Iglesia Ni Cristo
THE Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) consecrated a new house of worship in Leyte on November 27, 2015, bringing to 540 the number of houses of worship built from January to November this year alone.
INC Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, officiated at the special worship servicein Sitio New Era, Barangay Langit in Alang-alang, Leyte.
The 400-seat house of worship of the New Era local congregation is located in the eco-farming community dubbed as “EVM Self-Sustainable Eco-farming Community” which the INC developed and granted to Typhoon Yolanda victims.
The 540 houses of worship and barangay chapels that INC has built in the Philippines for this year, included eight (8) new houses of worship in other countries. The eight new houses of worship dedicated in other countries include the houses of worship in Fremantle in Australia; Chicago, Illinois; Corpus Christi, Texas; Roseville, California; and Daegu in South Korea.
INC COMMUNITY IN ALANGALANG, LEYTE
The INC New Era local congregation in Leyte traces its beginnings back to 1994 when seven INC families from Sta. Elena Extension suffered persecution and were forced to leave the land they are cultivating for their livelihood.
The INC administration found a vacant public land in Brgy. Langit, Alang-alang which could be used as a resettlement area under the government’s agrarian program.
The INC community in Sitio New Era began when a number of Church members who are farmers from the surrounding areas of Brgy. Langit heeded the call of the Church Administration to move to the resettlement site where each family received three hectares of land to till.
On March 1, 1995, Brother Eraño G. Manalo, the then Executive Minister, decided to establish in the area the local congregation of New Era. Eight days later, they held their first worship service in a makeshift house that members helped to build.
On November 8, 2013, typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) wreaked havoc in Leyte. It swept away houses, destroyed properties, and took away lives. Many people, INC members included, were severely affected.
In response, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo gave instructions and quickly sent help to the typhoon victims by launching massive relief goods distribution, aside from the immediate rescue activities by the Society of Communicators and Networkers (SCAN) International, INC’s support group in disaster management and relief operations.
In addition, the present INC Executive Minister also decided to establish in Alang-alang, Leyte the “EVM Self-Sustainable Resettlement Project”to provide houses and jobs for the victims of the natural disaster.
INC Executive Minister inaugurated the said resettlement site on January 23, 2015. Around this time, the construction of the New Era chapel also started.
The Church constructed housing units, a fish-drying plant, and a garment factory for the typhoon victims in the 3,000 hectare land in Brgy. Langit. The INC also made available to the residents tractors and other essential farm implements.
The INC administration, through the leadership of Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, vows to continue helping the needy and the poor for they believe that it is the will of God. More eco-farming communities can be expected to be established.
[By Bro. Marlex Cantor with Bro. Brando Bucks and Bro. Jed Caalim]