04/14/2018: An Angry Inmate

An Angry Inmate

A prisoner becomes upset when presented with the truth.

The country of Russia has denied Jehovah’s Witnesses the right to congregate and distribute literature. As Seventh-day Adventists are also considered fundamentalists, we may be subject to similar court orders in the future. 

A statement written by Ellen White 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. How much time do we have before our ultimate test of loyalty becomes a reality? 

As we send Bibles to the prisons, we feel that time is running out. We have had the privilege of baptizing twenty-one inmates in local facilities so far. Some of these babes in Christ have life sentences, and we admonish them to be faithful witnesses. Thanks to the influence of these converts, we see new faces at our services every week, where all are offered a free Bible and Bible studies. 

We receive requests for Bibles and corresponding study materials from inmates stationed across the country. As inmates send us notes of appreciation, we are reminded that God’s Word will not return unto Him void. (Isaiah 55:11)

“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, to take their position, 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 position.” Evangelism, 300, 301.

Maybe sooner than we would like to think, some of us could be imprisoned for our faith.

When this does happen, I feel confident that we will find fellow believers sharing the harsh environment of the prisons with us, because God’s Word was taken to them beforehand by this ministry. To God be the glory! 

About two years ago, I ministered to those in a particular facility with my friend Brian. An inmate became very upset over what we were teaching from the Bible. Rising to his feet, he loudly declared that our doctrine was faulty, and vowed that he would prove this. He had a strong personality and wielded a lot of influence over the other inmates. For this reason, we were concerned that his attitude would negatively affect our services. 

We prayed often about the situation. Around two months later, the same inmate not only humbly apologized, but he stood in front of the congregation and testified that while he had studied the Bible to prove us wrong, he had become convicted that we were right.

Since then, he has faithfully attended our services and even leads out on occasion. Recently, he took a stand to follow Christ, and this public declaration stirred another inmate to request baptism. 

This inmate’s story illustrates the process of witnessing in a nutshell. We planted the seed of truth. Weeds in the form of preconceived ideas began to suffocate it, but the water of the Holy Spirit softened the hard ground of the human heart for the seed to grow. 

Our method for reaching souls behind bars with God’s Word is simple, but the Department of Corrections can be difficult to work with. Bibles must be mailed to the prison directly from a publisher or bookstore, so we work with a publisher. Many prisons require inmates to fill out a form requesting the ordered item by name. Inmates wait sometimes 2 or 3 weeks for the Department of Corrections to give them approval, and then mail us the request with the approval document. We can only send the items that are approved, and are not allowed to correspond with inmates on a personal basis because we are considered a supplier. Thus, we pray and trust that God’s Word and His Spirit will do the rest. We will see the whole scope of the harvest someday, but until then we will keep sending and praying. 

Pray that as the inmates read, Jesus will reveal Himself to them. Perhaps they will request more study materials, or sign up for a Bible Study correspondence course. Also pray that the requests we receive will never exceed our funding. If the Holy Spirit impresses you, we will accept your tax-deductible contribution with thanks. 

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


Location: Virginia

Author: Johny Carmouche 
Brother Carmouche is a prison missionary who also gives quality Bibles free of charge to prisoners who ask.

How You Can Help:
Pray for the prisoners reached by this ministry to experience a new life in Christ. 
Donate for the purchase of Bibles at www.bibles4prisoners.com or mail your check to Johny Carmouche, PO Box 972, Locust Grove, VA 22508
Purchase Brother Carmouche’s autobiography and share it with friends who may be struggling! Proceeds will be used to sustain Bible 4 Prisoners. 


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10/28/2017: Seeing the Light

Seeing the Light

A woman finds freedom and happiness in God after 30 years of addictions.

I will never forget the day I received the text message: “I have not drunk a drop of alcohol nor smoked since the meetings. God is good! I do crave, but it’s wiped out when I focus my mind on His greatness. I see the light!”

My eyes filled with grateful tears. The Lord had answered my prayers.

All my life I’ve watched my Aunty Helen struggle with various addictions and world views. When I first became a Christian, she warned me against organized religion. She would say, “To each his own.” She viewed everything, including morality, as relative to one’s own personal experience. Of all my family members, she seemed the hardest to reach.

Fast forward 16 years. There she was, sitting in the pew at our “Revelation of Hope” Bible prophecy seminar in Aiea, Hawaii. Aunty Helen came every night with an open mind and a searching heart, having finally admitted that she longed for something better than the slavery, confusion and brokenness of bad habits, unhealthy relationships and worldly philosophies. At the prophecy seminar she received satisfying answers to life’s questions. She accepted the Bible as absolute truth. Most of all, she had an encounter with the love of Jesus Christ. In her own words,

“For a large portion of my life, I was depressed. I was often in trouble, had many relationship conflicts and was never comfortable in my skin.”

“My journey with God began two years ago when I found myself restless. With alcohol in one hand and cigarettes in the other, I began pondering, What is the purpose of my life? My addictions had consumed 30 years. I had engaged in many risqué behaviors, relationships and mind-altering substances hoping to find love, acceptance, and self-discovery; yet the satisfaction had burned out long ago.

“Then I attended the Revelation of Hope seminar. What I heard moved my heart. Christ’s sacrifice was not new to me. I had grown up Christian, so I knew about Jesus dying on the cross. Yet this time Christ’s experience became relatable. I had recently invested in a real estate program that was not making money. I realized Jesus had made an investment when He died on the cross. I felt for Him, so I prayed and made a deal. If He helped me quit smoking and drinking, I would become a worthwhile return.

“It’s been a year and a half since I drank or smoked. The more I learn about Him, the more I want to invest. The love that I looked for in all those relationships, I found in Him. When I feel rejected, abandoned or lonely I look to Jesus Christ in prayer. His words uplift me and make me feel whole. In my trouble, I can access His love and grace to carry me out of depression. Because of these experiences, it became easy to choose to be baptized and dedicate my life to Him!”

April 1, 2017, I had the great honor of baptizing my Aunty Helen at my favorite Hawaiian beach. Her new life is a testimony to the power of God and the perseverance of prayer. Every time we talk about Jesus, tears flow from her eyes. She has found a love that has liberated her from physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bondage.

Today, my aunt’s passion is to help her family and friends to see the light as she has. I know God will bless her efforts, for in witnessing her transformation, I have seen the light clearer than ever before!

AUTHOR

Taj Pacleb

Taj Pacleb is an evangelist and revivalist and the speaker/co-director of Revelation of Hope Ministries. www.revelationofhopeministries.com

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Pray. Pray for others like Helen Pacleb, still trapped in addictions, that they too will see the light.

Donate. Revelation of Hope Ministries is a faith-based non-profit organization committed to preparing others to meet Jesus through revival meetings, sacred music concerts and other activities to enjoy this meegins, mission trips, medical missionary work and public evangelistic meetings. For a list of projects needing support, and to donate online, visit www.revelationofhopeministries.com/donate. Donations may also be mailed to:

Revelation of Hope Ministries PO Box 969, Loma Linda, CA 92354.


09/30/2017: Editorial – The Coming Storm

Editorial – The Coming Storm

The sun shone warm as I stepped outside on my way to teach a class. I considered driving, but opted to walk in the sunshine. Then, just beforclass let out, a sudden storm blew in. The wind howled and the rain fell in torrents as small branches crashed against the buildingWithout my car or even an umbrella, I regretted not making preparation!

As I dashed through the pelting rain, I thought of an even greater storm that is coming—a storwe need to preparfor before it is too late. This coming storm is not a thunderstorm or any other meteorological disturbance, but the final storm of evil that will break upon this world before Jesus comes to rescue His people. 

Angels are norestraining the winds of strife, that they may not blow until the world shall be warned of its coming doom; but a storm is gatheringready to burst upon the earth; and when God shall bid His angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture.” Education, 179, 180.

There will be no escape from this coming storm except as we make preparation now

Now the great work from which the mind should not be diverted is the consideration of our personal safety in the sight of God. Are our feet on the rock of ages? Arwe hiding our- selves in our onlrefuge? The storm is comingrelent- less in its fury. Arwe prepared to meet it? Arwone with Christ as He is one with the Father? Arwe heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ? Arwworking in copartnership with Christ?” Evangelism, 199.

In great mercy, the Lord is holding back the winds. Mawe be diligent to prepare and help others preparfor the soon coming storm!

 

Mission Projects International

Editor-inChief: Cody Francis

Managing Editor: Cheyenne Reiswig

Layout & Design: Teresa Grosboll

Missions Coordinator: Mike Bauler

 

Mission Projects International is dedicated to supporting the evangelistic efforts of local believers around the world through assisting in public evangelism, building churches, providing aid to Christian schools, printing literature, sponsoring workers, conducting training and assisting numerous other outreach efforts that seek to proclaim the Three Angels’ Messages (Revelation 14:6–12). Mission Projects International is a self-supporting, privately funded ministry that helps to advance the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Subscription For a free subscription to Mission Projects, simply contact us with your request!

Contact Mission Projects International

PO Box 59656 Renton, WA 98058

800.467.4174 info@missionspro.org www.missionspro.org/donate

 


09/16/2017: Retirement or Ministry?

Retirement or Ministry?

A busy retirement brings about baptisms behind bars.

Have you ever heard a newly-retired person declare, “I’m busier now than I was before I retired”? I have, and after two years of retirement, I can tell you that my wife and I certainly feel busier! In 2008, several years before retirement, my ministry partner and I entered a local correctional center for the first time to minister to broken men in search of truth. Today, we have a volunteer team of 20 ministering in five different prisons. For several years now, I have been a volunteer coordinator for my local Seventh-day Adventist Conference’s prison ministry program, helping to spread awareness of this important mission field. And of course we’ve been running Bibles 4 Prisoners since 2013.

Am I complaining? Absolutely not! God has been so good to me, and all I could possibly ask for is continued strength to share His wonderful love and the promise of Jesus’ soon return with men and women behind bars. If you are retired, consider the possibility of prison ministry in your area. Most of our volunteers initially hesitated to get involved, but after their first prison visit their concerns melted away. We go to bless the inmates, but every visit invigorates us as we see them growing in grace and allowing God to work in their lives.

Two of our inmates, Gabe and Harvey, recently made their commitments to God public in baptism—a rare treat for us. Gabe, an undocumented alien, has been studying for about two years and has been on our baptism list for several months. For various reasons—lockdown, illness, etc.—his baptism had to be rescheduled several times. When his lawyer told him he would be deported or moved to another facility within two weeks, we knew we had to hurry.

On the evening of the baptism, a larger than usual group arrived to witness the occasion—only to find that no baptismal tank had been set up. We discovered that the chaplain, who is responsible for such events, had been hospitalized. Another disappointment for Gabe! We rescheduled Harvey’s baptism for two weeks later, sadly expecting that Gabe would not be there to be baptized with him. But God intervened: On the day of the baptism Gabe had not yet been relocated. You should have seen his smile! Seeing God work for him personally seemed to renew his faith that the Lord will be with him through whatever the future holds.   

Harvey also shared a special testimony after his baptism. “When I was at another facility, I felt so lost in my walk with Jesus. I went to church and read the Bible, but I still felt empty. One night I asked God to show me what I should do and He showed me the Ten Commandments. When I came to the fourth commandment, I suddenly realized I wasn’t keeping the Sabbath. Three days later I was transferred to this facility. Very quickly an inmate greeted me and asked me if I wanted to study the Bible with him. I said no, but a little later I said yes and we started studying together. He invited me to come with him to their church service. There I met the volunteers and heard a sermon straight from the Bible. That is when I found the church that keeps the Sabbath. After I went through all the Bible studies, I knew this was the church God wants me to be in. Thank You, Jesus.”

Please pray for these new believers, especially Gabe, that they may stay strong in the Lord and be good witnesses in their mission field behind bars!

 

AUTHOR

Johny Carmouche

Brother Carmouche is a
prison missionary who also provides quality Bibles free of charge to prisoners who ask. Bibles4prisoners@outlook.com

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Pray. Being a real Christian in prison isn’t easy. As a new babe in Christ, Gabe is about to be torn away from the fellowship he is used to and thrust into a new situation where he will not likely find Seventh-day Adventist brethren to nurture him. Pray for him and others like him, that God will supply all their spiritual needs!

Donate for the purchase of Bibles at www.bibles4prisoners.com/donate or mail your check to Johny Carmouche PO Box 972, Locust Grove, VA 22508.


07/29/2017: Cheer in the Care Center

Cheer in the Care Center

A tiny church with no musicians develops a successful care center  outreach program.

 

It’s so boring here on weekends,” Merlyn complained. “Nothing ever happens then.”

When my friend Karole told me about Merlyn’s remark, my heart went out to her. Merlyn lives in the nursing home in Kahoka, Missouri, the town where I attend church. How many others in that care center felt the same way? How many of them didn’t even have a friend like Karole to come and visit now and then?

“I know people who have a nursing home ministry in other towns, and it can be a real blessing,” Karole confided. “Do you think the Kahoka Church would be interested in doing a monthly program for the residents of the care center?”

A tiny church with no musicians develops a successful care center outreach program.

We were interested, but we had a problem: Our church is very small. We rarely have more than ten people attending services on Sabbath—and we don’t have any musicians in regular attendance. Although we felt willing, we did not know what to do or where to start. The thought of starting such a ministry without musicians and with so few volunteers felt daunting!

Karole promised to ask around for ideas, and in her research she discovered the Sonshine Society, a non-profit, non-denominational organization that promotes care center ministry by recruiting workers and providing training and materials. Among the many resources offered are two different large print hymnals with accompanying soundtracks on CD. The recordings include both instruments and voices, and the songs are played a bit slower and in a lower key than most conventional church music, making it is easier for residents to sing along.

The Sonshine materials were just what we needed to get started. Now, we look forward to our program every month. We start with prayer and a short Bible reading. Next we have our song service: usually about ten songs interspersed with inspirational stories and poems. The residents really enjoy singing along.

Before closing with prayer, we ask for special prayer requests. Afterward, we enjoy visiting with each person. We generally have 20 or more attendees, which is about one third of the residents. It is such an encouragement to see their faces light up when we arrive. One Sabbath as we came in, a sweet lady clapped her hands. “Oh, you are here! I knew this was the day the singers came.” We love our afternoons at the care center!

Residents follow along in the Sonshine hymnals.

The Sonshine Society reports that at least two million people currently live in care centers, and projections show that over 50 million current United States residents will spend their final days in a nursing home. As we take the closing message of the gospel to “every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,” we should not neglect those hidden away from society in their hour of greatest need. Revelation 14:6. Most nursing home residents have had to reduce their material possessions to what fits into three dresser drawers. Sometimes this happens in a matter of days. They now know what “temporal” means and are ready to listen to things eternal. 

If our small group can do care center ministry, anyone can! Already our example has inspired the other two churches in our district to start their own care center ministries. We’re so glad! We encourage you to get started in this ministry as well. We found out that it’s easy—and the audience is so appreciative. What’s more, we know that our ministry makes Jesus’ heart glad, for He told us, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:40.

AUTHOR

Beverly Francis

Beverly served as bookkeeper for Mission Projects International for 15 years. She helps proofread Mission Projects magazine and looks for ways to minister in her daily life.

 

YOU CAN, TOO!

The Sonshine Society aims to see a consistent Christian witness in every care facility in North America. You can order their reasonably-priced materials by phone at (425) 353-4732; or download the order form at www.sonshinesociety.org and mail it to PO Box 327, Lynnwood, WA 98046-0327.

Once your care center ministry is established, consider acknowledging birthdays and holidays with a card, a gift or a special song. For example, at Christmastime last year the Kahoka group gave each attendee a gift bag with small comforts such as lotion and chap stick; and they always acknowledge birthdays with a song and a card. As appropriate, spiritual literature could also be shared.


07/01/2017: Building Bridges

Building Bridges

Is it possible for Seventh-day Adventists to build bridges of friendship with Muslims? The divide between Christians and Muslims seems to grow wider each year. Yet Jesus is the master bridge builder! He bridged the gap between fallen man and Heaven, and He has placed Adventists in a position to connect with Muslims in ways that no other Christian denomination can.

Several facets of our unique faith resonate with Muslims. The 6-day creation, avoidance of pork and alcohol, our nearness to the end of time and the great judgment—these beliefs are just a few of the connecting links our Biblical faith gives us to Muslim ideology.

So how do we open discussion with Muslims? As a first step, it helps to learn their traditional greeting, “Assalamu alaikum.”1 This Arabic salutation, which means “May peace be upon thee,” is almost universal among Muslims. On a recent trip to Texas, I had the chance to use it.

We had flown all night and needed a ride to our hotel. Calling a taxi, I soon met our Middle Eastern driver. I decided to try out my Arabic. “Assalamu alaikum!”

“Wa alaikum assalaam,” 2 he answered. “Who are you? Are you Muslim?”

“We are Seventh-day Adventists,” I replied, “and we don’t eat pork or consume alcohol. We worship one God and don’t worship with images. We believe in the resurrection and that we are living in the last days, and we are followers of Isa al-Masih!” 3

This all seemed new to him, and for the next 40 minutes we shared a delightful dialogue. After quite some discussion he asked me, “So is Jesus the Son of God?”

It seemed too early in our friendship for this hot topic—a theme Muslims love to argue but which usually leads nowhere. I knew we needed to connect first on points of agreement. So I responded, “I read the Qur’an and it tells me that Jesus was born of a virgin and that He was holy or righteous from birth.”

The driver thought a moment. “Yes, it does say that,” he nodded. Then he went on to a different subject. Thus the Lord gave me more time to establish a relationship.

One question I usually like to ask Muslims is, “What do you know about the judgment?” The driver and I had a lively discussion on that theme. He affirmed that Muslims fear the judgment with great anxiety. When I asked him why, he said, “One does not know if the scale of worth places him on the right side or not.”

“Do you think God is for you or against you?” I probed.

“I am not sure,” he said. “It is all about the scale and balances. If you have done enough good works, you may be in His favor. If not, the outcome is not good.”

I assured him that God is doing everything possible for him to come through the judgment—that He is desperately trying to save us. Then I encouraged him to listen when God tries to get his attention, to earnestly pray for direction and thank Him in advance. I could see that these were new thoughts to him.

When we finally arrived at the hotel, I had several tracts ready to offer. Our driver accepted them all, assuring me that he would read them!

God is using every avenue He can to bring the gospel to Muslims. Jesus paid the ransom for them. It matters not so much what men have done nor where they are, but what they do when light from Heaven shines into their lives. Will you pray for tact and wisdom to allow God to use you to reach out to this massive people group?

1 Pronounced ah-sah-LAH-moo ah-LIE-koom. Also spelled a salaam aleikum.

2 “And may peace be upon thee.”

3 Jesus the Messiah. Pronounced EE-sah al-mah-SEE.

Rudy Harnisch

Pastor Harnisch is the Adventist Muslim Relations Liaison for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada. 250-254-2524; sdabooks@gmail.com

 

Get Involved.

As the Muslim population increases in America, what will you do to reach out to your Muslim neighbors? If you don’t know where to begin, contact Pastor Harnisch. He can point you to resources to share with Muslims, or even hold a weekend seminar in your church.

Pray.

An estimated 1.6 billion Muslims occupy our planet. They need our prayers! Will you ask God to send light into their lives?


05/13/2017: Resurgence of Life

Resurgence of Life

New seasons bring changes in prison ministry—but the letters keep coming!

Springtime has come, bringing a resurgence of life to barren lands—a picture of the new life God brings to barren souls. Spring also promises summer to come, which in our prison ministry means something different from blissful sunny days. Each season has challenges, but summer is probably the hardest. Most of our student volunteers leave for summer break, and many other volunteers take vacations. The prisons sometimes go on lockdown for two weeks at a time, which cancels our services for the duration. Recreation yards inside the prisons stay open longer, and inmates who have stayed outside late are tired, sweaty and unmotivated to leave their bunks when our meetings are announced. Yet we still hold meetings, and the Lord still blesses us and those who come to seek Him.

Letters from prisoners don’t seem to slow down with the seasons. Inmates all over the United States somehow learn that they can receive a free, quality Bible with study helps by writing to us. Their requests are sometimes simple:

“Dear Bibles 4 Prisoners, Please send me one of your study Bibles. Thank you.” Others share life details, some ask for prayer and some even write to thank us. Here is one interesting testimony:

“Dear Friends,
“Thank you for the Bible and free books you sent me. They have been a tremendous blessing as I read and learn more of God’s truths. I am fairly new to the Seventh-day Adventist faith but have learned more in the last three years than the 30+ years I spent as a non-denominational Christian. I was raised Roman Catholic but I accepted the gospel as a teenager after attending a youth rally. I began attending church, but my relationship was shallow and I fell away a little at a time, still claiming to be a Christian. Eventually I was drinking and doing drugs, which landed me in prison.

“It was here, in prison, that I sought the Lord and finally started studying. I prayed for wisdom but no matter how much I studied, I couldn’t seem to glean anything until I came upon the Sabbath. It was like a light came on in my mind. I read everything the Bible said about the Sabbath and, contrary to what I was told by pastors and church leaders, I was convinced the Sabbath was Saturday.

“Shortly after this, two Seventh-day Adventist brothers here invited me to their service in the prison chapel, where they showed a video presentation. I was immediately convinced I was watching the truth, and that God had led me to the Seventh-day Adventist faith.

“Thank you for your ministry and for helping prisoners like me to learn the truths of God’s Word.” 

Like this prisoner, I too know from experience what it is to be incarcerated and find the Truth and the Life in prison. Since my conversion, many have urged me to write my autobiography, and last year my wife and I finally tackled the project. The title, If I Make My Bed in Hell, refers to Psalm 139:8 and my life experiences. The book recounts how God protected me during my incarceration, allowed me to witness for Him in miraculous ways and prepared me for the prison ministry I am doing today. As a testimony of God’s goodness, we believe it will be not only an inspiration but also a good witnessing tool.

Because of how God has changed my life, I know He can recreate each of the prisoners I am sharing with. Will you pray that Jesus will bring them new life, as He did for me?

Author:
Johny Carmouche

Brother Carmouche is a prison missionary who also provides quality Bibles free of charge to prisoners who ask. Bibles4prisoners@outlook.com

 

 

How You Can Help

Pray for the prisoners reached by this ministry to experience new life in Christ.

Donate for the purchase of Bibles at www.bibles4prisoners.com/donate or mail your check to Johny Carmouche, PO Box 972, Locust Grove, VA 22508.

Purchase Brother Carmouche’s autobiography through a link at www.Bibles4prisoners.com and share it with friends who may be struggling! Proceeds will be used to sustain Bibles 4 Prisoners.

Thank You
Donations from Mission Projects readers keep coming in! Without you none of these men and women would receive Bibles and spiritual support. You are appreciated!


04/15/2017: Self-denial 
Jars

Self-denial 
Jars

A small church puts Spirit of Prophecy counsel into practice and raises money for the mission field.
You could feel the anticipation in the air. The question on every church member’s mind was, “How much money did we raise?”
Our pastor had recently returned from a mission trip to the Philippines. While there, he met a little girl with a cleft lip whose family was so poor they couldn’t afford the $500 surgery to repair it. He also met a little boy who had a urinary problem that needed medical attention. Medical care is much cheaper in the Philippines than in the United States, but not cheap enough for these poor families.

Our pastor’s pictures of a cute little girl in need really pulled on our heart strings. But what could our little church do? Most of our members are caught up in very busy lives—and we live in a very high cost of living area. Several members operate on a limited income—with constant demands for fuel, food, rent, health care, insurance and the like. Like many in affluent societies, they struggle to make ends meet.

The Spirit of Prophecy gave the answer as to how we could help: “Spend as little as possible upon yourselves. Keep in your homes a self-denial box into which you can put the money saved by little acts of self-denial.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 131. Could a few dollars and cents saved here and there on a meal out or a pack of gum make much difference? We decided to try. For a month our church made a concerted effort to put to practice the inspired counsel.

One member spent hours sewing the edges of cloth tops from unused material, cutting a hole for the money to go through,  and pasting quotes on the outside of canning jars. At church about 25-30 jars were distributed. We set our goal at $1,500.
The whole church caught the spirit and joy of giving and earning money to sacrifice. Here are a few ways that church members gave to the cause:

•    One member returned a comforter set she received as a gift.
•    Another member gave up her birthday dinner at a restaurant and stayed home to eat.
•    Our Bible worker’s wife knit scarves and sold them.
•    The children gave generously from gift and chore money.
•    A member had the idea to give some money from a tax return.
•    One sister put all her change from purchases into the jar, whether bills or coins.
•    People gave up snack purchases.
•    One home increased their planned giving for the month by 1%.
•    Members shared the project with friends and family, and they contributed too.

Were we able to raise enough money? After fellowship dinner, we emptied the jars and kids and adults counted and counted and counted. It took quite a long time to count all the coins—especially the pennies! When all had been counted, we were thrilled to find we had far surpassed our $1,500 goal. The total count was $4,203.63!

The little girl’s surgery cost more than expected, but since we overshot our goal, we were able to cover it all. Two children’s lives were changed for the better, but they weren’t the only ones to benefit. Our church learned the joy of giving, of sacrificing for others.

We challenge you to try a self-denial campaign in your church. It’s a win-win for members and missions.

Authors:

John and Teresa Grosboll
John and Teresa are members of the Historic Message Church in Portland, Oregon. 
grosbolls@yahoo.com

You Can, Too!

Tips for making a successful church self-denial campaign:
Choose a mission project—if possible, one that is personal to some members.
Prepare jars or boxes to distribute to members.
Give a 5-10 minute talk with photos explaining the project to your church.
Keep the campaign in your church bulletin, and have at least a short announcement made every week.
Generate interest by sharing testimonies and/or ideas via email, social media, announcements, etc.
Set a realistic goal.
Set an end date.
Report the results to the entire church.
Thank everyone who contributed.

Extra! For photos of the little girl with a cleft lip, visit www.missionpro.org/a-mothers-prayer/.


Letter from Cody: USA Evangelism – March 2017

Sharing the Three Angels’ Messages in Stanardsville, Virginia

Looking around us today, I have no doubt that we are rapidly heading for the fulfillment of the final prophecies. Yet even as I see the events transpiring around us and recognize their place in prophecy, I fear that we may miss the main point of prophecy. Prophecy is given not just to predict the future, but to prepare us for the future. In the long-stretching prophecy of Daniel 11, we find a potent description of God’s people who endured the trying times of the dark ages. “But the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” Daniel 11:32. In the very midst of medieval darkness, prophecy points out a people who knew their God!

This is the real reason for prophecy—so that we too can know our God. I don’t want merely to know about prophecy; I want to know the God of prophecy! The greatest knowledge in this world is knowing our God, who is everything to us. “The greatest wisdom, and most essential, is the knowledge of God. Self sinks into insignificance as it contemplates God and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 451. Knowing God is so important to us that we should be constantly studying His character. “The knowledge of God is the essential education, and this knowledge every true worker will make it his constant study to obtain.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, 510. “The knowledge of God as revealed in Christ is the knowledge that all who are saved must have. This is the knowledge that works transformation of character. Received into the life, it will re-create the soul in the image of Christ. This is the knowledge that God invites His children to receive, beside which all else is vanity and nothingness.” Acts of the Apostles, 475. May we be among the prophetic group of people “that do know their God”!

We have just finished a very busy month of sharing God’s beautiful message from prophecy with some of the rural communities in Virginia. It is always wonderful to see men and women hungry for the messages of truth that we hold so dear. While it was not a large crowd, the Lord brought out those who were seeking for a deeper knowledge of Him. One lady was the pastor of a small congregation, but she took time out of her schedule to come and study prophecy with us. Although she struggled with the Sabbath truth and the Biblical understanding of what happens at death, she continued to study. Please pray for her as she wrestles with the truths that she has found. Another family invited many of their extended relatives to our studies, a number of whom began attending. Some nights it seemed that half of the congregation was made up of this one family! After we covered the antichrist and the change of the Sabbath, the family struggled to realize that their church of so many decades is pointed out in Bible prophecy as the antichrist power. Even though the messages challenged so many of their previously held beliefs, they kept coming and learning. Please pray for this family to be led into all truth as they continue studying the Bible.

During the series, we could see that the Lord was at work on hearts. Even some who were already church members shared that the fresh study of prophecy blessed them with a deeper recommitment to the Lord. Though the meetings are finished, we know that the Holy Spirit is continuing to bring the truth home to those who attended. Please pray for the people of Stanardsville who heard the messages from God’s Word that the Lord will continue to germinate and bring to fruition the seed planted. May we also be more determined to share the knowledge of our God with many others that they too may be a part of the people who “know their God.”

Yours in seeking & proclaiming the knowledge of God,