Category Archives: Soul Winning

Hope Awakens

by Dustin Serns, Pastor of the Port Orchard Adventist Church

When Wanda was asked to serve as a virtual Bible worker for the Hope Awakens Online Bible Series, she felt a strong conviction God was calling her to do it. She had never done anything like it before. As a recently retired accountant, she felt far more comfortable working with numbers than people, but she felt God calling her out of her comfort zone to reach out to people. When it came time to call the people on her list, she was nervous. When she came to Star’s name, she thought she recognized it from many years ago. When they connected on the phone, Wanda asked, “Are you the same Star that used to attend the Bremerton Church many years ago?” She was. Then Star recognized Wanda as well.

Star joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church by profession of faith in 1996. After several years, she became disconnected from the church. Although she still believed in the Sabbath, she was spiritually drifting and isolated. When the COVID-19 pandemic came, she sensed a call from God to get more serious about her faith. She found the Hope Awakens series online and began watching. Then she got the phone call from Wanda.

Star and Wanda immediately became friends. Wanda invited Star to attend the worship gathering at Port Orchard Seventh-day Adventist Church when it reopened. Star came and found a few others she knew from before as well.

At her baptism celebration, Wanda and Star shared how God had led them together in a powerful way. God had reignited a fire in Star’s life for Him.  After years of being disconnected, Star had found a church family again.

Dylan first connected with the Port Orchard Seventh-day Adventist Church when he and his wife Helen had their new baby daughter dedicated. Helen had grown up Seventh-day Adventist in Kenya before moving to Washington several years ago and wanted to pass on her faith to her daughter. Dylan began attending worship gatherings with Helen and his daughter Leila, with no intention of joining the church. Although Dylan had little connection with any church growing up, he had been taught about God at home. For the past several years, Dylan had been struggling spiritually and now felt God was calling him back. When the church hosted a weekend seminar called Final Empire, Dylan came and started going deeper. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Everything shut down. When Port Orchard Church participated in a national online series by It Is Written called Hope Awakens, Dylan received a personal invitation and began watching the series.

One of the virtual Bible workers on the team at Port Orchard was Tatum. Tatum had recently finished studying engineering at Walla Walla University and had gotten a job at the Naval Shipyard in Bremerton. After their first visit to the church, the pastor took Tatum and his wife out to eat and discovered their heart for ministry. A few weeks later, when the pandemic hit, Tatum accepted an invitation to serve on the Hope Awakens team. As an introvert, he was nervous about reaching out to people he didn’t know, but prayed for strength and courage. When it came time to call the people on his list to see how they were connecting with the presentations, one of the first people he called was Dylan. They had a great conversation. As they continued connecting over the course of the seminar. Tatum and Dylan became friends. The Holy Spirit was working in Dylan’s life, and Dylan wanted to give his heart to Christ in baptism. Dylan wanted to overcome his addictions to alcohol and smoking before his celebration of new life, but he wasn’t sure if he could. He had tried to quit before but had fallen back into them. Tatum and the pastor encouraged Dylan. They prayed for him. Dylan claimed victory through Jesus’ promises. He began doing some practical things to fight against temptation through his lifestyle. Tatum committed to calling Dylan every day to check in and pray with him as he worked to overcome the addictions. It was a powerful experience for both of them as Jesus gave the victory.

At Dylan’s baptism a couple weeks later, both Dylan and Tatum shared powerful testimonies about how God had been working to bring victory and transformation. Both lives have been changed, and they continue a spiritual mentorship that will help both of them continue growing with Jesus.

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More From Port Orchard

Silhouette of bird flying and broken chains at blurred sunset background

by Jeff Harper, lead pastor for the Arden Hills Adventist Church and youth pastor for the Mentone Adventist Church in Southern California
Source: NAD Ministerial

“Public evangelism doesn’t work,” thought Justin Walker. He was one of eight students from the Andrews University Seminary who came from Michigan to Washington to help facilitate Revelation of Divine Love, a Bible prophecy seminar,at the Port Orchard Seventh-day Adventist Church from May 17 to June 8, 2019. The diverse seminary team for this Field School of Evangelism was from Jamaica, Cambodia, India and all over the United States. Led by Pastor Dustin Serns, they hit the ground running with lots of visitation, preparation, and prayer. God worked powerfully through each of the Masters of Divinity students. Many lives were impacted, including Justin’s.        

“In fact,” Justin says, “I came into this series as a proponent against evangelism. But to watch God trahttps://www.nadministerial.com/stories/jesus-changes-lives-in-port-orchardnsform lives in a way that could never happen without every piece of this experience caused me to do a 180 degree turn. I now see that traditional public evangelism produces results. My mind has completely changed.” Justin is excited to conduct an evangelism harvest cycle right away when he finishes his studies and begins pastoring. So what did God do during the three-week reaping campaign to change Justin’s mind? Continue Reading…

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Seeds of the Word

by Barry Kimbrough, Pastor of the Brookings Seventh-day Adventist Church

Brookings, Oregon is the site of the only World War II bombing on American soil.  On September 9, 1942 a small Japanese floatplane—transported in a submarine from Japan to a spot 20 miles offshore from Crescent City and then assembled on the deck—flew to the mainland and dropped a 170-lb. thermite bomb in the forest near Brookings.  Imperial Navy Pilot, Nobuo Fujita, thought he had scored by starting massive fires that would distract the American military from the Pacific Theater.

The bomb exploded, but wet conditions put the fire out.  Total damage was a small crater and some burned trees, however it was soon overgrown and forgotten.

This event is an example of the power of God’s creation.  Seeds are small and seem to be much weaker than any bomb; but nourished by rain and nutrients from the soil, they grew and overcame the damage done by war’s destructive force. 

The seed of the Word of God can also overcome the damage of sin in our lives.  Over the past year, a miracle of spiritual renewal through the power of the Scripture was implanted in lives of interested seekers. 

The evangelism season commenced even before I arrived in the district. Brookings church decided to host the Voice of Prophecy “The Appearing” series, October 11-15, 2019, which attracted many attendees.  Local Sabbath School teacher, Bob Biegel, led the Bible study portion of the meetings.

Three weeks after I arrived, I began a series of weekly prophecy lectures, ‘Ancient Discoveries in Revelation,’ that were hosted on Wednesday nights at the church, beginning November 7, 2018.  The meetings continued through April 17, 2019.

Church members invited friends.  Advertising was by personal invitations, and a large sign posted outside the church.  

The meetings were simple and direct with Bible study as the main feature.  Several responded to the calls for decision. 

Four new believers were baptized on Sabbath, December 21, 2019.  Marian grew up in a Christian home, but lost interest in church as she went out on her own.  Later she tried different churches.  None seemed to keep her interest.  A few years ago she attended an evangelistic program, Christianity and Islam, hosted at Brookings church.  She continued to attend services.  She made her decision for baptism during the prophecy series last year. “The Adventist emphasis on Bible studies drew me in,” she said.

Megan’s grandmother invited her to church when she was a teen.  Over the years she attended and her spiritual interest grew as a result of the worship services and her view of the faith of her grandmother.  As the prophecy series came to a close, Megan made her decision for baptism. 

Marilu has believed in Jesus for most of her life, although she never had a church home.  Mostly she discovered spiritual truths by watching Trinity Broadcasting Network.  As she listened to the Seventh-day Adventist speakers on TBN, her interest in deeper Bible study of last day truths grew.  Soon she discovered Three Angel’s Broadcasting Network and began watching the messages.  Entirely as a result of this TV ministry, she decided to become a Seventh-day Adventist even before she met one church member.  She found a city bus that took her to Brooking  church and she announced to the greeters at the door that she wanted to be baptized.  Pastor Kimbrough reviewed the Bible teachings with her for several weeks before her baptism.

Kristofer is seven and he has raised his hand at every baptism for the past few years, wanting to be baptized himself.  Because he was so young, he was encouraged to learn about the Bible and salvation from family worships and Bible studies with his parents.  When he heard that a baptism was coming up, he asked to be included.  He is excited about being a follower of Jesus.

The cross is still mightier than the bombs of the devil. May the seed of the Word of God continue to grow in the lives of all who are seeking Him.

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Changed Lives – Miguel

by Vidal Mendoza, Pastor of the Federal Way Hispanic Adventist Church

Miguel has lived very strong experiences where he has questioned the presence of God in his life. For many years he was addicted to alcohol and drugs, he was hopeless and his life had no meaning. Many times he asked himself what his reason for living was.

One year ago he had the first encounter with brothers of our church and they introduced him to Jesus and the hope that we have in him. Miguel was invited to join a small group and he attended all meetings for four months. He had many questions about the care and protection of God in his life, but what worried him the most was if God could still forgive him. When we showed him the word of God in 1 John 1: 9 that says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” he started to cry. It was there that he experienced the great love of our God.

Since that day, 1 John 1:9 is his favorite Bible verse. He continued studying the Bible and when we had our evangelistic meetings he asked to be baptized and leave his whole bad life behind. And when we baptized him, he told us that he had never felt so much peace and purity in his life as that day.

Today Miguel is a faithful brother in Christ and, before the lockdown, was in training to be a deacon for the honor and glory of God. We are so thankful to know that WE are the church and will continue doing God’s work faithfully, but are also anxiously awaiting the reopening of our church building.

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Momentum – The Flea Market

by Isaias Hernandez, Pastor of the Kennewick Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church

In the summertime, there is a huge weekly Flea Market in the Pasco, Washington area. A person who attended the meetings suggested we talk to the director of the Flea Market to see if they would allow us to add Community Services within the park. He did allow this and did not charge the regular fee for the space.

We started offering three health procedures for the public. There were 1) taking blood pressure, 2) measuring the body fat ratio and 3) measuring the amount of oxygen in the blood. This helped to develop a good relationship with the community, and we offered a survey to determine what the needs are locally for Hispanics. Based on that survey, we will be offering marriage and family seminars in 2020—as well as a family health walk or parade with some competitive games, and work with a community clinic and the Chamber of Commerce to help fill the needs of the community. We will (of course) invite people to come to the evangelistic meetings scheduled for 2020 in the area.

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Changed Lives – Miracles in Maple Valley

by Nemaia Faletogo, Associate Pastor for the Maple Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church

14 year old Kaylyn was a troubled young lady who got into a lot of trouble at school. In spite of her troubles, her parents would bring Kaylyn to church on Sabbath, praying that she would make new friends and turn her life around.  Kaylyn joined Pathfinders and made new friends. She enjoyed the youth Sabbath School class and joined the baptismal class held by the Pastor. 

During our Evangelistic meetings at Maple Valley, Kaylyn gave her heart to Jesus and decided to be baptized! Her parents were so excited for Kaylyn as she was baptized in June during our Camp Meeting. Kaylyn is doing much better at home and in school.

There were several ladies, Kat, Luda and Lynette who also attended the meetings and were blessed by the nightly presentations. Kat is thinking of joining the church through profession of faith and Luda and Lynette are continuing their Bible studies. All of them expressed their appreciation of the Christ centered messages and that they were learning truth they had never heard before. 

We praise God and give Him the glory for what He has done and for the blessing of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with these precious souls and our community. 

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Changed Lives – God’s Great Timing

by Janroi B. Calley

I grew up in the Philippines and my parents were both Filipinos. l am the third child among my siblings. I remember when my father brought me to a Seventh-day Adventist Church for the first time. I was very confused because most of my childhood friends went to church on Sunday. When I became an adult, I experienced worldly things and stopped attending church.

Many years later, my father contacted me and told me that he wanted to take me to the Oak Harbor Seventh-day Adventist Church. Because of God’s great timing, we heard that Pastor Kevin Scott was conducting a Bible seminar entitled “Keys to Bible Prophecy”. I thought that was God’s great opportunity for me to come back to Jesus Christ so I attended with my father, aunt, uncle, and my grandma.

Pastor Kevin Scott was very passionate when explaining and preaching. God used Pastor Kevin as an instrument for me to be enlightened and know the truth. The first time I attended the meeting, I already felt welcome and comfortable. Then the Holy Spirit made me realize everything. That’s why I decided to be baptized and follow the commandments of God and be one of those who will inherit the kingdom of God for his second coming.

Because of sin, all of us are vulnerable. We cannot predict when our life will end. While we have some time left to live in this sinful world, I encourage you to spend time, even a minute, to read the Holy Bible everyday of your life for you to discover the truth. l am happy and blessed that I accepted Jesus as my true King and Savior. I pray that my other brothers and sisters, relatives and friends will also be imparted and enlightened by the truth through the word of God in the Bible.

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Why Not Try This – Should We Ignore Halloween?

Pastor Jose Cortes, Associate Director for Evangelism at the North American Division, recently posted this article on his facebook page with some very helpful ideas on how we, as Christians, can handle Halloween:

Halloween seems to be the one holiday in American Christianity that we just don’t know what to do with. We happily celebrate cultural or historical holidays like the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, or New Year’s Day. We love religious holidays like Easter and Christmas. But Halloween has quite a dark history, and we don’t know how to approach it. As Christians we can either pretend that it doesn’t exist (even though it does) or we can seize a great opportunity right in front of us to reach out to our neighborhoods, friends or colleagues. Here you will find some tips on how to use this Holiday as a ministry opportunity:

1. Be present: Don’t hide out all night. Open your church, and if families stop by, have some cider, get to know their names and where they live in the neighborhood.

2. Think of the Parents: Consider having some hot chocolate and pumpkin bread out for the parents who are bringing their kids around the block. Make church’s entryway inviting so they want to come closer or inside and hang for a bit if possible.

3. Pass out Christian goodies: Halloween is the one night of the year when strangers literally will show up on your church or home doorsteps looking for handouts. Why not make sure they walk away with something meaningful? If you’re planning on handing out candy this Halloween, you could hand out a few tasteful tracts as well. 

4. Host a Light Party! How can we be the light if we are hiding in our homes; with the lights out, not answering the door? We are to be the light, not hiding in the dark. You can host a Light Party in your home or in your church. Turn on all the lights in your church, hang up some bright Christmas lights, play Christian music, and hand out candy with handwritten notes saying, “Jesus loves you”. You can offer free hot chocolate and free prayers. Be the brightest place on the block, not the darkest.

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Momentum – The Storyteller

by Sergio Manente, pastor of the Richland Seventh-day Adventist Church

I am constantly humbled and encouraged with the dedication each lay-leader approaches ministry, to both nurture each current member and also minister to the community.

Developing each member as mission-minded disciples and investing personal energy, time and resources to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and His message to the un-churched in our community has been our focus. We are constantly brainstorming ways to forge relationships with the community through several outreach endeavors ranging from their Community service/diaper bank ministry to partnering with the local public elementary school tutoring reading for children as risk. We are involved with Rebuilding Mid-Columbia projects throughout our county, and several other volunteer based organizations, constantly partnering and connecting with the needs of the community.

As a way to bridge all of this wonderful work of establishing presence and credibility in our community and helping the un-churched in Richland across the threshold of eternity, we developed a teaching/preaching series entitled “The Storyteller.”  We wanted to introduce Jesus and some of His most powerful teachings through the medium of His parables. We were able to address several key doctrines as well as what salvation through the person of Jesus Christ looks like. We invited them to participate in a community weekend leadership event called Both/And. We had a “full capacity crowd and the series was a huge success. We baptized 9 so far with the amazing follow up work of our Bible Worker. We are looking forward to a celebration Sabbath when we hope to baptize other candidates from ongoing harvest.

I love the everyday evangelism and discipleship that happens at Richland and absolutely look forward to the proclamation evangelism series that harvest all of the hard work each dedicated member has worked towards and prayed for. We are all so blessed and enriched by God’s great mercy to partner with us to usher His soon return.

Until the Nets Are Full!!

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Changed Lives – Your Influence Matters

by Hugo Villalobos, pastor of the Hermiston/Pendleton Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Churches

This year we held an evangelistic series that taught our church an important lesson, the fact that we never know the impact and influence our choices make to those around us.

Two brothers began attending our church for several months and had decided to take their next step and get baptized in this series. As they were getting up to get prepared for baptisms, they walked down the hall and saw a friend who was visiting our church for the first time. His name is Carlos. Carlos was going through some rough moments in his life and was looking for God that day. He recognized these two brothers and was surprised to see them in blue robes getting ready to take an important step.

He saw something different in them. Last time they saw each other they were under the influence of alcohol. But now they were sober and had accepted Jesus as their personal Savior. Their faces reflected peace, joy, and happiness. He was touched by these brother’s testimony so much that he too decided to receive Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit through baptism that day. God surprises us every time. He is good all the time. They are currently being equipped and trained to become servant leaders.

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