Photo Courtesy: Pastor Herminigilda Aguila and OPIF Correspondent Sis. Rachele Neric - Alvarez
Above photos were taken during Church Building Inauguration in Cuenca, Batangas.
Cuenca, Batangas --- A hundred and twenty brethren personally witnessed the dedication of the first-ever, newly built, OPIF Church Building in San Felipe, Cuenca, Batangas last December 26, 2021.
Loud praises were heard at the start of the service as Pastor Herminigilda Aguila, the resident pastor of OPIF Ph S5, together with the church’ youth, led the congregation in singing praises to the Lord. It proceeded to Pastor Renato Furo of OPIF Ph Sector 2 leading the Opening Prayer and Deputy Pastor Rene Aguila giving his Welcome Remarks.
Pastor Martino Cortan, former Chairman of the Board and now a pastor of Pangasinan Cell Group, started the words of encouragement for the event. He said, “This is a very important day for the whole family of the OPIF Organization. This is the day in which we should unite in giving thanks unto God for the great blessing He has given to us— a blessing which we just have in mind but now has become a reality. Indeed, nothing is impossible to God!”
“Congratulations to Pastor Herminigilda Aguila, to the saints of OPIF Ph Sector 5, and to the whole OPIF Family. In the Bible, the phrase ‘working together’ is mentioned for forty-five times and the word ‘together’ for 481 times. This only signifies how important being united in the church is. Because we have worked and prayed together in Christ, we now have a church building we can call our own”, Pastor Cortan added.
He continued saying, “I remembered when I asked for help for the Cuenca church in front of the brethren in the Middle East, I saw the overwhelming response of everyone. That time, I knew it was going to happen. Thus, this day is not only a victory for Cuenca church but the whole of OPIF, Inc. I praised God for making this milestone possible. I also thank all the saints behind this victory.” He also quoted Psalm 37:4, “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” And left a challenge to the saints of OPIF Ph Sector 5 to fill the newly built place of worship with souls for Christ.
Words of wisdom was also imparted by our very own BOD Chairman, Pastor Allyn Gagarin. He said, “It was a vision that was made into reality, like that of the vision of David that was realized through King Solomon. We owed this victory to the prayers of the saints. We have witnessed how mightily God works. We just have to trust in Him and we are sure of great victory. All for God’s glory!”
BOD World Missions Director, Pastor Michael Benito exclaimed in his encouragement, “WE MADE IT!” He thanked the brethren who helped made this possible. All who exerted their efforts and gave their time because of their love for the Lord. He also thanked all OPIF churches which contributed financially and for the untiring efforts of the saints. “The journey to the victory has not been easy. But the Lord made a way for all of us. Let us not just fill the place with people but with saints filled with the Holy Ghost!”
Pastor Marilyn Neric - BOD Finance Directress was on site to personally give her words of encouragement. “Today is very special. I am very glad to be able to personally witness this church dedication here in Cuenca, Batangas. This is a united effort of all brethren especially of OPIF Ph S5 saints. This church is not being built with just mere words and promises. If we are to build the temple of God, we have to labor with our hands and plan with our minds with our Lord JESUS CHRIST. In the whole process, I know God has always been there with His children”, Pastor Neric said.
She added saying, “God is not so much concerned with floor plans and architectural design but working on salvation and eternal life to those who will come to this church. It is only in the hands of the Lord that all of this will be made possible.” On the other hand, Pastor Solomon Vili, OPIF Ph NC Presbyter, reminisced how the elders of the church envisioned this day as he delivered his words of encouragement. “This victory is the fruit of our prayers and fasting”, he said as he quoted 2 Chronicles 14:7. Lastly, Pastor Jun Sta. Ines, BOD – Evangelism, continued to encourage everyone to be united saying, “There is power in unity. So let us continue to be united. This will not be the only church to be built but many more churches with the help of the Lord.”
Pastor Herminigilda Aguila presented the history of the Cuenca Church followed by a short video presentation. She narrated that they were still a cell group in 2016 when they envisioned the future Cuenca Church. After 3 years, they were able to purchase the lot. She mentioned that it was a partnership between OPIF Ph S5 and the OPIF Organization. The building construction started in April 2021. ”We are grateful to God for He has done. I really can’t express the joy I am feeling right now. There may be a lot more still lacking but we believe that God will provide”, she said. Shortly after, Bro. Larry Arranda and Pastor Mike Benito were given tokens of appreciation for their efforts in their assistance and labor for the completion of the church building construction.
Sector 5 Youth Department rendered a song entitled “Thank You Jesus for the Blood” followed by a song offered by the Cuevas Family and another song by Sis. Venus of OPIF Ph Sector 2 that says, “…you may not know how, you may not know when, but He’ll do it again!”
The church dedication was officiated by Ptr Emil Neric - BOD Vice Chairman. All the Pastors present at the church took part in the blessing and anointing with oil of the church building while the rest of the congregation prayed with them. It was then followed by Praise and Worship led by Sis. Aya Conmigo and Bro. Jay R Cuevas. Sis Elsa Castillo exhorted then on Tithes and Offering.
Pastor Victor Notario Sr., OPIF Ph National Overseer, delivered the message of the Lord. He said in his preaching, “If you have the Spirit of the Lord, nothing is impossible! Do not go weary, we are just starting. When Solomon started to build the temple he gathered leaders, skilled workers, laborers and even ladies to adorn the temple of God. The same happened with Cuenca Church. As a church, we are a body of Christ and we are united in the ministry for the glory of God.” He added, “If you are in a season of waiting, perhaps, you will not harvest what you have sown this time or in your generation but because God has promised, He will make it happen. So, do not lose hope!”
“Sector 5 saints, expect with faith in the Lord. One day you will reap what you have sown!”
”This building will still be incomplete without the spiritual building. And who is this spiritual building? No other than you and me. The Lord called you to build this building, but you are much more valuable, for you are the temple of the Holy Ghost!” He quoted 2 Chronicles 7:1-2 that says, “When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it.”
He concluded that the confirmation is through the fire; the fire of the Holy Ghost and the altar was opened for all to partake in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Other elders of the church present on site were the elders of OPIF Ph S2, Pastor Solomon Belic and OPIF Ph S3, and Pastor Erwin Gaviola and the church of OPIF Ph S9. There were 26 Zoom participants including OPIF Ph National Presbyter, Pastor Marlon Martin of OPIF Ph S1, Pastor Khen Aguirre of OPIF Ph S4, Pastor Romel Galupo of OPIF Ph S8, Pastor Joey Gentica of OPIF Ph S10, Pastor Alfred Dasig of Nueva Ecija Cell Group, and Pastor Alex Mapa of Australia.
The victorious event was hosted by Sis Mylene Narciso of Sector 5 - Cuenca Church.