Category Archives: Changed Lives

Soul Winning – My Bucket List

Given 18 months to live, Bob Stuart decided to bring one person to church every month. Imagine how quickly the Adventist Church would grow if each of the church’s 20 million members brought in just one person a year. Read More

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Changed Lives – Future of Freedom

by Dave Crockett, Pastor of the Lewiston Seventh-day Adventist Church

Audrey was our first baptism, followed by 5 more and others planned for the future. Audrey’s journey to her baptism was a long one! She has been a member of many different churches here in our valley, but not finding what she really needed along the way. As a caregiver, a couple of years ago she began to take care of the mother of one of our church members. This meant that she had regular interactions with the woman’s family who are active here in the Lewiston Church.

The woman she was taking care of passed away, and her job ended. However she had seen something in the lady’s family that was different and she wanted to know more. One thing led to another, and she ended up in our church one Sabbath. Of course our church welcomed her (they’re very good at that!) and she came again the next week and the next, until it became a regular habit. Bible studies ensued, she came to the meetings and came under the conviction she needed to be re-baptized. We are praising the Lord for her decision and there’s more to come!

We are following up with a class on Sabbath mornings lead by our Bible Worker/Outreach Coordinator, Slavik. He is a tireless worker who loves Jesus and people! He did all the visiting along with his other duties during the series. Our plan to once again have a six month cycle of outreach is starting in September, and we look forward to more stories like Audrey’s!

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Changed Lives – Profound Meaning

by Sergei Kuzmin, Pastor of Russian-Ukrainian Seventh-day Adventist Church

Not a lot of Russian speaking people, who live around our Church area, know about the Revelation prophesies. At the same time our own youngsters have a limited knowledge about the last time events before The Second Coming of Jesus.

The Revelation Series we provided attracted some people from Baptist and Pentecostal Churches and became a first step for them to get go know the Biblical truth in the context of Revelation and Book of Daniel’s prophesies.

After the series, 7 young people were baptized. Vasily was one of them. He told his story about how Jesus revealed the Biblical truth to him. His life was not satisfying for him and he wanted to be better. He tried by using his own power, but all was in vain. He started to pray and to read the Bible, then suddenly he notice he was getting better and better, and it was happening not just by chance, but by the power of Jesus. He started to pray more and to read the Bible more and each day more good results were happening.

He said: “my heart was full of happiness because of the love Christ gave. I made the decision to live for Jesus. That decision really impacted me because before, I was somewhat selfish and made choices I regret. But I wasn’t baptized and was thinking that it was sufficient just to be a good Christian. But when I started to go to the “Unhidden Mysteries of Revelation” seminar, I was able to get to know the profound meaning of Revelation, especially the last time events which are going to come. I began to realize that we are living in the last days, and there is not much time to delay with baptism. After baptism Jesus helped me to make better choices and live my life for Him, not for me. I pray often to God and read my Bible more.”

His mother is not a Church member. She was attending the seminar along with her son. When she watched Vasily’s baptism, she was so thankful to the Lord, who gave wisdom to her son to make the decision to follow Jesus. They prayed and had serious conversations in their family. Vasily asked her about his decision, and all his family were very happy about it.

When I asked Vasily’s mother about what kind of impact she received after her son’s baptism she replied: “I am thinking over the decision to be baptized soon.”

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Changed Lives – Baptizing Joanne

by Kim Berg, Pastor of the Highline Seventh-day Adventist Church

The people that have attended the revelation seminars over the last several years have been searching for a deeper understanding of the Bible. They seem to be trying to understand their purpose in the grand scheme of things. They have not been satisfied with a superficial answer to the state of things apart from their involvement. They seem to sense that they are involved at a more personal level. Joanne was one of those people who came with a desire to see what it was all about and she wanted to know how she fit in.

She attended almost every night. She is a caregiver and was not always able to get to the meetings. She always let me know when she would not be able to come and she put in her order for the handouts and presentation notes for each night. She began studying with one of the members of the church. She would not move on to the next topic until she understood the current subject to her satisfaction. She didn’t accept anyone’s word for it. She wanted to see it for herself in the Bible. She was on a mission.

She continued to study for the next three months. There were times I wasn’t sure how things would turn out. The discussions at those studies could become quite animated when she struggled to put the meaning of the Bible texts in a language that made sense to her.

She persevered and one day came to me and said she would be ready to be baptized. She was sure it was time. I wasn’t sure how clearly she might understand. We sat down for what I thought would be the first of several meetings. In less than an hour, she clearly demonstrated that she understood what had been presented at the meetings and in the Bible studies. She comes to church every Sabbath and looks forward to fellowship and sharing her faith with others.

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Changed Lives – Omar

by Hugo Villalobos , Pastor of the Hermiston Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church

One of our church members began his career as an entrepreneur a few years ago. One of his job descriptions consists of coaching and mentoring members in his business. Last winter we had an international coach come and teach the Hispanic community financial management skills. This was a total success. We had over 40 guests that signed up for follow up Bible studies. Our entrepreneur brother invited a big group from his business.

One of them was Omar, a young man from a small town about 30 minutes away from our church. He didn’t miss a night. He was eager to start his journey knowing more about the God who is the owner of all the riches in the world. We began to study with him using a Bible study packet called “truthlink“. After we finished our first lesson we decided to continue studying on a weekly basis. He called me the next week saying, “Pastor I’m already half way through the packet!” Without a doubt we had seen that the seed of the gospel had fallen onto good soil. He has been attending Sabbath school classes, church programs, outreach events, ever since.

We have just concluded a series on the book “A purpose Driven Life”. We have prayed for 40 days for a big harvest in our church. Our whole church has also prayed for Omar. At the end of this month Omar will be getting baptized with other friends that have accepted Jesus.

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Changed Lives – Baptism in Frigid Waters

by John Rengifo, pastor Shady Point Seventh-day Adventist Church

Mike asked if he could be baptized in the nearby Rogue River. Though I expected the temperatures to be cold on that November 5th day and knew the temperature of the river would be frigid, I told him we would be happy to do it!

Mike was baptized at the conclusion of the Unlock Revelation Seminar held at the Shady Point Church Fellowship Hall in front of his new church family and soon-to-be fiancé on Sabbath afternoon, November 5. It was a joyous day. Many members had come to know Mike when he began attending church sometime in the summer. He had a secular upbringing and no real spiritual influence until he moved to Oregon from Illinois. Working and living on his own, he met Genesis, who later would become his girlfriend. She began to share her faith with him and sparked his interest in the Bible. Mike began to study the Bible and attend church. He began taking Bible studies and said that the things he was learning was making sense.

He reached a point of searching the prophecies of Scripture, particularly the books of Daniel and Revelation. When we announced the upcoming Unlock Revelation Seminar to be held at our church, Mike expressed a desire to come and come he did. In the midst of the series, Mike’s confidence grew in the Word of God and was intrigued by the congruency of history and Bible prophecy. He made his decision to follow Jesus and be baptized. At that point, his girlfriend, Genesis, was back from Andrews University where she graduated from the School of Aviation. She attended about 10 nights of the meetings with him, and was there when we announced his baptism.

On the last day of the meetings, a Sabbath morning, the whole church was invited to join in celebrating Mike’s new life in Christ. There was nothing exuberant he’ll claim about his conversion. He was simply a young man who opened the door of his heart to examine the Bible and came to discover a loving God who created him and has a plan for his life. Mike has found a place in the church today as he helps with the audio system at church—something he began doing even while attending the Unlock Revelation Series.

We believe God is raising up young people, pulling them from all backgrounds and revealing Himself to them and preparing them to take the gospel message to the world.

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Changed Lives – Faithful in Sharing Jesus

by Nicholas Jones, Pastor of the Sandy Seventh-day Adventist Church

Ten days before receiving the flier in the mail, Marcus had just started reading his Bible. He had finally hit rock bottom and was turning his life over to Jesus. Never before had he read the Bible, so he bought a ‘Read the Bible in a Year’ version. When his mother handed him the flier for the series “Questions I’d Like to Ask God” put on by the Sandy Seventh-day Adventist Church, he felt a strong sense that he should go.

After the first night he realized this church had what he was looking for and now he is currently studying, along with another attendee, toward baptism.

The Sandy Seventh-day Adventist Church completed an evangelistic series that consisted of 13 presentations dedicated to different questions people ask God and two follow-up meetings which delved more into health and the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

We wanted to try a different approach than the traditional Daniel and Revelation seminar,” said Nick Jones, pastor of the Sandy Church. Each meeting consisted of a presentation of 25-30 minutes and small group discussion for 15 minutes afterward. Church members and guests alike enjoyed the opportunity to create friendships and discuss the challenging questions each evening.

Child evangelism was available each evening as the church wanted the children who attended to be exposed to the same topic their parents were discussing each evening. Amy Quinn and Melissa Leslie coordinated a program with crafts, activities, and songs based upon the presentations which Pastor Nick provided.

Each guest had an opportunity to receive a complimentary copy of several books. For attending any three meetings, a guest would receive Steps to Christ. After attending any five meetings, a guest would receive The Desire of Ages. When attending any ten meetings The Andrews Study Bible was given.

When Marcus received his Bible, the joy on his face was contagious. He finally had a Bible of his own and could look up texts studied each evening. Seeing his joy upon receiving the Bible was a reminder to all involved of the importance of evangelism and the reason we are faithful in sharing Jesus.

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Changed Lives – Living Life for Him

IMG_0575by Sergei Kuzmin, Pastor of Russian-Ukrainian Seventh-day Adventist Church

During our “Unhidden Mysteries of Revelation” event, Vasily told his story about how Jesus revealed the Biblical truth to him.

He was not satisfied with his life and he wanted to be better. He tried using his own power, but all was in vain. He started to pray and to read the Bible and suddenly noticed he was getting better and better, and it had happened, not just by chance, but by the power of Jesus. He started to pray more and to read Bible more and by each day more new good results were happening.

He said, “my heart was full of happiness because of the love Christ just gave me. I made the decision to live for Jesus, That decision really impacted me because before I was somewhat selfish and made choices I regret. But I wasn’t baptized and was thinking that it was sufficient just to be a good Christian. But when I started to get to The “Unhidden Mysteries of Revelation” program, I was able to get IMG_0529 (1)to know the profound meaning of Revelation, especially the last time events which are going to come. I began to realize that we are living in the very last days, and this is no time to delay with my baptism. After my baptism, Jesus helped me to make better choices and live my life for Him, not for me. I pray often to God and read my Bible more.”

His mother Helen is not a Church member. She was attending the program along with her son. She shared her feelings saying that when she saw Vasily being baptized, her heart was beating very fast trying to jump out of her chest. She said, “I am so thankful to the Lord, who gave the wisdom to my son to make a baptismal decision. We had prayer and serious conversations in our family. Vaslly was asking me about his decision. All our family are very happy for his decision.”

When I asked Vasily’s mother about what kind of impact she felt after her son’s baptism she replied, “I am thinking over the decision to be baptized soon”

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Changed Lives – Story of Two Families

Story of Bill and Jammie
captureOne day, Jammie received an invitation to attend Lee Venden’s “It’s All About Jesus Seminar” in 2012 at the Myrtle Creek Seventh-day Adventist Church. She did, and there discovered what was missing in her life. In November of 2015 Jammie began attending the Myrtle Creek church regularly. In March of 2016, she began studying the Bible with Cindy Schurch (the wife of Pastor Chester Schurch). When Cindy told Jammie about the Unlock Revelation Series that she and her husband would be conducting at the Myrtle Creek SDA church, Jammie decided to attend. It was there where she felt God impressing her that she needed to be baptized. But the story doesn’t end there.

Jammie’s husband, Bill, who works at a local lumber establishment and had been raised in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but had drifted away from God for 30, was watching Jammie’s spiritual growth. Deep inside, as he would be out in the woods each day, God was speaking to Bill that he needed to come back to God and His Church. When Jammie told Bill of her decision for baptism, imagine Jammie’s surprise when Bill stated, “I want to be baptized, too.” They celebrated their baptism together on November 19, 2016, as their family and friends in the Myrtle Creek Church looked on. What a blessing and inspiration it was to see them commit their lives to God.

Story of Two Brothers, Ryan and Jaden
brothersRyan and Jaden are two brothers ages 17 and 20. They were raised in a good Seventh-day Adventist Christian home where their parents provided every opportunity for them to know and love Jesus. Both Ryan and Jaden had the privilege of attending Seventh-day Adventist Schools growing up. Each time they had been invited to be baptized they didn’t feel that it was the right time, so neither had taken that step.

When they heard that the Unlock Revelation series was to be held in the Myrtle Creek Church, they decided to come, and to bring their younger brother to the children’s meetings as well. One night, early in the meetings, Pastor Schurch was giving an appeal at the end of a presentation, but he noticed on this particular decision card there was no entry which invited the people to be baptized. Pastor Schurch felt the impression of the Holy Spirit to invite those in attendance to write down on their card if they would like the experience of baptism.

That evening, God spoke to both Jaden and Ryan, who separately signed that they would like to be baptized. On November 19, with family and friends, and proud parents in attendance, the Myrtle Creek Church witnessed their baptism and all felt the joy of seeing young people make a full commitment to Jesus.

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Momentum – Praying for Understanding

by Gerald Margil, Pastor of the Hispanic Group of Heyburn

Photo of a spanish language Holy Bible.Since the middle of 2014, I was invited as a part-time pastor to work with a group of Hispanic congregations in south-eastern Idaho that had never had an assigned pastor. One such congregation is Heyburn. Heyburn is a small community that has seen an outstanding economic awakening in the area which has translated into a growing community of Hispanic population in the sector.

However, that growth has not made any impact on the growth of the local Hispanic congregation.On the contrary, since it has been decreasing. From about 7 members in the middle of 2014, by the beginning of 2016 they would be only 3, attending regularly. It was thus, through prayer and conversation with one another, that we decided to launch a three-month evangelistic plan. The work has been hard, but the results have been worth it.

The surprising thing is that when we went out into the street and tried to contact people, we gradually realized that the people with whom we started studying the Bible confessed that they had been praying for someone to come and will help to understand these Biblical truths that they, today, listened to.

Such was the case with the family of Mrs. Faustina, who gladly accepted the Adventist message with all her family. She had been attending a Sunday church for many years. When reading the Bible on the Sabbath, she felt the need to know more, which she couldn’t do in her previous congregation. Nobody seemed interested or informed about the matter, until finally our brother Carlos contacted her and her husband, the first thing they did was to ask about what the Bible said about Saturday. As we study the truth more deeply, we have no doubt that God was calling them out of Babylon.

Perhaps another of the most remarkable miracles of this evangelistic campaign has been the impact on the members. Those who have seen God perform miracles by touching hearts. In addition, these same brothers have greatly benefited from the experience of accompanying me on visits and Bible studies. It has enabled them to establish themselves in the faith, and to know more deeply the doctrine of the apostolic message of the Adventist Church.

Today, things look different in the Hispanic group of Heyburn, since more worship the Lord every Saturday in the church, and there have been 7 baptisms in all. We give honor and glory to our great Lord and Savior, whom we also pray to continue to grow the community of believers in Heyburn, thus preparing a people ready to receive our Savior in the air, as well as helping others to be ready.

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