Hernando and Merlie Carandang
Peace! People know me as “Nanding” Carandang and I have been married to Merlita “Merlie” Carandang for forty two years. We have three daughters, a son and now we have two grandchildren, Lucy Gaia Hancock and Grayson Hastings Woods. As a family, we travel together once every year and gather on weekends every now and then. We also love to play scrabble for our family time. In my spare time, I do gardening, bowling, and enjoy the “Do it Yourself” projects at home.
For our ministry life, we have been a part of the community for thirty four years. We attended the very first parish-based Christian Life Program at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in BF Homes, Quezon City in 1986; we have been actively serving until we migrated to Guam in 1998, then we moved to the US mainland in 1999. Part of my service was being a Chapter Head in Northeast-A, Household Head in Guam and an Area Head of South Carolina. Since 2017, I am serving as a member of the USA National Council for Mission Support. My service includes overseeing all events for CFC-USA and its family ministries, operations of CFC-USA Ablaze Incorporated, administrative role for the full-time mission volunteers, and the music ministry life of the community.
Our ministry has tremendously enriched my spirituality. It is a long and fruitful journey that has lead to where I am today. In our experience as a couple, we have many brothers and sisters who held our hands, walked with us, and inspired us to our path to holiness. My services to the community particularly in the National Council, allowed me to serve God and His people in a promising and humbling way. I consider the challenges in my service as blessings that strengthened my faith and my resolve to continue my journey to serve Him and His people.
In the remaining time for my service in the National Council, I desire to achieve the full implementation of One Global Data System, to conduct music ministry workshops across CFC-USA, and to find full-time mission volunteers for each of the twelve regions and each family ministry.
Two of my favorite Bible verses that inspire us in life are Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope” and Matthew 11:28, “Come to me all who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest.”
Saint Joseph is my Patron Saint. He is an example of humility and silence, a man of virtue and holiness. I want to model myself to him that I may learn to fulfill my duties with meekness and humility towards others I come across in life and to continue my humble service with simplicity before God.
Finally, my life changing encounter with God was my near-death experience of drowning forty years ago when I felt His love and his saving grace of protection. From my experience, I have come to realize that He has bigger plans for me and my family. A call to holiness, to love and serve Him to the end of our days.