INC reaches out to the community


By Elpidio Estioko

SAN JOSE – The Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) held it’s Meet & Greet annual activity with city officials and community leaders of adjoining cities in Santa Clara County and presented to the attendees its role and relevance to humanity last October 30 at its main chapel in San Jose.

Among those who attended, according to INC’s Don Orozco, are Assembly member Kansen Chu, 25th Assembly District; Consul Carlyn Monasterial representing Consul General Henry Bensurto of the Philippine Consulate General of San Francisco; Santa Clara County Sheriff Deputy Rick Sung and Sgt. Michelle Asban representing Sheriff Laurie Smith; San Jose Council member Johnny Khamis, District 10; San Jose City Council member Ash Kalra, District 2; San Jose City Council member Tam Nguyen, District 7; Pattie Cortese – BOD, East Side Union School District representing Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese; Lenine Umali representing Rep. Mike Honda, District 17; Thelma Batilo, Lions Club Vice-governor, Silicon Valley; Cindy Smith, Lions Club Vice- governor, San Francisco; Anthony Phan, presidential appointee and candidate for Milpitas City Council; Commissioner Erlinda Fortes Reyes, Santa Clara County; Commissioner Angela Boricua Tirado, City of San Jose; Joshua Barrouse, Field Representative for California State Senate; Aaron Resendez, International Representative of United Automobile Workers (UAW); Alex Flores, Director of Catering, Hilton Hotels; Daisy Chu, wife of Assemblyman Kansen Chu; Delia Ventura Estioko, wife of Elpidio Estioko, and Milpitas City Commissioner and FilAm Star Columnist Elpidio Estioko.

In an impressive power point presentation, after seven or eight solemn songs by the 37-member INC Choir (including a pianist) and welcome/opening prayer by the ministers, INC outlined its shelter and livelihood programs, medical and dental missions, relief operations, and outreach programs with various tribes since 2012 to date worldwide, indicating that the Church of Christ is concerned not only with its members but the whole humanity, regardless of culture and origin.

Since its founding in July 27, 1914 in the Philippines by its founder, believed to be the last Christ Minister Felix Manalo, INC has been playing a vital role in the global community especially in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, Guam, Athens, United Kingdom, Canada, the U.S., and of course in the Philippines.

Whenever there is a calamity, typhoon, hurricane, earthquake, and floods where a lot of people die and thousands of people become homeless and starving, INC is always there to help, according to the presentation. In Leyte for instance where Typhoon Yolanda pummeled the area in 2013 rendering 6,100 people killed, they sent relief goods to victims and made Leyte a self-sustaining community by providing shelter and livelihood programs.
They were also in Kumamoto and Fukuoka, Japan helping earthquake victims and in Bundaberg, Australia as part of their outreach program to people victimized by typhoon.

They fed some 25,000 calamity victims in Johannesburg, South Africa as part of their outreach and humanitarian project. They were in Tacloban, Leyte; Tondo, Manila; Paracale, Camarines Norte; and other areas in the Philippines needing help and assistance due to various calamities.

All these humanitarian activities and giving back to the community efforts by INC were recognized by the Philippine government through the National Historical Commission on July 24, 2014 in Proclamation Number 815 declaring 2014 as the Iglesia Centennial Year, 100th year of INC existence in the Philippines.