A Testimony to God’s Blueprint
A little over a year ago, my wife and I plunged into the mission field. It was not overseas in a foreign land, but rather in our own back yard. We entered into an Appalachian dark county, and time here has gone by so quickly that it is mind boggling to us when we look back at what has taken place this past year. We hope that our experience will bless and encourage others as they strive to establish ministries in their sphere of influence.
We operate a lifestyle center, Home for Health, which was originally operated by Hallelujah Acres, a non-denominational ministry that is overseen by George Malkmus. They vacated the center, and it had been vacant for about a year when we arrived. The center is in the middle of a large farm and is ideal for a blueprint ministry that would combine the right arm of the gospel with agriculture. There is little Seventh-day Adventist influence here so we knew that we had our work cut out for us, and we approached our work as intelligently as possible. We knew that we had to get the word out about what we were doing, but we had a dilemma because we did not have any money for advertising. After being here for three months, we were running out of money and feeling like we were failing, but we found the answer on our knees. We were awakened to Matthew 10:8, “Freely ye have received, freely give,” and decided that the way to work with people should not be based upon the world’s monetary principles. We realized that we could raise awareness to our ministry by working on this principle. Realistically, to the average person, most churches and ministries appear to be interested primarily in obtaining money and do not appear much different than businesses out for profit. Whether this is the case or not, we have decided to follow a biblical principle that eliminates this concept from the mind.
With our direction in mind, I began writing letters to different media outlets and calling radio stations. I did not want to sound as if I was trying to get free advertising, but rather told the producers that I believed their audience would be interested in what we are doing. And the Lord opened the doors. First, a magazine that covers eastern Kentucky did a story on us because they liked the idea; and, as it turned out, the owners were originally from the same part of Washington as we were.
Next, I called the editor of the local paper which has a circulation of about 20,000. He was interested in the story, but the only time we could get together was on the Sabbath, so I dropped it. One day I received a phone call from a traveling journalist who said that the editor of the local paper had asked him to do the story. He came over saying he only had about fifteen minutes for the interview before he went to his next appointment, but he was so amazed when he heard what we were doing that he ended up staying over two hours. As he left he said, “You know that the Clay City Times contacted me to do this story for them, but I think that what you are doing is so fabulous that I would like to send it to every paper that I write for.” And so he did, and in the weeks to follow our story ended up in over 34 different newspapers, nearly a million papers total, across the state, and it did not cost a cent.
After the dry spell in the beginning, we did not know what to do with all the interest that was generated. We suddenly had invitations to speak at various churches and to do demonstrations. On one occasion I went to a Baptist church in the area, and after I told them what we do, they invited me to preach, and afterward they told me their pulpit was always open to me. After a few months of working with this church, I was offered the position as pastor of the church. I was flattered although I knew that it would be too much for us to add to our responsibilities at this time.
Since then, we have appeared on television and radio programs. Our story has been published in several more papers and magazines. And recently we had a second encounter with a writer, reminiscent to the traveling journalist we mentioned earlier. We received a phone call from a lady who writes for a large magazine, and we made arrangements to meet. As a result, a very nice article appeared in Kentucky Living Magazine, and we have been blessed by the response.
Over the course of the past year we have worked with well over 200 individuals from the surrounding community. We consult and run various health-related tests on them without asking for payment. Our health sessions are now very full, with guests coming from all over the United States and as far away as the Netherlands. We have worked with people from many different backgrounds and with all kinds of health conditions. One lady, Tina, came to us on ten medications for things like asthma and high blood pressure, and in only about three weeks she was able to take herself off of all medications. We have seen tumors actually fall off of guests, and we have seen people who have been bed ridden get up and walk in only a few days. We know that Christ is the Chief Physician and He is the one that does all the healing, but we do feel incredibly blessed to be part of this work.
We have found that the secret to gaining God’s blessing is found in a full surrender to God and in following the counsels He has given to the church. I have always been interested in the blueprint that God has given to His church regarding health, education and agriculture. These guidelines on which ministries are told to operate, the world does not comprehend. We have been given inspired counsel in regard to how to work for the salvation of man. Since our center is a country outpost far away from the city, it would be impossible for us to effectively work the city as we truly would like to without establishing other ministries in the nearby communities. This requires more man power than one family like ours can supply and that’s why we are counseled to move out in small groups to establish missions. Because of this counsel, we have helped an Adventist physician find a vacant clinic and open a natural health care clinic, and we are planning to help to establish a health food store in another nearby community. In addition, we are hoping to get our farm to the point where we can actually make an income from selling the produce and presenting agricultural seminars for the community. Each of these endeavors is a means by which to meet and witness to different groups of people and help them to see different aspects of our message, nurture interest and allow them to accept present truth. We have also begun holding Sabbath meetings at our center, and attendance has been steadily increasing to fifty or more people, and we intend to establish a church in the not-too-distant future.
Because our work deals with many non-Adventists and most of our interest has come from the secular community, we have gained appreciation from the community. We have been blessed with a matching grant to further the development of our farm and agriculture program. We hope that this will one day help us be able to bring in enough income from the farm that we can support more workers here and increase the ministry’s influence. There is a lot happening now in eastern Kentucky, and we hope our experience will in some way inspire more zeal and effort in your sphere of influence. We ask for your prayers and appreciate your support as we move forward with the health and agriculture work at Home for Health.
By Steve Day. Steve writes from Stanton, Kentucky where he is director of Home for Health Lifestyle Center. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.homeforhealth.net.