In Their Words
“I did not ask for riches or for new clothes or a car or a nice house. What I asked from God is the true church.”
Stranger to luxuries, and even to commodities that many people find to be only common, Bro. Francisco das Chagas Rodrigues and his family live a simple life in the mountains of Macapá Pará, Brazil.
But he did have one wish in life — to find the true church of God.
It was his previous congregation’s practice of the Lord’s Supper that left him confused, instead of getting enlightened. Since then, he vowed to never join any church because all he saw were unbiblical and wrong practices.
But one sleepless night, as he switched channels on television, he saw Bro. Eli who, at the time, was discussing the Lord’s Supper in the Bible.
Suddenly, the questions that have lingered in his mind for the longest time about the commemoration of the event were all answered by the verses that Bro. Eli was reading.
Since then, he and his family regularly listened to Bro. Eli’s preaching and, eventually, they became members of the Church of God International.
They still live a simple and happy life in the mountains of Macapá Pará — with his one wish finally granted.
“There was a man who was talking about the Bible. He was teaching and exposing the verses that I did not hear being preached in the Foursquare church and in any other religious institutions.”
Bro. Marcos chanced upon one of the Portuguese Bible Expositions hosted by Bro. Eli Soriano televised in Brazil, just a month after he became an assistant pastor at the Foursquare Gospel Church.
It was something he had never seen before. He felt an indescribable feeling in his heart — a certain kind of happiness that he had long hoped for. Despite his position in his former church, he felt that it was really God’s true calling that time.
And so, he went to the MCGI local chapter nearest him to attend the indoctrination sessions; afterwards he got baptized. “I am very happy to be part of the Members Church of God International,” he shared.
As a member of MCGI now, he still aspires to assist in preaching. Only this time — “I invite you, brethren, in one way or another, to contribute so that the Gospel may reach more people, that they too can enjoy the truth.”
He hopes to help others find the true church in the Bible, like he did.
“The first time I saw and heard the preaching of Bro. Eli, it was something unforgettable — as if my eyes left my head! I said to myself, ‘This is the preacher that Brazil really needs to have!”
Like many other Brazilians who are zealous to find the truth, Sis. Zilda Eleuterio used to go around different religious groups to attend their church services. And she would do it one Sunday after another.
But one time, instead of her usual habit of switching television channels by number, she accidentally pressed the search button which stopped on TV Verdade, where she heard Bro. Eli Soriano for the first time.
“I said to myself, ‘This is the preacher that Brazil really needs to have!’” Sis. Zilda remarked.
The loneliness she had felt for so long when her husband died faded away. Moreover, her newfound faith inspired her to leave her vices behind.
It has been over a decade now since her search for God’s words has stopped. Now, she wants nothing more than to continue serving God for the rest of her life, and help others find what she has found — the truth.
“What Bro. Eli preaches are in the Scriptures. He is honest, faithful to God, faithful to the doctrine, faithful to the Bible — qualities that caught my interest.”
Bro. Vicente Batista spent most of his life as a pastor of the Foursquare Church in Brazil. He used to travel to different states preaching what he believed was the truth.
But In 2017, 45 years since he began his vocation, he discovered a Filipino preacher on TV Verdade reading verses from the Bible.
“I saw deep sincerity in him and in his explanations,” he recounted of hearing Bro. Eli Soriano for the first time.
Wasting no time, he decided to be baptized in the Church of God International that same year. “Thank God that I was baptized,” he said.
Bro. Vicente soon joined the Church’s workers ministry. Now he is 72 years old — but only more than eager to help make up for his lost time in imparting to his fellow Brazilians the will of God written in the Bible.
“I feel fulfilled and I see that the doctrines of the church are really the truth,” he said.
“This is the guy. This is the guy telling the truth. He’s speaking everything about the Bible.”
Bro. Christian Lopes Lima remembers the very first impression he had of Bro. Eli when he first heard him preaching in his living room through the television.
One day, he and his wife Sister Rose Araujo were switching from one television channel to another when their attention was caught by Bro. Eli as he answered a question from a members of the audience about tithing — a practice that is common among the pastors in Brazil and around the globe.
From that moment on, the couple began to religiously watch Bro. Eli’s television program. They would also go to different places to attend the preacher’s Bible Expositions live, where they had first-hand experience of MCGI gatherings. And they couldn’t help but compare them with the gatherings of other religions.
In the MCGI gatherings they attended, they weren’t asked for any financial contributions. Instead, they were even served free food. And most importantly, they saw how Bro. Eli read the answers of the Bible to people’s questions live.
Now, it has been over eight years since they were baptized in the Church of God International — and they thank God for every bit of wisdom that they came to understand.
“I don’t have many words to express my feelings, but I’m very grateful to God because of the wisdom Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel planted in our hearts. There’s no topic that we hear that does not teach us new things,” said Sister Rose.
“I was an atheist. But thanks be to God that I have known the truth through Bro. Eli’s program.”
Because of hypocrite pastors who twist God’s words and take advantage of people to enrich themselves, Bro. Freddy Moisés Guerrero Cisneros was pushed to believe that there is no God.
But one day, his neighbor invited him to listen to the El Camino Antiguo program on Canal 9 (Channel 9) and he thought the program’s format was starkly different from what he had seen before from other preachers.
He experienced a question-and-answer program, where Bro. Eli Soriano reads the answers straight from the Bible to people’s inquiries — live.
He felt that the teaching was one-of-a-kind. What especially struck him was the truth that even if a person hasn’t heard any teaching from God, but is doing good works according to the law written by God in his heart and conscience (Romans 2:14-15), it’s enough reason for him to be saved.
It was a major turning point in his life; he even cut his hair that he hasn’t cut for 11 years. “I do not doubt anymore that God does exist,” said Bro. Freddy.
From being godless to being a believer, Bro. Freddy now happily serves the God whose existence he once doubted — after having heard His true doctrines written in the Bible.
“We’re happy to have found the truth. We are sure of it. The changes that happened to us are proofs that we really are in the true Church.”
Love for music. Love for vanity. Love for career. These were where the world of Bro. Rodrigo Melo and his wife Sis. Juliana Aragao revolved around before they heard a calling sweeter than anything they have ever heard before.
When Bro. Rodrigo’s career as a musician failed and he fell sick, he sought that Someone whom, as he now understands, should have been first in his list of priorities in life — God.
He heard a preacher speaking His words in the Bible and answering the questions that he had at the same time.
“What really caught my attention was the manner of his preaching. It’s very strong, it’s like you’re in the rain and suddenly, a thunder ROARS!” he described what it was like upon hearing Bro. Eli Soriano on TV Verdade.
His wife, Sis. Juliana, was uninterested at first. In fact, it took her a few years before she discovered what her husband has found. One time, she decided to listen to the doctrines of the Church of God International, and was eventually baptized.
“When I first arrived in the locale, I saw an ambience that was simple, loving, and welcoming,” she reminisced. It was a Thanksgiving gathering, and she distinctly remembered that the topic discussed then was about choosing God over one’s job, one’s family, and over everything else. It was a memorable day for the couple.
To this day, after more than 10 years of being members of the Church, Bro. Rodrigo and Sis. Juliana have kept that teaching in their hearts — that above all, their love for God must always come first.
“We can only thank God for sending Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel here in Brazil, for opening our eyes and for caring for our family,” remarked Sis. Juliana.
“My God, it’s not possible that I’m being fooled again; it’s not possible that I’m making another mistake. This is really the place.”
For someone who has been in constant search for the truth, one can be hesitant if she was truly in the right place.
Sis. Sebastiana prayed more than once before, pleading God to show her the way, asking where she should go.
That afternoon, after a day of work, she switched on the TV and heard for the first time the preaching of this almond-eye man named
“I couldn’t stop listening to him. All the explanations he was talking about, I saw that it was in the Bible. And in my mind, all the teachings I’ve learned all my life could not dispute what Bro. Eli was preaching because it was in the Bible.”
Their previous church failed to give them spiritual fulfillment, even left them dejected at times. But when opportunity knocked, they heard Bro. Eli’s biblical wisdom in one of the first Bible Expositions in Sao Paulo Brazil.
A piece to a puzzle, an answer to a question that has lingered for a long time. These sentiments were spot on for Sis. Marilia that she happily indulged in a series of indoctrination sessions and eventually was baptized in the church.
Being a member of the Church of God International for over a decadeA decade of over-flowing wisdom has passed and Sis. Marilia can only say, “We really are very lucky because during those ten years, never, we never lacked wisdom. Never that we lacked teaching through the faithful preachers that God sent to Brazil.”