When Thomas Edison introduced the incandescent light bulb in 1878, the announcement generated excitement, as many began to sense that indoor lighting was possible. As the light bulb became available for actual use, people started to do things at night that were either not thinkable nor practical beforehand.
Incandescent light, then, not only penetrated the real darkness of homes, it generated enlightenment of people’s dimmed minds and created opportunities for productivity. The light bulb changed everything. More importantly, it changed people.
Similar to Edison’s delivery of the light bulb, Church of God World Missions’ Send the Light to the Cities initiative is also stirring up excitement and innovative ideas on how to break through the spiritual darkness in key cities around the globe. Places such as Manila, Philippines, are now set for invasion by the light of the gospel with renewed vision and vigor.
“As one of our first ten target cities, Manila will be a prototype and launching pad for ministry in the entire region,” shared Director of World Missions Dr. David M. Griffis during a recent fact-finding trip. “Over the last decade, a mission revolution has been underway in the Philippines as new and younger leadership has engaged changing older styles and structures of ministry. The results have been amazing.”
A prime example of the changes and phenomenal growth in ministry now being experienced is Church of God Dasmarinas, a church stationed a few kilometers south of Manila. Attendance at this mega-ministry is now reaching more than 13,000-plus people each week under the capable pastoral leadership of Dr. Anthony Velasco. “COG Dasmarinas is one of the most exciting places in ministry that I have ever seen,” remarked Assistant Director M. Thomas Propes. “We need more churches to duplicate what is happening with the young people of Dasmarinas.”
Thus, the Send the Light to the Cities initiative has selected to partner with, and assist, a new church plant effort—the Church of God Marriott—in the heart of Manila. Located directly in front of Terminal 3 of Manila’s International Airport and in the midst of an emerging world-class residential and commercial shopping zone, Church of God Marriott is poised and positioned to reach many urban young people and families.
Pastored by LIFE Ambassador graduate and current National Youth Director A.J. Velasco, COG Marriott is already averaging nearly 200 in weekly attendance after only one year of worship services in the rented Marriott Hotel ballroom. Strategically focused on millennials, this young dynamic church is committed to a spiritual goal of discipleship leading to a “Born Again Philippines.”
To reproduce workers and more church planters, this catalyst church is in vital need of an office, training and storage facility, near the hotel. The Send the Light project goal of $250K, currently being raised by World Missions, is earmarked to purchase a multipurpose condominium near the Marriott in the next few months.
Marc A. Morris, DD h.c.
Regional Superintendent: Church of God Austral Asia
Click the following link to see a video of the first anniversary of this exciting Send the Light church project: