brother Daniel Razon constantly share to all the brethren as guided by the holy scriptures from Ephesians 3:6, “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel”, each took part in a purposeful activity that supports beautification of the environment that would benefit mankind in the future.
On September 7, the brethren from different chapters in the North Island of New Zealand partnered with the Auckland Council to do a tree-planting activity which aimed to plant fourteen hundred different kinds of trees on the pathway of a suburb in Roberts Field, Te Atatu. About 60-80 participants planted various types of plants and trees along the 17km stretch public pathway. One of the environmentalists presented a short demonstration to show the proper handling and safety in planting, hence, all ages took part and found that tree-planting is an easy and fun activity.
Tegan Illingworth, Whau River Catchment Trust Restoration Coordinator, wholeheartedly expressed her warm and sincere gratitude to all the participants who made this project a success. The activity finished earlier than the expected time due to the huge number of volunteers who participated in this event. To maximise the remaining time in the area, another environment enthusiast discussed general information about birds, their habitat, and the unique sounds they make.
MCGI has once again showed faith and unity in this project. As brother Daniel always reminds the brethren that, “Good deeds will bear no evil fruit”. Each member became a helping hand to do His good will unto others as inspired by the words of God from 1 Corinthians 3:9, “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building”.
With cheerful hearts, MCGI New Zealand gives back all the glory and honor to God for giving us another opportunity to be used as His instrument in doing righteousness. Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”.
Written by: Sister Amy Chan Caco
Christchurch New Zealand
Most of us want to find the one, once you found the one? Would you fight till the end?
Nowadays, we get amazed when we see couples stay together until their last breath. This only shows that true love does exist in a world where divorce, annulment and separation are very common.
As husband and wife, you have already fought and won hundreds, if not thousands of battles together. You treat each other as comrades, best friends and lovers.
If you truly love someone, it seems like this lifetime is not enough to spend your moments together.
In the Church of God, according to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is vital for couples to stay together until the end. As the verses in the Bible say,
1 Corinthians 7:10 (ESV)
To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband.
Ephesians 5:28 (ESV)
In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
For that reason, on the 18th of August, a couples’ night was held, with the theme “A Thousand Years”.
This event was organised to reminiscence the past, bring back the sweet romance and strengthen the couple’s love. A romantic environment was set up to create the ambiance for the couples to enjoy the night.
The event paved way for new talents to be revealed led by the hosts Brother Ting and Sister Syhrel. Couples also took to the dance floor to share a sweet dance.
The highlight was that Brother Daniel‘s call to rejuvenate the love that once brought them together. Couples were asked to list the characteristics or the traits that brought them to their partners. He also emphasized the importance of not only expressing and showing love through actions, but also once in a while, express the love for their spouses in words. To forgive and forget the mistakes that were done in the past, by saying "sorry" and "I love you" is also vital in the foundation of every relationship. Brother Daniel quoted the song The Past by Ray Parker Jr. singing, “so let’s not bring the past back anymore”.
Brother Daniel closed out the evening with the saying “what happens next is up to you”.
To God be the Glory!
Written by: Sister Mariel Ansit
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