Jesus’ Visit

Jesus’ Visit

An elderly woman finds healing and peace when a Christian medical team comes to town.

Fideli shifted stiffly in her chair as she watched her daughter approach beneath the searing afternoon sun. In a country where 49% of children die under the age of five, and the adult life expectancy is less than 60, Fideli’s 87 years made her a respected elder. Yet even for those who survived persistent malaria, contaminated drinking water, and a host of other health hazards, life had severe challenges.

“Mamma, I have something for you.” Fideli’s daughter held out a piece of paper. “A group of people are coming to our village of Kimvula. They are offering us medical care for free!”

The old woman’s hand trembled as she grasped the flier. “Do these people pray?”

“Yes Mamma, they do.”

Fideli nodded and straightened from her chair. “Jesus and His disciples have arrived to heal us. I have been waiting, and I must go and see Him.”

“How can you be so sure?” Her daughter raised an eyebrow.

Fideli paused. “I was born and raised in our traditional African religion, it is true. I have never been to a Christian church, and I have no idea what Jesus looks like. But I met someone years ago who told me about Him. I heard that He is a good man. He has disciples who go from village to village, healing the sick for free. And we don’t have money for me to go to the hospital.”

The younger woman nodded. “I know that you have wanted to see a doctor for a long time.”

“I have been waiting for Jesus to visit Kimvula and heal me instead,” Fideli stated simply. “And now that He is here, let us go.”

At the mobile clinic, Fideli shuffled up to a crowd that encircled a man who was speaking of Jesus’ love. After talking for a few more minutes, the man prayed. Then a smiling stranger welcomed the elderly woman and led her to a physician, who gave her the medical treatment that she had needed, no strings attached.

Even after her physical need had been met, Fideli lingered. Did Jesus have more to offer than healing from her ailment? Something about the Train Them 2 Fish clinic beckoned her, even after she had gone home.

The following morning, Fideli’s chair by her door sat empty. The crowd of listeners parted as the determined old woman stepped closer to hear the morning message and the prayer. As it ended, she approached the speaker. “Where is Jesus?” she asked. “I want to see Him.”

“Mamma,” the man responded softly, “Jesus is in Heaven. He left to prepare a place for you there.”

Fideli blinked, processing the meaning of his words.

The man continued. “He sent us here to do His work and to prepare people to meet Jesus when He comes back. He wants to take us to Heaven where there will be no sickness, suffering, poverty or death.”

Fideli looked into the man’s face. “What can I do to be among the people whom Jesus takes with Him, when He comes back?”

“Give your life to Jesus.” The man’s eyes sparkled with conviction. “Listen to His Word, and be baptized.”

The following Sabbath, a fervent old lady joined 18 others in baptism. Two weeks later, Fideli passed away in the blessed hope. She knew that soon she would see Jesus face to face.

Until the day of His return, Christ’s modern-day disciples will continue to minister from village to village. Who knows how many more wait, wondering when Jesus will visit them?


Location
Democratic Republic of Congo

Author
Pastor Thomas Ongasa of the Democratic Republic of Congo is a former president of his local conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Today he heads up a training school, equipping young people to spread the gospel in his country.

How You Can Help
Pray for Pastor Ongasa’s team as they minister to the needy. Pray for Fideli’s family, that they too will come to know Jesus.

Give. If you would like to help Pastor Ongasa’s work in Congo, mark your donation “Congo Evangelism” and send it to:

Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138

For electronic options, visit:
www.missionspro.org/donate


Letter from Mike: Malawi – October 2018

At this Thanksgiving holiday, Missions Projects International would like to give a special thank you to all those who have donated to the ventures we are involved in! As I write, I am traveling home from the central African country of Malawi. I went to Malawi to conduct evangelistic meetings, train Bible workers and laymen, visit the projects we have helped sponsor and produce a video update on the work we are doing in this Muslim county. In the last year and a half, Mission Projects International has been involved in starting seven new churches in areas where formerly there had been no Seventh-day Adventist presence–areas dominated by Islam. These seven new churches now have a combined total of more than two thousand members. Golden Lapani, a former Muslim, is the driving force behind the efforts to raise up churches in these Muslim areas where no Adventist church exists. God has given Golden special wisdom to reach those of his former religion.

During my time in Malawi, we held evangelistic meetings in the remote Muslim village of Salima. As I spoke and Golden translated, many in this village positively responded to the Three Angels’ Messages. There was no public hall where we could conduct the meetings, and no tent to shelter us from the hot African sun. Instead, we met under a large tree in the center of the village. Even though it was hot and very dusty from a lack of rain, 500–600 persons attended. Many walked long distances from the surrounding villages to hear the final warning from Revelation 14. This was the second time many of these souls had heard the truth preached, because Golden had conducted meetings in this village several months before.

On the final night of the meetings, we appealed to the people to follow their Lord and Savior into the waters of baptism. Fifty people responded and obeyed the call from Jesus. It was such a blessing to see dozens of people go into the water grave and be raised to newness of life. The church built in this village will have a membership of more than 350 people. Many more will accept the message as these newly baptized members share what God has done in their lives.

Salima is just one example of the work in Malawi. We are continually seeking to extend God’s last-day message to more cities and villages where the name of Jesus has never been known. This coming year we plan to hold several more evangelistic campaigns in Islamic areas. In each of these places, churches will be built to bring permanence and stability to the work. If you would like to take part in reaching the Muslim country of Malawi, mark your donation “Malawi Evangelism.”

Thank you so much for your support and prayers as we seek to extend the message of the cross to every tribe, tongue and people!

Yours in preaching the gospel,


03/24/2018: Train Them 2 Fish

Train Them 2 Fish

Helping people help themselves spiritually and physically.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is the most populated French speaking country in the world with over 80 million people located in the heart of Africa. This country has been unstable for more than two decades and is also known as one of the poorest countries in the world, but it still has many of opportunities for ministry. The people of the Democratic Republic of Congo are open to the gospel and are hard workers.

Considering the economic and social challenges in Congo where most of people live with less than $1 per day, Train Them 2 Fish was born to educate people how to help themselves spiritually and physically. Train Them 2 Fish has been offering sewing training to single handicapped people able to use their hands, providing sewing machines and material as a seed to them. Train Them 2 Fish is also educating people in microfinance under the supervision of Bank of Africa based in Congo. The bank provides training, and Train Them 2 Fish collects funds from donors to be given as loans through the bank, and the bank collects loans from receivers to be given to new people. Church members as well as non-Adventists have been blessed by this ministry.

Train Them 2 Fish is also involved in training self-supporting church planters. The plan is to provide seed funds for a period of two years. A very inspiring case is the one of Emmanuel. He was trained in 2016 and received a seed fund which was invested in growing carrots while studying the Bible with people at Kenge Village. Working with the bank, Emmanuel has invested money to buy a motor bike. The motor bike will be making $10 per day and Emmanuel will keep producing carrots. As a self-supported evangelist, Emmanuel has planted a new congregation with 58 baptized members. These newly baptized members are in need of a shelter to worship God at Kenge.

Adrien was assigned to work in Kimvulam, where there is a very special group of people – a Black Religion. They don’t believe in the Bible, and they say the Bible is only for white people. They said there were no black people mentioned in the Bible.

One day he asked a few people from the Black Religion if they wanted to hear about the black person in the Bible, and they said yes. Adrien read the story from the Bible about the Ethiopian eunuch and asked them where Ethiopia is. They responded, “In Africa.” Adrien told them that the Ethiopian was reading the Bible, especially the book of Isaiah. When he made a call asking how many wanted to start reading the Bible as their African brother did, three people accepted and began reading Isaiah because of the Ethiopian who  read the Bible. These people wanted to know more. They went to tell the chief of their village about Adrien’s church. Adrien was invited to tell the chief the story of the black man reading the Bible. The chief of the village liked the Seventh-day Adventist message and gave Adrien a place to plant a church, and eight people are meeting there every Sabbath. The chief visited on the first day of the meetings, to be sure the gospel was correct. The Black Religion community at Kimvula wants to know more about Jesus.

Adrien traveled to various places and was in two accidents which were very serious. The devil didn’t want him to enter his territory. One of the accidents took the life of the driver, but Adrien’s life was spared two times. Thank you for your prayers and support to people like Adrien.

Mr. Akongo used to be an evangelist for a local Baptist Church. After attending evangelistic meetings, he decided to be baptized as a Adventist in 2014. The mission didn’t have money to sponsor him until Train Them 2 Fish had a training program for lay pastors in 2016. He was sent to our training center and one month after the training he was sent to Songololo, near the Angola border, where there was no Adventist presence. He started making friends and later gave Bible studies. Within five months, there were 23 worshipers. Six of them are ready to be baptized. Train Them 2 Fish gave him seed funds, and he is progressing to be self-supporting. He purchased a motor cycle and used it to earn $10.60 each day. Within six months he purchased another motor bike and this doubled his income to $21.20 per day. We are praying for Brother Akongo to become a well-grounded tent-maker evangelist and for the small congregation to increase in membership. A One-Day Church is needed for this small congregation.

Thank you for being a part of Train Them 2 Fish through your prayers, giving and talent.

AUTHOR

Pastor Thomas Ongasa

Pastor Thomas Ongasa works in the country of Democratic Republic of Congo. Pastor Ongasa was formerly the president of the local conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He believed that God was calling him to start a training school to equip young people to spread the gospel in his country.

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Pray for the young people being sent into remote areas of Congo to establish churches.

Donate. Funds are needed to train Bible workers, to build churches, and to equip Bible workers and pastors with Spirit of Prophecy books. Donations are also needed for Bibles. If you are impressed to help spread the Three Angels’ Messages in the Congo, please mark your donation “Congo Workers”  and send it to:

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


03/17/2018: The Murdered Chief

The Murdered Chief

A tragic death brings about 90 baptisms for Christ.

A short walk from my home lies the village of Nazombe. In spite of my repeated attempts to make friends in Nazombe, the villagers resisted my efforts to share the gospel with them. Then one day, the village chief disappeared. Rumors spread that I had killed the chief and sold his body. I realized the situation was grave and that without God’s protection the villagers could take my life. My family and I fasted and prayed for 21 days, asking God to reveal the truth of the chief’s disappearance in order that God’s name be honored.

On the twenty-first day, I met a man from Nazombe on the road. He greeted me by saying, “Pastor, your God is a miracle-working God. The man described how the chief’s body had been found in the river, attached to two huge stones weighing almost as much as the chief himself.

The chief’s brother was eventually convicted of the  murder, and I was invited to visit Nazombe. When I arrived, the people welcomed me openly. “Tell us about your God who has saved you,” they begged. I visited each home and prayed with them, shared corn and gave clothes to those in need. Next, I held evangelistic meetings and hundreds of people came to the meetings to hear the three angels’ message. When the meetings were over, I called for the people to give their hearts to Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. More than 80 people gave their hearts to Christ and were baptized.

The government of Malawi visited me to hear for themselves the story of how the chief’s death had changed the lives of the people. They recorded my testimony and broadcast it over the national radio at least three times. From that time, I have been receiving requests from a number of non-Christian village chiefs to go and teach the people about Jesus Christ.

In 2001, my team and I held an evangelistic meeting for the Paramount Chief Kuntumanji after holding Bible studies with him. He was the only one that I had not visited in the area. The Chief and his guards listened to my preaching and invited me to hold the meetings at his home. He invited all of his junior chiefs to attend daily for 21 days. I introduced Jesus Christ through what happened to Abraham, who was asked by God to offer his only son as a sacrifice to God. When Abraham took his knife to cut the neck of his son, God stopped him and told him not to kill his son but rather the lamb which God provided for him. The son of Abraham represents us, and the lamb represents Jesus Christ. The Chief and his guards plus some 92 people accepted Jesus Christ through baptism. They were baptized together with their wives.

Another meeting I conducted was in Lilongwe Chisapo village. Mr. Muhammad Amin, a former Muslim leader, was listening to my preaching every evening. The tenth day, Mr. Amin came out of his house and wanted to know who was preaching. He told his family to always listen to the gospel. He later came behind the pulpit and whispered to my boy, “Please give me a spiritual book.” I was told and gave him the book Allah’s Healing Ways. He read the book every day, and in the evening he attended the meetings. Later he was baptized together with his wife. He has been joining me during my meetings to give the testimony of his conversion. He is now a head deacon at his church. God is using him to bring more people to His kingdom. This is a non-Christian area where many people have not yet heard the truth.

I just pray to God to win one soul for Him each day. My prayers have been answered, and God has blessed our ministry with many baptisms and new churches established among the unreached people.

AUTHOR

Golden O. Lapani

Brother Lapani is a layman with a burden for souls. He conducts evangelistic meetings in predominately Muslim areas of Malawi.

 

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Pray for Brother Lapani as he uses friendship evangelism to reach hearts for Jesus.

Give. The work in Malawi is in need of Bibles, church building and food and clothing for the very poor. If you feel impressed to help this work, you please mark your donation “Malawi” and send it to:

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

For electronic options, visit: missionspro.org/donate


12/02/2017: To the Ends of the Earth

To the Ends of the Earth

God uses 10 years of service in the Congo to bring about 7,000 baptisms and the pastor’s reconversion.

Kasongo, a city of about 63,000 in the remote area of east-central Democratic Republic of the Congo, has the largest Muslim population of any city in Congo. In the 1800s, the slave trade flourished there. It has long been a challenge to reach this secluded area with the gospel.

To visit Kasongo from my home in Kisangani is a journey of nearly 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) on rough and treacherous roads, most of it on motorcycle. Early this year, I took my family as far as Kindu where I left them at the home of Pastor Kisunzu, our coordinator for the church planters in that area. Our journey had already been exhausting, and my kids were excited to take a rest and make friends with the local children while Mama Kisunzu took good care of them.

Before I left Kindu for Kasongo, we inaugurated our new center of influence: two buildings and a well that will serve as an evangelism training center like we have at Kisangani and provide the local community with health care and education seminars. The health center is up and running with a Seventh-day Adventist doctor and a trained dental care provider. 

After opening the center of influence, Pastor Kisunzu and I started off together to visit Kasongo. We spent Monday night at the Kayuyu church plant and preached the next morning before climbing back on our bikes and heading out again.

When I arrived in Kasongo I was overjoyed to see the small company of believers in their newly built church. My interest grew even more when I learned that two women awaited baptism across the river at Samba. I still had 500 kilometers to go to visit Lubile before the weekend, but I decided to take a day to visit the church in Samba and baptize the waiting candidates.

One of the baptismal candidates, Mwayuma, had been threatened and persecuted by her own husband for her faith, but she had stood strong in her decision to follow God even when her husband left her. It reminded me that suffering for the gospel binds us to Christ in a precious, close tie. What a joy it was to help seal her decision to follow Jesus in baptism!

The following day, we left the house before dawn and arrived at Lubile in the dark. The roads were rough and the rain came down in torrents, but by God’s grace the rain came where the road was good enough to continue on slowly. When the front bearing went out on Pastor Kisunzu’s motorcycle, we found a bearing and a repairman right there on the side of the road—providential!

We arrived saddle sore after the hardest, longest motorcycle ride I’ve ever experienced, but enjoyed rest and fellowship as well as two more baptisms! I baptized the two candidates, both men this time, in a pond in the valley. Then we went to preach at the small bamboo church the members have built.

In the two years since my ordination, I’ve been privileged to baptize dozens of people. As an organization, we’ve baptized over 7,000! But what warms my heart most is that God has used my 10 years here in the Congo mission field to reconvert me.

The Lord of the harvest allows difficulties to come and then He strengthens us to stand through the trials. At each point along the way we can look back and see how the path we’ve been given to travel pulls us closer and closer into the bosom of the Father.

AUTHOR

Keith Mosier

Keith is the president of Congo Frontline Missions. He serves with his wife and four children.

To learn more visit: congofrontlinemissions.org

 

 

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Pray for the Mosier family and for Congo Frontline Mission’s health workers and church planters as they spread the gospel in the remote areas of Congo.

Donate to Congo Frontline Missions. Needs include: training church planters, new church buildings, treating dental patients, Bibles, bicycles for gospel workers and church planter support. Send your check, with “Congo Frontline Missions” as the memo to:

Outpost Centers International, 5132 Layton Lane, Apison, TN 37302

For online options, visit: congofrontlinemissions.org


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.


10/07/2017: Setting the Stage

Setting the Stage

Carrying out the divine instruction to connect education with medical missionary work.

“All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 28:18,19.

When Santo’s Evangelistic Training Institute (SETI) held an evangelistic effort in the village of Melgaço here in our state of Espirito Santo in Brazil, the stage was once more set for the controversy between good and evil. At the beginning of the seminar, many community members attended. Then the clergy in Melgaço’s leading church openly threatened its members to discourage them from attending the prophecy seminar. Many were intimidated, and others were filled with prejudice. But glory to God, Christ fulfilled His promise and empowered His servants to accomplish the great gospel commission. Four people accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior in baptism, and 12 others from the community are preparing for baptism!

Because of the evangelistic series, a small congregation now meets every Sabbath and other weekdays to worship God, study the Bible, and serve the community. What a victory for God! As the light of the Three Angels’ Messages shines in that region, the devil is losing ground. We hope that soon a Seventh-day Adventist Church will be established in Melgaço.

In other news, SETI recently opened our lifestyle program! Even though the lifestyle center facility has not been fully completed, we moved forward in faith and began accepting health guests. Under the medical guidance of Dr. Bento Gomes and his wife Elida, more than 20 people have received treatments.

Dr. Gomes introduced a well-planned detoxifying program that can benefit almost anyone, whether they are battling illness or just want to improve their health and prevent disease. The program includes hydrotherapy treatments, sauna, massage therapy, juice fasting, supplements to cleanse the liver and intestine, regular exercise in the garden and daily lectures about proper nutrition and other habits of healthful living. Our clinic is the only one offering natural treatments in our entire state, and we thank God for this open door to minister to many people in Espirito Santo! Not only that, but SETI’s students will greatly benefit from the hands-on experience in medical missionary work that the new lifestyle center affords.

“An educational work should be carried on in connection with all our sanitariums. There is a close relation between the work of our schools and our sanitariums, and wherever it is practicable, there are decided advantages in having a school in close connection with a sanitarium.” Counsels on Health, 242.

Eleven graduates from the medical missionary training program at Santo’s Evangelistic Training Institutes (SETI).

Recently, eleven more students graduated from SETI’s medical missionary training program. These missionaries have experienced what God designed for His unique schools of the prophets: spiritual, intellectual and physical development. They are ready to rightly represent and proclaim the everlasting gospel. As Isabelle Ramos De Oliveira, graduate of Santo’s Evangelistic Training Institute, stated, “Here at SETI the principles are based on the Bible and the writings of Ellen White. From the academic studies to the vocational training program, the focus is character building! It was a great blessing to study here. My desire is to serve God as a medical missionary and make a difference in the lives of people around me.”

 

AUTHOR

Giancarlo De Miranda

Brother Miranda is the founder of Santo’s Evangelistic Training Institute. giancarlo.de.miranda@hotmail.com

 

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Pray for the young congregation worshipping in Melgaço, both that the members may grow in wisdom and knowledge and that soon they will be able to establish a church.

Pray for the students at SETI to become effective missionaries wherever God may send them.

Donate. Your donation to Mission Projects International marked “Brazil—SETI” will help complete SETI’s lifestyle center facility so that more people from Espirito Santo, Brazil can attend the lifestyle program and be reached with the health message and the gospel.


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.


08/05/2017: The Blackout

The Blackout

A Sunday-keeping pastor prays for an electrical blackout to stop the Adventist meetings.

While resting in my home one evening, I heard what sounded like preaching coming from the other side of the village. Stepping outside, I called to my neighbor, “Why do I hear preaching? What religion is that?”

“The Seventh-day Adventists brought a preacher here,” he answered.

Returning inside, I listened to the pastor’s sermon in sulky silence. Why must the Seventh-day Adventists preach in my village? After all, I thought that the Church of Christ—where I was a pastor—was the only true religion. I started thinking about how to warn my members. I would read them Matthew 24:4, 11: “Take heed that no man deceive you. . . . Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”

A Sunday-keeping pastor prays for an electrical blackout to stop the Adventist meetings.

But before I had a chance to speak with my members, Pastor Temtem visited them in their homes. I told them not to listen to him; yet when I passed by the evening meetings, I saw my members attending. Even though I tried to avoid the meetings, I could hear them all over the town. I began to pray that the sound system would break or that we would have an evening blackout.

On the sixth night of the meetings, Pastor Temtem preached about the Ten Commandments. That evening, I thought God had heard me, because the power suddenly went out. Yet much to my chagrin, the preaching continued. The Adventists had brought a generator!

Because of the blackout, almost everyone who had been at home watching television made their way to the meeting and listened to the gospel. As I watched them go, I felt angry, worried and frightened.

At the end of the meeting, Pastor Temtem spoke about the Sabbath. I decided to go and ask him some questions. With patience in his eyes, he answered my objections from the Bible. The next morning, he visited me and we talked about the Seventh-day Adventist doctrines. He told me that I should pray for the Lord to guide me and help me understand the true message—and that is what I did. Sometimes I would be up at midnight praying and studying the verses Pastor Temtem had given me.

Before long, I began teaching about the Ten Commandments and the Sabbath in my Sunday School. I told my congregation that obeying the Lord is the best way to be part of the real church of Christ. After that, my co-minister told me I would not be allowed to teach at my church anymore, and that I would have to join the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I praise God that my family and some of my church members decided to transfer with me.

Prayer after Pastor Jerry’s baptism.

When Pastor Temtem visited again, we talked about building a church for the new congregation raised up by his meetings. With the help of another Seventh-day Adventist fellowship, we purchased a lot and put up a temporary bamboo structure covered by a tarp. Pastor Temtem appointed me to preside over this new congregation. Some people made fun of us for leaving a beautiful church to worship in the open air, but we remembered that Jesus blessed those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. Matthew 5:10.

This spring, Pastor Mike Bauler visited our village and for three nights he preached on the mark of the beast and other topics. His messages strengthened my beliefs. On Sabbath, March 11, 2017 my wife and I and several others were baptized.

This world is full of trouble and challenges, but with God’s help we can overcome. When Jesus comes again, we look forward to living in Heaven with Him!

AUTHOR

Jerry Mel

Brother Jerry pastored in the Church of Christ for 21 years before becoming a Seventh-day Adventist. He and his wife Minda have four children. To support them, Jerry drives a motorcycle taxi.

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Pray for funds for a permanent church to be built for Jerry’s congregation.

Donate. To help churches like Jerry’s establish memorials for God in their villages, send your donation to Mission Projects International marked “Philippine Churches.” See page 31 (“Mission Focus”) for more details on this important project!

THANK YOU!

Because of your donations, Mission Projects International was able to help build a church last year in the town of Bauy-Bauy, which is in the same Philippine province as Jerry’s village. Thank you!


07/08/2017: Small Beginnings, Great Rewards

Small Beginnings, Great Rewards

Over 79% of homes in the United Kingdom have been offered a free Great Controversy!

More than 20 years ago a 16-year-old boy set out with a far-reaching plan: to offer a free copy of The Great Controversy to everyone in the United Kingdom. Jonathan printed up leaflets offering the book, and he and his friends and family started delivering them by hand. Then they started sending out the leaflets by bulk mail—a few thousand at a time. The momentum grew, and today Advent Books has reached over 79% of the homes in the United Kingdom with the flyers. Even better, 31,000 hungry souls have received The Great Controversy, and 15,600 people have requested correspondence Bible lessons!

Requests for Great Controversies.

From that small beginning have come more small beginnings as people touched by the book become eager to share it. Back in April 2012, we received a request for The Great Controversy from a man named Paul. After reading the book, he wrote to us: 

“Thank you for your book. A lot of the things told by Ellen White were very much on my mind. In fact, it hit the nail right on the head. . . . I think millions and millions are looking to the sky and praying for Jesus to come.” He then asked for more books by Ellen White, which we sent: first The Ministry of Healing, then Patriarchs and Prophets, next Steps to Christ and finally the Testimonies. 

Paul loved reading the books, and every month he would send a letter telling us how he was doing. We praised the Lord for his response, but the most exciting part came when he started to request copies of The Great Controversy to give away. He kept asking for more, in quantities of 20 to 25, as he said people were eager to receive the books! “When I go out, people seem to like to have both the Remember cards* and The Great Controversy. I say to them, ‘Would you like the book to go with the Remember card?’ and they say, ‘Yes.’ It seems some in my district are becoming aware of things that are happening in the world.”

Volunteers help stack books.

Paul’s latest letter bubbled with an exciting update: “Good news! I am now a Seventh-day Adventist.” Quitting the Church of England, he had gotten in touch with the pastor of his local Seventh-day Adventist Church. Please pray that God will continue to help Paul on his journey into the truth!

Another partner helping disperse the books is Gran. Gran is nearly 92 years old, and like Paul, she takes every opportunity to give away The Great Controversy. Recently, she had a handyman come to help her with some manual work. When he had completed the job and was sitting down to his paperwork, Gran told him she would like to give him a book.

“It’s not Jehovah’s Witness, is it?” he asked.

“No,” Gran replied as she gave him The Great Controversy.

The man opened the book and read a little inside. Then he looked up at Gran and said, “Is it Adventist?”

A little surprised, Gran managed to affirm his guess.

Stocked with free book cards and ready to share!

“I have a friend who is an Adventist,” the man shared. “He keeps me informed as to what is going on in the world.”

Gran smiled. “Read the book from beginning to end, and you’ll understand more about that!” After they had talked some more, the handyman said he would enjoy reading the book.

Why not keep some books, tracts or cards advertising The Great Controversy in your bag or in your vehicle? Even small beginnings can bring great rewards. Who knows? The books you give away may produce a harvest of people like Paul—people who are on fire to spread the news that Jesus is coming back soon!

* Cards advertising a series of Bible lessons on the Sabbath.

Author

Sue Bennett

As mailing coordinator for Advent Books, Sue ensures the prompt delivery of Great Controversy books and other books requested. She also keeps detailed records of the progress of mailings made across the United Kingdom.

You Can, Too! 

 

Be like Paul and Gran!

• Keep witnessing materials with you.

• When conversing with people, pray for opportunities to share.

• Seize those prayed-for opportunities to hand out literature.

• When you arrive places early, or in between errands, use your extra time to go door to door with tracts.

“The record of wasted moments and unimproved opportunities must be met when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened” (Testimonies, vol. 4, 453). What better use of precious time than to share literature containing the Three Angels’ Messages?