Letter from Mike: Uganda – January 2020

Pastors James and Emmanuel

“And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil.” Deuteronomy 11:13, 14.

“Under the figure of the early and the latter rain, that falls in Eastern lands at seedtime and harvest, the Hebrew prophets foretold the bestowal of spiritual grace in extraordinary measure upon God’s church. The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the beginning of the early, or former, rain, and glorious was the result. To the end of time, the presence of the Spirit is to abide with the true church.” Acts of the Apostles, 54.

God closed the windows of heaven to physical rain and opened the sky to spiritual rain in the country of Uganda.

Heavy rains were in the forecast as pastors James and Emmanuel prepared for a major evangelistic campaign in the small city of Buremba. Realizing that few people would attend the meetings if it rained, they organized a gathering with the local church to pray about it. Members petitioned the God of heaven to hold the rains and pour out the Holy Spirit instead.

Buremba Church

God answered their prayers – it did not rain from morning to sunset on the scheduled day of the series. And surprisingly, 210 visitors flooded the meeting place. Visitors came from the Catholic, Anglican, Muslim and Pentecostal religions.

Each night of the evangelistic series, testing truths brought conviction to the listeners. Many began to ask themselves, “What must I do to prepare for Jesus’ coming?”

Pastor James approached a Muslim man after one of the meetings and asked him what he thought of the message from the Bible. “I am beginning to believe that the Bible is superior to the Quran because it can predict future events,” Mr. Asuman told Pastor James. He was especially interested in the message about clean and unclean foods in the Bible, and learned in the seminar that God’s Sabbath was on Saturday.

Mr. Asuman attended every night of the series. He was very impressed to find a church that lived out the truth they proclaimed. On the last night, Mr. Asuman responded along with scores of others to Pastor Emmanuel’s altar call for baptism. Mr. Asuman knew this would be the end of his relationship with his parents, friends, and fellow Muslim brothers, but the conviction was so strong that he dared not resist this call to be a part of God’s last day church.

Bible Study with Mr. Asuman

He and his entire family are currently studying with Pastor James in preparation for baptism. Please pray for Mr. Asuman, his family and the dozens of people who came forward for baptism in Buremba. The truth has captured their hearts. If you would like to support the work in Uganda, or help finish the church in Buremba, mark your gifts, “Uganda Evangelism” or “Uganda Churches.”

Yours in proclaiming the soon coming of Jesus!


Mike’s Free Taxi

Mike’s Free Taxi

A Seventh-day Adventist gets a free taxi ride for witnessing!

It was later in the morning when I realized I needed to get some groceries. Our hotel breakfast had been scant, since almost all the food was unhealthy, and my daughter and I would be here in Ottawa, Ontario for several days.

Asking around, I learned of a grocery store four or five blocks away. I could easily walk there—except that no one seemed able to give me exact directions. Streets went in all directions, heavy with traffic. How could I find the store?

Finally, a thought came to me: A taxi cab driver could certainly give me directions. Walking out of the hotel, I spotted two cab drivers visiting with each other. Both of them looked Middle Eastern, so as one of them drove off in his cab, I greeted the other in Arabic, “Salam! [Peace!]”

The cab driver stared at me. I smiled and gave him the full Arabic greeting,“As-salamu Alaykum! [May peace be upon thee!]” 

Looking puzzled, the man began to ask questions—good questions! I told him I was a Seventh-day Adventist, and that we don’t eat pork. His eyes widened, and he asked even more questions. I told him we also don’t drink alcohol, nor do we bow before images or worship Mary. Then I told him my dilemma. “I don’t eat ‘haram’ [forbidden] food, and this hotel doesn’t have many options for me. I need to find a grocery store nearby. Can you direct me?” 

Immediately, he gave me directions. Then he said, “Do you have two minutes?” 

“Sure,” I said, “I’d be happy to talk to you.” As he peppered me with more questions, I said, “Look, we are the people of the Book spoken of in the Qur’an.” I handed him a tract entitled, “People of the Book.” The tract cover gave the reference for the text in the Qur’an that I had just mentioned. Reaching down in his side door, the man pulled out his Arabic Qur’an and searched until he found the text. After reading in Arabic, he proceeded to translate the passage into English. I was amazed that his translation was worded even more strongly than what I had read in Yusuf Ali, the English version of the Qur’an. “Yes,” I said, “that is who we are and what we believe!” 

He gazed at me solemnly. “If this is who you people are, then you are the true people of the Book!”

As he continued to ask questions, I gave him the best answers I knew. “We do not worship on the Crusader’s Sabbath, but the Creator’s Sabbath,” I told him.

“Which day is that?” he asked. 

“The same day that Abraham, Noah and Adam worshiped the Creator,” I said.

“What day is that?” he asked. 

I said, “It is ‘Sabt’ [Sabbath].” 

Now he really stared at me. “Get in the cab. I am driving you to the supermarket for no charge,” he said. We had an excellent time talking as we drove to the store. When we got there, he took several of my tracts and gave me his name and contact information. My new friend Mike had reminded me how easy it is for Seventh-day Adventists to make friends with Muslims!

Several days after meeting Mike, I returned back home, but Mike and I have kept in touch through texting. I continue to encourage this man who showed me such kindness, and hope to meet him again one day in the Kingdom!  


Location
Canada

Author
Rudy Harnisch of Amazing Facts Canada is the liaison for Adventist-Muslim Relations for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada. 

You Can, Too!

It takes only a little time to learn the Arabic greeting, “As-salamu Alaykum,” and this simple phrase can open hearts and give you the chance to share your Seventh-day Adventist faith with Muslims. Not sure what else to say? You can direct Muslim friends to www.salahallah.com for information created by Adventists for Muslims. For more sharing tips and resources, contact Rudy Harnisch at sdabooks [at] gmail [dot] com.


A Home in Jesus

A Home in Jesus

A starving family finds not only work, but hope, with a compassionate stranger.

My family had gone two days without food, and now my children were crying from hunger. We had left our home village to find work in Bushenyi, but the rich man I worked for had been withholding my salary. With a heavy heart, I leaned my head on my wooden staff. “God, why have you decided to let us die now?”

No sooner had I opened my eyes than a strange man walked by. “Why are you sad?” he asked me. When I told him the story, he pointed down the road. “Go to the house next to the jackfruit tree. There is an old woman there who will give you a simple job.”

My wife and I trudged to the house and knocked. A young boy opened the door, and an old, stooped woman came out of the bedroom, leaning on a wooden cane. She smiled as she greeted us.

“I am Nuwagaba Alex and this is my wife,” I began. “We have been directed here for a job. Can you give us work?”

“When did you last eat food?” she interrupted. “You sound like a person speaking from an empty stomach!”

“We last ate two days ago. We are terribly hungry and our three children are starving.”

As the woman ordered her house maid to serve us some food, I thought of my children. “Excuse me,” I asked the maid, “may I have a small bowl to pack some for my children?”

“Worry not,” the old woman said. Reaching toward a pile of books in the corner, she pulled out a Bible in my local dialect and began reading. I did not really pay attention because I kept thinking of my hungry children. After the Bible study, however, the woman asked her maid to bring us two kilograms of maize flour and one kilogram of beans. “Go and cook for your children, and tomorrow I will give you a job,” she said in a tender voice.

My wife and I left feeling lighthearted and happy. Our whole time in this area, we had never met such a merciful, godly person. Everyone else had been hostile, looking out for themselves and not caring for others. Yet this woman had given us food without even asking us to work for it! That night as we cooked and fed our children, my family shared the happiest night we had had in three months.

The following day, when I went to work, the woman had another surprise: She gave us a house in the middle of her banana plantation where we could live for free! From this house, we could work in her gardens; and when she had no work for us, she would link us to other people with jobs. We would have work every day, and our pay would be food.

On Friday, the woman visited us and forbade us from working on Sabbath. “Then you are forbidding us from eating on that day as well!” I complained. “Without working, we cannot eat.”

After all her kindness, I shouldn’t have worried. Every Friday, she brought us a bunch of bananas and requested that we come to church. At the Ruhandagazi Church, which is 100 meters from where we stay, we delved into the Bible during Sabbath School. Soon, my wife, our two daughters and I were baptized. Although we own neither land nor a home, we have found a home in Jesus, and we are working and saving to buy land. Pray for us in our new spiritual journey!


Location

Uganda

Author

Pastor John Kaganzi

This narrative by Nuwagaba Alex was shared with and written by Pastor John Kaganzi. Pastor John is the leader of the Ruhandagazi SDA District in Bushenyi.

How You Can Help

Pray for the follow-up evangelistic work that Pastor John is doing to build up Christ’s Kingdom. Pray for funds to build the roof on their new church (approximately $600).

Give a gift to Pastor John’s work. Please mark your donation “Uganda Mission” and send it to:

Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138-0151

To give online, visit:
missionspro.org/donate


Letter from Mike: Year in Review – 2018

We are nearing the end of another year in this world! As we look at the political upheaval in our country and see the unrest among the nations of the earth, we are witnessing the great controversy being acted out right before our eyes. We are told that “the world is a theater; the actors, its inhabitants, are preparing to act their part in the last great drama. With the great masses of humanity, there is no unity, except as men confederate to accomplish their selfish purposes. God is looking on. His purposes regarding His rebellious subjects will be fulfilled. The world has not been given into the hands of men, though God is permitting the elements of confusion and disorder to bear sway for a season. A power from beneath is working to bring about the last great scenes in the drama…” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 8, 27, 28.

As I look back on this past year, I see how God is using Mission Projects International to hasten His coming! I praise the Lord for the faithful laborers in the vineyard who are preaching Revelation’s last warning message to Earth. This past year, Pastor Agamah and his team of Bible workers in Togo, West Africa, brought one Pentecostal and two Baptist pastors to a knowledge of the truth. These pastors are now employed in preaching the Three Angels’ Messages in their local areas. The faithful workers in Uganda are establishing churches in areas where there has previously been no Adventist presence. Pastor James and his wife Jane are retired from work, but not from laboring to win souls to Christ; and Pastor Alex is raising up churches in unentered villages in eastern Uganda. In Malawi, the Lord is indeed blessing Brother Golden in his work among the Muslims. In the past year and a half, Mission Projects International has helped Golden build seven churches in cities and villages across this central African country. God is multiplying converts by the hundreds through the ministry and labors of Golden and his group of faithful Bible workers. In Senegal, Sister Deborah Ndione is in the process of building a medical clinic to reach people through the health message. In Panama, the Acosta family continues to minister through the health message, agriculture, child evangelism, Bible studies and more. Pastor Thomas Ongasa of the Democratic Republic of Congo is currently making plans to use radio evangelism to reach the twenty-six French-speaking countries in Africa. Also in the Congo, more than one hundred Bible workers are now working to establish churches in this nation’s dark areas.

Through these and many other dedicated workers that could not be mentioned, thousands of Bible studies have been conducted and thousands have attended evangelistic meetings. Churches have been built, Bibles have been distributed, Spirit of Prophecy books have been printed, the destitute have been helped, children have been lifted from despair and hundreds have been baptized into the message we hold so dear.

Praise God for what He is doing! Also, thank you for all your prayers and support. Without your partnership, these workers could not be working, and these hundreds and thousands of lives could not have been touched. You make each of these projects possible!


A Simple Equation

A Simple Equation

Prison work in the States flourishes through prayer and simple Bible study.

About a year ago, on October 31—the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the church door—the Lutherans officially reconciled with the Catholic Church. This set an unfortunate precedent, for now many evangelical churches seem to be preparing to make their own amends with the papacy. Is global Protestantism coming to an end?

In other world developments, Russia last year denied Jehovah’s Witnesses the right to congregate and to distribute literature. Since then, a number of members have been detained on criminal charges. Seventh-day Adventists could be next because like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, we are considered fundamentalists. Also in the “fundamentalist” category are most terrorists!

If God’s faithful people are to be targeted as possible terrorists, then persecution could be closer than we think. “Those who honor the Bible Sabbath will be denounced as enemies of law and order.” The Great Controversy, 592.

Seeing these events makes me realize that time is running out for us to get Bibles to prison inmates. I am thankful that we still have opportunities to share the gospel within penitentiary walls! Through our years in prison ministry, we have had the privilege of baptizing 21 inmates in the local facilities we visit. Some of these babes in Christ have life sentences. We have admonished them to be faithful witnesses even in jail, and we know that they have, because through their influence we see new faces at our services every week. All who attend receive a free Bible and Bible studies.

From around the country, in prisons we are not able to personally visit, inmates write requesting Bibles. Many also sign up for Bible studies and other materials. God declares that His Word will not return unto Him void. We draw great encouragement from this statement: “Why was it that Christ went out by the seaside and into the mountains? He was to give the word of life to the people. They did not see it just that minute. A good many do not see it now, but these things are influencing their lives; and when the message goes with a loud voice, they will be ready for it. They will not hesitate long; they will come out and take their positions.” Evangelism, 300, 301.

Our method for reaching souls behind bars is simple; it has to be. Sometimes the regulations imposed by the Department of Corrections can be difficult to work with. Bibles must be mailed directly from a publisher or bookstore; that’s why we work with a publisher to send out Bibles. Many prisons require inmates to fill out a form requesting the item by name. The inmates sometimes wait two or three weeks for the department’s approval before they can mail us the request with the approval document. We are allowed to send only the items that are approved, and we cannot correspond with prisoners on a personal basis because we are considered a supplier.

Although limited in our ability to reach out to these prisoners on a personal level, we pray for them, and we trust that God’s Word and His Spirit will do the rest. Perhaps in time these Bible recipients will request more study materials or sign up for a Bible study correspondence course. In our prison work, we have discovered a simple equation: Bible + prayer = harvest! Someday we will see the whole scope of the harvest, but until then we will keep sending Bibles and praying.

Maybe sooner than we want to believe, some of us will be imprisoned for our faith. I am confident that within the harsh prison environment, we will find believers ready to help and comfort us because God’s Word was sent to them beforehand by Bibles 4 Prisoners. To God be the glory!

May God give you strength for the day and hope for the future.


Location: USA

Author: John Carmouche is a prison missionary with Bibles 4 Prisoners, providing quality Bibles free of charge to prisoners who ask. Bibles4prisoners@outlook.com

How You Can Help

Pray that the requests from prisoners for Bibles will never exceed available funding, and that as the inmates read the Bible, Jesus will reveal Himself to them.

Donate. If the Holy Spirit impresses you, Bibles 4 Prisoners thankfully accepts your tax-deductible contributions. Donations, questions, or comments may be made by phone or by regular mail.

PO Box 972
Locust Grove, VA 22508
540-729-5705

To donate via PayPal, visit: Bibles4Prisoners.com


A Mad Husband and a Machete

A Mad Husband and a Machete

A woman’s faith is tested by her husband’s anger.

When we decide to follow Jesus, some of our worst enemies can be those of our own household.

“We shall find that we must let loose of all hands except the hand of Jesus Christ. Friends will prove treacherous and will betray us. Relatives, deceived by the enemy, will think they do God service in opposing us and putting forth the utmost efforts to bring us into hard places, hoping we will deny our faith. But we may trust our hand in the hand of Christ amid darkness and peril.” Maranatha, 197.

As I led an evangelistic campaign for women’s ministries in Kigarama, it became the custom of the local leader to stop by the house where I and my friends lodged. “Is it well with you, our special visitors?” he inquired.

“It is well with us sir,” I replied.

The meetings progressed fairly smoothly. Medius Namaranzi along with her son and daughter attended all fourteen messages without missing a single day. They were very punctual in their arrival at the tent.

During the second week of my meetings, Namaranzi and her two children volunteered to assist us. They cleaned up after the meetings, picking up empty plastic bottles from the ground and strewn pieces of paper scattered in and outside of the tent.

When I made an appeal for baptism, Namaranzi and her son were the first to come to the front. Her daughter also wanted to make a decision for Jesus.

News that I had converted his wife to Adventism reached the woman’s husband, a staunch Catholic. The next morning, he arrived at the doorstep to my house, clad in a white robe with a string of beads draped around his neck. A huge wooden cross hung over his chest from the necklace. He clenched a sharp, glittering machete in his hand.

We ladies had just finished our morning devotions. With a flash of his machete, he called out threateningly. “You strange, hopeless woman, come out now and I will show you what I can do!”

The women in the house who had gathered for worship fled to their rooms. I felt glued to my chair, a Bible still in my hands. I closed my eyes and whispered a prayer in my heart. “Help me, God.”

When I opened my eyes, I saw the local leader of the village who had made a habit of checking on us. He asked the angry husband why he was at our door with a machete in the early hours of the morning. “Sit down,” the local leader ordered. “And throw your machete away.”

The man complied, the local leader picked up the machete and told him to stop threatening me.

This was not my first time to meet such confrontation in my gospel ministry. We must always be prepared to meet Satan’s stiff resistance. The good news is that Satan is a defeated foe. Paul’s words in Romans 8:36–39 encourage me to carry the gospel banner without fear. “As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

In spite of threats from Namaranzi’s husband and region leaders who put up their best efforts to stop people from attending our meetings, God won the battle. We had 28 baptisms at the close of the evangelistic campaign.

Namaranzi, along with her son and daughter, did not heed the threats of Namaranzi’s husband. On May 19, 2018, they were first to step into the water to be baptized. Quickly following their public decision, Namaranzi’s husband disowned her and their children, ordering them to leave his house. The next day, he married another woman.

As a church, we reported the situation to the local authorities of the village. One of our Adventist members has donated a small plot of land where we are going to build Namaranzi and her children a house of their own. Each member of our church congregation has contributed in some way to see that building materials are available, and the work will begin next Sunday.

Every evening, Namaranzi along with her children, gather with us to study the Bible. The mother and her two children are staying with my family presently, very happy in their new-found faith. 


Location: Uganda

Author: Jane Kyarikora  is an evangelist in the Uganda Conference.

How You Can Help

Pray. Jane is winning many people to the Lord and needs our prayers to press the message into the unreached regions.

Donate to Mission Projects International. Needs include new church buildings, training for church planters, Bibles and church planter support. Donate online or send your check, with “Uganda Workers” or “Uganda Churches” as the memo to:

Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138


01/13/2018: Angels Preached at Hadero

Angels Preached at Hadero

For years the work was stymied, but by God’s grace over 50 people joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Hadero is a small town nestled in the lush mountains of Southern Ethiopia. A myriad of fruits, vegetables, and other crops flourish in its warm, wet climate. The Omo River cascades over either side of a verdant cliff in the twin Ajora Waterfalls. Tourists come to soak in the magnificent views of the Omo River Gorge and the chains of mixed green mountain ranges that fade into blue in the distance. But sadly, a spiritual darkness has clouded this paradise for many years.

Hadero is home to the biggest market in the region, and the livelihoods of farmers and merchants depend on it. But market day falls on the Sabbath, and is often a stumbling block to church members. It also spreads a negative influence that has kept the outreach efforts of the Seventh-day Adventist Church from bearing much fruit. As a result, God’s work has dwindled there for years.

Daniel Shamebo Sabore carries deep a burden for the people of Hadero and he had been praying earnestly that God would bless their efforts and establish a vibrant church there. But nothing ever seemed to stick. Outreach activities were begun, and abandoned. A place of worship was rented, but lack of interest and finances forced it to close.

But in July of 2016, a ray of hope began to glimmer. Pastor Cody Francis, Daniel, and several others traveled to Tunto (5 kilometers west of Hadero) to hold evangelistic meetings. Daniel urged his small team in Hadero to re-open a temporary place of worship, and pray for God to work powerfully. A pathfinder group came from Hawassa to march through Hadero to raise awareness for the meetings. 

People flocked to the meetings in Tunto, and God’s spirit moved mightily. In the evenings, Pastor Cody and Daniel would return to their lodgings in Hadero, and pray for the town and the surrounding areas. As they poured themselves out day after day, people began to respond. 

At the meetings’ close, over 50 people, including many influential people from other denominations, decided to join the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The evangelists wondered and rejoiced that so many souls had come to God in an area where it had been nearly impossible to find even one. Surely the angels had been preaching with them!

Over a year has passed since these souls found Jesus. Unfortunately, due to a lack of financial resources, there is still no house of worship in Hadero. The new converts have reached out to us, asking for help to grow spiritually, and to establish a permanent place of worship for themselves and the new souls they are eager to reach and bring to Jesus. This is what Daniel and many others had been praying for through the many years when there seemed to be no hope for Hadero. If we extend our hearts in prayer, and our hands and resources in help, we can keep the showers of blessing falling on Hadero.

 

AUTHOR

Daniel Shamebo Sabore Daniel Shamebo Sabore is the Coordinator of Gospel Projects and a lay-worker, based in Federal Way, Washington, United State of America. info@advancedtranslationservices.com

 

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Pray for the gospel workers and lay-people in Ethiopia, that through the work of the Holy Spirit they may continue establishing congregations in the remote villages of their areas.

Adopt a gospel worker. For details, email info@missionspro.org.

Support the Ethiopian gospel workers or help build churches for the new congregations by sending your contribution marked “Ethiopia workers” or “Ethiopia churches” to:

Mission Projects International, PO Box 506, Republic, WA 99166-0506

For electronic options, visit:

missionspro.org/donate


Letter from Mike:Congo–September 2017

According to the world clock, planet earth just passed 7.5 billion in population. There have been approximately 100,300,00 new babies born in our world to date. There have been more than 41,000,000 people that have gone to the grave just this year. With so much more people added to our planet and millions going the grave without a knowledge of the Savior, how will they be reached? Jesus taught His church how they would accomplish this monumental task. Jesus had been training his closest followers how to reach the vast multitudes.  “And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Mark 1:16, 17 “For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” “When Christ called the disciples from their fishing-nets, he told them that they were to be fishers of men. They were to communicate the truth to others, casting their nets on the right side of the ship. By this Christ meant that they were to work in faith to save souls. And this work for individuals would, in the providence of God, lead them to work for communities. So God desires that the youth shall become skillful, thorough laborers wearing Christ’s yoke, lifting his burdens. “We are laborers together with God,” he says.” Youth Instructor December 8, 1898

 

Bible Workers in Training

Pastor Ongasa, who was once the Conference president of the Congo, has started his ministry on the promise that God will help him to train young men and women to be fishers of men. Train Them to Fish began with the goal of training workers to reach the people of Congo and then with the intent that it would spread to all other neighboring countries. More than 200 dedicated Bible workers have been trained, 14 lay pastors have been educated and 38 new churches built since 2012. Adrian, a Bible worker that went through the training program, was sent to the village of Kimvula. His mission, to reach a sect people that believed that the Bible was only written for the White Man because blacks are not mentioned in the Bible. They also believe that Jesus is only the Savior of the white man and no one else. As Adrian was working in a village, he asked some of the local villagers if they would like to hear about a black man in the Bible. Capturing their attention, he proceeded to tell them about the Ethiopian eunuch who took the gospel to the people of Africa. From this one conversation, a church of 40 people is now gathering on the Sabbath to worship God. The Cheif of the village was convinced about Adrian’s teaching and has donated land for the erection of a church building.

Trained Pastors

Pastor Ongasa is praying that God can use his training school to reach the 78,000,000 people of the Congo. Please pray that God will open peoples hearts to receive the gospel. If you would like to be involved in helping Train Them to Fish, mark your donations “Congo Bible Workers.”

 

In the Masters service,

 

 

 

 

 


Letter from Mike: Togo–October 2017

October 21, 2017

 

Dear Friends,

Have you desired to be a better soul winner for Christ? You may have thought about attending a Bible Worker training school to help improve your skills to teach others about Jesus. There is one talent that we all possess that, if used, will win many to the truth. Proverbs gives us this specific instruction. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly…” Proverbs 18:24 Do we all have the ability to make friends with people we meet? What example did Jesus leave us in regard to making friends? “Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him.” Mark 2:15 Jesus was the friend of sinners and highly sociable. Jesus’ main purpose in connecting with those of the world, was to share the message of hope. He accepted invitations to dine with the noble and the learned as well as the poor and afflicted. “He was social in His nature.” Desire of Ages, 150. Jesus was the greatest soul-winner this world has ever witnessed and following His example will reap the same results. The importance of developing friendships in and outside the church cannot be overemphasized. This will bring vibrancy to a church like nothing else can. The results of bringing a person in through friendship evangelism is that they have a greater possibility of staying in the church and maintaining a strong connection with the Lord!

Pastor Simliwa on the left

Pastor Agamah and Paca, the Bible Worker, have taken friendship evangelism to a new level. When I first met Paca, at an evangelistic meeting in 2009, he was training to be a powerful witchdoctor in his local village. Now he is using the power of the gospel to win people to the truth. While distributing truth-filled literature, he and Pastor Agamah met a man from the Baptist church. Pastor Agamah and Paca started visiting him in his home and struck up a friendship with this man. Several weeks later, while visiting this man, he told them that he believed the message that was being taught in the material they left him. He then revealed that he was the senior Pastor and leader over all the Baptist churches in the north part of Togo. Pastor Simliwa was in a serious dilemma. If he should join the Seventh-day Adventist church, he would lose his handsome salary, his position and influence in his church and all the friends he had made. After much prayer, and study of the Bible, he took his stand for the truth. The other church leaders immediately removed him from his position and cut off his salary. There were some of his former church members who have read the material that was given to Pastor Simliwa, and have taken their stand with the Lord. Many more will follow his path of self-denial. They will pick up the cross and follow Jesus no matter what the cost. “It should ever be manifest that we are reformers, but not bigots. When our laborers enter a new field, they should seek to become acquainted with the pastors of the several churches in the place. Much has been lost by neglecting to do this. If our ministers show themselves

New Believers from the Baptist Church

friendly and sociable, and do not act as if they were ashamed of the message they bear, it will have an excellent effect, and may give these pastors and their congregations’ favorable impressions of the truth. At any rate, it is right to give them a chance to be kind and favorable if they will.” Evangelism, 143. Please pray for Pastor Simliwa and the other gospel workers as they minister to people in their remote villages, where the gospel has never been heard. If you would like to support the gospel workers please mark your donations, “Togo Workers.”

 

 

 

Yours in the Master’s service for souls,


Letter from Mike: Ethiopia-August 2017

As I am writing, my family and I are traveling across this grand country of ours to set up our new home in the countryside of Pennsylvania. Right now, we are high up in the Colorado Rockies visiting with family. Looking out the windows I can see the barren and treeless peaks of the mountains. The clear blue skies and crisp cool morning air have been a welcome and refreshing break for us as a family. Traveling with a baby and a toddler has proved to be a challenge, but the Lord is sustaining us along our journey and this short break in our trip has given them a reprieve from their car seats. Moving is not an activity that I particularly enjoy. During our packing and loading up of household items a text of Scripture has continued to come up in my mind. “ And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.” Isaiah 65:21-23 This move has brought fresh to my mind what God has in store for those in His new kingdom. The prophet Isaiah tells us that the saved will build their homes in the new earth and we will never have to move from that home throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. We will also have a permanent place of worship to fellowship with our loved ones and friends. Leaving friends behind that we have fellowshipped with for years has been difficult. But God has given us this promise. “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 66:22, 23. What a precious promise the Lord has given us!

Churches in Ethiopia

Having a permanent place of worship is a blessing, but not everyone has this privilege. Ethiopia is one of those places that needs to have churches built to bring stability and permanence to those who have chosen to follow and obey the truth in regard to the Sabbath.  The workers in Ethiopia have been spreading the message like wildfire and many in these villages and small cities have accepted the truth and are now worshipping on the Sabbath. In many of these places where the truth has been proclaimed, families, whole churches and many individuals are now worshipping on the Sabbath, but have no place to worship. In the city of Hedero, in the central part of the country, there have been many Muslims and Sunday keeping Christians who have accepted the Three Angels Message and are now meeting like they were in Philippi. “And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spoke unto the women which resorted thither.” Acts 16:13 As these new converts to Adventism worship in the open or under some crude structure they are liable to lose their interest in the message. We feel a personal responsibility to better establish the new converts to the faith, and we would like to help them build churches as soon as possible. If you would like to partner with us in this project, mark your donation “Ethiopian Churches.”

Working in the Lord’s vineyard,