DAMAYAN-BULUSEÑO GAZETTE ONLINE EDITION
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by Rev. Gloria Gabad Liao
Jesus never said that one must become a Christian to enter the kingdom of
God. Instead, He said, “Unless a
man be born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
Based on this misinterpretation, the devil had long ago designed a plan
to have all people with different cultures fight over beliefs.
And the plan was put into full gear when in 1095, Pope Urban II sent
100,000 knights in what was called The First Crusade, to try and destroy
Abraham’s other son, Ishmael. Since
then, the Ishmaelites had vowed eternal enmity and hatred against all of
Christendom. And the effect of that
vow continues to wreak havoc, disunity, more hatred, suspicion, intrigue and
violence to this very day.
But the Holy Spirit has stepped in to oppose Satan, through the unknown
religious leaders in a small country in the world, the Philippines, when in
1975, Buddhists, Bahais, Hindus, Muslims, Taoists, and Christians got together
in the FIRST ASIAN ECUMENICAL CONGRESS, a gathering of interfaith communities,
and decided to work together in partnership with government leadership for the
common task of nation-building.
And since then, that partnership is now a model of Interfaith Cooperation
for all other nations to study and possibly adopt.
A mini version of what happened in 1975 was initiated by the
INTERNATIONAL EVANGELICAL FOUNDATION (IEF), an organization whose Board of
Trustees at present are Pastora Nedy Mallete from Daraga, Albay who is presently
ministering in Bulusan, Sorsogon; your very own servant, Rev. Gloria Gabad Liao,
from San Isidro, Bulusan; together with a bishop from the U.S.A. and six other
ministers from Manila, Visayas and Mindanao.
I became a member of the IEF in the year 1985 during the time when the
World Vision Philippines Project in Bulusan, called “DALAN SA PAGKAMOOT
DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: (DPDP) was in trouble due to envy and selfish motives among
the members and recipients themselves. I
was charged of anomaly without any proof, being the Chairman of said program and
I was persecuted by the people due to misinterpretation and lack of knowledge
about the program. I was then a
victim of gossips that even brought me to the court in Bulusan as initiated by
several religious leaders despite our financial records’ accuracy.
As audited by World Vision Philippines, the financial records and
inventory were all accurate but some people’s mind and mouth were really
anomalous and full of deceit which resulted to the limitation of assistance
until it was totally phased out in Bulusan.
The effort I exerted, the time and money I spent in the year 1982 for the
process and registration of the DPDP, and the opening of bank account in
Sorsogon for the materialization of assistance in Bulusan, were all ruined in a
very short span of time. Thank God
for giving me strong faith to go on, until IEF ordained me as a minister of God
in the year 1986 at Camp Crame, Quezon City which opened the door to a wider
scope of ministry. Since then,
we’ve been extending little material assistance to some of the DPDP members
who remained loyal to us, and as of now, we are more concerned on assisting them
in the aspects of social, material and spiritual.
In 1997, Pastora Nedy Mallete and me, together with some Christian
workers from Sorsogon, were able to join the International Prayer Convocation in
Hongkong which was participated by 25 countries worldwide and we even reached
China for mission work. In 1998, I
was one of IEF’s delegate for the U.S. Thanksgiving Celebration at California,
U.S. A. and it was all because of God’s blessings.
Everything that happened were considered as part of God’s plan and in
May 28, 2002, we were participants of the INTERFAITH MINI CONGRESS held at Ramon
V. Mitra Hall, House of Representatives, Batasan Hills, Quezon City where
Conngressman Artemio Adaza of Zamboanga del Norte, Speaker Jose de Venecia’s
Chief of Staff, and Congressman Isidro Aligada from the office of the Oversight
Center for OFWs at the House of Representatives were present.
Peace was given emphasis in said mini congress followed by a discussion
on strategies in attaining it.
The discussion was concluded with a message that everyone should develop
respect, love, honesty as virtues practiced in dealings within the community and
In November 23, 2002, a NATIONAL INTERFAITH CONGRESS was held again at
the same venue in the House of Representatives.
The NATIONAL INTERFAITH CONGRESS is a project of the IEF (International
Evangelical Foundation) in celebration of the 27th anniversary of the
FIRST ASIAN ECUMENICAL CONGRESS or FAEC with the goal to revive the idea of
expanding the ministry of Islamic Affairs in the Philippines created in 1973,
into a DEPARTMENT OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS, since there is already a nucleus of this
office with the current administration which is called PRESIDENTIAL ASSISTANT ON
RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS. Another goal is
to offer to every nation in the world and to the United Nations Organization,
the Philippine experience in interfaith cooperation which started at the onset
of the Martial Law Regime in 1972, as a model for partnership of government with
the Interfaith Community in nation building.
It is realized today that peace and progress are more lasting when
achieved in partnership, not in competition, with interfaith leadership.
Being a delegate of the National Interfaith Congress is a blessing which
is very much appreciated and God is given all the glory for all these things.
Vol. XV No. 6 (January-February 2003)
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