Manila, Philippines is a city of contrasts. Like all world class cities, it is all there in Manila: tall skyscrapers, malls, condominiums, casinos, 5-star hotels, restaurants, a booming business district and people; almost two million. In Manila, you will find the young and old, the rich and the poor, and yes, light and darkness. Yet in the midst of the darkness, there is a ray of light- Church of God Marriott Manila, led by Pastor AJ Velasco.
Two years before COG World Missions dreamed of the Send the Light to the Cities initiative, pastor AJ had the vision to reach his city for the Lord. In his own words, we must, “Go to the city and make our presence felt because that is where the people are,” it is where they study, work, live and are entertained. Upon choosing Manila as one of the Lighthouse Cities, we decided instead of “reinventing the wheel”, we would partner with this existing, but relatively new ministry to accomplish the vision of Church of God World Missions Director, Dr. David M. Griffis. To quote Dr. Griffis, “A church that loves the world with a John 3:16 passion cannot take its evangelism mandate seriously without looking to the cities.”
Presently, Church of God Marriott Manila has over 200 congregants on a weekly basis. Converts are trained to become “disciples making disciples.” A facility has been secured in a strategic location, which will function as an operational hub for the ministry. This facility will be used as a Discipleship Training and Church Planting Center. The cost to secure the facility is $250 000 USD and we have set this amount as our goal for this particular project. We are hoping to raise these funds prior to the upcoming 2018 General Assembly. Several states have pledged their support, however we are still in need of other donors. Please prayerfully consider giving to the Lighthouse City of Manila -Church of God Marriot Manila. Donations should be sent to Church of God World Missions, PO Box 8016, Cleveland, TN 37320: Project #102-9435-006.
With the help of the Lord and through your faithful giving, we will transform this city from a City of Darkness to a City of Light. Jesus Christ is the Light of the World (John 8:12) and according to John 12:46 that Light has come into the world. I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. NKJV.
– Andrew Binda is the Field Director for COGWM Asia/Pacific