09/25/10: A Sabbath Journey to Teach

A Sabbath Journey to Teach

David Wilson writes from Zambia Africa

I traveled on the first Sabbath of March to a church about sixty miles away. It took about two hours going and even longer coming back at night due to the many potholes.

It was quite an adventure traveling the last mile to the church in my two-wheel drive minibus. I was not sure if I was moving forward by faith or foolishness! I was wishing I had bought a four-wheel drive as I was going through deep mud puddles and weaving left and right in Murundu township between the small mud-brick houses on what was more like foot paths than a real road. When I got to the entrance of the church, which rarely has someone visit in a vehicle, I was stuck in the mud. However I had arrived, so that is what mattered.

At the 11 o’clock service and afternoon study, I went through part of Ephesians chapter 4, which has much relevant counsel for us today. I have taught from this chapter for the last three months in several churches and have yet to complete the chapter.

In each case, people are brought face to face with the real Christian calling. I was told by one person, its almost like you knew what is going on in the church based on what you taught. This is what happens when God’s Word is taught faithfully and the gift of the Spirit in teaching is at work.

One brother who was from the Congo, though now settled in Zambia, asked me a question. He began pulling out of his bag numerous publications in both English and Bemba, which the ministry had printed in the past. Included in his collection was a Bemba language version of Steps to Christ, and a book that was made up of portions of the Great Controversy.

It was 15 years ago that those two books were printed, so I was surprised to see them, and in good condition as well. As to the answer given to his question, I could only say, if God wills, printing will be done in the future. Many are looking to the ministry to be and do all that it did in the past. People have approached me and asked, “When are you going to start working?” For such ones, doing less than in the past is not working, as far as they can see. That is, until they are given one of my books or a DVD and are subsequently enlightened or blessed. My conviction is to spend all my time in a teaching ministry, using the internet, with audio and video production and writing and printing books. To see this work expand in influence and quantity of distribution will take all the time I have, and a great deal more resources than are currently available. Therefore, I do not see at this time repeating past works of ministry.

When leaving the church around 5 p.m. I was pushed out without much effort, but failed to turn around and was stuck again. Then a downpour complicated things. Everyone ran for cover into the church while I remained in the vehicle, hoping and praying the rains would not go on for hours, as has been the case in the previous two weeks.

Thankfully, after about ten minutes, the rains passed and people went to work again trying to get me out. After about fifteen minutes, I managed to back up and then was bogged down again, but a few pushes got me going.

I put the automatic transmission in second and said a silent prayer, considering where I must pass as there was a small run-off stream to my left and mud to the right only a vehicle length in front of me. Making it through the first challenge I returned through the trail in between the maze of houses that seemed even more rutted and muddy than when I came. Thankfully, despite darkness, rains, bad roads and poor drivers I made it home safely.

By David Wilson. PO Box 72124, Ndola, Zambia. Cell phone: (260)-975428573. E-mail: ministry@biblealive. org.

Donations may be sent payable to “The Tributary” for the publishing and teaching work of Bible Alive Ministries. The Tributary accountant, 516 E 2nd St. The Dalles, OR 97058.

09/18/10: Families Reaching Families

Families Reaching Families

In El Salvador

Our family had the privilege of spending three weeks ministering to the people of El Salvador earlier this year.  My husband, Pastor Mike Bauler, has the opportunity to travel frequently to many countries as he assists Mission Projects International in its efforts to support mission work. Frequently my three daughters and I send him off, just a bit wistful that we could be going too. So, it is a special blessing when we have the opportunity to travel and work together as a family in an area where there is a need. This year my parents, Rodney and Cynthia Clark, joined us and were very helpful, both directly with the ministry work and in freeing us to be more active by helping us with childcare.

Although we have traveled to several other Central American countries this was the first time any of us had been to El Salvador, so we left with some questions in our mind: What would the country be like? Would we find many active workers in the churches, and would we be able to work well together? How receptive would be people be to the messages?

In the airport in El Salvador we were so happy to see our dear friend, Nestor Socha, with whom we worked in Costa Rica several years ago. He had traveled to El Salvador to assist us with translation as none of us speak more than a little Spanish. We were to find his services invaluable, and because he was the only translator he was kept busy from morning till night assisting in all the outreach efforts. We trust that the Lord will richly repay his faithful efforts!

Pastor Mike presenting a message.

The first few days of the trip were spent visiting churches, holding a mini camp meeting on Sabbath for believers throughout the country and preparing for the evangelistic efforts. The local brethren had made arrangements to hold the evangelistic meetings in the small town of Panchimalco outside of San Salvador.  The town was not far from a small church group who had been preparing for the efforts. The majority of the church is one large family: Brother Ephrain, his wife and their eleven children. As we had the opportunity to get to know this family while working side-by-side with them I was reminded of this inspired quotation, “The greatest evidence of the power of Christianity that can be presented to the world is a well-ordered, well-disciplined family. This will recommend the truth as nothing else can, for it is a living witness of its practical power upon the heart.” Adventist Home, 32.

These eleven young people, some of whom are married with spouses and children who are also serving the Lord, having been energetically working to reach their country with the gospel. Whenever they have sufficient funds, they rent a truck and travel as a group to some part of the country and distribute the tabloids they have received from Cornerstone Publishing. In this way thousands of tabloids have been distributed in a systematic manner covering several hundred towns and cities including nearly all of the large city of San Salvador. Each of the areas covered is marked on a large map of the country and this map is literally peppered with colored dots indicating areas that have been saturated with truth-filled literature.

Several family members are also active in personal evangelism, and not only had preparation been made for the meeting by printing and distributing fliers to the entire town, several interests we prepared to accept the truths presented because they had been receiving Bible studies from various members of the family. In the days before the meetings were to begin, we intensified the advertising efforts by distributing more fliers and driving through town announcing the meetings over a loud speaker.

Amanda, a Family Nurse Practitioner, examining a young patient.

Our evangelistic effort combined medical missionary work with the gospel. For three to four hours each afternoon we held free medical clinics to provide help to those in need and to break-down prejudice for our gospel work. Although El Salvador has a universal health care program that provides basic health care and emergency care free of charge and medical clinics and hospitals appear to be accessible to much of the population, we found health education and management of chronic conditions lacking. Poor diet, limited water intake, hard work on farms and the lack of modern conveniences that make household chores hard work (washing laundry by hand, carrying water/food on your head, etc) contributed largely to the most common conditions we saw (muscle strains, headaches, constipation, etc). We spent nearly all our time teaching our patients how to apply the eight laws of health to relieve their symptoms or prevent disease and the use and benefits of simple natural remedies (massage, hydrotherapy and the use of charcoal and local herbs). We did see a number of patients with much more serious health conditions who came seeking a second opinion or for help they had been unable to find. Because the price of medications and specialist care is very expensive many who need more than basic treatment do not get the care they need because they cannot afford it. We did all we could to help these patients and frequently wished that our stay could be longer so that we could do more.

Childrens meetings!

Every evening for 10 nights we held evangelistic meetings, beginning with meetings for the children. They were eager pupils and enjoyed teaching me and our daughters songs in Spanish, but were even more pleased when we taught them songs in English. They enjoyed the health talks and Bible stories and were very pleased to be able to color a picture each evening (this church has only limited Sabbath school materials and crayons were a rare treat).

This was followed by the meetings on Bible prophecy for the adults. Each night the audience attentively listened to the testing truths from the books of Daniel and Revelation, and thanks to the speaker system many outside the building we were using, also heard the messages presented. During the meetings and after they were finished we had the opportunity to visit the interests and as we got to know them better it was clear that there were battles going on and people taking their stands to follow the Lord. Let me share a few of their stories with you.

A father with his three young children faithfully attended the meetings each evening. We learned that his wife had passed away just a few months before from cancer. Now a single father, he was striving to raise his children for the Lord. He had been studying the Bible for some time with one of the members of Brother Ephrain’s family, and as the truths were presented during the meetings, he made the commitment to follow the Lord all the way. After the Sabbath was presented, he determined that he was going to keep it and he and his children fellowshipped with us the last two Sabbaths we were there.

The building we rented for the meetings was owned by a relatively well to do young woman who lived next door with several extended family members including her mother. Her mother attended the meetings faithfully each evening. As soon as she heard the theme song, she would leave her work and join the meeting. And every evening she took the truths she had learned home and shared them with her family. When Mike visited them, he found that her son-in-law, who had not attended any meetings yet, was full of questions about the messages presented. With a Roman Catholic background, this family had found the messages startling and intriguing. Although they did not make a commitment to the truth while we were there, they were open to continued study, and we pray that the Lord will further open their minds and help the seeds that were planted to spring up.

Sister with arthritis, Brother Nestor and local workers.

We found the clinic to be an effective way of breaking down prejudice and producing more interest in the evangelistic meetings. A number of people attended meetings who had received care in the clinic. One young woman stands out. She was in her mid-twenties, a single mother with a young daughter. She was struggling with constant pain and loss of mobility in multiple joints from rapidly progressing rheumatoid arthritis. Three to four months before she had been seen in the local hospital and given a diagnosis, but no treatment was offered and she was scheduled to see a specialist this coming summer. During the months of waiting her condition was rapidly declining to the point where she could no longer work and walking was slow and painful. With great effort she walked nearly a mile to see us in the clinic and returned again the following day for more teaching and therapies to help relieve the joint pain. The following Sabbath she was getting ready to make the long-walk again to join us for Sabbath services, when we stopped by to pick her up. One of the sisters of the church was taught how to do simple treatments, and she will continue to help and encourage this young woman.

Please pray for these dear people and for Brother Ephrain’s family who continue to push the work forward in the little country of El Salvador. We so look forward to the day when, if we are faithful, we will all be part of one large family that will never again be parted. Let us work together to hasten the soon coming of our Lord!

By Amanda Bauler.

Support for the continued mission trips of Mike Bauler can take can be sent to Mission Projects International, P.O. Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058. 1-800-467-4174.

09/11/10: God Loves You

God Loves You

A Philippine Young Man Learns of God’s Power and Love

“Without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5

Since I was a child, my life has been in peril. When I was only one year old, I was bitten by a dog, which almost took my life. My parents rushed me to the hospital. My color was almost violet, but I recovered. Once, I drank a bottle of poison which I thought was juice. Again, it almost took my life. In spite of these dangers, I’m still alive.

I was raised in a poor family. My parents were strict, especially my father, whom I might say was like Hitler. Many times he punished me for the bad things that I really did. Other times, he just got angry and drunk and hit me it the back of my head. He woke me up by throwing coffee or hot water on my face, then beat me. There were times he put me in a sack of rice and beat me like a punching bag, or tied my hands and feet to a post to beat me. He beat me with bamboo, wood as thick as a 2×2, or anything he could grasp at the time.

Due to this, and the bad influences of my surroundings, I had emotional dysfunctions and didn’t know how to express myself. During my 6th grade school year, I discovered that I was gay. The next year, I had no choice but to quit, for my parents were not able to continue supporting my schooling. Instead, I helped my mother sell vegetables in the neighborhood and nearby barrios. During this time I joined dance contests, going to almost all the parties that I knew. I became a junior dance instructor, and I loved singing and reading pocket books. I felt that I was free to do any thing I wanted, and felt like I was really a girl. At that time my mother was not mad at me because she thought that even if I were gay, I could earn a lot of money. She supported me in almost all the contests I joined.

When my father confirmed that I was gay, he hit me more often and I suffered a lot of bruises, bleeding in different parts of my body, and a blood clot. Three times, he used a stingray tail to hit me and said that he wanted to kill me. This led me to think that he is not my father because of the way he treated me. My parents eventually separated, as they couldn’t resolve their quarrels.

At that time, I didn’t know the Word of God. Although we were Catholic, there was no Bible in our home. I was never able to read it until I was 15 years old. We went to church occasionally at Christmas, New Years, Easter, Halloween, Fiestas, funerals and weddings. Going to church didn’t change my life principles. Our life was simple but we didn’t have a real faith or true knowledge of God. All I knew about the cycle of life is that people work, eat and live. A child may go to school if his parents could afford it. When he reached maturity he worked, got married, had children and grandchildren, then went to the grave. So anyone could do whatever he purposed, and live selfishly.

When I was 15 years old, my mother told me that she would enroll me to finish my high school studies. I was so happy. I studied hard and decreased my social activities. One day, at my friend’s house, I met some missionaries named Sister Yeyen, Brother Roned and Sister Mona. They were teaching religious songs and telling Bible stories to children every Saturday afternoon. They called it Branch Sabbath School. The missionaries were very quick to invite me to attend their Sabbath worship. To my shock, my reply was yes! I went to their worship place the next Saturday. My first time attending, I didn’t know what to do because the whole church was very different from the religion I had. Even the house of worship was not like what I expected, for they were just using their house. The songs, prayers, and truths being presented were new as well. I enjoyed seeing them greet one another with “Happy Sabbath,” while shaking each other’s hands. Although I didn’t know what “Sabbath” was. I enjoyed it so much, I tried my best to return every Sabbath.

When my parents learned that I was attending Saturday worship, they tried to hinder me by not allowing me to leave the house on Saturday. I was not able to attend several Sabbaths, but God really is great. I met those missionaries again at another friend’s house. Then, I met Brother Aldin and Sister Grace’s family, who happened to be the cousin of my friend’s father. Brother Aldin invited me to come the next Sabbath but I was not able to attend. The third time we met at the house of yet another friend who happened to be Sister Grace’s sister. Again, Brother Aldin invited me to attend Sabbath worship, and I went. Since I was always happy when I was with them, I kept going to their house and learned more truths. When they had Vacation Bible School near our place in April 2008, I brought my little sister to attend the program. Since then, she has always come with me to Sabbath worship.

Many times I was not able to attend fellowships and other gatherings because my mother did not allow me. She did not want me to attend Sabbath worship and she got mad if I attended. She wanted me to do something else on the Sabbaths. A relative told me, “Those people are of the devil. Do not join them. They are not of God. If you will join them, you cannot eat meat and more delicious foods. You cannot enjoy your life”.

On one occasion, there was a fellowship to be held in Pasig and I really wanted to attend. In my desire to be there, I repeatedly asked permission from my mother, but she didn’t want me to go. Even Sister Grace and Brother Aldin asked permission to allow me to go, but she refused. I escaped from our house the night before and went to the house of the missionaries early Saturday morning. I saw and met many brethren and I was so blessed. After the Sabbath service, when we were going home, the vehicle we were riding in broke down. We were not able to get home that night. When I arrived home the next day, my mother was so angry she said words that even a dog cannot accept. She drove me out of our house because of what I had done. Before that, she had always told me, “Do not come back if you attend the Sabbath worship.” I felt very sad and troubled. I pleaded with her many times, but she didn’t want me come home. I didn’t know where were to go. All my relatives were mad at me because I had disobeyed my mother. I prayed, and God led me to the house of the missionaries. They tried to talk to my mother but she was firm that she would not accept me any more. I asked the missionaries if they would allow me to live with them. Once again, I found the goodness of the Lord; they accepted me to live with them. I experienced the need to join their activities daily, especially in evening and morning worships, which I never had before. I learned so many lessons about faith and following Christ by living with the missionaries. By God’s grace, my personality changed dramatically. In the way I speak, sing, act, walk and dress, God has helped me become a real man, a man of God. Now I realize why God saved my life when I was a child and experienced maltreatment and why I later met the missionaries! Without a doubt God loves me.

I also learned from the Bible how important it is to obey God rather than man, give importance to others and not to think selfishly. Matthew 10:37-39 says, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me… he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me… He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

I discovered that only in God can I find true happiness. I was baptized January 2, 2010, because I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. I want to be a new creation. I love what is written in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away.” No matter what happens, He is always there till the end. Accepting Christ in my life brings more trials and challenges, but I know that I’m not alone. Your prayers will always be with me.

By Geramie San Pedro, 18 years old, Philippines.

09/04/10: The Ministry of Hope

The Ministry of Hope

Andrei Bordas, age 32, a Romanian missionary, has started a phone ministry for people in crisis. Those who have problems with family, depression, thoughts of suicide, or any sudden difficulty they cannot solve, are welcome to call for helpful instruction and the opportunity to pray and meet with Andrei in their homes or in church.

Everyday Andrei is leading helpless or discouraged people to God through witnessing and prayer. God has given him the talent of speech and he is especially burdened to help young people. He visits his contacts and invites them to a daily prayer meeting in church. Some have already accepted the Sabbath and many more come to attend daily prayer meeting. The only problem is the lack of space for the growing number of attendees.

A few experiences

Andrei tells of one experience where God impressed him to go to the Parliament. He knew that there were cameras and guards to keep people away, but he walked through the big gate and went right into the house. Before the authorities he witnessed of his faith, and as they saw his courage and wisdom they asked in astonishment how many degrees he had. “None at all,” he said, “but eight classes.” Then they asked how he got through the guards and cameras without being stopped. “I took the normal way through the gate,” he said. He left some books there for them to read.

On another occasion, Andrei was invited by a lady to come to her village. When he met the lady, he met other people on the street and began asking what their prayer requests were. He prayed with them and announced that on the next day they would gather again for worship and prayer. The next day was the Sabbath. On that Sabbath he was serving a group of Orthodox people who had gathered to hear God’s word!

A crisis makes life hard for the unemployed, widows, or divorced young women with children. Many are losing all they have. Recently Andrei visited people who have not been able to buy food any more. (Andrei himself has no house of his own, but is living with a family in a room with a small bathroom. He does not even have a car.) He had only 100 Lei (around 20 Euros)! He prayed, “Lord, you know I have only this much, but I am going to share it.” On the same evening somebody came and gave him 200 Lei.

One Sabbath evening, after his sermon, Andrei gave the church an opportunity to mention their prayer requests when a father asked him to pray for healing for his son. Because of sickness he had been dumb and deaf for six years. Andrei prayed, but nothing happened. When he left church that evening he was restless and was wondering why God would not heal the boy and in what case God would fulfill his promise of healing. Andrei did not sleep that night but prayed until 6:00AM. He wanted to receive an answer from God, but nothing happened. After a while Andrei was called to minister in the village of the father and his son. As the father met Andrei, he joyfully told him that after he got home from church, at 6:00 in the morning to the astonishment of all, his son started to speak. The whole village wondered what was happening and the father explained that somebody prayed for the healing of his son. The whole village gathered in the Seventh-day Adventist church on the following Sabbath. Andrei received an answer to his prayer because he followed Luke 18:1!

My thoughts and prayers

God saw that the time came for me to be made aware of this ministry so that I could tell others about it! I knew Andrei when he was about 11-years-old. He and his brother were invited for lunch with my family many times on Sabbaths. They were eager to come, since their mom divorced their dad when he accepted the faith. I was eleven when I left Romania and could not keep in touch with most of the church members. I had not heard or thought about Andrei for 20 years. Suddenly he was calling me on Skype. It took me a while to remember who he was. Somebody from Fagaras knows my brother and gave him his number. I feel impressed to share a bit of what he shared because he speaks only Romanian, Hungarian and Spanish, but I am convinced that his ministry reflects all that we read in Ministry of Healing, 156: “To reach the people, wherever they are, and whatever their position or condition, and to help them in every way possible – this is true ministry. By such effort you may win hearts and open a door of access to perishing souls.”

Andrei is giving all he has. He had a well-paying job in Spain, but he said that he could not bear the thought that so many people are suffering without knowing Christ. He felt that he needed to go back to his country to help those people.

I feel impressed to make you aware that if all those who read this article would donate only $100 or even only as much as they can easily afford to give away, Andrei could buy an apartment where he could gather people for daily prayer meeting, care for Bible study contacts, present spiritual and health lectures on a screen, have a library to share books with his contacts and send out and correct Bible study lessons. He is a full-time missionary, yet he is not paid by the conference – they cannot afford it.

Just think how many projects and missionaries could be supported if every Adventist would give only $1 a week. Incredible! Also in this sense there is strength in unity.

If you feel impressed to share what you have, you may! You must know, “The earthly blessings which we impart to others may be, and often are, repaid in kindness. What we give does, in time of need, often come back to us in fourfold measure in the coin of the realm.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 136.

May the Lord bless you in engaging in this work or in the support of it!

By Zita Kovacs.

If you would like to donate to Andrei’s work, please send your offering to Mission Projects International and mark it “Thirteenth Sabbath Offering”. All money collected as thirteenth Sabbath offering this quarter will go to see to help Andrei and his sacrificial work.

Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058. Telephone: 800-467-4174

08/28/10: Learning to be His Helping Hands

Learning to be His Helping Hands

In God’s great plan for the redemption of a lost race, He has placed Himself under the necessity of using human agencies as His helping hand. He must have a helping hand, in order to reach humanity. He must have the co-operation of those who will be active, quick to see opportunities, quick to discern what must be done for their fellow men.” {1NL 69.9}Reference????

It was Friday night. The front gate was closed for the night; the lights were off. After a busy day, we were in our pajamas in our comfortable beds, anticipating refreshing sleep. Suddenly, we heard the front gate rattling.  Sandra got up and looked out of the door. She could see a group of people at the gate, calling. They came into our porch, but would not sit down nor tell Sandra what was wrong. Finally she came into my room and said “There is group of people outside in the porch who want to talk to you. They will not tell me anything; they just say they are sad.” I was tired and would have preferred to sleep, but I got up, dressed and went outside.

The spokesperson of the group was the daughter of Angela, a Bible study contact whom we had been visiting.  She had had a stroke a year ago. She lived with her drunken husband who often did not even have food for her, let alone give her medicine in time or care for her needs. She had had six children but only one lived in town.  Many times when we went to see Angela she had not taken her medicine. We would take her blood pressure and it would be very high. We gave her garlic and other natural remedies to help get her blood pressure down. We knew it was not a lasting solution to her problems because she did not remember things very well and could not do much for herself. She refused to live with her daughter in another town because that town is hotter than where she lived. Two months ago, what we feared happened: Angela had another stroke. She had been in the hospital for two months. Now, the daughter came to tell us that Angela had died. The family was requesting help with the funeral the following day. We agreed to help, and spent part of in Panama the night making arrangements for the funeral.

The plan was for a short program at the viewing the following night at Angela’s house, and a full program at the funeral in the morning at the local Adventist Church. That Sabbath evening, we went to the house and waited three hours until they brought the body from the hospital. On our way home, we had to stop at the church to help prepare the body for the funeral the following morning. This was done quickly with the help of other members of the church. Then, I had to return to Angela‘s house to take some medicine to her daughter who was not doing well. At that time she told me that they were not going to bring the body to the church for the funeral because it was decomposing rapidly, something that is common in the tropics. Whatever was going to be done had to be done at the graveside. She requested a special sermon calling for her brothers to commit their lives to God. This family had grown up knowing the truth and had backslid-en, except for the daughter. We did not know this before the viewing. What an opportunity to testify for the Lord. But this meant we had to get up very early the next morning so we could travel with the family to another town an hour away for the burial. It was hard to get up out of bed that Sunday morning, but it was a rewarding experience to hear the testimonies of Angela’s sons after the program. They mentioned that by the grace of God things were going to be different. We pray that the decisions were not made by impulse and emotions, but led by the Spirit of God. The family was very grateful for the help given. The daughter told us “You cannot imagine how much help you have been to us.” To God be the glory!

These past months have been a learning experience for all of us. We are thankful for the prior experiences in the mission field but still there is a lot to be learned. We have to be flexible and work under challenging conditions. We are learning in the school of Christ to do His work His way. A large number of the elderly in our community have never gone to school and don’t see the importance of learning to read and write. We need to tell them Bible stories and sing to them, as to children. They also have many health problems. To the elderly poor, the government is offering a monetary stipend. In exchange for this money they have to be vaccinated and get regular health checkups. We see elderly people who get sick with colds and gastrointestinal problems, which are hard to get rid of.

Another portion of the population here are native Indians who have a lot of problems with alcoholism. We see many women and children suffering because of their husbands’ addictions. Sometimes we wish that the conditions were different, but we are learning that it is in our interest that God has brought us here, as the following quote reads: “The Lord saw that it was essential for us to be surrounded with the poor, who in their helplessness and need would lay claim to our ministration. They would be an aid to us in perfecting Christian character; for in providing food for their tables and clothing for their bodies, we would cultivate the attributes of the character of Christ. If we had not the poor among us, we would lose much; for in order to perfect Christian character, we must deny self, take up the cross, and follow where Christ, our Example, leads the way.” Review and Herald, October 15, 1895.

One opportunity we had a couple of months ago was to participate at the local school fair. We offered back massages, free blood pressure checks and free health consultations. We also had a questionnaire to discover the interests of the people. Some people expressed their desire to study the Bible. One day after the fair, a lady and her daughter came to the house to ask when the sewing classes would start. Her daughter stated that she would be interested in Bible studies. As they left, I thought of another lady who had asked for Bible studies. I thought, “I need to communicate with this other lady to make arrangements to start Bible studies.” Who would come to the house at that moment, but the lady I needed to contact! The Lord has been gracious to bring interested people to our attention. Pray for us. As in all ministering fields, the harvest is great, but the workers are few.

We look into the future and plan with God’s help to start building a small wellness center where we can be of better help to our community. The people that have health needs at present are treated at their home or in our house. We see the need for a treatment room and a place where we could bring people like Angela to teach them a better way of life. It is summer here in Panama, the best time to start building. We thank each of you who have so generously given to the work in Panama, as we move in faith to reach this goal. We had many delays to start building, but with God’s help and those who want to be His helping hands, we will be able to accomplish much for His kingdom.

Zaida Acosta, Living Springs of Health and Education, Panama.

08/21/10: The trail of Truth in Congo

The trail of Truth in Congo

One of the great passages of Scripture describes the trail of those who are following and obeying our Lord: “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18. The path or trail of those who are following the footsteps of our Savior is promised to increase. For those desiring to walk with the Lord, the trail never ends, but continually climbs upward to higher and greater vistas and experiences.  In Congo, not just does the spiritual trail constantly ascend but also in a very real sense the physical paths stretch out in unending distances, as well.  Brother Celestin Kasongo has been leading out in sharing the message of truth in this forgotten area, and the Lord has been abundantly blessing the efforts. Five years ago there was an established church in one village and a couple satellite churches in neighboring villages; three years ago the work had spread to ten to twenty villages within a growing area; but today the trails of truth have spread to entire new territories as the message marches on.

In January of this year, Steve Rawlings and I landed in the remote Savannahs of western Congo to survey and assist in the rapidly advancing work.  What a blessing it was to finally be at our destination, to be able to see the brethren, meet new brothers and sisters in the Lord, to see the advancing efforts of the work and to open the Word of life together.  We were very happy to see the neat grounds, the well-built school building next to the church and a technical school that was being built by students learning masonry.  While the church had been built by outside donations, the church school and training school had been built by the brethren who had sacrificed to invest in furthering the work.  They were not just waiting for funds to come from overseas, but they had given of their funds to start a self-supporting project that would enable them to solidify and expand the message of truth.

Brother Casongo preaches at a village meeting.

After a blessed Sabbath, it was time to be off again.  Instead of having four or five villages to visit there were four or five new territories to visit separated by rivers, savannahs, jungles and in some cases hundreds of miles, thus a tactical impossibility to visit all. Which areas were the most important to visit?  Topping my list was the newly opened area of Lulaw.  Five years previous, Brother Jean Albert had stopped by the mission station and discovered the truth his soul had been longing for.  While riding atop one of the trucks, he had seen the sign and it piqued his interest—what does a Seventh-day Adventist mean?  So he had gotten down from his perch to come and discover what this meant and had stayed for around a month, studying with the believers every day. He actively participated and accepted the subjects presented and excitedly chose to be baptized.  As we interviewed him, clearly he understood the message and wanted to share it.  I can still remember his great joy and conviction as he was baptized in the precious truth he had found. As he left that simple mud-hut mission station, he knew that he had found a little piece of heaven and wanted to bring it back to his village.  As he arrived home, he became absorbed in his business, his mother became seriously ill, but he did not forget the truth he had learned nor his desire to share with his village.  As the prodigal “came to himself,” so did Brother Albert. He had been busy buying and selling cassava and other agricultural products, but what value was that in light of eternity?  Although still needing to support himself and his mother, he began in earnest to share the message he loved so much, and a new congregation was formed.  It was here to Lulaw that was to be our first stop.  I wanted to see what Brother Albert had done since his baptism five years previous. I wanted to see how this faithful soul had brought forth fruit “some an hundredfold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold.” (Matthew 13:8)

The trails traveled to take the truth to others are not always on land. Water trails also carry missionaries to their destinations.

Because of the unreliable and difficult transportation, we arrived at Lulaw later than expected, but when we did, what rejoicing! Brother Albert joyfully showed us around the mission compound and schools he had established. So that all would know the purpose of the schools, the name he had given was Three Angels Institute. The next morning as the village gathered for the meeting, the church was way too small. In fact, any building within the entire village would have been too small, so under a massive spreading tree, the village gathered. As we shared a message on the second coming of Jesus and His call to live in obedience to Him to be prepared for this great event, people’s hearts were touched with a desire to be ready. As we concluded the
message and opened up for questions, people began to enquire why we were so different as to worship on Saturday.  The Bible workers were ready and called for texts to be read from the few Bible we had brought. As the passages were read and the proofs given, conviction came that we were simply following the Bible and that they could, too.  Although a group had started keeping God’s Sabbath and studying the Three Angels’ Messages, many of the villagers had always wondered why, but now they saw the evidence straight from the Bible. From this single village meeting, an interest was awakened in the whole village and many will begin to join in the daily Bible studies at the church.

After Lulaw, there were many more groups to visit right in the surrounding vicinity.  As Brother Albert had begun a work in his local village, the work had spread.  As he had gone to various villages to purchase their goods to transport and sell in Kinshasa, he had been giving them something much more significant than simply an outlet for their products.  He had shared with them the sets of Bible studies in their own language. As individuals in the villages read these Bible studies in their own language, an interest was awakened to learn more and they would call for a teacher to come and show them the “way of God more  perfectly.” (Acts 18:26) Through this method, seven to eight villages within the general area of Lulaw have started worshiping their Creator on the Sabbath and studying further. It was off to one of these villages that we next made our way.  After preaching in Lulaw, we donned our loads and were off again.  Crossing the river in a dugout canoe, traversing the burning savannahs, hiding out in a village hut during a rainstorm, slipping down the dark, junglepaths in the rain, wading the stream, climbing up again, until finally how glad we were to be in Kimolo. The next morning as I walked around in the morning fog, we passed the village chief calling for a village-wide meeting under the largest tree in the village. Once again, virtually everyone came to hear the Word of God presented.  Although there were some objections, when the answers came from the Bible, they were ready to accept. Although, our schedule was tight and we needed to walk back that same day, the questions kept coming. Eventually, we said we had to go, but they would not take “no” for answer.  They were thirsting for the precious message for this time, which they have never heard before.

bicycles help Bible workers to reach the distant villages.

After making it back to Lulaw, it was off again to other areas.  Lulaw and surrounding villages is just one of many areas that are stretching forth their hands for the everlasting gospel in this area dark with superstition, fear and ignorance.  They have never heard the message of  the Three Angels, but when they hear it from the Word of God, they enthusiastically respond.  The present truth message for this time must extend to the jungles and savannahs of this forgotten vineyard, and it is!  The trails of truth are making their way through this thirsting region.  Would you like to help the trail of truth extend further and further into this dark and needy territory?  Bibles and Bible studies in the Kikongo language are among some of the greatest needs.  For $100, ten Bible can be purchased and shared among the village. For $150, one hundred Bible study sets can be printed and distributed in a village.  For $60 per month, a Bible worker can be sent to teach the truth to a village.  Would you like to adopt a village?  Please pray for Brother Jean Albert and the many other faithful, self sacrificing workers like him who are walking from village to village leaving the trail of truth wherever they go!

By Cody Francis,

Mission Projects International, PO Box PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058. Telephone: 800-467-4174.

E-mail: cody@missionspro.org

08/14/10: Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue

Steve and Suzanne Day have had a desire to serve the Lord for many years. Early on in their Christian walk they fell in love with the Adventist health message. After seeing its power to change lives, they decided to learn all they could about using God’s natural remedies to help people recover from illness. In 2000, they enrolled in a Medical Missionary College. After graduating, they took assignments working in homes with several people who had end-stage cancer. They were very excited with what they saw and experienced in the lines of natural healing.

Unfortunately, after the birth of their first son, Isaac, their intention to work as medical missionaries in their small home town in Washington State was vanquished. It became all too apparent that most people would rather find a “quick fix” or take a pill rather than change their diet or lifestyle. The astounding truth is that the majority will submit themselves to the surgeon’s scalpel, poisonous chemotherapy, and/or the burning effects of radiation instead of trying a natural approach to healing. Why is that? God says: “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” Jeremiah 17:1. His natural ways of healing have no adverse effects and are much gentler on the mind and system.

As the Days felt the impact of people’s unwillingness to pursue natural ways of healing, Steve soon realized he needed a steady source of income, so he began doing home repairs and remodels. With the economy running strong in Washington State at that time (early 2000) and plenty of work available in the home repair and construction market, health evangelism took a back seat to running a successful business. But Steve’s heart for ministry did not wane. On the side, he began a DVD and literature ministry handing out nearly 30,000 DVDs and thousands of Steps to Christ booklets in just a few short years. Steve and Suzanne thought their original quest into the Health Ministry/Medical Missionary work had been in vain, but like Joseph during the time of his slavery in Egypt, they couldn’t see the plan that God had for them.

In 2006 they bought a house to flip on the now-volatile real estate market. It was located right in the middle of their small town of Wenatchee, Washington, they were trying to look for a guide on how to sell your home fast. Always desiring to reach others, they would hand out materials to neighbors and those that passed by. One day, a young man was walking his dogs by their house and Steve gave him some Bible-based materials to look at. This brief encounter developed into a close friendship. After a few months this man told them that a brain tumor he had battled since his childhood had returned. The Days made some dietary and lifestyle suggestions, but he insisted that he would rather die than give up meat. However, he changed his position on this once his doctor told him that the tumor was inoperable and that he had less than six months to live. Through prayer he was led to realize that this new friendship was ordained by God as a means of bringing him into an understanding of God’s health principles. The Days continued to work with him and he made tremendous improvements, even to the point that the bald, radiation-burned areas on his head re-grew hair. So wonderful was his story that it made the local newspapers.

Not long after this they received a call from a woman whose doctors had diagnosed her with inflammatory breast cancer and given her two months to live. Again, the Days utilized the knowledge they had gained at the Medical Missionary College and made a plan for her recovery, praying with her and providing support. Within a few short months, she made a complete recovery. Praise God! He is the Master Healer. These encounters renewed their desire to get back into the medical missionary work, but Out of the Blue The Story of How Home for Health Ministry Began in Kentucky, U.S.A. Mission Projects International Quarterly 17 they didn’t know how to go about it. The Days prayed that God would open a way for them to return to this line of work. By 2007-2008 Steve’s business in home repair and construction was drying up as the economy began to manifest its sorry state of affairs. Steve finally had to let go of his company employees and simply focus on making ends meet.

Then, out of the blue, early one morning, he received a phone call from his professor at the medical missionary college. He had not talked to him for quite a while, but this brother in Christ told him that he had heard about a Lifestyle Center that was sitting idle. After praying about it, he felt impressed Steve’s family should take on the endeavor. Not knowing whether it was an answer to prayer or just too good to be true, Steve and Suzanne began to pray earnestly for God’s leading. They called the Center’s owner, and felt reassured that the Lord was in it.  Steve got on an airplane and flew to Kentucky to see the place.

The best way to describe it might be to quote from the Center’s website: www.homeforhealth.net. “Located on 300 acres in the beautiful wooded hills of Kentucky, only a few miles from the breath-taking Red River Gorge and the Natural Bridge State park, Home for Health Lifestyle Center offers the perfect environment for refreshing walks and exercise. Enjoy the hiking trails, the sunshine, the cool mountain air, the songs of birds, the quiet moments of meditation and prayer, or the lovely picnics in the splendor of natural beauty.”  Considering all they had prayed about and seeing God’s hand at work in opening doors, they said: “Yes!” and packed up. They said their goodbyes to friends and family, and headed across the country to begin their new venture running the Home for Health Lifestyle Center.

The Lord has done some wonderful things to kick start their new ministry. They have had guests and people respond from across the country and around the globe. God turned a small, local newspaper interview and article into a state-wide story that ended up in over half a million newspapers. He opened the door for Steve to address many local ministers in the county they live in, through a Baptist preacher that took interest in their ministry. As a result, eight non-Seventh-Day Adventist churches have opened their pulpits to hear Steve preach.

The Days have spent several years researching and practicing the most aggressive and successful techniques to restore or improve people’s health. They use nutrition, hydrotherapy, massage and herbs in conjunction with the eight laws of health. They have worked with cancer, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, chronic fatigue and more, with good success. They have seen that through obedience to God and His health principles, people can be restored back to health.

The Days solicit your prayers on behalf of their ministry. They are working in a county with almost no Seventh- day Adventist influence. Besides that, the area has the highest rate of colon cancer in the nation along with incredibly high rates of diabetes and breast cancer. They hope that the “right arm of the gospel” will open the door of many hearts in their community and abroad. Steve and Suzanne have incorporated a complimentary and often overlooked element of the health ministry by including on-site development of advanced agricultural techniques and sustainable farming. Training in this area is available to those who are interested.

By Steve and Suzanne Day, Home for Health, Kentucky.


08/07/10: Courage of a Hero-Faith of the Martyrs

Courage of a Hero-Faith of the Martyrs

“We are living in the time of the end. The fast-fulfilling signs of the times declare that the coming of Christ is near at hand. The days in which we live are solemn and important. The Spirit of God is gradually but surely being withdrawn from the earth. Plagues and judgments are already falling upon the despisers of the grace of God. The calamities by land and sea, the unsettled state of society, the alarms of war, are portentous. They forecast approaching events of the greatest magnitude.

“The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones.

“The condition of things in the world shows that troublous times are right upon us. The daily papers are full of indications of a terrible conflict in the near future. Bold robberies are of frequent occurrence. Strikes are common. Thefts and murders are committed on every hand. Men possessed of demons are taking the lives of men, women, and little children. Men have become infatuated with vice, and every species of evil prevails.” Testimonies, vol. 9, 11.

We know that Satan will work as never before because he knows that his time is very short on this earth. He will work more and more miracles to deceive all of the people on this planet, but there will be a remnant who follow the Lamb and obey His voice and do His commandments.

The scripture describes the condition of the world at the end of time. Because of the condition of this world, the Bible asks the question, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” As I looked at this very text about the experience of Isaiah and his response, “Here am I, send me,” my wife Mae Joy and I decided to go to the place known as Bitaog, Surop, Davao Oriental in the Southern Philippines. Some of our other brethren were also willing to cooperate in the work.

It takes a many hours to travel from Davao city to Davao Oriental. Most of the people there are fisherman and have abundant fish and are very busy with their work. I noticed that they are ignorant about the truth, but they are sincere about their faith. I also knew that they were Sunday keepers.

I started visiting from house to house with the elder of the church and also Brother Jacinto Obeda and Brother Wen-Wen Landong. As we started visiting, we used the method of Christ, medical missionary work. As we started the work, many people gathered together for a free blood pressure check, and we advised them on how to treat the disease through simple remedies that God has given. Many were blessed.

After conducting the medical missionary outreach, we noticed that there was one group who taught that we need not obey the Law of God because we are now in the time of grace. When I heard about that, I remembered the word of the Lord through David in Psalm 11:3, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” As a people we are to stand firm on the platform of eternal truth that has withstood test and trial. We are to hold to the sure pillars of our faith. The principles of truth that God has revealed to us are our only true foundation.

“Men will arise with interpretations of Scripture which are to them truth, but which are not truth. The truth for this time, God has given us as a foundation for our faith. He Himself has taught us what is truth. One will arise, and still another, with new light which contradicts the light that God has given under the demonstration of His Holy Spirit….

“We are not to receive the words of those who come with a message that contradicts the special points of our faith.” Counsels to Writers and Editors, 31, 32.

One day, I visited the pastor who believed that since we are saved by grace it not necessary to obey the law of God, which is the Ten Commandments, because it was nailed in the cross. When we talked together, I presented to him the love of God and that the people today are obliged to keep the commandments of God through love. We also read the promise of God in Jeremiah 33:3. After we talked, I noticed that he had a problem with his heart and could not breathe well, so I advised him that we must follow the laws of heath and abstain from the foods that are not healthy, including the flesh foods which God said are unclean, and follow the simple remedies that God designed. After we talked, I left his house with gladness and understood that through medical missionary work we can easily spread the gospel.

Another day, I met a young man who was devoted member of the Bible Baptist Church. He said that Leviticus 11 is not applicable today because of Acts 10:15, “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” After he gave me this verse, we solved this problem by the help of the Almighty. I explained to him about this chapter in which Peter, in a trance, saw a sheet let down from heaven, tied at the four corners. In this sheet were all manner of unclean creatures; and as he was looking, he was told to arise, kill and eat. Peter told the Lord, “I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.” (verse 14) He had never heard from Jesus, either before or after the resurrection, that it was permissible to eat unclean animals. Peter wondered what the dream meant. While this happened, the men from Cornelius came before the gate; and the Holy Spirit spoke to Peter and said, “Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.” (verse 19, 20) The following day they came to Caesarea, and Cornelius was waiting for them and had called his friends and relatives. Then Peter said, “Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” (verse 28) Peter did not start eating unclean foods at this point. He understood that God was trying to teach him to not call any man common or unclean. After I discussed this verse, he understood that it is not animals that God cleansed but that a man is cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. After we studied, he suggested that we start regular Bible studies, and I praised God.

On February 3rd, after our house-to-house visitation, we started the public crusade. Satan made a surprise attack on us that night. He never wants anyone to hear the everlasting gospel. On that night, the weather was good and the stars shone; but suddenly a strong wind began to blow, and the tent was broken. The hearers began to get afraid, and some started going home; but by the help of our Lord through prayer, the wind died down. We repaired the broken tent and continued until the subject was finished. On the second day, again the devil tried to cut the meeting short. Suddenly there was a brown out, and the bulbs no longer gave their light. It was very dark that night, but by the help of our Lord, because He did not want His message to be hindered, He touched the heart of a person who had a generator and heartily loaned his generator on that night. Again we were able to continue until the subject was ended.

In the midst of the crusade, it was very interesting because many hearers were asking questions about the subjects presented, and I praise God that He gave me wisdom to answer all of the questions.

On the last night of the crusade, I presented “The Mark of the Beast”; and by the help of the Lord, the subject was presented in a proper way. But before the presentation, one of the brethren suggested that it is not necessary to present the mark of the beast. He said that the people would become angry if they heard that the beast in Revelation 13 is the papacy and that Sunday is her mark. But I told him that “we need the courage of a hero and the faith of the martyrs.” By the mercy of God, the people on that night were listening. The crusade was ended on February 17, after 15 nights of many hearing the everlasting Gospel.

We now have Bible students who are accepting Jesus Christ.

As we know that we are now in the final conflict, “we are to move forward in faith and hope, expecting large things from God. The enemy will seek in every way to hinder the efforts that are being made to advance the truth, but in the strength of the Lord you may gain success.” Selected Messages, vol. 2, 404.

“The Lord desires to see the work of proclaiming the third angel’s message carried forward with increasing efficiency. As He has worked in all ages to give victories to His people, so in this age He longs to carry to a triumphant fulfillment His purposes for His church. He bids His believing saints to advance unitedly, going from strength to greater strength, from faith to increased assurance and confidence in the truth and righteousness of His cause.” Ibid., 407.

The work here in Davao Oriental and Zamboanga is still going forward by the grace of God, and we pray together that the Lord will continue to provide means for the support the work. May God bless you all.

By Edmar Vertudez.

07/31/10: Into the Hedges of Oregon

Into the Hedges of Oregon

In our planning for the extension of the work, far more than the cities alone must be comprehended. In out of the way places are many, many families that need to be looked after in order to learn whether they understand the work that Jesus is doing for His people.

“Those in the highways are not to be neglected; neither are those in the hedges; and as we journey about from place to place and pass by house after house, we should often inquire, ‘Have the people who are living in these places heard the message? Has the truth of God’s Word been brought to their ears? Do they understand that the end of all things is at hand, and that the judgments of God are impending? Do they realize that every soul has been bought with an infinite price?’ As I meditate upon these things, my heart goes out in deep longing to see the truth carried in its simplicity to the homes of these people along the highways and places far removed from the crowded centers of population…. It is our privilege to visit them and acquaint them with God’s love for them and with His wonderful provision for the salvation of their souls.  “In this work in the highways and the hedges, there are serious difficulties to be met and overcome. The worker, as he searches for souls, is not to fear nor be discouraged, for God is his helper, and will continue to be his helper; and He will open up ways before His servants.” Evangelism, 45, 46.

Evangelist Cody Francis presenting saving truth to the small group in John Day, Oregon.

In the John Day River valley of east-central Oregon, a small church is trying to reach out to the rural farm-based community in which they live. They have done cooking schools and mass mailing of literature, and they mingle as salt in the community, seeking to be witnesses through their social interactions.

But they desired to do more; therefore, they started investigating the possibility of having a public evangelistic series. The decision was made to move forward, and plans were laid to have Cody Francis come for a four weekend Bible prophecy seminar.

As groundwork to the seminar, a postcard that advertised a series of Bible prophecy booklets was mailed. Those who responded will receive a new booklet each week for a few months. We were thankful for the few responses that were received, and we prayed for the Lord to prepare us in order that He might further bless the seminar and outreach in the area.

We had some extra cause for prayer as an unexpected situation arose with the mailing of the brochures. Because of a new postal regulation regarding the layout of the brochures, which were already printed, the brochures had to be mailed in envelopes. We usually design the brochure with the thought that the colorful graphics will attract the people to look further. Of course, the envelope covered the graphics, but God is not limited by such things. Unexpected circumstances are God’s opportunity to manifest His overriding goodness and power.

In addition to the brochures, advertising also took place via newspaper advertisements, radio advertisements, posters and a radio interview with my husband and speaker for the evangelistic series, Cody Francis.

Interestingly, a few days before the seminar started, members of the Aryan Nations, a white supremacist group, arrived in the area, announcing that they were looking for property for a compound. The public mind was deeply agitated and focused on the related issues, but we praise the Lord that even this did not hinder the success of the work.

Prophecy Seminar attendees listen thoughtfully to the message.

The opening meeting began at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday night. We eagerly waited to see what the Lord would do. We were very pleased when seven guests arrived. Considering the number of brochures sent and the typically expected response, this was a very good percentage for a sparsely populated area. We gave thanks to the Lord for the people He brought.

Although a couple of gentlemen that attended the first night never returned, these were replaced by another couple, leaving five to seven people most nights throughout the remainder of the four-weekend, sixteen-night seminar.

On the second night, one couple invited another couple who were their neighbors and friends. After that, neither man missed a night. They generally sat near the front and were very attentive. They see much of the truth, but are still struggling with some issues and with accepting some of the truths, including the full importance of the Sabbath. We pray that the Lord will work on their hearts to make a full surrender. One couple especially now seems to be feeling comfortable and is incorporating into the church family.

Another couple, who are involved in several businesses in town, attended quite a number of nights. The husband usually seemed to be struggling with or perplexed with the presentations, but calls from a church member who knew them still seemed to leave an opening, and Cody went to visit them after the seminar. When he spoke with them about the Sabbath, the wife realized that it would be a major challenge for her with her work but was not in opposition to it. They seem open to further contact and have received all of the CD’s and materials from the meetings so they can catch up on what they missed and review the rest.

The day before the seminar started, Loren Birmingham and Cody, went to the little town of Mt. Vernon to go door to door to invite people to the seminar. While there, they met an older gentleman that said he might come. He came the first night and then missed several nights because of illness. After that he was a faithful attendee. He is a lonely man and enjoys the fellowship, and he plans to continue attending each Sabbath. When Cody visited him, he made a commitment to pray and study his Bible every day.

Mandy Francis and daughter with hostchurch members Joshua and Josiah Martin.

This man and the two couples mentioned first have now attended church a few times. We pray that they will all continue to attend and will grow into a fully surrendered walk with Jesus, in obedience to all of His commandments and belief in all of His Word.

We want to see the little beacon of light in this rural valley become brighter and brighter as a city set on a hill as it grows spiritually and numerically. Please keep God’s work in your prayers and put forth your efforts—not alone for the large metropolitan areas, but also for these out-of-the-way places that need the light of Jesus’ love and truth.

“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Luke 14:23.

If you would like to reach your community, however large or small, through public evangelism, please contact us. We will be happy to work with you to plan and present a prophecy seminar specially tailored, with the help of God, to the needs of your area.

By Mandy Francis.

Mission Projects International, P.O. Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058. Telephone: 800-467-4174.

E-mail: mandy@missionspro.org

07/24/2010: Blessed Missionaries-India

Blessed Missionaries – India

In 2009, we were seeking the Lord about what we could do for Him here in North Dakota or wherever He would lead us to go. It was our desire to share the message of salvation.

“Our work is to attract minds away from earth to heaven; to take others with us as companions, to walk the path that is cast up for the ransomed of the Lord. The children of the Heavenly King are to move among men, not as citizens of the world, but as citizens of the kingdom above. We are pilgrims and strangers in the world seeking a better country, even a heavenly.” Signs of the Times, August 17, 189l.

In March of 2009, while in the state of Washington, we were asked if we would be willing to go to India and teach for one month. We were thankful for the offer and said we would seek the Lord about it. As we prayed we became certain the Lord was directing and accepted the call.

Frank spent most of the summer preparing for the four class periods each day that he would be teaching in India, as well as Sabbath sermons and daily worship material.

Frank Rashau teaching a class at Green Pastures School.

Departing from Seattle, Washington, on September 29th, our wonderful experience in Christian service began.  We had never flown abroad; therefore we were anxious about connections and simply being in foreign countries, but the Lord was our Shepherd. London, England, was our first stop. The plane unloaded on the tarmac, and we were bussed to the terminal where we rode a train, ran up escalators, raced along moving walkways, and finally arrived at security. After security, we repeated the many modes of transportation to reach our plane as it was already loading to go to Bangalore, India. In ten more hours we arrived in Bangalore. After arriving, we were required to go through a health inspection in which our temperatures were taken via infrared scanners. We successfully made it through immigration, security and customs. Praise to the Lord was on our lips.

Our contact was not there—panic!  But he arrived shortly. We were very tired, but we had a seven-hour journey by car ahead of us. It was our introduction to India. The city in the early morning hours was filled with smells, sights and much noise. Horns were continually honking to let fellow drivers know if they were passing, making turns or traversing the maze of an unheeded four-way stop.

Tamil Nadu, the state in which we would be for the next four weeks, is very lovely and the ride in the country was most pleasant. For us there was so much to see. There were cars, bikes, motor bikes, three-wheel pickups, trucks with their boxes full of people, buses, ox carts, tractors with people and people walking. The ladies were a very pretty sight in their beautiful native dress with a wide variety of color. Everywhere there is poverty. The children with their big eyes watch as you go by. These eyes, we will never forget.

Green Pastures was a welcome sight. It is a beautiful compound.  A warm welcome awaited us. The students carried our luggage to an apartment above the chapel that would be our home. It was so nice to clean up and then enjoy a nice lunch with Timothy and Anita Tharasingh. A tour of the facility was provided for us. We retired early and were only awakened for a few minutes as we listened to the students singing in the chapel as they had their worship.

The next morning we enjoyed a walk on the road in front of the school. We did this each day. The country folk were very shy of us. One of the students taught us to say hello in the native language. We were happy when people began to smile and return our greeting.

Worship began each morning at 7:30 in the chapel. The students and staff were such a blessing to us as they sang at worship. “Only Trust Him” was sung at least once a day. These young people truly knew what it meant to trust the Lord. At worship in the morning Frank or I gave a short message. Evening worship was conducted by one of the students. Each student took an evening worship.

The students work each morning before worship. Breakfast is after worship and class begins at 9:00 a.m. The class topic for the month was “Adventist Fundamentals.” The class time was divided into three 50-minute classes with a ten minute break between each class. The last class period was one hour.

We all struggled with the language barrier. Very few students understood English. Kirthika, one of the youngest students, was our translator. When she had to miss several classes and worships, we found that her sister, age sixteen, did a nice job, as well as one of the boys.

Most of the students are poor, but they are very eager to learn. Quite a number of the students came from northern India. Their desire is to learn so that they can work to win souls for the Lord. There were many things about Adventism that they did not understand; but as lessons were presented to them, they began to understand and were eager to learn more. The boys especially liked to question Frank at breaks.

The crude kitchen where students turned out culinary delights for the staff and students.

The three girls who did the cooking in the kitchen were such a delight. They came to take classes but were willing to put their education on hold to do the cooking. I enjoyed spending time with them. The rice was cooked on a bamboo fire. They had a two-burner stove and a few kerosene burners. After we left, some new equipment was added to the kitchen.

It was our desire to give the students some treats. I figured out a method of making cookies on two small grills.  I was able to make one hundred of these sweet treats. Young people are the same around the world. They like treats. Another day we were able to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which to them was a huge treat.

Each afternoon and on Sunday mornings the students did their work study. They worked in the gardens, cut grass, cleaned and swept, plus many other tasks.

Sabbath at Green Pastures is truly a high day. The students are so reverent, and they are eager to participate in the service. The angels must enjoy the praise filled worship. Sabbath afternoons are often spent in nature orsome other appropriate activity.

The last Sabbath evening at Green Pastures, the students bade us farewell, with many standing and sharing something they had learned or appreciated accompanied by a Bible verse. All the sharing was special, but two stand out in our memory. Speaking through a translator, one said that she had no mom or dad and that we had become like her mom and dad. The other girl, raised Hindu, came to Green Pastures as a Roman Catholic. She said that she had learned to be a Christian while at Green Pastures. What a wonderful encouragement to all the teachers who taught at Green Pastures in 2009! The program ended with tears and hugs.

The next morning we bade each one goodbye again. We are eager to see these young people again. If not on this earth, we plan to meet them under the Tree of Life.

Our departure from India was filled with many blessings. We met Charles, a Baptist acquaintance of Timothy and Anita, in Salem, India. He was our guide on our trip back to Bangalore. His English is very good. We enjoyed seeing more of India as he took us shopping and out to eat. He rode with us on the train to Bangalore. On the train we sat with a young Hindu couple and their little daughter. They spoke fluent English and were very educated. The next four hours flew by as we shared much. They shared about India and some about Hinduism. We shared about our mission to India and that we were Christians. We also showed them pictures of the United States that we had on the computer. It is our privilege to still share with this delightful couple via the email. We pray that someday they will accept the salvation so freely offered through Christ.

In Bangalore, Charles had rented a nice room for us in a motel owned by Christians. He took us to an authentic Indian restaurant where we ate our food served on a banana leaf with our fingers. Charles asked if we would come and meet his family and pray with his mother who had a stroke, which we did. The mother died after we arrived in the United States. We continue to have email contact with Charles and his family. They have also been the recipients of two Spirit of Prophecy books.

We are so thankful for the opportunity to go to India. We were abundantly blessed.

By Frank and Mimee Roshau.