Joining a Church Under a Tree

God leads a hardened man to a true Christian church.

Frank Mutamba managed a successful local bank in the Central Kongo Province. He lived in the area of Muanda, a major urban town on the Atlantic coast, home to more than 500,000 people. He was a faithful member in good standing at his Baptist church, and felt pleased to see his family active in church life. Then one day, Frank learned that his wife had committed adultery with his Baptist pastor. He was very grieved.

In time, Frank divorced and remarried. His new bride was also member of the same Baptist church he had been attending. The previous pastor had been disfellowshipped, and life seemed to return to normal with new church leadership. But unfortunately, the new pastor sinned with the second wife of Frank Mutamba.

Frank lost his faith in God. He decided that he would never attend any church, and never be involved in any religion for the rest of his life. Five years later, Frank
married a third wife. “We will not get involved with any religion,” he warned her. “Don’t even think about making friends with anyone related to Christianity, because Christians are dishonest people.”

It just so happened that Train Them 2 Fish assigned a Bible worker, Vincent Kande, to the town of Muanda to plant a Seventh-day Adventist church. Vincent began to visit people and connect with the locals. Without mentioning his connection to Christianity immediately, he became a friend to Frank Mutamba. One day after a pleasant visit, Vincent asked if he could pray for Frank.

“I’m not interested in prayer,” Frank stated, but he wondered why his new friend would even make such a suggestion. With the discovery that Vincent Kande was
a Bible worker, Frank spoke of his disappointment with his Christian experience.

“I am a Seventh-day Adventist,” explained Vincent. “My church is a unique one, with a unique message.”

“I’ve made up my mind that there will be no discussion about religion in my home,” Frank declared to his Bible worker friend. “But if you do have any literature
explaining what your Adventist church believes, I will read it for information.”

Vincent quickly handed him The Great Controversy. Frank read the entire book and felt impressed. “We should consider learning more about the Adventist church,” he told his third wife.

Frank declined Bible studies in his home initially, but with every Bible study guide Vincent handed him to read, he had more questions.

Finally, Frank invited the Bible worker to explain the Scriptures with him and his wife at their home. After six hours of discussion, Frank’s family discovered that the Seventh-day Adventist church was the remnant, true church of Jesus, and they decided to become members of the Seventh-day Adventist family.

The small congregation of Adventist believers in Muanda gathered under a tree to worship every Sabbath. Many had been touched and changed as a result
of the Bible worker’s ministry there. Although Frank has a high social standing as a banker, he surprisingly harbored no disdain for worship under a tree. “There is no shame to following Jesus, even under a tree,” he said.

Frank and his wife are faithfully attending the newly planted congregation at Muanda today. Every Sabbath, 36 people gather together under a tree to worship
God. Frank’s family has donated land, and the congregation is trying to raise funds to build a church there. Thank you for your support to help Frank’s family and the congregation in Muanda, that they may have a nice place to worship God.


Location: Democratic Republic of Congo

Author: Pastor Thomas Ongasa works in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was formerly the president of the local SDA conference. He believed that God was calling him to start a training school to equip young people to spread the gospel in his country so he founded Train Them 2 Fish.

How You Can Help:
Pray
for Frank and his wife and the Bible worker who is studying with them.

Donate. Funds are needed to help build a church in Muanda, and to support the workers and to supply the Bible workers and pastors with Spirit of Prophecy books. If you would like to help out with this worthy project, mark your donation “Congo,” and send to:

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

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


Giving from the Heart

Giving from the Heart

A poor Congolese family learns about Jesus and shares with their community.

The greatest generosity is sometimes seen in the poorest of people. The Bible tells the story of a poor widow who put two mites into the treasury. Jesus said that she gave more than all, because she gave all she had. Th is same spirit of heart-felt sacrifice is moving people to give more than would be expected in our day.

Luzala lives in extreme poverty in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is married, and a father to six children. His 15-year-old daughter is pregnant now, and the family lives in a metal, one-room shelter. Because of his poverty Luzala was not able to own his own land until the chief of his community donated a half acre to Luzala’s family.

Luzala had been invited by a local nonprofit organization to attend a six-month training program, where he could learn the trade of building. The purpose of the program was to equip poor people with skills to help them earn a living. After completing it however, Luzala never found enough work to sustain his family. His wife earned a bit of money through manual labor at a few farms, but they did not have enough income to afford to send their children to school.

Luzala’s family belonged to a Congolese traditional religion called, “Shoeless People.” Under this religion, they did not put shoes on their feet because they
believed that Congo was the holy land.

One day in 2017, Luzala’s wife received a visit from a Bible worker. It was her first time to invite a Christian into her home. She was surprised to hear about Jesus. “He is in heaven, preparing a home for those who believe in Him,” the Bible worker said. “Jesus will come back and take His followers with Him to heaven, where there is no sickness, no poverty and no death.”

“I want to know more about Jesus,” she said, and she set up an appointment with him for future Bible studies.

When Luzala came home that day, he was not happy with his wife for having a Bible study with a Christian. To his greater chagrin, she had requested further visits from the Bible worker.

“The man I met today had the good news about a place where there will be no poverty or death,” she explained. “This is why I want to know more about such a place, and how to get there.”

The Bible study plan was to meet once a week with Luzala’s family, but Luzala himself did not listen—until the evening of the fifth week, when he happened
to be at home lying on his bed. Luzala listened as the Bible worker talked about the Sabbath. When Luzala heard that the true Sabbath was not Sunday, but
Saturday, Luzala got up from his bed to ask questions. He had never heard this doctrine before.

Luzala suddenly became even more interested in Bible studies than his wife. He decided to have Bible studies twice a week at his home, and invited two of
his friends to join the Bible study program. His friends invited other people, until they had a group of 15 who came twice a week to learn about Jesus.

One day, Luzala shared a burden on his heart with the Bible worker. “I want the light that I have received to shine in my community,” he said. He had decided to donate half of his land for a shelter to be built on it, so that people could have a safe place to come and learn about Jesus. “I would like to go to heaven,” Luzala
said, “but while I am waiting for Jesus to come and take me home, I would like my humble place to become a station where people gather to learn about Jesus, and wait for Him too.”

Train Them 2 Fish raised funds in Congo to build a shelter at Luzala’s home where 38 adults and 50 kids gather every Sabbath to worship. They call the place, “Waiting Station of Jesus’ Second Coming.” Luzala was baptized along with his wife, their daughter and 23 of their friends. There is a great need for a school so that their children can have an Adventist education.

Train Them 2 Fish has assigned Luzala to the School of Evangelism building project, where he is now working to earn a living. He lives daily by God’s grace. Thank you for your support and prayers for the growth of this small congregation.


Location: Democratic Republic of Congo

Author: Pastor Thomas Ongasa works in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was formerly the president of the local SDA conference. He believed that God was calling him to start a training school to equip young people to spread the gospel in his country so he founded Train Them 2 Fish.

How You Can Help: 
Pray for the Luzala’s family and their community to learn about Jesus and His last warning message.

Donate. Funds are needed to train more Bible Workers to enter areas where the name of Jesus is not known, Bibles for those new to the faith and Spirit of Prophecy books. If you are impressed to help with the work in this disadvantaged country, mark your donation “Congo,” and send to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 506
Republic, WA 99166-0506

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


Dry Bones

Dry Bones

New relationships grow from an original Bible study contact.

“The souls of those whom we desire to save are like the representation which Ezekiel saw in vision – a valley of dry bones…We are to preach the word of life to those whom we may judge to be as hopeless subjects as though they were in their graves. Though they may seem unwilling to hear or to receive the light of truth, without questioning or wavering we are to do our part. We are to repeat to them the message.” Review and Herald, January 17, 1893.

A few months ago, Mama Evans expressed an interest in the Bible. She attended church and asked many questions. “Why don’t you dance and jump in your church?” she asked. “Why do you worship on Saturday, when everyone else does on Sunday?”

It was a joy to see that she was searching for answers. Suzan and I began to study the Bible with her. She could not understand how God could love her, but expressed her appreciation for His mercy.

“I need Jesus Christ,” Mama Evans spoke with clarity. She confided to us that she had many sins, and wanted to be rid of them. When we invited her to tell Him directly, she knelt down and invited Jesus to come into her heart and make her clean. Suzan and I were thrilled! We had never before had this kind of response from her village.

One day, Mama Evans asked us to pray for her. “Mother does not want me to go to church,” she explained. Then suddenly, she stopped attending. For two Sabbaths in a row, we heard that she went to a “grave celebration” up in Idege. This is where a new grave is erected to appreciate the dead for a supposed service—in this case, financial benefit thanks to a compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit. The event involves drums, dancing, feasting and alcohol.

We found that on most Sabbaths, Mama Evans was not even home. “She went drinking with friends,” her mother would explain.

On one occasion, Suzan found Mama Evans carrying timber. “Money is getting rare,” she answered Suzan’s inquiry. “I have to work.”

Eventually, we no longer visited her. Clearly, she was not interested in Christianity. Then one Sabbath, I felt the conviction to visit again. When we
arrived in the village, we found her mother, Bibi Alberto, sitting outside with two other elderly ladies, and a younger man I had never seen before. The alcohol on their breath was strong. A faded kitengelay in front of them, full of sorghum for the next batch of alcohol. They would use anything to make the deadly brew—maize, sorghum, bamboo and even bananas!

Bibi Alberto explained that Mama Evans had just left for the tavern. It was out of the question to go to that terrible tavern, with its loud music and promiscuous
men and women. What should we do? I looked at Mama Edita, Mama Olefa and Bibi Alberto sitting in front of us. They were pitiful—dirty, smelly, inebriate. I
felt some repugnance. These ladies had heard our message before, and would not give up their pombe!But how would Jesus feel towards them? I remembered what I had read about the valley of the dry bones that morning, and took heart. God didn’t want us to give up.

We opened the Bible and read to them. With the help of Suzan for translation, I told them about the deep and unconditional love of God for them, and the sacrifice of His Son to save and restore us. All agreed that they faced fears, and needed forgiveness for their sins.

“I could give up the alcohol if I wanted to,” the young man said. “I’ve just never heard what you are saying. Continue talking,” he urged. “I do not know to do anything else but drink.”

I talked about how much Satan hates them, and tries to keep them from the salvation in Jesus Christ through diverse means, alcohol being one of them. “I want to accept Jesus Christ so that He can bring me to Heaven!” came the response.

The ladies, with whom we had already shared these truths, knew that this would mean the end of alcohol drinking. “Do not stop talking to us,” they petitioned. “We might not understand now, but one day we will. Come back.”

Later that day, it dawned on me that we might not drink alcohol, but we are all intoxicated with sin, whether it be pride, rebellion, selfishness, self-exaltation, doubt or unbelief. God must repeat the message of salvation to us over and over again, until we reach the point where we love Him so much, that we will turn away from our sin. Until this happens, we must hear the story of Jesus again and again.

1. Colorful piece of cloth
2. Locally brewed alcohol


Location: Tanzania

Author: Nadege Vande Voort and her husband Elisha operate Eden Valley Foster Care Mission, a trade school for underprivileged youth in Tanzania. harvester2188 [at] gmail [dot] com; Box 17, Mafinga, Iringa, Tanzania.

How You Can Help

Pray for the Vande Voorts’ outreach in their home villages.

Share this story and ask others to pray, too!

Give to Elisha and Nadege’s mission. Send your check with “Eden Valley Foster Care Mission” in the memo to:

Outpost Centers International
5132 Layton Lane
Apison, TN 37302

For online options, visit www.outpostcenters.org/donate. Select “Eden Valley Foster Care Mission” from the drop-down menu.


Fundación Las Delicias

Fundación Las Delicias

A local woman shares her faith.

Recently, a group of youth from our ministry assisted in a local church health program, Quiero Vivir Sano or “I Want to Live Healthy.” The program resulted in many contacts for Bible studies and further interest in health.

Maria Elena was one such contact, and my husband Daniel and I decided to visit her. At first, we struggled to find the location of her house. My feet were tired from walking through the city, and I felt like giving up. Daniel, however, made one last phone call and got in touch with her.

We found that Maria Elena’s house was in a small neighborhood called La Cueva de Humo, or “The Cave of Smoke.” This seemed to be an appropriate title for the area, where a large concentration of marijuana and other drugs are used. As we entered the neighborhood, our eyes confirmed this reputation. Partially-dressed people sang, while others talked to the sky. Some danced, as if in some trace. We had prayed beforehand for the Lord’s protection, and I reminded myself that we were not alone. Surprisingly, some of the roughest looking people gave us their blessing. “Dios te bendiga,” “God bless you,” “Adelante, pasa,” “Come in,” they called out. Hearing such words from these people, we knew God was with us.

As we entered Maria Elena’s home, we assessed her physical and spiritual situation. She had some health issues: varicose veins, inflammation and heart problems. We gave her the best advice we could concerning her health, and offered to give her Bible studies. She was very open to learn more, and even called for her nephew to join us. We had a wonderful study, introducing her to the principles of the gospel. She invited us to come back the following week, and we
left, thankful for the experience we’d had with her.

When we returned for the next meeting, we brought Josue, a youth from Las Delicias. He led out in the Bible study. Maria Elena invited a neighbor and her uncle
to attend the group this time, and she gave thanks to God that her health had improved. We taught her a Christian song and enjoyed another blessed study with her and her friends. When we asked Maria Elena if she would like to start an official small group study in her home, she gladly accepted.

The next week, as we made our way to Maria Elena’s house, we met her on the path. She was on her way to ask someone to fix her washing machine.

“Do you want to come with me?” she asked. “It won’t take long, and we can go to my house for the study afterwards.”

“Of course,” we responded. We walked with her down a narrow path, crowded with poorly built houses. We came to the door at the end of the path, and waited respectfully at a distance. After a few minutes, Maria Elena called us to the door.

“I want you to meet Andrea. I told her about the Bible studies and health advice you gave me, and I think you can help her too. She said she would like to meet you.”

We walked in and spoke with Andrea for a bit, giving her some advice and encouragement from the Bible. She thanked us for the visit and we continued to Maria’s house. As we walked, Maria told us that she had just met Andrea for the first time. They were strangers, and yet she felt impressed that we should share with her. Maria Elena, with only two Bible studies under her belt, had already become a missionary. She continued to invite her neighbors and family to attend the small group in her home. While wrapping up the last study we had with her, Josue made an appeal. “Would you accept Jesus as your personal Savior?” he asked.

With a peaceful smile, and eyes filled with hope, Maria Elena answered, “Yes.” We prayed for her and her friends, took a picture for a memory, and said goodbye until the next time.

Little did we realize that we had seen Maria Elena for the last time on this earth. The next week, she didn’t answer our knock at the door, but a family member who lived nearby broke the news to us. She had passed away two days before.

We were shocked and heartbroken, but at the same time, a peace and joy filled our hearts. The Lord had used us as instruments to bring the gospel to this precious soul. Maria Elena was never baptized and she never entered an Adventist church, yet she died a faithful missionary. She taught us lessons in witnessing that we will not soon forget. Currently we are continuing to study the Bible with one of her neighbors.


Location: Colombia

Author: Kelly Miranda and her husband Daniel are volunteers at Fundación Las Delicias, a self-supporting ministry equipping youth for ministry in Bible work, health, and agriculture. Fifty students accompanied by staff are sent into the surrounding communities on a weekly basis to give Bible studies, health education, and also love to the orphan children.

How You Can Help

Pray for Maria’s family, that they will accept Jesus into their hearts. Pray for all the Bible workers ministering to the people in these eight churches and surrounding communities.

Donate. If you have a desire in your heart to help Bible workers reach more people in Columbia with our message of love, mark your donations “Las
Delicias,” and send it to:

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

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


5/26/2018: Living Springs of Patience

Living Springs of Patience

God sustains missionaries through challenges in mission work.

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience” Romans 5:3.

We do not usually go through life looking for tribulation. But as pilgrims in this world, we cannot avoid it. For those of us here at Living Springs, 2017 held its share of tribulation.

Earlier in the year, we faced an unfair lawsuit. But by God’s grace we were able to settle it, and His mercy sustained us. Then just as things began to settle down, we received word that one of my dear nieces had been diagnosed with cancer. She is Catholic, but leans toward agnostic views. Because of the way the medical system is organized in Panama, she faced possibly having to wait months for treatment. We were able to talk to her about God’s healing ways, and
she agreed to let us help her until she could receive medical treatment. God not only blessed the treatments, but He also provided much-needed help in the form of a friend visiting for ASI meetings, giving us the time we needed to look after my niece. Now that she has been able to start chemotherapy, she is still doing alternative treatments. The doctors cannot believe how well she is doing. Glory to God!

In our little town, an evangelical organization offers help to troubled young ladies. Through mutual friends we were able to meet the couple that runs the organization. We offered them Bible studies, and after a few months of studying with them, they asked us to study with the young ladies that are under their care. Most of them have little knowledge of the Scriptures, many of their comments being drawn from movies they have seen on television. It has been so rewarding to see them growing spiritually. All of them are now reading the Bible, and one has recently expressed her desire to be baptized.

One challenge that we have faced giving Bible studies is that many people do not know how to read. One family we visited had three members that were going to school, but could not read. Those that did know how to read were reading at a very low level. We offered to teach them to read and promised them a Bible if they were successful. We used the Bible as our textbook. It began slowly, and we had to summon a lot of patience, but they have now all learned to read. They love to show off their new reading skills whenever we have a Bible study.

As we begin a brand new year, we want to pause and give thanks to our wonderful God for His goodness and faithfulness toward us. He sustained us through every challenge we faced in 2017. We also want to thank our faithful partners in ministry that give of their means and keep us in their prayers. A friend of this ministry calls periodically just to let us know that she and her husband get up at 4:30 each morning to pray. We are so grateful to all of you!

As we see end time events unfolding, we are especially praying that we may develop the patience that will take us through the final events of this earth’s history. Christ is coming soon. May we all be faithful, no matter what tribulations lay ahead on our path.


Author: Zaida Acosta and her family run Living Springs Health and Education.

How You Can Help
Pray for the troubled young ladies that they are ministering to, the Bible studies they are giving, and their medical missionary work among the sick in
their area, especially their niece.

Donate. Living Springs needs funds to pay for their medical evangelism needs. Specific needs include housing for volunteers, and a tractor to help with the upkeep of the property. Donations may be made through Mission Projects International marked “Panama.”

Thank You
To all who send funds to assist Living Springs with prayers and donations, the Acostas say, “Thank you for being part of our ministry through your prayers and support!”


Togo: Pastor Agamah – June 2018

Sister Justine and her baby with Pastor Joel at Sanda District, North Togo

This quarter, we have put an emphasis on the distribution of pamphlets. As a result, many have begun studying the Bible. Among these, seven of the students regularly visit us. Sister Justine Pitho is one of these Bible students.

 Sister Justine was five months pregnant when she received our message through the pamphlets. One day a few months later, a nurse called me asking me to come to the hospital to help Sister Justine. 

When my wife and I arrived, we discovered that Sister Justine was in labor, but that she had become very tired and was having difficulty delivering the baby. The nurse asked us to take Sister Justine to the city of Kara, 40 kilometers away, where she could go to a big hospital and have a cesarean section. Before leaving, we prayed with Sister Justine. When we finished, Justine asked for a drink of hot water. Then we loaded her into the car.

As soon as we arrived in Kara, just outside the door of the hospital, Sister Justine gave birth without undergoing an operation! Now Sister Justine is preparing for baptism.

God works through His workers. Pray of our workers in the field. Thanks for supporting the workers in Africa!


04/07/2018: From Witchdoctor to Friendship Evangelist

From Witchdoctor to Friendship Evangelist

A former witchdoctor reaches people for Christ.

When I first met Paca at an evangelistic meeting in Togo, West Africa, he was training to be a “powerful witchdoctor” in his local village. Since that day in 2009, he has made an incredible transformation. He now works with Pastor Agamah as a Bible Worker, using the power of the gospel and friendship evangelism to win people to the truth.

One day, as these eager soul-winners distributed literature in their village, they met a man from one of the largest Baptist churches in the area, Pastor Simliwa. He had a keen interest in Bible prophecy, and they began visiting his home, leaving truth-filled material behind. As they got to know him and his family, they soon found themselves fast friends. Not long after, Pastor Simliwa confessed that he had accepted the truth. They were filled with elation, and then deep surprise as he revealed that he was the Senior Pastor, overseeing all the Baptist churches in the northern part of Togo.

Pastor Simliwa carefully weighed his position. He knew if he joined the Seventh-day Adventist church he would lose his handsome salary, his influence, and many friendships. But after much prayer and study, he took his stand for the truth.

When the Baptist church administration realized he would not yield, they knew they faced losing many of their key members. They immediately stripped him of his position and salary, hoping these stern measures would deter others from following his example. But many of Pastor Simliwa’s former church members had noticed the new joy that filled his heart. They began to visit him, asking about his new beliefs, and why he had been cut off from his church. He would then share the material he had studied, and challenge them to search the Bible with him. Soon many of his friends were convinced that he was on the right path.

Do you desire to be a better soul winner? Proverbs gives us specific instruction. “A man who has friends must himself be friendly…” Proverbs 18:24. Every one of us can make friends. Even Jesus made connecting with others a priority so that He could share His message of hope. He accepted invitations to dine with the noble and learned, the poor and afflicted. “He was social in His nature.” Desire of Ages, 150. If we follow His example, we will reap the same results — a vibrant church, and new souls who are much more likely to stay in the church and stay closely connected to the Lord!

“It should ever be manifest that we are reformers, but not bigots. When our laborers enter a new field, they should seek to become acquainted with the pastors of the several churches in the place. Much has been lost by neglecting to do this. If our ministers show themselves friendly and sociable and do not act as if they were ashamed of the message they bear, it will have an excellent effect and may give these pastors and their congregations favorable impressions of the truth. At any rate, it is right to give them a chance to be kind and favorable if they will.” Evangelism, 143

Please pray for Pastor Simliwa, Pastor Amagah, Paca, and others as they minister to remote villages, where the gospel has never been heard.

“In the morning sow your seed, And in the evening do not withhold your hand; For you do not know which will prosper, Either this or that, Or whether both alike will be good.” Ecclesiastes, 11:6.

Author:
Mike Bauler
Mike is the director of Mission Projects International.

How You Can Help:
Pray for the Pastors and Bible workers in the small African country of Togo.

Donate:
Funds are needed to help support the Bible Workers who are faithfully sharing the gospel message. If you would like to donate to this worthy cause mark your donations “Togo Workers.”


03/31/2018: With All My Heart: Gospel Work for Children

With All My Heart: Gospel Work for Children

An experienced gospel worker finds her niche.

I unlatched the gate and pushed it open. My fellow Bible worker and I walked up the path to the Australian home and were soon greeted by a young man we had been studying the Bible with. We had developed a great friendship, and it was a blessing to study God’s Word together.

Our friend invited us to study outside, as it was a sunny day, so we settled down with our Bibles. As we sat there, about to begin, the man’s two girls came and sat nearby, along with a couple of their little neighbor friends. The thought struck me: We should involve the children in the Bible study!

I turned to the girls’ father and asked, “Why don’t we let the children come over and study with us?” He readily agreed, so we invited the children to join our small group.

From that day on, we always studied with the children—the youngest being 5 years old. Of course, we had to change the way we studied the Bible, and think of ways to make the deep truths easier to understand. It was so refreshing to see young children joining in with such enthusiasm. We sang, we shared stories and illustrations, we talked about deep Bible truths in simple ways, and the children joined in with their small comments and questions. Other children began to participate, and after a while the father even began to livestream the meetings to other kids.

As I helped to teach these children, a strong feeling of purpose welled up in my heart. I realized just how much I loved doing this type of work. Through these experiences, other circumstances, and being led to read the promises in Isaiah 54:1-3, God confirmed my calling to work with young children.

I have since returned to Europe because I was not able to renew my Australian visa, but some of my friends there are following up with this small group. God is still blessing their efforts!

I am amazed at how this experience happened just before I had to make important choices for the next chapter of my life. God has led me to begin a new ministry called “With All My Heart.” My desire is to develop a ministry dedicated to helping children give their heart to Jesus. Along with this, I would love for the ministry to give parents tools and ideas for how to nourish the gospel seed in their children’s hearts on a daily basis (see Malachi 4:5-6).

“What can give greater satisfaction than to be laborers together with God in educating and training the children and youth to love God and keep his commandments? Lead the children whom you are instructing . . . to Jesus. What can give you greater joy than to see children and youth following Christ, the great Shepherd, who calls, and the sheep and lambs hear his voice and follow him? What can spread more sunshine through the soul of the interested, devoted worker than to know that his persevering, patient labor is not in vain in the Lord, and to see his pupils have the sunshine of joy in their souls because Christ has forgiven their sins? What can be more satisfying to the worker together with God, than to see children and youth receiving the impressions of the spirit of God in true nobility of character and in the restoration of the moral image of God—the children seeking the peace coming from the Prince of Peace?” Christian Education, 156.

 

AUTHOR

Stine Gro Struksnæs

Stine lives in Germany and is the founder of With All My Heart Ministry. Formerly she was a Bible worker for Highwood Health Retreat in Australia. stinegro78@hotmail.com

 

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Pray for Stine, her new ministry focus, and the children who will be reached for Jesus.

Like With All My Heart on Facebook.

Share her ministry with families with young children.

Schedule her for a weekend presentation with your church family or retreat. Details are available on the ministry
website: www.withallmyheartministry.org


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


02/03/2018: Closing Doors in Mexico

Closing Doors in Mexico

Religious liberty is being restricted.

 

Can you explain your Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, with evidence from the Bible?”

The group of Mexican youth glanced at each other with bewildered silence.

“Well then, why are you Seventh-day Adventists?”

One young person spoke. “Because we go to church on the Sabbath!”

These young people had grown up in the Adventist church. They knew how to act the part of good churchgoers, and yet they had not grasped the Adventist message for themselves. Because of this, they did not understand the mission of the Adventist church, and therefore had no motivation to fulfill the call of God to this mission.

“If you could learn more about what Seventh-day Adventists believe, would you want to?”

This time, the answer was a resounding “Yes!” And so, the little Bible program was born.

The young people, though novices, were encouraged to use their youthful skills to organize a program that focused on understanding the biblical beliefs of their church. They studied out topics such as Christian history and the pillar beliefs, and presented them in a group setting.

At the conclusion of that first program, the need for a second became very apparent. With the help and counsel of well-known Adventist speakers, further programs continued and expanded.

Though these programs have been quite successful, it is still a race against time to reach the youth in our Mexican churches. One of the most apparent obstacles is the lack of knowledgeable laborers, who have a passion to train youth.

A second obstacle to training our youth is the type of education they receive. The majority of young people attend public schools, as this is the option that is the most readily available to them. Today there are over 570,000 Adventists in Mexico, but only three Adventist universities are available to meet the need of training our youth, and many of the young people enrolled are non-Adventists. The cost of education in these schools is staggering to the vast majority of the people, so the enrollment of our youth is diverted to state institutions.

Another challenge is that in 1993, the Mexican Seventh-day Adventist church joined the Asociacion Religiosa (AR) of Mexico, officially becoming an “association.” Although this act provided some legal perks, it also stipulated that all members must “At all times respect the doctrines and worship services foreign to your religion . . . encouraging dialog, tolerance, and the coexistence with the distinct religions and creeds…” (See Ley de Asociaciones Religiosas y culto público Article 8 sec. 3). This may seem innocent, but in actuality, this prohibits teaching the Three Angels’ Messages of Revelation 14:6-12.

The Asociacion Religiosa does tolerate public religious teaching. However, it is on one condition: Nothing must be said to undermine other religious beliefs, and the practices of other religions. The first religious group listed on the AR official registration for 2017 is none other than the Roman Catholic church. It is punishable under penalty of law for Seventh-day Adventists to teach and preach our message.

As time moves on, so have national policies. Soon after Peña Nieto, Mexico’s current president, was elected, article 24 of Mexico’s constitution was altered. This article covers religious liberty. It was an act long petitioned by Attorney Armando Martinez, the head attorney representing the Catholic church in Mexico. He also stressed the need to substantially modify articles 3 and 130.These changes would allow clergy to hold public office, access mass media, and teach their religion in public school.

Soon after article 24 was changed, President Nieto paid a visit to the Vatican to further discuss his changes in administration in a private meeting with Pope Francis. This visit resulted in the pope’s public acceptance of an invitation to visit Mexico in 2016. 

These challenges are only surface problems. If our youth are unable to attend Adventist schools or to hear the straight truth in their own churches, where will they go? How will they learn about our foundational truths, our great commission, and the nearness of Christ’s second coming? How will they wake up to the seriousness of the time we live in?

Clearly, Mexico’s doors are closing before our very eyes, and along with them our opportunities to prepare our youth in that country. But we should not be discouraged. He expects those who know and love His truth to give a helping hand in this neighboring land at such a time as this. Will you join the work?

AUTHOR

Anonymous

PRAY FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

“We are not to sit in calm expectancy of oppression and tribulation, and fold our hands, doing nothing to avert the evil. Let our united cries be sent up to heaven. Pray and work, and work and pray.” General Conference Daily Bulletin, April 13, 1891.

“The banner of truth and religious liberty held aloft by the founders of the gospel church and by God’s witnesses during the centuries that have passed since then, has, in this last conflict, been committed to our hands. The responsibility for this great gift rests with those whom God has blessed with a knowledge of His word. We are to receive this word as supreme authority. We are to recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment, and teach obedience to it as a sacred duty, within its legitimate sphere. But when its claims conflict with the claims of God, we must obey God rather than men. God’s word must be recognized as above all human legislation.” Gospel Workers, 389-390.