09/03/2016: Highlights From Kenya

Highlights From Kenya

 

What a loving God we serve! In His mercy He has given us a few more moments to perfect our characters for His return and to spread the gospel to the many who have not yet heard. We thank the Father for the small part that we have had in His service here in Kenya. In spite of the many challenges we have faced this last year, the gospel continues to go forward.

Most of the children at the original orphanage
Most of the children at the original orphanage

When our original orphanage near Kisii, Kenya reached its max capacity of 81 children, we prayed about how we could accommodate more children. Thanks to the Lord’s blessings and the generous donations of His people, we were able to build a second orphanage, which we opened in late March of this year. The new orphanage is about 15 miles from the first orphanage, and it is now home to the orphan girls whom God has given into our care. The new facility has room for 100 children, so as the need arises we will be able to receive more girls in need. Our original orphanage has become a boys’ home, and with the vacancies left by the girls, it now has room to grow as well. Please pray that as the ministry grows, the right staff can be selected to train the children to serve the Lord.

Cafeteria at the new orphanage on the first Sabbath of its use
Cafeteria at the new orphanage on the first Sabbath of its use

Along with the new orphanage, we erected a school where we currently have over 70 community children enrolled. The Lord also blessed us with a new church building and a clinic on campus. In other locations throughout Kenya, we built four simple metal churches last year for groups that had been worshiping in rough shelters or under trees. The people are so thankful to have a protected place to worship out of the hot sun and the rain. Churches seem to grow more rapidly when they have a house of worship. We pray that these churches will be lights to the community and to all who pass by.

In addition to the building projects we have been involved in, we have been able to conduct several camp meetings and prophecy seminars in the last year. During August of 2015, our Bible workers kept very busy holding camp meetings in different churches. At Ekeronko, over 100 people consistently attended the meetings, with 400 attending on peak days. In Kuria, on the Tanzanian border, over 200 people attended, with a good portion of them crossing over from Tanzania to attend. Seeds are being sown which we pray will spring up and bear fruit.

Gospel workers with prophecy chart.
Gospel workers with prophecy chart.

Our gospel workers from the Maasai tribe have been hosting other exciting outreach efforts: miniature evangelistic meetings in the market places. To attract attention, they simply hang up banners and start preaching. The colorful banners, depicting prophetic symbols from Daniel and Revelation, not only draw people’s interest but also help them to visualize the scenes being preached about. Besides preaching, the workers hand out Bibles and literature to those who are interested. Recently, they informed us that they need a church building for one of the groups with whom they have been worshiping! We praise the Lord for the dedication of these gospel workers and pray that God will continue to use them as witnesses for Him.

When we minister to others, it seems the Lord finds ways to minister to us, as well. Recently a nurse anesthetist named Leona blessed us by volunteering for three months here in Kenya. She assisted in the clinics, gave health presentations in the churches and helped at the orphanage. Moreover, she left behind her a huge blessing: help for Evans, one of our best workers in the clinic at Ibencho, Kenya. Last year, Evans lost his arm after being attacked by a man with a machete. He has continued to work at the clinic, but has been hampered by only having one arm. Leona knows a surgeon in the United States who has a prosthesis, and through God’s blessing she was able to arrange for Evans to go to the United States to be fitted with a prosthesis at the very clinic where the surgeon had received his prosthetic arm. We praise the Lord for Leona’s dedication and service, and pray that Evans will now be better able to help the community with their tremendous health needs.

New school with the dormitory for the girls in the background.
New school with the dormitory for the girls in the background.

As we look back on how abundantly the Lord has blessed the work in the past year, it makes us eager to see how He will bless in the next year. This year we plan to add a medical laboratory to the clinic in Ibencho. There is no lab in the vicinity to run malaria tests and other lab analyses to help us determine the appropriate treatment for our patients. To build a room next to the clinic and purchase the equipment will cost approximately $22,000. If all goes well, we hope to purchase x-ray equipment in the future to continue to expand our ability to serve the needs of the community.

Even with all the other projects going on, the orphanages remain at the heart of our work. We believe that the Lord has big plans for our orphans, some of whom who are nearing adulthood. This year, we have 16 high school orphans. Since our school includes only the elementary grades, we send our high schoolers to a Seventh-day Adventist boarding school nearby. This puts an additional strain on our operating budget, but we have found that when we see no way forward, God provides. He has shown us His power in so many ways.

We have four students who will graduate this year, and we are praying earnestly about how to help them launch into their futures. In Kenya, parents give their children a piece of land where they can build their own hut and get a start on life; but these orphans have no one to do that for them. We are praying that God will guide us as to how we should help. One of the boys and one of the girls would like to become nurses. The other boy would like to be a teacher, and the remaining girl has not yet decided where she would like to serve. Wherever they may end up working, we pray that they will be faithful and serve the Lord. “Our schools have been established that in them the youth may learn to obey God and His law, and become fitted for service.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 264. We pray that our orphanages will accomplish this divine mission!

So many countries of the world need the help of God’s people. May God guide us, wherever we are and whatever work we may be doing, to live the gospel in our daily lives. May the message be preached the world over and may we all be ready to go home soon!

 

By Bill and Becky Humeniuk of Advent Hope Ministries, Inc., P.O. Box 100, Campbellsburg, KY 40011. adventhope@hughes.net. See www.biblesforafrica.com. Advent Hope participates in the Amazon Smile program. If you select Advent Hope Ministries, Inc. for your charity, Amazon will donate 0.5% of all eligible purchases to the work in Kenya, at no cost to you. See http://smile.amazon.com for details.

 


Letter from Cody: Brazil – March 2016

We live in a time when families are under attack like never before. It seems that the biblical family unit as God designed it in Eden is rarely modeled today. This, of course, is just as the Bible predicted: “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.” Luke 17:26. In Noah’s day, families were under attack, too. “The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” Genesis 6:2. During this time when families all around were struggling, God asked Noah to build an ark and to raise a family that would demonstrate God’s plan for the family. While most of the antediluvian world refused God’s message of mercy, Noah had a united family who were saved from destruction. What a testimony—a testimony that God is calling us to exhibit to the world today! God has promised that, as in Noah’s day, there will be a family reformation again! “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:5, 6. “One well-ordered, well-disciplined family tells more in behalf of Christianity than all the sermons that can be preached. Such a family gives evidence that the parents have been successful in following God’s directions, and that their children will serve Him in the church. Their influence grows; for as they impart, they receive to impart again.” Adventist Home, 32. More convincing than the millions of sermons that have been preached and will be preached is a family that reveals God’s working in their lives. While our homes may not be perfect, may we strive to allow God to make them that powerful testimony to the world!

Enjoying the newly completed cafeteria during the campmeeting

I received a special blessing in Brazil a couple of weeks ago as I had the privilege of sharing messages relating to how God wants to bring our homes back to His Eden ideal. SETI (an acronym for Espiritu Santo Evangelistic Training Institute) held a campmeeting with the theme of “Restoring the Family.” It was a blessing for me to be able to share principles from the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy about revitalizing the marriage and seeking to have a home that models God’s design. We met with families who are striving to learn and follow God’s directions in their homes. It was also a blessing to see the newly remodeled cafeteria and dorm and the new lifestyle center that SETI has been completing. With these new facilities they will be able to touch even more people’s lives for Jesus. It was also a blessing to interact with the various students whom the Lord has brought to be trained for more effective service in His vineyard. Every year, a course is offered on the Bible and another course covers health. Some students come for both programs, while others join just the course of study that most interests them. As part of the mission training program, the students spend time reaching out to their rural agricultural community. On the Sabbath during the recent

The main campus at SETI (new facility on the right)

campmeeting, several of the students’ contacts came to the meetings and interacted with the staff, students and guests. With the nearly completed lifestyle center, the SETI team plans to broaden their outreach by ministering to those who would be blessed by staying in a residential lifestyle program. This will also enable SETI to provide a better training experience for the students enrolled in the health course. We praise God for how He is working in Brazil and for the privilege of sharing with the brethren there. If you would like to help the ongoing work of SETI, you can mark your donation: Brazil—SETI.

Yours in preparing for our heavenly home,


Letter from Cody: Colombia – September 2012

Looking down at the campus of Las Delicias

Do you ever ponder how the Lord is going to finish His work? As we survey the teeming multitudes circling the globe, the magnitude of the work can seem overwhelming, but praise God, He “will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness.” (Romans 9:28) How can every person on this globe be given the gospel invitation before the final judgments fall? We must follow Jesus’ example! Jesus preached to some, sat at the table with others, healed some and visited privately with still others—Jesus used different methods to reach different souls. We must have a multifaceted outreach approach. Probably the best example of this was the San Francisco “beehive” church, “Many lines of Christian effort have been carried forward by our brethren and sisters there. These included visiting the sick and destitute, finding homes for orphans, and work for the unemployed; nursing the sick, and teaching the truth from house to house; the distribution of literature, and the conducting of classes on healthful living and the care of the sick. A school for the children has been conducted,… a working men’s home and medical mission…, treatment rooms,… a health food store… a vegetarian cafe, along the water front, ship mission work was carried on. At various times our ministers conducted meetings in large halls in the city. Thus the warning message was given by many. I have carried a constant burden for our work in the large cities.” Review and Herald, July 5, 1906. May the Lord give us a greater burden and greater wisdom to work the doomed cities with this united multifaceted approach.

The choir rendering a special music during the campmeeting

Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity of seeing a multifaceted evangelistic program the Lord is using in Colombia. I had the opportunity to visit and share at a campmeeting being held on the campus of Las Delicias. As I strolled through their simple campus admiring the gardens and watching the birds darting from one tropical flower to another, I contemplated the beauties of the Garden of Eden and the reasons that God placed us originally in a garden. The abundance of food that they grow certainly testifies to their name—delicious. With around sixty or seventy students training to be missionaries, an important component of their training is cooperating with God in the cultivation of the soil. Part of their produce is then taken to the school cafeteria, and also to the vegetarian restaurant within the city. From this center of influence within the city they have the opportunity not only to share the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, but doors are also opened to lead men and women to the true Lifegiver. Then for those who desire to learn more, they can come to a lifestyle session and learn how to combat disease through the simple means that God has given us. There are also various industries and publications with the goal of giving the message for these last days. The students who come learn to be missionaries and support themselves in their missionary labors. In addition to these efforts, they are reaching out at drug rehabilitation centers and other locales in beneficent work, teaching of our all-powerful Deliverer. I was blessed to see how the Lord is working with their multifaceted labors and how the gospel is being proclaimed to all classes. I am always to thankful to see the activities of faithful workers who are seeking to reach out to lost humanity—especially when this “beehive” approach is being used. Please pray that the Lord will bless their labors in Colombia and that we may reach out with as many methods as possible to bring the good news of our soon coming Savior to a lost world!

Your brother in laboring for the lost,Gardens and facilities at the campus of Las Delicias


06/09/2012: Advancing in Equador with Sweat & Tears

Advancing in Ecuador with Sweat and Tears

As of the writing of this, we have been extremely busy getting ready for our first camp meeting. It will be from the December 9, 2011, to January 2, 2012, and we are racing to get everything ready. So far we have about 50 people that will be camping out or staying in the houses, with additional day-only guests. Our theme will be the Three Angels’ Messages. I am in charge of the children’s activities and meetings, and I have my hands full with all ages and not much material to work with. But I know the Lord will bless; He always has. It is our prayer that those who come may truly find “the power of God unto salvation” during this camp meeting.

In love again: Richard and Rosa with their children.

In my last mission report we asked for prayers for some of the new members of our church group. I wanted to share with you a little about Richard and Rosa, the couple who had come to us with a broken marriage, filled with bitterness and hurt, with little hope for finding happiness. They are now growing spiritually by leaps and bounds. They have fallen in love with Jesus, and He has shown them how to forgive and love each other. Their neighbors tease them about being Romeo and Juliet, because they cannot believe the change that has taken place in their home. Their little boys are growing healthfully and happily with no more constant runny noses and allergies as they are now on a vegan diet, and no more candy.

Patricia is the woman who had never been taught how to pray and whose husband works in the mines far from here and comes home once in a while to drink and party and waste all their money. She was able to convince her husband to come to church one time, and although he has not come again, he has allowed her more freedom to attend church on Sabbaths.

Another member, Magdalena, is still holding strong to her faith and principles, even though her husband drinks even more often now and dodges her steps. She is able to come to church every other Sabbath, and even though it means a four mile hike uphill carrying her two-year-old, she comes marching in, smiling from ear to ear just in time for Sabbath school. Praise the Lord!

The Chavez family—faithful attendees that have given much despite their poverty.

We also have the Chevez family with their nine children, from ages 6 to 22, who never miss a Sabbath. The father Alberto has always held back and resisted accepting Christ completely into his life, but we praise the Lord that these last six months he has been coming every Sabbath and is now taking a personal interest in each service. He is putting into practice in his home and at work the things that he is learning. They are some of the members who have given the most towards our church project, because in their extreme poverty, (You should see where they live—the rusty tin sheets of roofing on their house barely keep the rain off of them!) they have given more than the rest. We know that the Lord will bless them for it, and He already has started to do so, especially since they have accepted and begun to faithfully tithe, although it be only a pittance.

Here at Pra del Tor we again want to thank all our caring brethren that have sent

Pra del Tor church group.

donations for our church and bathroom project. We know that the Lord will bless you for it. It is such a blessing for us to see the little church filling up every Sabbath with a few more new faces every time.

We do have an urgent need of a place for the children’s Sabbath school. Right now we are using our old meeting place (which is our carport), but it is getting too small, and now with the rainy season that is starting, we are not protected from the rain that blows in from the sides. We are hoping to be able to build a small building that will work as two small classrooms that also can be used for our fellowship meals.

May the Lord bless each one of you as we draw closer to the coming of our Lord and Savior.

The work in Ecuador here at Pra del Tor is advancing with sweat and tears, but we joyfully believe that the Lord will reap a bountiful harvest. May the Lord find each one of us faithful.

 

By Laurie Orellana, Pra del Tor Ministry, Ecuador. Email: orellanafamily@gmail.com. Support for their work in Ecuador can be sent through Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058.

 

 


05/05/2012: A Growing, Glowing Firmament of Bright Stars

A Growing, Glowing Firmament of Bright Stars

Shine for Jesus in Kenya

We praise the Lord that the work is going forward in Kenya.

“Among earth’s inhabitants, scattered in every land, there are those who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Like the stars of heaven, which appear only at night, these faithful ones will shine forth when darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people. In heathen 
Africa, in the Catholic lands of Europe and of South America, in China, in India, in the islands of the sea, and in all the dark corners of the earth, God has in reserve a firmament of chosen ones that will yet shine forth amidst the darkness, revealing clearly to an apostate world the transforming power of obedience to His law…. The darker the night, the more brilliantly will they shine.” Prophets and Kings, 188 (emphasis supplied).

This has been a very busy year for the work in the Ibencho area of Kenya. The orphanage opened in March with 52 children. It is very encouraging to see the progress they are making. They are happy, healthy and studying hard in school. They are learning Bible texts and learning to study the Bible for themselves. Eight of the older children have been baptized this year. It is such a blessing to listen to the children sing. If you could hear them sing “Nearer My God to Thee” with enthusiasm, it would bring joy to your hearts. The Bible workers for Advent Hope Ministries take turns going to the orphanage in the evenings to assist in training the children. While we are thankful to give these children a home and food and an


Bill and Becky Humeniuk with the orphans.

education, if they do not learn of God, then we feel that the work is not as profitable as it should be.

There are many additional children that have asked or applied to come to the orphanage. At the current time, we have not been able to accept any more due to lack of funds for their food, clothing, school fees and other expenses. If anyone is interested in helping with the orphanage, please contact us.

“All who profess to have a Father in heaven, who they hope will care for them and finally take them to the home He has prepared for them, ought to feel a solemn obligation resting upon them to be friends to the friendless and fathers to the orphans, to aid the widows, and be of some practical use in this world by benefiting humanity.” Adventist Home, 169 (emphasis supplied).

Another project for 2011 was to build several worship shelters. A block church costs approximately $9,000 to complete. A worship shelter costs approximately $500 dollars. Our Bible workers have been very active, and just this year, there have been six new groups that have started from Bible studies. Each group has around 20 members, and always there are many children. At least with a shelter, they can still worship if it is raining, and they can avoid the hot sun.

“Wherever a company of believers is raised up, a house of worship should be built. Let not the workers leave the place without accomplishing this.” Evangelism, 376.

The worship shelter at Omongochoro.

These new groups need Bibles to study. We have had more difficulty this year in obtaining Bibles. It just seems to be another way that the devil is trying to “hedge up” the work. People walk for many miles to come to the orphanage to ask for a Bible. It makes us so ashamed to think of how many Bibles we may have in our homes in America that lie on the shelf unread. In November, we were able to purchase 1500 Bibles in English, and our workers are searching for Bibles in the Swahili language. Also 200 Bibles in the Maasai language have been purchased this year. Of course, this is just a small amount in comparison to the needs. The following items have also been purchased: 250 additional Study Bibles; 300 History of Redemption books, which contain the Conflict of the Ages series, plus Steps to Christ, Christ’s Object Lessons and Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing; and 100 History of Redemption plus a Bible. Also, 320 books of the Testimonies in one volume have been purchased. Pastors, elders and Bible workers walk for many miles to request these books. They are a great blessing for them to use in teaching their congregations.

Also, an evangelistic series was held in November in Kenyenya, Kenya. This was every day for two weeks. Again the devil did his best to disrupt, this time through the weather; it rained every afternoon, except on two days, during the meetings. If the rain came earlier, not as many attended. If the rain came later, some people would run to leave for home before the rain. But the rain also brought many of the activities in Kenyenya to a standstill. This gave the workers in the shops nothing to do except to listen to the meetings. There were loudspeakers in the trees around the field where the meetings were held, so people for quite a distance away were able to listen to the preaching. The Bible workers continue to do follow-up studies with people as a result of the meetings. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will guide these souls to make a decision to commit their lives to the Lord.

The meetings at Kenyenya.

In the Ibencho/Kenyenya/Eberinde area, there have been over 55 people baptized since August as a result of people studying with the Bible workers. One of these people was a former Pentecostal pastor. He studied about the Sabbath and found that the day was never changed in the Bible and accepted this truth. He is now studying with members from his former congregation. Please pray for him as he grows in the knowledge of the Lord.

The work at the clinic in Ibencho is continuing. They deliver many babies, sew up numerous cuts and treat many coughs and colds, plus flu, malaria, high blood pressure and other ailments. We are very anxious to find a nurse and/or doctor that would volunteer there for six months to a year and provide additional training for the workers. This is a true missionary endeavor, and the work of the gospel and the medical missionary work must go hand-in-hand. We are also looking for a more central location to have a second clinic.

The economy in Kenya has been hit quite hard this year. Food and travel prices have increased. The weather has been different—too much rain in some areas, and not enough rain in other areas. This is also creating hardship for people. But in their need, they are looking for a solution other than what Kenya can provide. There are many people that realize that all of the money in the world will not solve their problems or Kenya’s problems. God is the only solution to which we can point people.

“Time is short, and what you do must be done quickly. Resolve to redeem the time. Seek not your own pleasure. Rouse yourself! Take hold of the work with a new purpose of heart. The Lord will open the way before you. Make every possible effort to work in Christ’s lines in meekness and lowliness, relying upon Him for strength. Understand the work the Lord gives you to do, and, trusting in God, you will be enabled to go on from strength to strength, from grace to grace. You will be enabled to work diligently, perseveringly, for your people while the day lasts; for the night cometh in which no man shall work.” Gospel Herald, April 1, 1905.

May we all resolve to work quickly, and may we be fully committed to serving the Lord.

By Bill and Becky Humeniuk. Email: adventhope@hughes.net. Website: www.biblesforafrica.org. Advent Hope Ministries, Inc., PO Box 100, Campbellsburg, KY 40011.


08/20/2011: Camp Meeting in Kenya

Camp Meeting in Kenya

 

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25.

The week of December fifth to the twelfth held much anticipation for the people who are scattered around 
Kenya. It would be a week for camp meeting for the believers in Kenya. In October letters were sent out to inform all of the upcoming meetings.

A special time for the youth.

On Sunday the fifth of December, people started arriving at Mirisa Academy in Barut near Lake Nakuru. Nakuru is famous for the millions of flamingos that live there.

The people came by hired vans, by foot and by other modes of transportation. By 4:00 pm there were 96 campers already there. This was the highest number we have had for a first day of camp. Supper was served and everyone was shown where they would sleep. At 6:00, the evening devotion started.

During the evening meeting, my wife Susan became ill. She had pain below her abdomen. I decided to take her to the hospital, leaving the meetings under the care of Brother Hudson, Sr. Upon arrival at the hospital, we realized that because it was Sunday; only one doctor was on duty and had many patients to see. I took my wife’s hand and prayed very earnestly for her. We left for our home and prayed again, and I gave her garlic with ginger powder. In just ten minutes, she had a smile on her face. We praised the Lord and went back to the camp meeting. She is still doing well.

The horn speakers used at camp.

Each day at camp we had a variety of meetings. There was time for physical exercise, time for devotions, meals, youth classes and the regular meetings with speakers. The topics that were shared included the sanctuary message, the Three Angels’ Messages, the time of Jacob’s trouble, the second coming of Christ, the pillars of our faith and more.

It was a blessing this year that the meetings started on time and the speakers kept to their allotted schedule. This helped things to go smoothly.

At this camp meeting we had people come from far away. They came from twenty two different regions of Kenya. Many of these people worship alone or in small groups and really enjoyed the fellowship of many believers. One man stood up on Sabbath and gave his testimony. He had lived for many years alone and worshiped alone. A long-time friend visited him and told him of the camp meeting in Nakuru. They discussed that it had been many years since they attended a camp meeting. It was decided to try to go. They contacted me, and we said we would assist them with fare back home if they could get to the meetings. They did come and encouraged us to help spread the message in their region.

Baptismal candidates.

On Friday, we had a baptism of eleven candidates. One of these was my mother who has been to many meetings and has worshiped every Sabbath for the last ten years. Another man was an elder in a Pentecostal church. Another young man had been studying for eight years and now decided to follow Jesus all the way.

Sabbath was a rich blessing to all. The messages were inspiring; and the food, which consisted of melons, pineapples, bananas and homemade brown buns, was enjoyed by all the campers. There were 220 in attendance. Before the close of the Sabbath, each person was able to stand and tell where they were from and share.

I want to thank a lady we call Mum; she is our spiritual mother. He name is Margaretha, and she is from Australia. She has done so much to make sure this meeting and other meetings are a success.

An attractive display of simple Sabbath food.

Our needs are many. It takes funds to have these camp meetings, and we would like to hold more meetings if we had the funds to do this. We also need Spirit of Prophecy books and Bibles.

“He [Enoch] did not make his abode with the wicked. He did not locate in Sodom, thinking to save Sodom. He placed himself and his family where the atmosphere would be as pure as possible. Then at times he went forth to the inhabitants of the world with his God-given message. Every visit he made to the world was painful to him. He saw and understood something of the leprosy of sin. After proclaiming his message, he always took back with him to his place of retirement some who had received the warning. Some of these became overcomers, and died before the Flood came. But some had lived so long in the corrupting influence of sin that they could not endure righteousness.” SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1087.

 

By Paul K. Mites. Email: pmites07@gmail.com. Phone: 254 72 241 8931.


Letter from Cody: Australia – May 2011

The worship wars in society are nothing new. War over worship predates even the creation of this earth, when the awful mystery of iniquity began to creep into the heart of Lucifer as he coveted the homage and worship given to Christ. Since that dreadful entrance of sin, worship has been a center stage battle in the great controversy, so it should not surprise us when we see the devil’s attacks on true worship today. It has been one of his favorite assaults from the very inception, but praise God, Jesus has lifted the standard of and exemplified true worship. “Christ’s work was to establish an altogether different form of worship. He had come to the world as a man, that he might meet humanity where it was, and show men what constituted true worship.” Signs of the Times, September 16, 1897. True worship joyfully overflows from the heart to our loving Creator. “Religion is not to be confined to external forms and ceremonies. The religion that comes from God is the only religion that will lead to God. In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine Spirit. This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a new capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us a willing obedience to all His requirements. This is true worship.” Desire of Ages, 189. It is only when the burden of our heart is full obedience to our Creator that we can come into His presence to “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” Psalm 29:2. The worship gimmicks that have become so commonplace today are distractions leading us away from the real purpose and motive of true worship. If we are to unite among the worshipping angelic throngs, understanding true worship needs to become the goal of our lives and this comes from studying Christ’s demonstration of what constitutes true worship and practicing it in our lives, for “It is working together with Christ that is true worship.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 24. May we be living examples of the true worship that soon will fill the earth made new!

Song service at the campmeeting in Australia

I am very thankful to have returned back from autumn into spring again. About a week ago, I returned from a blessed trip “down under,” where the frosts of winter are on their way instead of the gradual growth of spring. Doug Hurley from Autumn Leaves Ministry had organized a campmeeting in Australia and then a speaking tour from the south island to the north island of New Zealand. Our first stop was the campmeeting held at a Christian camp out in the “bush” of Australia, about an hour away from Cooranbong where Ellen White labored for a number of years and helped to establish Avondale College. The campmeeting began the day we landed, but what a blessing it was to fellowship with those who are striving to live and share the message of truth. Jeff Wehr and I were the main speakers, and the days were full with each of us giving two adult meetings a day, a youth meeting and a children’s meeting. During the children’s meetings, I shared pictures and stories from various mission fields, encouraging them to take a stand for God and to be missionaries for Him. The youth meetings took a slightly different twist as we looked at young men and women in the Bible and the noble stands they took for God and how God is calling us to take a noble stand for Him today. Then with those who did not fit into either the youth or children’s classes, we studied various aspects of the life of Christ with the goal of knowing Him more. We were blessed to be there, and many shared what a blessing it had been to them, as well. After the campmeeting, it was across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand to meet and share with believers there. We worked our way up from Christchurch to Auckland before heading back to spring again. God has His faithful believers around the world who are standing for Him, be they in Africa, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand or here at home, those who are seeking to “worship Him in spirit and in truth.” May we pray for our fellow-believers around the world that we each may understand the deeper meaning of true worship and one day gather together in the grandest campmeeting imaginable when we worship our God face-to-face!

Youth meeting at the campmeeting

Yours in the hope of our Savior’s soon return,

 

 

Click here to see more pictures from the trip.


01/01/2011: The Spreading Work in Peru


From Lake Titicaca to Chiclayo and Beyond

The Spreading Work in Peru


In 2010, the Lord allowed us to extend the work in other areas of Peru that we had not previously entered.

Right after arriving in Lima, Peru, our family visited Sister Marienela, who for almost one year had been studying the Steps to Life Bible studies over the internet with us, after showing an interest through the Prophetic Perspectives (www.propheticperspectives.com) web page. I sent her one study every one to two weeks and followed by a phone conversation to clarify Bible verses and questions. God is powerful—every subject that was covered she implemented and obeyed. For example, after studying the Sabbath, she called the people working for her in her national tourism business to let them know that on Sabbath her office would be closed. This was a challenge, considering how difficult it is to keep an income in Peru. But the Lord is blessing her. She started to assist and be involved in a local Seventh-day Adventist church; her son was changed to an Adventist school, and now she is studying with relatives and trying to reach them with the truth. During our visit we reviewed all the principles she had studied, and the local Seventh-day Adventist pastor agreed to do the baptism; and, by God’s grace, she gave her life to the Lord, and she continues working with friends and relatives and a local Seventh-day Adventist church.

By God still providing the means to travel, I explored a new area at the south end of the country, Juliaca-Puno, responding to an invitation of one sister, where her family has been working earnestly to promote the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. They are one of the most active families in a local 40- to 50-member church in the city of Juliaca-Puno located over 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) above sea level, close to Lake Titicaca and the border with Bolivia. There the weather is cold throughout the year, and one can really get short of breath after few steps because of the high altitude. Some tourists need oxygen in the hotels; others get very sick with headaches, nausea, vomiting, etc; thank God, He allowed me to go to all the places that were planned without getting sick. As in most of the places in Peru, the needs are tremendous since the teaching in the churches is limited to few subjects. The area is surrounded by beautiful mountains, and the Lord has blessed them with a rich variety of natural products.

Right after arriving in Juliaca, I traveled 40 minutes to the city of Puno, where there was a space on a local television station to talk about health during the mornings. This I did for one hour, and people were invited to the main event to take place at night in the local theater of the city of Puno. The advertisement was prearranged by Sister Susana. All her family is well known because of her dedication and service. For several nights she did cooking demonstrations of vegetarian dishes followed by my 45-minute presentations about health. Materials were given out each night.

After a few nights in Puno, we moved back to Juliaca for presentations in the local Seventh-day Adventist church, where for three days the Lord allowed me to present some messages. The people were hungry for the truth. I pray that by God’s grace those messages of truth presented helped them to be stronger in their faith and inspired them to continue knowing more of our Father and Jesus.

The brothers and sisters were interested in hearing more of the messages, and the church requested another visit for a longer time and also for us to work the city with the message, so we have presented our plans to our Lord to return in February 2011 if it is His will.

After Juliaca, I went back to Lima, where I met Brother Hector Torres and Bob and Kathy Henricksen, who were joining us from the United States to continue the work. We had on the schedule a program focusing on prophecy and family in two different locations in Lima; one of them was for Adventists in one of the popular districts in Lima, San Juan de Lurigancho; and the other was with a group that had been studying the Bible for a few weeks, preparing for baptism.

The book of Daniel was covered by Brother Bob. Everyone was especially impressed with the study of Daniel 11, as it was new for them. Brother Hector Torres thoroughly covered different topics related to the family, education, country living and holiness. Sister Kathy gave demonstrations of natural remedies and thoroughly explained the underlying principles. All of the subjects were very deep spiritually, promoting reading, searching of the heart and consecration. The brothers in this church followed a very conservative worship service; they are very careful with the music, promote present truth and are very active in their community with outreach activities.

After that, we continued with our trip, moving north this time. We traveled eight to nine hours on bus to the next city of Trujillo. We planned one week of work. The neighborhood where we stayed and worked is recognized for being the most dangerous of the entire city, but our Lord is good. In the mornings we safely moved around and made visits and gave Bible studies, and every day we returned safely. A local school was rented for the public outreach. In the afternoon we offered free medical screenings for high blood pressure and diabetes. At night, two spiritual presentations were given. The Lord blessed them with the presentations; new contacts were made, and our prayers are with those brothers struggling with many new doctrines. The family that accommodated us in their home, as well as other members, made a public recommitment. We thank our Lord for His blessings.

Then we traveled farther north for another three hours by bus to the city of Chiclayo, where we planned another five days of health screenings and nightly meetings. We found that simultaneous activities were arranged by the local Seventh-day Adventist churches, and many members were forbidden to assist in our meetings. Despite that, we were allowed to use a local auditorium for free, which is usually very expensive to rent. We repeated the same activities from the prior city. We had between 30 and 40 brothers present at night. On the last night we had to struggle with a simultaneous Pentecostal meeting. Since we had used the auditorium for free, they were talking about canceling our meeting; but the Mayor arranged to move us to another room large enough to continue with the final meeting, which really impressed people’s hearts; they were very thankful for the encouraging messages that they had not heard before.

Our final event was a camp meeting, which gathered people from several cities. A rural area was rented four hours away from Chiclayo, with no accommodations other than tables, chairs and an area of rustic adobe walls and plastic stretched over the roof for the meetings. We used tents for three nights, cooking with wood. Night watch was advised, because usually thieves come around in the middle of the night, but our Lord is great; He protected each one of us. It was an unusual camp meeting for many. Everybody was surprised not to see competitive sports or inappropriate music; but instead there were prayers, Bible reading, children’s classes, women’s meetings and presentations about important doctrinal subjects, critical to our times. Every presentation was strong, and we need your prayers for those people to become instruments of God, carrying forward the everlasting gospel with power.

The Lord still is providing the means to pay for seven radio programs in different cities of Peru, mainly owned by protestant churches. It is interesting to see that mainly due to the message of the Sabbath, some do not renew our contract after 6-12 months, but the Lord opens another radio station, and the seeds are being planted.

The plan for printing books is expanding also. The family from the south that I visited at the beginning of my trip is dedicated also to the printing business, and as we are looking to work closely, the prices are very reasonable. We are improving the quality of our books with them. At the same time, we have received information from a group of brothers in Bolivia interested in the books, so we are expecting to be able to provide cheaper books. For now, we are working on three more new titles of Spirit of Prophecy books for printing. Your prayers are needed; for the short time available, we need to continue waiting, watching, working and praying for all of the work done in the world.

By Franco Monteza. Email: monteza@u.washington.edu. Peru is this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Project. To help 
the work in Peru, send your donations marked “Thirteenth Sabbath Offering” to Mission Projects International, 
PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058.



06/26/2010: Never Part Again

“Never Part Again”

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.” Psalm 133:1-3.

God has a purpose in bringing His people together at our annual gatherings, and it reminds me of two things: first, that we are one people and, secondly, the gathering of God’s people at His coming, never to be separated. The words of inspiration have something for us.

“The Feast of Tabernacles was not only commemorative but typical. It not only pointed back to the wilderness sojourn, but, as the feast of harvest, it celebrated the ingathering of the fruits of the earth, and pointed forward to the great day of final ingathering, when the Lord of the harvest shall send forth His reapers to gather the tares together in bundles for the fire, and to gather the wheat into His garner. At that time the wicked will all be destroyed. They will become ‘as though they had not been.’ Obadiah 16.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 541.


Meeting under the canopies on Sabbath


“At these yearly assemblies the hearts of old and young would be encouraged in the service of God, while the association of the people from the different quarters of the land would strengthen the ties that bound them to God and to one another. Well would it be for the people of God at the present time to have a Feast of Tabernacles—a joyous commemoration of the blessings of God to them.” Ibid., 540.

Although we were having our camp meetings yearly, a decision was made barely two years ago by the general assembly that we have it biennially, with the districts having their camp meeting in the year between. Therefore, next year our camp will be on a district basis, and the national one will be in two years.

Kumasi High School was the venue for this year’s camp meeting. On the arrival date, December 23rd, I left with my family and the local churches in my area and reached Kumasi around 6:45 PM. On arrival, I found that most of the rooms were already occupied. When the children were counted, there were more that 900. Although the youth and adults were not counted, the hall with a capacity of over 1500 was full; and on the Sabbath we had to erect canopy to contain the increasing crowd.


Pastor Benjamin Nyanor is given recognition


The theme was “Holiness unto the Lord” (Zechariah 14:20). Topics addressed included The Seal of the Living God, The 144,000, The Coming Crisis, Be Holy unto God, The Holy Spirit, A Peculiar People, Dangers in Meat Eating, Historic Adventists and Politics, What is the Church?, Where is the Church?, Spiritualism and Occultism. There was very tight studying and praying. We had watch night (a night of prayerand worship) on the 28th, the last night before leaving to our homes.

The Sabbath was devoted mostly to thanksgiving and testimony services. One brother who was traveling in a bus that fell into a flooded river was delivered miraculously while he was in the water; of the thirty people in the bus, only three survived, including our brother. One lady whose leg was amputated for developing cancer in her knee developed a complication that needed another amputation, or the wound would not heal; but the wound was healed before the appointed time for the second operation. The many people who received miraculous healing encouraged the people to trust in the Lord and not to look to the god of Akron.

Presentations were made to the brethren who have contributed to the growth of the church, and I received one for being outstanding in evangelism. I was happy but was looking to the crown which our master will place on my head at His coming.


Baptism at the camp meeting


Baptismal candidates that had been prepared at the various localities were interviewed and baptized. In all, eighty people were baptized at a nearby stream. Pastor Bright and I officiated at the baptism.

During the Sabbath service with the brethren gathered together and singing, I was praying that the Lord would come to take us never to be separated again. After arriving home on December 28th, I am looking to when our Master will come and deliver us. Very soon we will be in heaven; the signs and evidences testify of that. At this time, we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

My new year’s message to you and the brethren is this: let us strive with all the power and might that God has given us to be among the 144,000. Only those that sigh and cry will be sealed; our duty is to warn the world of the coming crisis. My desire is that God’s people will pull resources together to help finish the work.

I would like to express my appreciation to you for your outstanding contributions, prayers and support for the work in Ghana that more can be done to help finish the work.

May God richly bless you all until we meet, either in this world or in the new world to come.

By Pastor Benjamin Edward Nyanor.



03/20/2010: A Story of Pioneerism

A Story of Pioneer-ism

in Brazil

March 20, 2010

After three years of work, helping to establish a self-supporting school at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, our family (Herculano family) came back to Fortaleza with the purpose of establishing a self-supporting work. The Lord gave us a very good property of 33 acres, with 2 beautiful lakes on it, in the country near a little city named Pacatuba, 25 miles from Fortaleza, a big city of more than 3 million people.

At this property, my wife Pompéia, our three daughters (Flávia, Fernanda and Ruth), and I are living and working hard for the Lord. Fernanda and Flávia are Bible workers, working for a local church, and Flávia has a very full schedule of holding weeks-of-prayer in many churches throughout Fortaleza. Ruth is finishing her high-school homeschooling and she helps her mom a lot.

When we arrived at the property, we discovered a very old wood-burning oven. It was very damaged, but the Lord gave us skills and we were able to fix it. Now this has been a very useful piece of equipment on the farm. With it, Ruth and her mother have made dozens of tasty breads, biscuits and bags of granola to sell to the neighbors.

We have been privileged to reach out to others right after moving here. The Lordput us in contact with a Pentecostal family. They had already heard of the Seventh-day Sabbath on an Adventist DVD they had watched about Revelation. Both the father and the mother had decided to keep the Sabbath. They had already begun closing the doors to their bakery at Friday sunset and keeping it closed until Saturday night.

They had experienced tragedy in their family though since they made these decisions to obey Jesus. Sister Eliane, the mother, had to go to the hospital unexpectedly one day. The doctor that examined her, spoke with her husband and told him that she had a brain tumor and that she could die at any time. This situation impelled them to call on the Adventist church for advice on healthful living. I was given their name to visit from this request, and this is how we got in contact with them.

We began visiting them every Sabbath afternoon and sharing with them about the eight remedies God has given for good health. They were amazed with what they learned and God touched their heart. They immediately began practicing the health practices as they learned them.

God looked down on Eliane and rewarded her for following Him. From that day until now, more than two months have passed, and Sister Eliane is not only still alive (Praise God!), but she is living without pain. When the physician saw her, he was amazed at how strong and healthy she looked. He even suspended her medication prescriptions. We praise the Lord that until now He has chosen to give her life.

Brother Aldemir and Sister Eliane need a lot of prayers. They are now preparing, along with some of their children, for baptism. They have four children and the only who is really accepting the changes is the oldest, a twenty-year-old daughter. She has accepted the message with all readiness of mind. She has embraced the health message and has already become quite a good vegan cook.

Each week Sister Eliane comes to our home to spend some time in nature and to study the Spirit of Prophecy and Bible with us.  Brother Aldemir cannot make those visits because of his work schedule. He has turned his occupation into a blessing for God’s work. He is a very good metal worker and he has been helping me make a very good soy milk machine to make milk, yogurt and tofu. Their family is being such a blessing to God’s work here.

There are others like them here that we would like to reach. We just pray that the Lord will help us to be able to reach these people.

Fernanda and Flávia established a ministry named VMM – Volunteer Missionary Ministry. They are organizing a camp meeting to be held at our farm, at which we will host fifty young people. We will be studying about present truth at these meetings. We will give classes on how to bring reform and revival in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. At this camp meeting we will make a call for some of the young people to be part of the pioneer group of students at our future school to be opened next year, 2010. We really need your prayers for this important and necessary project.

Another goal for our property is to establish some industries: a bakery and a farm. These will be to help support the missionary school and to give the students a variety of work opportunities, a little food industry associated with agricultural work in order to support the missionary school and give to the students a variety of work places, helping them with their education. Right now we are hoping to get a little tractor to help with the agriculture.  (The price for this would be $20,000 US.)

We hope that you will support us with your prayers as we set out on this new endeavor.

By Francisco Herculano.