In December, 2022, the World Mission Society Church of God received the Medal of Legislative Merit, the highest honor awarded by the National Congress of Brazil. his medal was presented to members of the Church in recognition of their continued volunteer activities for their neighbors and communities throughout Brazil over the past decade.
The Legislative Merit Medal, created in 1983, is awarded to individuals, institutions or organizations that have contributed to Brazil and rendered services worthy of praise from the Brazilian people. This medal is the most prestigious award in the private sector. Every year, political parties in Brazil nominate candidates—each party can recommend only one candidate, and the members of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Deputies (House of Representatives) select winners after rigorous verification.
The 2022 Legislative Merit Medal award ceremony was held at the National Congress in Brasilia around 11:00 a.m. (local time) on December 7. Before the award ceremony, President of the Chamber Arthur Lira said, “I congratulate all of you who have been honored with the Legislative Merit Medal today. On behalf of the Brazilians, I would like to thank you all.” Then he expressed his expectation by saying, “I’m confident that together we will achieve major goals for building a solidarity society, which is more just, friendly, and prosperous.” The medal was awarded to twenty-four people from all walks of life and seven organizations, including the Church of God, First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro, and Minister of Health Marcelo Queiroga.
The award ceremony was broadcast in real time nationwide on the Chamber TV. As the award ceremony began, the Church of God was announced as the seventh recipient. Host Odair Cunha, the Second Secretary of the Chamber, said, “In the 27 federal states of Brazil and around the world, the Church of God has been carrying out activities in various fields such as the environment, health and welfare, as well as relief efforts for vulnerable groups who are in desperate need of help. The Church is also working hard for the development and improvement of the world.” Then, General Pastor Kim Joo-cheol, who had been visiting the Churches of God in Brazil, climbed onto the stage to receive the medal and certificate from the First Vice-President of the Chamber Lincoln Portela.
Federal Deputy Sidney Leite appreciated the Church of God for its contribution to raising environmental awareness, improving relationships among nations, and promoting social integration through volunteer activities. He said, “I would like to express my respect for the fact that all the teachings of the Church of God, based in South Korea, have been exerting a good influence on Manaus and all other regions of Brazil. We hope that the Church will contribute more to just, humane, and sustainable development of the Amazon.”
Ever since its establishment in 2001, the Church of God in Brazil has been taking care of neighbors and contributing to the development of the country and its communities through a wide variety of volunteer activities in various regions of Brazil, including Sao Paulo, Parana, Rio Grande do Sul, Acre, Amazonas, Para, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Ceara, Pernambuco, and Sergipe, as well as the federal district of the capital region.
The members of the Church have conducted worldwide cleanup campaigns in various places in their communities’ streets, beaches, and parks, several times a year. They have also donated household items, clothes, and food to underprivileged neighbors, including children and elderly people, and have visited nursing homes and child welfare facilities to conduct cleanups and provide free haircuts. Moreover, they have taken the lead in relief efforts, such as recovery work in the aftermath of a fire in Manaus and donation of relief supplies to Venezuelan refugee camps. As of December, 2022, the Church of God has performed volunteer activities in various parts of Brazil more than 170 times.
The blood drives, which they have continuously conducted in many blood centers and hospitals, are said to have contributed to mitigating the shortage of blood supply and raising awareness of blood donation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, young adult members of the Church delivered face masks, handwritten letters, and snacks to healthcare workers and officials who were working hard to combat the pandemic, giving them comfort and encouragement. A local broadcast channel covered the young adults who visited the Taguachinga community hospital, and reported: “Words of comfort and love have changed the lives of healthcare workers at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus.”
Meanwhile, the members in Peru continue to deliver the news that they have also won awards. In Peru, the Church of God received over 150 awards from central and local governments, including provincial governments, municipalities, and district offices, between November and mid-December.
On November 18, the Lima government and the Junin government passed a resolution, respectively, to appreciate the Church of God for its continuous, devotional activities. On November 23, the Church of God received 19 awards for its charitable concert held in Lima. Some officials from public institutions, including the Municipality of Huarochiri, the Peruvian National Police, and the Regional Council of Arequipa, who had attended the concert, presented Certificates of Recognition, Plaques of Appreciation, and Citizens Medals to the Church of God to appreciate its continued humanitarian action. The Municipality of Arequipa presented them with the Gold Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the city, along with a certificate stating the contribution of the Church to the development of the country and its cities through volunteer services as well as social and religious activities that are beneficial, in Peru and the World Community. Huarochiri City Mayor Eveling Feliciano presented the Church with a Gold Medal and a Certificate of Appreciation. The Certificate reads: “The Church of God has performed good deeds worthy of imitation, continuously setting a good example for Peru and Huarochiri.”
On December 13, some officials from regional governments, municipalities, district offices, and police stations in Huancayo, Junin Region, visited the Church of God to present 31 awards, including Resolutions, Plaques of Appreciation, and Certificates of Recognition.
At the end of the year, the Church received multiple awards from local and central governments in many countries such as the United States and Tonga, as well as many regions in Korea—South Gyeongsang Privince, Suwon City, Iksan City, Taeback City, Gumi City, etc. During his three-week trip to South America, Pastor Kim Joo-cheol managed a busy schedule, attending the awards ceremonies to receive more than 30 awards, including Brazil’s Legislative Merit Medal and the Governor’s Award in Junin Region, Peru. He said, “These are the results of all the members’ efforts to perform the role of salt and light in the world, with the love they have learned from God the Father and God the Mother.” He added that the Church of God would continue to practice love and service with a mother’s heart to achieve peace and happiness for all people in the world.