54 Blessings from the Philippine Bible Society’s 54th Annual Membership Meeting
1. First and foremost, we were blessed with clear blue skies and lovely weather on April 27, 2019 – the day of our 54th Annual Membership Meeting. Our guests came from all over the Philippines and arrived safe and sound at the Manila Prince Hotel.
2. Seeing dashing men in Barong Tagalogs and lovely ladies in Baro’t sayas was such a special sight. We were reminded that the joy of the Lord on the inside radiates outwards as well.
3. We began the day by remembering the importance of God’s Word in our lives. The Bible Enthronement ceremony was led by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Auxiliary Bishop of Manila. How amazing it is that we get to express and share our faith so freely!
4. Mr. Karlo D. Lara, founder and program director of Lakbay Biblia Catholic Bible Course, delighted the guests by singing the Scripture Reading for the event. With an easy to follow melody, the attendees joined in bringing Psalm 19:7-8 and 2 Timothy 3:14-17 to life with their voices.
5. The PBS Praise and Worship team joyfully led the people in singing and dancing. Praise God for the talent He has bestowed upon each member of the team!
6. We express our gratitude to PBS Partner Relations Supervisor, Amen Letana, for contributing to a very rich and meaningful praise and worship experience. She spearheaded the AMM-specific translation work for the songs. The attendees were happily surprised when they heard the singers alternating between English and Tagalog. Indeed, words hit harder when they are heard (or sung!) in one’s own heart language.
7. Dr. Tim Gener, president of the Asian Theological Seminary, served as our host for the morning worship service. We are so thankful that we had the opportunity to collaborate with such a gracious and understanding soul.
8. We were blessed by PBS General Secretary Dr. Nora Lucero’s opening remarks, which added an extra layer of warmth and enthusiasm to the program. Her empowering words will continue to serve as our battle cry: “PBS is focused on reaching every corner of the Philippines so that every Filipino household will have a Bible of its own. We won’t stop until all Filipinos come to a saving knowledge of who God is and what He has done for each of us.” Amen!
9. The winner of our “farthest bird” award went to Raymund Embaroug who travelled more than 700 km from Bacolod, Negros Occidental to Manila. Known as the “City of Smiles,” Bacolod is located in the southern part of the Philippines. We thank the Lord that He arrived safely to our AMM event.
10. The winner of our “earliest bird” award went to Helen Bagain who arrived in the venue before 6 am. May we be inspired by Helen’s promptness and enthusiasm. We feel blessed in knowing that there are people who are as excited about the Bible as we are.
11. Our host, Dr. Tim, was treated to a performance from his two daughters. Mia and Chelsea Gener made their father very proud and treated the guests with their lovely voices at the same time. We thank the Lord for allowing us to have these talented ladies perform at our event.
12. Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, vice president/vice chairman of PBS and auxiliary bishop of Manila, gave an inspiring report on the current status of the Adopt a Church Program. The AMM provided us with a platform to speak up about the reality that many church members and parishioners do not have Bibles of their own. We are grateful for the opportunity to share our concerns, so we can rally support from our PBS members and friends.
13. PBS Associate General Secretary, Perry Cartera, led the group in a very unique arts and crafts activity for the Adopt a Church Program. Our ushers had ample time to collect the kind offerings from each table while the attendees began forming their paper churches and parishes.
14. Our guest of honor and speaker, Senator Manny Pacquiao, took the time from his busy schedule to be with us for our AMM. Being able to hear him share short anecdotes and bits of wisdom about how the Bible changed his life is an experience that our members will never forget.
15. Senator Pacquiao shared two lessons with us. One, he stressed that we must never misuse the name of the Lord. God’s name is powerful and should never be used in cursing, evil speech, or mockery.
16. Two, he emphasized that we must be careful not to misrepresent the name of the Lord. Senator Pacquiao encourages us to shine the light of Christ unto others.
17. The Lord guided us in choosing our token of appreciation to Senator Pacquiao. We presented him with an ESV-GNT (English Standard Version-Good News Translation) Bible and prayed over him as well.
18. We thank the Lord for giving us the opportunity to witness the oath-taking of our new PBS members. A surge of hope literally filled our hearts upon seeing so many determined faces who officially committed their hearts to the Bible cause.
19. Blessings to the PBS Praise and Worship team that ended the morning worship service with even more energy than when they started it! The room simply radiated joy.
20. We’d like to commend the staff of the Manila Prince Hotel for being so patient, understanding, and gracious to all. They were working hours before the program began, ensuring that the venue was the best it could be. Praise God for this partnership!
21. It was announced during the business meeting that we had 261 voting delegates present for the election of new PBS Board members.
22. Our most updated headcount revealed that we had 314 attendees to this year’s AMM. This is the biggest attendance ever recorded in the history of PBS. Our God is amazing! We are excited to see how our family will continue to grow.
23. We are grateful for the smooth turnover from Bishop Noel Pantoja to Justice Raoul Victorino (Ret.) for the PBS presidency. Bishop Pantoja has faithfully been serving as the President and Chairman of the Board at the Philippine Bible Society since 2017. He officially acknowledged April 27, 2019 as his last day of service as PBS’s president.
24. Hearing all that PBS has accomplished and been through in 2018 through Dr. Nora Lucero’s General Secretary’s Report left us feeling fired up for the remaining months of 2019. We are grateful that we got to share that moment with over 300 other people who also love and care for the Bible Society ministry.
Examples of 2018 blessings that were shared during the General Secretary’s Report:
25. 19.1 million Scripture materials distributed nationwide
26. 15.3 million Scripture materials produced
27. 2.3 million PBS Facebook page post engagements
28. 1.1 million PBS website page views
29. Closing 2018 with 58,755 Facebook page likes
30. 1,130 Proclaimers (audio Bibles) distributed
31. 1,128 Bible Museum visitors
32. 6 roving Bible Museum locations
33. 3,100 Bibles distributed through the Word Riders Philippines program
34. 905 new PBS members
35. 146 new distribution partners
36. 130 PBS manpower complement
37. 14 new corporate ministry partners
38. 8 Scripture offering launch events (6 New Testaments & 2 Bibles)
39. 7 completed translation projects (A mixture of PBS-led initiatives and collaborations with other organizations)
40. The launching of Faith Comes by Hearing’s Gospel Film project in Tagalog
41. The construction of the 14-storey PBS Ministry Facility continues
42. 318 Trauma Healing participants & 24 Healing sessions
43. 98 Bible Relevance in Modern Times Seminars (BRIMS)
44. 7,685 participants representing 1,685 churches were equipped through BRIMS
45. 178 churches reached and 489 leaders trained through the Adopt a Church Program
46. 252 donors for the Adopt a Church Program which helped distribute 9,963 Bibles and 2,073 discipleship materials
47. We were also blessed by the news that the accounting firm, SGV & Co. Philippines, has confirmed that our records passed auditing standards.
48. Praise the Lord for a smooth and successful election for the new members of the PBS Board of Trustees!
We would like to share with you the results of said elections:
49. National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) (Lay): Justice Raoul V. Victorino (Ret.)
50. National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) (Clergy): Rev. Dr. Gloria Lita D. Mapangdol
51. Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) (Lay): Mrs. Florencia G. Tarriela
52. Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) (Clergy): Rev. Dr. Reynaldo Avante, Bishop Cesar Vicente P. Punzalan III
53. Roman Catholic (Lay): Dr. Natividad B. Pagadut
54. Dr. Annie del Corro, PBS Translation Consultant, conducted a talk on the New Testament: Pinoy Version at the end of the day. Closing the AMM with a translation-related talk seems just right, especially since Translation lies at the very heart of PBS’s ministry.
55. The Same-Day-Edit video produced by the PBS Documentation team left us in awe of God’s power. In the thoughtfully-made video, we saw the different faces that now make up our current PBS family. Indeed, we have a growing ministry! We thank the Lord for giving the team strength, wisdom, and creativity.
The Philippine Bible Society has been hosting Annual Membership Meetings for over 54 years now. We recognize those who were there physically and spiritually in celebrating with us. Thank you to all of our members, staff, friends, and supporters! To God be all the glory!