Mark and Debi first showed up at church a few weeks before our evangelistic series. They visited frequently and started to meet some people. Before our meetings began in March, Mark and Debi volunteered to help as row hosts.
Little did Mark realize that his commitment to be a volunteer helper would lead to his decision to commit his life to Christ through the waters of baptism.
Mark was raised an Adventist. For over 20 years he walked away from God and the church. He lived his own life, grew up, got married and had his career. Around the turn of the New Year, he sensed that God wanted to make his presence known to him. He felt impressed that he should give up drinking. He and Debi, who knew close to nothing about Adventists, were married at a time when Mark was not living his childhood faith. They were now open to explore the Bible and see if God had something relevant for their lives.
“From the first time I met Mark, I could see that he had a sensitivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit,” says Pastor John Rengifo, who gave the presentations. Each night they attended and already felt part of what was going on. When Pastor John collected the first decision cards, he was happy to see that Mark had checked the box choosing to follow Christ. Step-by-step, God was leading him to make a greater commitment to Him. Eventually, he marked that he wanted to keep God’s Sabbath holy, for baptism and to be a part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He came through the evangelistic series accepting the truths from God’s word and taking his stand with God’s people. His wife Debi brought her mom and aunt to many of the presentations.
Mark was baptized in front of the church and became a member of the family of God. Today he and Debi actively attend Prayer meeting. He is serving as a deacon and has grown tremendously in his faith. Although Debi has not made the decision to follow her husband in baptism yet, she continues to attend Sabbath mornings and has made friends at church. We pray that she too will one day say “yes” to the Lamb and follow Him whithersoever He goes.
Stacy Gaunt had attended prophecy meetings in the past. She found them informative, but had not made a decision. When she received the flyer in the mail for Prophecies of Hope she had been looking for a church and wondering about what direction God would have her go.
Each night, she was the first to show up, close to an hour before the prophecy seminar and a half hour before the health lectures. Stacy’s expression changed each night, as conviction and delight were apparent She even lamented that we had to take nights off.
“The first time I had a chance to get acquainted with her was on the second night of the series,” recalls Pastor John Rengifo. “Her breath wreaked of cigarettes, but she had her Bible in her hands and was happy to be there. Since she would arrive so early, we always found a little time to chat” Some members of the church, who knew Stacy, were thankful to God for the progress she was making. In particular, Iris, who had studied with her before and had established a good relationship, affirmed her through the whole series.
Many of the things Stacy heard were not new, having been exposed to them before. She had some questions answered and this time felt she could not spurn God’s invitation. Stacy had experienced some relationships with men in the past that were not fulfilling, but in the course of listening to God’s word and becoming better acquainted with Him, she decided to step out and make Jesus her best friend.
She along with others before a very joyous Central Church family.