By Don Orozco
American psychologist Abraham Maslow is known for creating the hierarchy of needs. It is built on fulfilling essential human needs and culminates in self-actualization. Thus members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo from all over the world subscribe to that theory. However, it never ended in just self-actualization.
The Church administration beginning from the leadership of their late last messenger Brother Felix Y Manalo to the late Executive Minister Brother Erano G Manalo and to the current Executive Minister Brother Eduardo V Manalo subscribe to these. But clearly one other need outside of human need that has to be satisfied is the spiritual needs. Thus every time a human need is provided for, the spiritual need is incorporated into the equation.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo through the years has created several community outreach programs. The Lingap sa Mamamayan (Aid to Humanity) program is the Church platform that provides the basic human needs and has expanded to include training for disaster preparedness, first aid, family planning and other humanitarian activities such as blood donation and community clean up. These undertakings gave birth to the officially registered Felix Y Manalo Foundation, Incorporated or better known as the FYM Foundation.
INC Executive Minister Brother Eduardo V Manalo designed to compliment the global presence of the Iglesia Ni Cristo established the FYM Foundation. Under the wings of the FYM Foundation are other humanitarian agencies like the Kabayan Ko Kapatid Ko (My Countrymen, My Brethren) which provides goodwill bags to thousands of people and the INCGiving which acknowledges and provide appreciation for teachers, law enforcement officers like police and fire officials as well as those who served.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo has an international membership comprising more than 130 racial and ethnic backgrounds. It can be found in 147 of 196 countries from around the world with about 7,000 congregations all of which are willingly providing humanitarian assistance with or without calamity. Given the large number of members all of which has declared their unequivocal support to their Brother Eduardo, Philippine President Rodrigo took advantage of INC network thus appointing the INC Executive Minister to be his envoy for the Overseas Filipino Workers.
In his recent Pastoral visitations in North America, he has invited Philippine officials and some Filipino American and Filipino Canadian community leaders as well as FilAm media outlets for some consultative OFW concerns. He met with Philippine Ambassador to the US Manuel Romualdez in Sacramento, Los Angeles California Consul General Adelio S Cruz whom he met in the INC Chapel in the City of Oxnard, California. Finally in Canada met with Philippine Ambassador to Canada Petronila Garcia in an INC chapel in Toronto, Canada. He also met with some local city officials and members of the legislature. And yes, they did attend the Worship Service.
With the provision of satisfying the hierarchy of needs through INC community outreach events, they continue to incorporate spiritual enrichment with the study of the Word that can be found from the Holy Bible. This is something that goes hand in hand on the Church’s theme, which is “Don’t Extinguish the fire of the Holy Spirit”
In his desire to reach out to the brethren and the OFW community Brother Eduardo V Manalo has endured several time zones and all kinds of weather from the sweltering heat of over a hundred degrees in Nevada, USA and the freezing temperature of Calgary, Canada he continues to perform his calling foremost of which is tending the flock and at the same time consulting with the FilAm community.
Incidentally, this corner wishes Brother Eduardo V Manalo a Blessed Birthday celebration on October 31st and as in previous years he will celebrate it with the study of thy Words. May you never cease in helping those in need. God bless you and your entire family. (You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org)