DAMAYAN-BULUSEÑO GAZETTE ONLINE EDITION

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In the Interest of Truth & Clarity...

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 fellowships.

            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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