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 event 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 and participate in the event.
Gathering together as one is part of what Christians do. In this day 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 sports fest event strengthening both their spirit and body as they exercised and listened 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 was ahead of them. The congregational singing was followed by a short prayer led by the church workers. Afterward, the workers 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 with how little and fragile one maybe, with God’s help, they can cooperate and unite to achieve a common goal.
Meanwhile, in the main hall, the brethren showed their willpower in every way possible to complete the tasks. Through teamwork, each 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.
To sum up the culminated team building activities, the brethren listened to the inspirational message and assessment delivered by Brother Daniel Razon. He began by saying “...hindi ito ordinaryong team building.”, “...this is not a ordinary team building.” In his speech, he emphasized the importance of every member especially the weak. He also explained the importance of doing team building activities for brethren to better understand the will of God on working together. He related each activity to actual situations. Nonetheless, all the activities teach the value of teamwork. The brethren learned that working as a team involves caring for the weak because however small or weak they are, they are part of the team.
Intermission numbers were performed 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 neared its end, the brethren took one last picture to remember this day as they not only exercised their bodies physically but also spiritually in faith. United as one, the brethren parted ways. Even though distance may separate us all, faith brings us closer together.
To God be the Glory!
Written by: Brother John Gabriel Alovera
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
North Island New Zealand
A truly unforgettable night of love songs, music, and memories filled up the air on June 2, 2019. Married couples from different locale chapters in the North Island had come together to celebrate the annual Couple’s Night. This successful event was attended by twenty nine couples and eighteen individuals totaling to seventy six participants.
One of the important values that the Members of the Church of God International (MCGI) adhere is to love thy husband or wife, as written in the scriptures Ephesians 5:33, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
The theme for the night revolved around the significance of keeping the love that binds the couple together through thick and thin. Kuya Daniel Razon graced the night, reminding each couple to always look back, reminisce the old times, and never forget the feeling that was once felt during the courtship days.
The hall was filled with giggles and realization when Kuya Daniel enumerated instances of the reality of married life. He reiterated that love between couples should be unconditional and unforgettable for this will make them holy as inspired by the verses from 1 Cor. 7:14, “For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.”
Food and entertainment were served for everyone to enjoy. Song numbers by individuals and couples serenaded the crowd. The fun games for couples tested their familiarity and solidarity towards each other. This was wrapped up by a group photo and cheerful hearts as everyone ended the night.
Truly, the spark of love should never be forgotten. Apoc. 2:4-5 states, “ But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” Always look back to where the love had started and appreciate everything that comes with it.
Glory to God in the highest for the beautiful gift of love!
Written by: Sister Amy Chan-Caco
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