Category Archives: Changed Lives

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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Momentum – End Time Messages From Jesus

dsc_0143by Pedro M. Canales, Pastor of the Milton-Freewater, College Place, and Walla Walla Spanish Churches

The district of Spanish Churches in the Walla Walla Valley had two weeks of Prophecy Evangelism lead by the church pastor, Pedro M. Canales. We had excellent church participation during these two weeks, where they presented the messages of the “End Times From Jesus.” This was an evangelism series prepared by the General Conference that Dr. Pedro M. Canales translated to Spanish.

As a result of the evangelism and lay members work, two souls were baptized. One of them a young boy, Eric, from the Milton-Freewater Spanish Church who approached the pastor and asked for baptism. After a pastoral visit with the family, Eric was baptized in his Milton Spanish Church. Also, in College Place, another visitor who was taking Bible studies, José chose Christ and the Adventist message and decided he wanted to be baptized.

The Lord has been good to us in adding these two new members and there are others taking Bible studies that will be baptized soon. We praise God because His promise is faithful!

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Changed Lives – It’s Never Too Late to Come Back Home!

leanneby Jose Galvez, Pastor of the Silverton Seventh-day Adventist Church 

As a result of a recent two-week Bible seminar, conducted by Jose Galvez, Silverton Seventh-day Adventist Church pastor, two church attendees finally made their decisions to join the church. Ramon Fernandez-Mesa and LeAnne Kramer formally became part of our membership by joining by profession of faith.

LeAnne used to be a Seventh-day Adventist who led the church over 50 years ago. She attended many other churches until finally coming back the Silverton Seventh-day Adventist church where she felt right at home because of the love and acceptance that she received from many of the church members and friends.

Ramon was also a previous Seventh-day Adventist member. He went to spend time with family outside the country and after coming back, he realized that somehow his membership was dropped. He felt rejected and not wanted for a long time. That feeling left when he walked into the Silverton church where he felt that people cared and accepted him.

Instead of having the new members stand by the door at the conclusion of the service to be greeted by those leaving the sanctuary, Pastor Galvez invited the congregation to come up to them on the platform. What joy and closeness was felt by all as they mingled together as brothers and sisters in Christ.

May God grant us more of these blessed experiences.

 

 

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Changed Lives – Prophecy Seminar Makes Alaskans Fishers of Men!

Map image of Bristol Bay and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska

by Jason Morgan, Evangelist for the North Pacific Union Conference

Alaska’s Bristol Bay supports the worlds largest Salmon fishing runs that attracts fisherman from all over the world. Many flood the small town of Dillingham during the Summer months to take advantage of the abundant fishing opportunities. The Dillingham Seventh-Day Adventist Church decided to do some fishing of their own, but this time they wanted to follow the call of the Savior to be fishers of men!

As they say there’s never a perfect time to do public evangelism, because the Devil will compete with you every single time. Prior to opening night of the Amazing Prophecies Revelation Series, the handbill mailing was distributed two weeks earlier than expected. The temptation was to panic and conclude that many within the community might forget about the meetings. As pastor Howard Williams lead out in prayer and claiming God’s promises, we witnessed people from the community excited to be coming to the series night by night!

Patty Jones came opening night with her Bible in hand to learn more about Revelation and how to prepare for the soon coming of Jesus Christ. What’s interesting is Patty somehow did not receive a flier in the mail, she had a Continue reading

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Changed Lives – No Interest in Church

CaptureMauricio and Maria are a young couple that were invited to our evangelistic meeting in February. Maria used to attend our services in the past. She didn’t miss a night of our series. A member from our church saw the family at our local Walmart a week before the series began and gave them a flyer of our meetings. Every night Maria came with her husband and her two young daughters. She began to express happiness and joy on her face as she told me she had been praying that her husband would start attending church. She told us that her husband never found interest in coming to church before, but now she has seen a change in him. I asked for their contact information and went to visit them at their home. I began to ask him what he thought about the series and he began to tell me that he felt as if all the messages were directed toward him. I told him it was the Holy Spirit who was beginning to work in his heart.

On the final night Mauricio went up to me and said “Pastor, I want to get baptized!” There was peace in his heart that night. He had accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. We planned a date for the coming month for his baptism ceremony and invited him to join one of our small groups. He gladly accepted the invitation and once again this lovely new family is evidence that God is mighty to save and is working powerfully in our city.

– Pr. Villalobos, Pastor of Hermiston Spanish SDA church

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Changed Lives – Midnight Duty

13151536_10154038303099892_142357336850734503_nby Danny Kim, Associate Pastor of the Adventist Community Church of Vancouver, WA

We have been having Bible studies for a few months now. A young couple dating for a while, trying to start a new life together. The Holy Spirit has been working on their hearts for a while, they both knew that God was leading their lives. They wanted to get their lives where God wanted them to be. She was eight months pregnant, he was going to be a father for the first time, but they both knew that not everything was right. They were living together, but without the holy union of Marriage. If they were going to start this new life together, they wanted to have their child as husband and wife.

We finally set a date for the wedding, it would be a small one. We would invite family and friends to church, and we would have a nice little ceremony. Everything was set for a Sabbath wedding, but then the baby had other plans. It was Friday evening, the day before the wedding, and I received a call from frantic soon to be father. “The water broke!”, they didn’t know when they would be leaving for the hospital. The contractions had started, and baby was on her way. “Pastor, can we get married right now?” That was his question. The soon to be father and mother, wanted to give the gift, to their unborn daughter, the future of a family. If a baby was born, they wanted her to come into the world as part of a family.

It was 10:30 in the evening, Sermon was done, sleep could wait. We gave them time to get dressed, and we called their best friends to be witnesses. It was going to be a midnight wedding. I gave them the option to choose which day they wanted to be married, since it was midnight. May 7th it was. Bride and Groom both looked delighted. They were married and they would soon be parents to a new baby girl.

Baby Elin was born on May 8th, a day after their marriage. This young couple has a full life ahead of them, with many joy and challenges, but they wanted to start their family together with a commitment to God. We will continue our Bible studies and our goal is to have them both baptized soon. God is good, and He changes lives every day. This is a wedding I will not soon forget, an emergency wedding, to follow a call from God.

 

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Changed Lives – What God Can Do With A Friend

DSC_0762-2Suzanne Quevedo was among five precious souls who joined the Sandpoint SDA Church through baptism this past August. The memorable event took place in the Pend Oreille River where all the candidates chose to follow Christ’s example and be baptized at the river.   Each one has a unique story of how the Lord led them to the Adventist Church, but the one thing they all have in common is that they attended the prophecy seminar held at the Sandpoint Church a few months before.

For Suzanne, what brought her to the meetings was a personal invitation by her next-door neighbor, Ada Lapadat a member of the church. When Ada thought of who to invite to the upcoming meetings, she immediately thought of Suzanne with whom she had been developing a friendship. Months before she had befriended Suzanne with a gift of cookies and from then on, tried finding opportunities to build on that neighborly gesture.

When Ada invited Suzanne to the seminar, Suzanne was hesitant. She was already Continue reading

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Momentum – Restart

tacoma baptismsBy Hiram Rester, Pastor of the South Tacoma Adventist Fellowship

The South Tacoma Adventist Fellowship celebrated 30 precious souls making decisions for baptism, rebaptism and profession of faith in 2015. A major part of that was a series this past fall. In the course of that series and immediately following it, 24 people made decisions. People have a personal Restart at baptism. Churches can have Restarts too.

About two years ago, South Tacoma Adventist Fellowship (formerly the Tacoma Southside church) entered a pilot program for the Washington Conference called Restart. The church had been in decline for several years. The churches attendance and financial resources had dwindled to only a fraction of what they had been in the “glory years” of the past.

The Tacoma Southside church was among the 80% of churches in America that are either plateaued or declining.

Church growth experts inside and outside of Adventism tell us that it takes 8 -10 years for a pastor to lead a church in a turn-a-round. The visionary administration of the Washington Conference believed that if a church was ready, and if a pastor had a unique set of spiritual gifts, that the Lord could lead a church to return to revival and vibrancy much quicker. They began to develop the “Restart” program.

It is like a “church plant” in an existing location with the same group of people. The church returns to a church structure much like Continue reading

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