More than 65,000 attendees flocked to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan at the start of the new decade last January 5 for the relaunching of “Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko,” a humanitarian activity of Filipino homegrown church Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) or Church of Christ aimed at providing aid and assistance to various local communities.
“We have relaunched Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko (My Countrymen, My Brethren) upon the initiative of our Executive Minister Brother Eduardo V. Manalo as he leads the church to a greater path of service, a direction we have been taking these past years,” said Glicerio B. Santos, General Auditor of the INC.
Santos mentioned that the weekend Philippine Arena event drew attendees from various church districts — six from Metro Manila, three from Bulacan, and three from Pampanga.
The INC conducted simultaneous Kabayan events in more than 500 venues in 156 countries spanning six continents on that same day.
According to Santos, the project My Countrymen, My Brethren activities involved a total of 170 INC ecclesiastical districts around the world.
“INC districts led the events to give equal focus and attention to both INC and non-INC members because everyone deserves to receive help and livelihood assistance, especially at the start of the new year,” Santos explained.
The Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko event distributed “goody bags,” which included five kilos of rice, canned goods and coffee. Food, refreshments and entertainment provided to participants, complemented the vibrancy of the event.
“We’ve also conducted well-attended My Countrymen, My Brethren events abroad, but this one last weekend has been one of the biggest so far. The Iglesia Ni Cristo has most recently helped several areas in Mindanao after a series of devastating earthquakes struck late in 2019.
A parallel activity called Aid to Humanity has benefited close to 300,000 people in 220 sites all over areas in North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
“Our Executive Minister preaches the urgency of becoming a leading beacon of hope for people. We, of course, offer spiritual healing and comfort, but we realize that these are not enough. People throughout the world also need tangible assistance — food, shelter, necessities — and that’s what we at the INC have been striving to address these past years. We must help those in need because God commands it. We feel renewed by this noble direction Executive Minister Manalo has been leading us into.”
Santos revealed further that there would be more aid activities for the year both in the Philippines and abroad.
“This is a continuing effort on our part. Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko and Aid to Humanity will only get bigger and better for 2020 and the new decade, he said. ###
–Tess de Jesus, Far West Herald