08/12/2017: An Education in Evangelism

An Education in Evangelism

New outreach coordinator strengthens hands-on evangelism at SETI.

“True education is missionary training. Every son and daughter of God is called to be a missionary; we are called to the service of God and our fellow men; and to fit us for this service should be the object of our education.” The Ministry of Healing, 395.

Outreach coordinator, José dos Santos Jr.

Equipping young people to win souls to the Kingdom of Heaven—this is the purpose of a missionary training school, and this is the purpose we strive to keep in the forefront at Santo’s Evangelistic Training Institute (SETI) in Brazil. Recently, we have added an outreach coordinator to our staff to strengthen our hands-on missionary training program and make sure students have an effective evangelistic program to participate in as part of their coursework. We want them all to have the chance to go out and witness with close supervision and guidance, and our outreach coordinator, José dos Santos Jr., has seen to that. Since he came and began working with the students and the communities around SETI, 68 people have begun studying the Bible with him and the students!

On March 12, José and the students put on a public health expo in the nearby community of Melgaço. Here the students practiced much of the knowledge they had been learning in the Health Evangelism Training Program. They presented the eight laws of health, checked people’s blood pressure and glucose levels, gave chair massage treatments and distributed literature. They also made several contacts for the evangelistic series which was to begin the following day. By mingling with people and taking care of their needs, they very effectively prepared the ground for the evangelistic series!

With great expectation, we waited to see who would show up for our meetings. The first night, 18 non-Adventists attended. The following nights the numbers grew until we had an average of 30 non-Adventists attending. In our next update, we will have news about how many people made a decision for Christ at the end of the evangelistic series. We hope to be able to establish a Seventh-day Adventist church in Melgaço this year!

Our school’s evangelistic efforts fulfill several purposes: winning souls for Christ, training the students and supporting the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In this sense, the educational program itself is evangelistic—not just the activities of the outreach department.

Over the years, non-Adventists have enrolled in the academic programs and as a result of their studies have joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This year, Emanuel Coutinho came to SETI to deepen his experience with God and to develop his talents for service. Emanuel had been in the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement since birth, but had not been baptized yet. Because of SETI’s friendly Christian environment and the Bible studies he went through during the training course, Emanuel was able to identify the true church of Bible prophecy and decided to join it.

On February 19, 2017, Pastor Antonio Costa Silva baptized Emanuel into the Trincheira Seventh-day Adventist Church. Emanuel’s story is just one example of how SETI is fulfilling God’s purpose for a missionary training school, both in leading the youth to Christ and making them useful for service.

“It is to fortify the youth against the temptations of the enemy that we have established schools where they may be qualified for usefulness in this life and for the service of God throughout eternity.”

Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 495.

May SETI always fulfill this divine mission!

 

AUTHOR

Giancarlo Prota de Miranda

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

 

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Pray for effective missionaries to be trained at SETI and for souls to be reached through their evangelistic efforts.

Give. Last year, SETI built a multipurpose building and a new kitchen/cafeteria in order to receive more students and accommodate a lifestyle center. To pay for these projects, SETI borrowed $15,000. Your donation to Mission Projects International marked “Brazil—SETI” will help pay off this loan. “As long as our schools have debts which were incurred in their establishment, in the erection of necessary buildings, and in providing necessary facilities, it is our duty to present the case to our brethren and ask them to lessen these debts.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 207.


Philippines: Pastor Ting – March 2016

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2.

Looking upon the mountain of Tingtingon Tongantongan in Valecia City, I told to my coworker in Christ, Pastor Nanding Cabahug, “How nice it would be if that mountain became a training school in God’s cause.” A few years later, through Mission Projects International, God gave us that mountain with a dormitory. The land area is over 17 acres, while the dormitory is 12 x 48 feet. Our God provided us with water as well, under the cave. When we boasted that many people looking for water in that place had found none, immediately God dried up our water source, too. He gave us a lesson to teach us humility!

One day one of our coworkers here in the Philippines came to speak for a our school gathering. He told us he thought it would be better to sell the property because that would be wiser than to remain and become a shame with no water. It was discouraging, but I didn’t mind it. I kept looking to positive side: If God had provided this place, He would provide water also. I knelt and prayed and I asked God for water. After a few months the water returned! Glory to God. Not only did He provide water, but He gave also free electricity—for with God nothing is impossible.

We also asked God to provide us with a concrete dormitory, and He provided. Then we asked for a concrete kitchen which He provided as well. We asked again for a concrete building for laundry, shower rooms and comfort rooms. He just recently provided these, and we were able to erect them this spring.

Today we are praying that the Lord will give us a smooth road so that motorcycles can drive to our property. By this time we need only US$500 to complete the project. Because of this, we are praying and knocking to the door of your hearts. Please include us in your prayers that our Lord will provide our needs.

God bless,

Pastor Ting


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,


03/28/2015: More Than Conqueror

More Than Conqueror

Dominican Republic

 

SEARCH Institute

The Scripture Education Agriculture Research Community Health (SEARCH) Institute has been in place for over a year now. We are very busy! We started Plantel VEAS in 2013. Plantel means training center and VEAS is an acronym for Truth Education Agriculture and Health. We train missionaries, and we started with eight students. One of our staff was a volunteer from Colombia and several people from our local church come to help every day. The results have been tremendous. We have the attention of the community, the church, and many young people around the country who are interested in this type of training. Currently, we are expecting 12 students for the next session as well as a worker from California who will help teach massage as a trade skill. I pray that God will send the right people and funds to help. We have a few small industries but they do not yet meet the cost of training. Our agriculture has blossomed to the point where we are almost out of land. But we advance by faith.

We feel an urgency to keep moving forward each day while preparing to meet the Lord. One of our evangelistic efforts was to produce videos to distribute here in the Dominican Republic and on YouTube. Our youth have learned sustainable agriculture practices, medical missionary skills, and much Bible truth. We love them like our own children and they will forever be a part of our family and involved in our growing plantel. We welcome your prayers for these young workers. Here are two stories: one by Tatiana, our Colombian volunteer, and the other by Gabriel, one of our young missionaries.

 

Tatiana’s Experience

Today I look back on my life and I can see that God has been guiding me all along. It is for that reason I want to encourage everyone who accepts God as their everything. I was born in Colombia in an Adventist home that consisted of my mom and dad and two brothers. I am the youngest and the only girl. I was raised with very good principles. I was four when we moved to the country and until I was 11 my mother was my only teacher. She taught me all that could be learned by a child in that stage.

We were then invited to work at a ministry called Las Delicias. There I developed more and I had the opportunity to study medical missionary work and put into practice that which I had already learned.

The Eastons with Tatiana after church.

Like every youth, I came to the age where I had to decide to follow the ways of God or my own inclinations. It was not easy to make this decision, because my brothers had left the ways of God and their negative influence was very contradictory to the plan God had for my life. When I was 16, I decided to continue persevering in the Christian life, even though it went against my feelings. The love and example of my mother was my motive. I really didn’t have a personal experience with God yet.

Between 16 and 20 I finally began to have the experience with God that I needed. At 20, I decided to give Him my life completely and serve Him no matter what the circumstances and I was baptized in 2013. That same year I received a call to assist another ministry in the Dominican Republic after I finished my studies.

Tatiana teaching a class.

I traveled to the plantel, not knowing anyone. Brother Easton picked me up at the airport and he talked about the beautiful ministry that he, his wife, and some supporting families were developing. My experience with this ministry has allowed me to put into practice everything that I had learned. Along with help from the Eastons, God gave me the wisdom I needed to develop a program to teach the youth classes. In the afternoons I taught health classes while Brother Easton taught Bible classes. We even started a small chorus.

Soon my time here will come to an end, but I can say with all my heart that it was worth it. Serving the Lord is always worth it! When we give ourselves to Him, many things may seem to be too much to bear, but they all will be converted into joy because through them we learn to love Him who loved us enough to send His Son. Let us never forget that God is real and personal.

 

Gabriel’s experience

In my 16 years the Lord has guided me in surprising ways. He made me understand how much He needs me and moreover, how much I need Him. Last year He gave me the opportunity to study in a plantel. I left home for the first time and I felt frustrated due to my lack of intellectual, physical, and spiritual development.

The first three months were very difficult for me. I remember the first day I arrived. There were 15 others besides me and I felt shy. The diet, work, and everything was strange. It took a lot for me just to learn how to write as fast as my seven study companions, and I often felt mad at myself. One night I even cried. Six years had passed since I had taken writing seriously enough to be able to handle classroom study and maintain the pace of the assignments. I went to bed past midnight often trying to write what I couldn’t put down fast enough in class. It was hard striving for what seemed like I’d never achieve. What helped me most were my good habits of listening and reading that I had developed in my home, for the glory of God. Also the good counsels of my parents, especially my mom. I began to take notes at the same pace as the instruction of my teachers.

Gabriel studying.

This step opened new doors for me. I began to write all that I had learned each day and from prior classes and I started to advance at a good pace. This was a big intellectual jump for me. Now I had to grow spiritually and physically. The physical part wasn’t too hard because I had worked hard at home. The work was different but I adapted.

As for my spirituality, I can say that Jesus, my faithful Friend, has given me extraordinary help. He has shown me things that I never had thought of or studied in my life. I don’t have words to write or voice to express the great love He shows me.

I have been convinced now, at age 17, that I was born for a reason and to complete a plan. He brought me into existence—not for no purpose—but that through my words and example I can serve and help Him and others. Today, I have a definite purpose for my life and I feel I have 1000 reasons to live. He shows me His love every day. At times He has strongly rebuked me, but I have learned to respond, “Thank you Lord for loving me so much.” Today and every day I have temptations, tests, battles to win, and every class of evil to overcome, but by faithful study of His word He has made me “more than conqueror.” My faith is now founded in Him who is the Author of Life.

 

By Elvin Easton, Tatiana, and Gabriel at SEARCH Institute. Email: missionfamily@gmail.com. Support for this work can be sent to TLC, PO Box 36, Oakpark, VA 22730.


02/14/2015: I’m Just a Little Child

I’m Just a Little Child

Philippines

 

In 2013, the Mountain Heights missionary students, along with brothers Ruel Cape and Ting Palange, went to San José. One of the villages there is named Maayaay, which means “very fresh,” because the site is located at the top of a mountain and near the forest. Their leader, Junior Sugdan, offered us five hectares of land for missionary purposes, and by God’s grace we erected a church there. Before building the church, Brother Ting asked me to nurture the brethren at Maayaay. I accepted the call, for I knew that my God would help in times of need. On Sabbath, we gathered at the village meeting hall to worship God, and during the rest of the week my fellow students worked in the farm planting cassava for our food. Working as a pioneering missionary is not an easy thing; you have to adjust to a nomadic culture. I am 22-years-old and my two companions, Proceso and Hermie, are 15. We go house to house on Fridays, and every Wednesday and Friday we go to the village hall and worship the Lord.

Proseco (left) and Michael Ebclay.

One time I was alone because my partner had gone to visit Brother Ting. I went to the farm with my sword and it accidentally slipped, slicing open my right thumb. Blood poured out and I went back to my cottage to attend to the wound, but the blood kept coming. Time passed and soon it was late afternoon, and I was still bleeding. I became worried, so I knelt and asked God to send someone to help me. After a few minutes I heard someone knock on the door. It was Brother Ting who had come to visit me. He treated me, applied a bandage, and, by God’s grace, the blood stopped flowing.

There are times when I have been tempted to think about my home, but I take it no heed, for I know that there is a reward waiting for those who love God. That reward is eternal life in Heaven, where there is no crying, nor sighing, nor sorrows, nor pain, nor mourning, nor death. During the night, when the moon shines brightly, I consider that it is also shining on my family, brethren, and friends. All my sorrow I take to the Lord in prayer. As of now, I have been here almost ten months, working voluntarily as a student. Sometimes, if we have no soap or food, we claim God’s promises: “Lo, I am with you always,” and then Brother Ting finds sponsors for our food and personal needs.

I was born into Catholicism, but we rarely went to church. Instead, we would go find amusements and gambling. I went to those places for the purpose of gambling and if I won I would buy food for our family. When I was 17, my brother-in-law invited me to attend worship on Sabbath at the Katutungan church, because he is a Seventh-day Adventist. It was the beginning of a turning point in my life and I began to accept Bible studies. I was baptized at the campmeeting at the Lopes church in Tongantongan. Afterward, my brother-in-law encouraged me to attend Mountain Heights missionary school for further training and study. It was hard for me to adjust, but I prayed to God to give me strength and courage to go on. A year later, Brother Ting asked me to assist Brother Michael at New Eden, the church at Maayaay.

The San Rafael church.

In the fields at Maayaay, while planting corn, cassava, and legumes for our daily food, I began to realize that life is like a plant. If we don’t apply fertilizer and have no patience to care for it, it will not flourish. Sins grow easily, like weeds. I started to think that I was like a little child. I had only memorized a very few Bible verses. I understood doctrine, but transferring that knowledge to others is difficult. I began to think that I was not a capable missionary, but then I remembered the words of Christ in Matthew 5:15, 16: “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Our good deeds shine as a light to the world. I praise God for our good relationships with our neighbors, for the daily toil on the farm, for the house-to-house visitations, and the worship services. These are lights that shine upon others. Today, I am thankful to God for giving me strength and courage in my work as a volunteer, even during the times we have no soap for washing and no food. Still, we are happy serving our Lord. Remember the little child who brought the five loaves of bread and two fish and gave to Jesus all that he had? The multitude was fed with that small bit of food.

Janly Hortillano, age 17, was a student of Mountain Heights missionary training school. One time, he asked me for permission so that he and his younger brother, who was also a student, could return to their home and stay for a few months because they wanted to help their parents find food. While they were there, God gave them the task of helping a man named Jojo. He told them he had been baptized about seven months ago and he longed for a simple house of worship, together with his brethren of 360 individuals who had also been newly baptized.

The tarp roof is in very poor condition.

Janly asked me to go to Jojo’s town to visit, so several of us traveled there. On Sabbath, we gathered together in the house of worship which had for its roof an old tarp with many holes. When it rained, our worship was interrupted by the water dropping down on us. But 40 people joined us there that day anyway. We told them to pray that our Lord would bless them.

Please remember us in your prayers, so that our Lord will give us more power to continue His work. Please pray for all of us, and ask for the Lord to provide a way to build a church for a place of memorial in which to worship, for these ordinary people of God.

 

By Michael Ebclay. Support for the work in the Philippines can be sent to Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058.

 

 


09/20/2014: Youth of the Land Arise

Youth of the Land Arise

Philippines

 

When I look into my past, it seems so impossible that I became a new creature in Christ. But by God’s grace, all things are possible.

My name is Junrald Agan. I’m 23 years old and come from a Catholic background. I was full of vices, but God called me from the darkness of sin into His marvelous light. I was baptized in 2009 and two weeks later, Brother Dexter from Advent Hope took me to Mountain Heights Missionary Training School. It was hard to adjust to the new surroundings. We had to travel over stones and through grass to haul water from a kilometer away. We were fully dependent on the rain for our drinking water and for washing our clothes.

The Kipolot Church.

In spite of the difficulties and trials I met, God would give me more lessons to learn. Just as a plant needs cultivation in order to grow, our characters need cultivation—not just for one day, but for our whole lives. Weeds are different. Like sin, they don’t have to be cultivated, they just flourish on their own, unless we constantly work at pulling them out.

I remained at Mountain Heights for two years and after graduation my classmate Noelbin Moreno and I went to Davao Oriental for my practicum. It was there that I realized that theory and reality were two very different things. God said: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19, 20.

I kept this promise in my heart and God blessed His work. We met a 19-year-old youth named Roynel Gualde. He was very worldly. He loved music, played guitar, and had more than 500 songs memorized. But by God’s grace, he accepted Jesus as his personal Savior. Within a year he, too, began attending school at Mountain Heights.

Listening intently to the gospel.

Before I graduated, my whole family accepted Jesus and was baptized. After graduation, God gave me another task to do. Bible workers Ting and Tem decided to assign me to the Kipolot church, a new church with only three members. So I went, along with my wife, who is expecting, and our one-year-old daughter. I worked full-time and the brethren supported us as much they were able, but sometimes I couldn’t give my child the food she needed. Since my wife was about to give birth, we decided to go back home and stay at my father-in-law’s house until after the baby arrived.

One day, I was very hungry because it was 10:00 am and we had had no food for breakfast. I went to work, cleaning up around the church grounds. While I labored, I prayed that our Lord would show mercy to us. Suddenly, Ting and Tem arrived, and after several minutes, Pastor Mike Bauler and his companions also appeared. He interviewed me, and afterwards he gave me 2000 pesos (about $45 US) and a sack of rice. “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3. God showed me great things that I didn’t expect. Silently my tears fell from my eyes.

Many times I have asked the Lord for guidance: what shall I do to win souls for Christ? He has enlightened me and had me work in different ways. One time, I came in contact with a 13-year-old boy who had been taken to the doctor because he couldn’t sleep and had lost his appetite. They said he couldn’t be cured. I had a chance one day to show his father the power of God through medical missionary work. We met and I said: “Can I visit your home and see your child?” At first he was doubtful as he scanned my young frame from head to toe. But finally he accepted. I went to the home and gave the boy a steam bath and a massage. Then I returned to the parsonage. Just as God gave Elijah, Elisha, and the other prophets power, God put His power into my efforts. The next morning, the father came to the parsonage and said, “My child has asked for food to eat and he is back to normal!” Glory to God!

Currently, I am spending my life in the very fulfilling field of saving souls for Christ. Janly Hortillano, a student from Mountain Heights, is working with me. Sometimes it’s difficult to find money to support my family, but I always kneel down and ask God for His guidance. Today, there are 31 souls attending my church, coming from various backgrounds, including Catholic, born again, and back slidden Seventh-day Adventists. As always, our work here in Kipolot is assisted by Tem and Ting.

“In the feeding of the multitude and in the sermon on the bread from heaven, Christ had opened to them their work as His representatives. They were to give the bread of life to the people. He who had appointed their work, saw how often their faith would be tried. Often they would be thrown into unexpected positions, and would realize their human insufficiency. Souls that were hungering for the bread of life would come to them, and they would feel themselves to be destitute and helpless. They must receive spiritual food, or they would have nothing to impart…. But God delights to give. He is full of compassion, and He longs to grant the requests of those who come unto Him in faith. He gives to us that we may minister to others and thus become like Himself. Christ declares, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.’ Matthew 7:7.” Christ Object Lessons, 140, 141.

Please include us in your prayers, that our Lord will give me more power and strength to continue the work of His vineyard. Maranatha!

 

By Junrald Agan, as told to Ting Palange. Support for the work in the Philippines can be sent to Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058.

 


01/11/2014: A Modern School of the Prophets

A Modern School of the Prophets

At Santo’s Evangelistic Training Institute we have a deep and growing conviction to restore the science of True Education within Adventism.

“Every day, before work, our team spends a few minutes studying about True Education,” says Giancarlo De Miranda, the director of the institute. “We have a burden to equip our young people with tools to develop a symmetric character, a Christ-like character, and to enable them to become missionaries.”

This is the ultimate aim of the institute, where we believe that if the Seventh-day Adventist people understood how important it is to have schools molded after the old schools of the prophets, more of them would be established all around the world.

Christian education has always played a major role in God’s plan for His people and in every movement of true revival and reformation. Revival and reformation is exactly what God is asking of His people today! In the days of the prophet Samuel, moral corruption prevailed among Israel, and he desired to do something to reverse it. With this purpose in mind, he established the schools of the prophets.

“These schools were intended to serve as a barrier against the wide-spreading corruption, to provide for the mental and spiritual welfare of the youth, and to promote the prosperity of the nation by furnishing it with men qualified to act in the fear of God as leaders and counselors. To this end, Samuel gathered companies of young men who were pious, intelligent, and studious.“ Education, 46.

We have been very busy at the institute and work is advancing quickly. We were able to finish building the classroom and had an inaugural open house. After much team effort, including the help of volunteers from time to time, and overtime work, they successfully completed the task. The building also included space for a library and two bathrooms equipped for hydrotherapy treatments.

At the inauguration we held spiritual studies on the book of Nehemiah and on the topic of righteousness by faith. Giancarlo Miranda and Diego Silva were the speakers at the event. Some of the guests had the opportunity to express in testimony their gratitude to God in making Santo’s Institute a reality and for the blessing it has been to their families. It was a sunny and beautiful day, marked as a day of thanksgiving to God.

The next step was to bring students to the new school. During the inauguration, we advertised a short training program that would be held in about a month. The program offered a complete study, verse by verse, of the epistle of Hebrews and practical organic gardening classes.

At first, only a few students had registered for the course. But, as it is an old Brazilian custom, many waited until the last minute to apply, and the number of students grew to the point that applications had to be declined for lack of lodging. Because the dormitories are limited, even the houses of the staff members were used to accommodate the students. Although not all were comfortably accommodated, everyone was cheerful and eager to learn.

“I want to teach the book of Hebrews to my home church,” said student Maxwell Lima.

During the Hebrews’ class, the students were established in the sanctuary truth. All could have a personal conviction of the Bible-based foundation of the truths upheld by the Seventh-day Adventist church.

In the morning they learned gardening and in the afternoon they studied the sanctuary message. Brother Euzebio Mazoco, an agronomist, came to be a teacher and was in charge of teaching the students how to use the tools properly, prepare the soil, sow, clean crops, and fertilize them. The students learned how to plant beans, corn, beets, pineapples, eggplant, green peppers, and carrots. They contributed greatly to the attractiveness and the production of the school. Towards the end of the program, the students learned how to plant fruit trees using the “Angel’s Method of Planting.” It was not as easy as it looked on paper, but it does work!

During the year, Santo’s Institute decided to expand their influence in the preaching of the gospel to other Brazilian states. We had been sending sermon CDs to the people in the state of Espirito Santo, but since January, 2013, we have uploaded the messages to our website, allowing people from around the entire country of Brazil to subscribe and listen—and they are. These messages contain important truths for the present time that have been left aside by the churches in Brazil and will help our people walk the narrow way.

In the meantime, school construction continues to move forward. The existing buildings are being converted to staff housing—since two families still live in the dormitories—and for additional school facilities. We need a school kitchen and cafeteria. As the institute has grown, we can no longer continue to use a home kitchen as we have been doing. The plan is to adapt the first floor of one of the school buildings and we estimate the cost to be $7,500 US Dollars.

“Before we can carry the message of present truth in all its fullness to other countries we must first break every yoke. We must come into the line of true education, walking in the wisdom of God, and not in the wisdom of the world. God calls from messengers who will be true reformers. We must educate, educate, to prepare a people who will understand the message, and then give the message to the world.” Review and Herald, February 6, 1908.

 

By Giancarlo De Miranda of ICEVES (Santo’s Evangelistic Training Institute). Email: giancarlo@iceves.org. Website: www.iceves.org.


12/29/2012: True Education Calls for Industries

True Education Calls for Industries

Brazil

Since last December, 2011, when SETI (Santo’s Evangelistic Training Institute) team moved into the property God had appointed as the place to establish the missionary training school, a lot of work has been put into it by the faithful workers that are there with the purpose to have the school running in the beginning of 2013. The plans to achieve this goal are simple: to create industries to make the school financially stable, and to repair the buildings to accommodate the students and staff members. Let us read some of the accomplishments they have made.

When you talk about industries at SETI, Giancarlo Miranda says, “There is much more behind becoming self-supporting through industries than just financial support. It creates a whole environment which promotes an efficient manual labor training for the young people. . . the training becomes so real that the students know exactly what to do to succeed in that particular trade. And this really promotes character building.” They started with the farm, following the inspired counsel that urges the schools to put forth “efforts to develop plans for the training of the youth in agricultural and other lines of industrial work.” (Counsels to Parents, Teacher, and Students, 317)

The chayote, ginger, banana and orange plantations that were there when the property was purchased have been kept, and a large portion of the produce is sold locally. God provided an old truck, good enough to take the produce to a local buyer. “Our chayote vines were producing plenty of fruits every week, and we didn’t have anyone to purchase them,” said Luciano Campos. “Felipe (Staff member of SETI) and I prayed to find someone to buy our chayote, and in the same week Felipe found someone who agreed to buy not only our chayote but some of our other products, as well.”

During the months of February and March, the SETI team planted more than a hundred fruit trees (some of the trees already had fruit on them), using the method God instructed through His servant Ellen White. The estimated time for all of them to be producing is two years. About twenty different varieties of locally grown fruit trees were planted. The objectives are both not to buy fruit from the market and to sell our organic fruit to selected customers.

In the month of February, another new staff member joined the team, Maria Porto. She is a God-fearing young lady and a gifted cook, with previous experience working in health food industry. It was not hard to determine what would be the next industry to be established at SETI. Since then, Maria, along with Rosinéia Ferreira, began a health food industry, producing whole wheat bread, granola, pasoca (a Brazilian sweet) and more. The products have been locally sold, and they have proven to be an excellent opening door to evangelize the community.

SETI is also receiving volunteers. Juareis and Rosilda Ribeiro and their 13-year-old daughter Juliana spent four weeks at SETI. While Rosilda and Juliana volunteered in the farm and kitchen, Juareis, who is a professional builder, helped to finish building an already started house. “It was a real benefit for my family and me to stay at Santos Institute,” said Juareis. “The peaceful environment away from the city, the everyday worship and Christian fellowship brought me closer to God,” he concluded. Juareis and his family were a blessing for SETI. This was the way that this family found to place their talents in God’s hand.

For the second semester of 2012, Santos Institute has more challenges to overcome. Here are some of them: to build a chapel for worship and events, to remodel a building to be a library and classroom, to remodel a building for dormitories. You can certainly help and be part of this project by volunteering, donating and praying for God’s blessing upon this work.

By Giancarlo Demiranda. Email: giancarlo@iceves.com. Donations to help SETI Institute can be sent to Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058.

 

 


03/31/2012: While I Breathe, I Will Hope

While I Breathe, I Will Hope

I am Jovanie Antonio Langgong, single, born February 24, 1988. I am the eldest son of Mr. Tan Langgong and Mrs. Lourdes Langgong. I was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church when I was eight years old. My father is a layman at T’wol Seventh-day Adventist Church, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. I have four young brothers and three sisters studying at the present. My family is poor, and my parents have no sufficient source of income. Despite the poverty and difficult life, my brothers, sisters and I have wished to finish our studies. During college, I was a self-supporting student. I strived to work hard until I finished my studies. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Development (BSCD) at Santa Crus Mission School, Inc. College Department in March of 2009. One month later, I was hired by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) region 12, as a South Cotabato community worker. I liked the job of going to remote areas and underdeveloped communities. I met different people with different problems, but the most challenging problem was when I saw different illness and diseases that needed a remedy. In fact, I have seen children and the young suffering from their illness and the elderly dying from them. I felt like my heart was being squeezed by my conscience because I could not help the needy in this situation. This was a big slap in my face, but I eventually chose to take it as a challenge. I realized that I needed to learn even a simple way of preventing and curing diseases.

A month later, I resigned from my job, because they wanted me to work on the Sabbath day. I made my decision quickly, for what is a high monthly salary in exchange for keeping the Sabbath of God? I lost the job because that was my choice. I was jobless until the end of that year. I was hoping that there was a better job for me, but I did not know what it was and where I would find it. By God’s grace and mercy, I was hired by Wallace Adventist Memorial Academy, a secondary school located at Surallah, South Cotabato. I was one of the teaching staff of this institution, where I taught English.

There I encountered and met the most stubborn and hardheaded students that I had ever seen in high school. I always thought of how I could win them, how I could help them to be good and how I could bring their souls to God. I always prayed about this. Whether I was alone or not, I whispered a prayer constantly that God would give me confidence, courage and hope so that I could do this work for Him. As it is written, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him.” Isaiah 55:7.

God heard my prayer. Starting September 28, 2010, I began conducting a small group class activity on the school campus every noon after lunch, from Monday to Friday. At the opening meeting, I felt the Holy Spirit of God enlightening the minds of the students. Many students were very willing and became members of the group, and those hardheaded and stubborn students were the first who were interested in this activity. There were five small groups with six members each that were composed of Sabbath-keepers and non-Sabbath-keepers. They enjoyed listening, sharing and reading God’s Word. They also enjoy sharing about life problems, solutions and advice. Day after day, there were changes in their lives. Little by little, they changed their bad habits and attitudes into desirable ones. People around them, as well as their relatives, were wondering how such positive changes were found in them. One month later, there were five students who decided to be baptized. The others were willing also, but they were not permitted by their parents to affiliate with the Seventh-day Adventist church. Seven students and one teacher have fully decided to accept Jesus into their lives.

The small group activities occasionally took place until the end of the school year. Even though others could not accept baptism, they still joined and participated in the activities. Through the small group that I had conducted with divine aid, the wicked ways and undesirable behavior of the rest of the students were changed. God is merciful. He changed the bad attitudes of the students in order to be fitted for His kingdom.

Besides this accomplishment, my mind was forcing me to remember the past when I encountered sick people in and out of the school campus. I remembered my past experience of seeing people suffering from illness and being unable to help. Where and how could I acquire the knowledge of curing disease? This was the question that I continually asked myself. I wondered where I should go. I kept hoping and waiting for God’s call. And I was encouraged by the phrase, “While I breathe, I will hope.” On May 4, 2011, I heard of the camp meeting to be held at Lopes, Tongantongan, Valencia City, on May 23-28, 2011. I made a surprisingly easy decision to resign from my job just for the camp meeting. Following the camp meeting, I planned to stay at Lopes for about a month, and this is what I did. During my stay, Mountain Heights Missionary Training School was introduced to me by Ting Palange, and it caught my interest.

It was not until then that I realized the answer to the question, “Why did I resign from my job?” It was because God had called me. It was because I needed to be at Mountain Heights, and it was because Mountain Heights also needed me. It was the answer to the question, “Where and how can I acquire the knowledge of curing a disease?” I am still at Mountain Heights missionary training school because I wish to achieve and acquire the knowledge that I need. In return, the only thing that I can give to this institution is my teaching commitment. I am teaching English even though I am not as fluent as others are. I teach students or young missionaries to speak simple and common English.

Sometimes I worry because my younger brothers and sisters at home are asking for help and assistance; my family is always in need. When I hear them saying, “Kuya (older brother), please remember us,” it means that they need financial assistance. I feel sad because I remember myself when I was a student also. I was the poorest among the poor. My life was very hard. The experience that I had was the experience that many others could never pass through. I would go to school daily with or without meals. Whenever I had a meal, it was just once a day. I had no nice clothes. During my high school, I had no shoes, and sometimes I could not finish my projects and requirements because I was poorer than poor. But despite those hardships and poverty, my mind was well oriented to finish my studies no matter how poor I was. During those days I said to myself that my experience should not be the experience of my brothers and sisters who came after me.

So what can I do now in order to support my brothers and sisters? My prayers for them will never diminish. God’s Holy Word has comforted me. I do not need to worry about my life, for my Heavenly Father knows everything that I need. (Matthew 6:25-32.) God is the Author of life. He is the reason why certain things were allowed to happen. I do not know what my destiny is, but He knows about it. He holds my destiny, and He shall supply all my needs according to His riches. So wherever God calls me, wherever He directs me or whatever He wants me to be, I will follow His leading.

 

As told to Titing Palange. Support for Mountain Heights Missionary Training School and other work in the Philippines can be sent to Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058.

 


Letter from Cody: Philippines – June 2009

Dear Friend,

Philippine School
Philippine School

Sometimes do things not go the way we wish or think they should? Is it sometimes hard to understand why events happen? Sometimes weeks or even years later we can look back and understand why certain things happened, but other times no matter how much time elapses, there never seems to be an answer. When we cannot understand, is the time for us to learn to trust. When we can understand everything, trust is not hard, but when nothing makes any sense, then it is that trust is developed. Fortunately, there are many promises in God’s Word for these times. Perhaps my favorite is 2 Corinthians 13:8: “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.”Whatever happens, the Lord will use it to advance His truth! “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord.” Proverbs 21:30. No matter how hard man may try to devise mischief against the Lord’s wise plans, nothing can prosper. Even when circumstances arrive that we do not even know what to pray for, the Lord has a promise for that time, too. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:26. Joseph could say to his brothers many years afterward, “ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good.” Genesis 50:20. May we learn to walk and trust our loving God in the dark and in the light. May we learn the lesson of complete confidence and trust in Him, that whatever happens or does not happen, we can still say, “I know my Redeemer liveth.” Job 19:25.

Philippine School 2
Philippine School

The Lord’s truth is marching on throughout the world and we praise Him that he has given us, weak and erring humans, a part to play in cooperation with Him. One area that I am excited to see how the Lord is going to work is in the Philippines. Brothers Titing and Nanding along with their co-workers and others are seeking to spread the present truth message of the Three Angels’ Messages far and wide. Through there evangelistic efforts, many churches have been started, but this also presents a problem—how to nurture and care for all of these churches. Another burden that they have had is how to train and educate the youth for a life of service in this world and the next. These two problems have come together to present a solution—a self-supporting missionary training school.

They requested funds from us to purchase a piece of land and erect some simply buildings and then through growing rice and other produce, they determine to be self-sustaining. Thus while educating Bible workers and teacher, they are also teaching the youth from the churches to be industrious and earn a livelihood. They have been busy preparing and getting everything ready to open this month. Youth from many of the surrounding churches are very interested becoming more grounded in the Bible truths, learning how to do missionary work and the practical work experience. Presently there are over thirty young people who are coming together for the beginning school year. Brother Titing will be teaching and managing the school while Brother Nanding will taking the students out on evangelistic programs. Please pray that the Lord will bless the efforts of this new school that many will be trained in the service of our King. We also ask that you remember the ongoing evangelistic, church planting and church nurturing projects that continue to increase. If you would like to support the work of these faithful brethren laboring for the Master, you can mark your donation, “Philippines.”
I am currently on my way to Angola to meet and minister with the brethren there for several campmeeting and outreaches. Please pray that the Lord will open the doors for His message to go forward with power.

Yours in the Master’s service,
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