- (Photo: Reuters/Danny Moloshok)
Manny Pacquiao, 33-year-old high-profile Filipino boxer and congressman, recently helped people accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior as a guest speaker at the Hope Church in the Philippines.
The church, located in San Pedro, Laguna reportedly drew in a large crowd to hear the boxer speak about following Jesus Christ in a hot room with a broken air conditioner. Pacquiao said he was surprised to see the middle class and poverty stricken church members stick with him though the heat.
"I was amazed at the reaction of the people. Despite it being so hot, they listened to me preach for an hour and many received Jesus Christ," Pacquiao said in a Manila Standard Today report. "I enjoy spreading the word of God, because without God in our lives, we are considered dead."
Although Pacquiao has been vocal about his Christian beliefs since being asked to serve as a Bible ambassador in January, some have questioned if the congressman's faith was a gimmick that he took part in for political reasons. However, Pacquiao's adviser Michael Koncz said Pacquiao has truly grown in his Christian faith.
"But that is absolutely not true. He's found inner peace and inner happiness with the Bible and he's serious about it," Koncz said, according to Manila Standard Today. "I should know because I drive around with him all the time and now he is my pastor. He and his wife Jinkee are very happy, the kids are involved in the Bible study which is a good thing too and a tremendous amount of good things that came out of it."
Pacquiao conducted a Bible study at GMA's Studio 7 in the Philippines in March, where he explained that there was a reason why Christian professional athletes were on the rise.
"Why Jeremy Lin? Why Tim Tebow? Why Manny Pacquiao," the boxer questioned the audience about the athletes' prominent statuses. "Because of the Lord, he wants us in his word. He uses famous people to bring in more."
Pacquiao will face 28-year-old Timothy Bradley in the ring for the WBO welterweight championship on June 9. However,the fight may be the last for the Filipino star who has been hinting that he is thinking of retiring to continue his Christian walk.