Category Archives: Soul Winning

Reaching People Where They Are

by Hugo Villalobos, Pastor of the Hermiston Spanish Adventist Church

This year, we held our evangelistic meetings online and it was a huge success. We had people join us from different cities and countries. Through technology, we had the opportunity to share the gospel in places we least imagined. Lives were transformed and as a result two young adults gave their lives to Jesus.

At first, we didn’t know what the turnout would be. We had never done a series online, but we trusted God with the results. Every night there was an appeal and an invitation for people to accept Jesus. We trained our church members to share with their friends and we prayed each morning for God to move in a powerful way. 

On baptism day, we went to the nearest river, the Columbia, because one person had requested to be baptized like Jesus in the river. There were several families watching from the shore and listening to the ceremony. When the first baptism was over I asked if there was anyone else in the audience who would like to be baptized in the river. To our surprise, Paola, who had been attending our church for a while now, raised her hand and also got baptized that day. There was a loud cheer and applause as a sign of celebration. I know that heaven was also rejoicing.

Through this experience, we learned that we need to reach people where they are (online) and that we should not be afraid to ask people if they would like to get baptized too.

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These Meetings Were for Me!

by Delilah McGhee

Rachael and Cole, two young people who have made the decision to find out more about what God’s plan is for their lives, faithfully attended the “Understand Prophecy” meetings at the Hayden Lake Seventh-day Adventist Church. When they weren’t able to attend, they made it a point to watch it online. They didn’t want to miss a single sermon!

Both Rachael and Cole have very eventful past lives, having started down a path of drug use in their early teens. Rachael made the decision to become clean and sober 12 months ago, and had been diligently praying for Cole to do the same. Cole was a bit more resistant to committing to a change, but Rachael never gave up on him, and she prayed for the Lord to reach him somehow.

As the Lord would have it, Cole ended up in jail the same week the prophecy meetings had begun. While in jail, Cole made the decision to turn his life around. He realized he no longer wanted to live the life that he had been living. Upon his release a few days later, he kept that promise. Rachael encouraged him to attend the meetings that were being presented by Pastor David Morgan, and he did! He committed to attending the prophecy meetings every night, and was moved to tears on more than one occasion, recognizing how lost he had been all these years.

Cole states, “I believe these meetings were for me. Every time I hear Pastor Morgan speaking, it’s almost as if he is talking directly to me. I’ve learned so much these past few weeks. Coming from a place where I’ve had little to no biblical knowledge and understanding, I felt like a sponge, just soaking in everything that was being taught. I appreciated how everything that was taught was straight from the Bible and it was so clear and easy to understand.”

Rachael, who has been consistently studying the Bible for the past few months, also greatly enjoyed the meetings. She states, “I felt the prophecy meetings were amazing. They were so in depth and I learned so much. It clarified so much for me. I had no idea all of this information was in the Bible. I feel like the world needs to hear this!”

We are so grateful that God has chosen our church family to have the privilege to minister to these two beautiful souls, and look forward to seeing what God has in store for them.

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Reaching an Entire City

Great example of how technology can facilitate social distance during crises that require staying at home.   Case of during pandemic isolation by COVID-19.

by Ofa Langi, Pastor of the Auburn City Adventist Church

We had originally planned to have meetings with Evangelist Brian McMahon April 16-May 9, 2020. As the world knows, Covid-19 hit and we have been altering our plans and adjusting as we go. With an alternative option to join It Is Written’s virtual meetings, we jumped on the opportunity to do evangelism. Our local Elders, Finance Committee along with the Church Board agreed to be a part of the virtual meetings. We set people in place and started picking out leaders and virtual Bible workers. As leaders, we watched and participated in the online training sessions as we prepared for the meetings.

The It Is Written meetings started as planned, but there were some major challenges. The server crashing opening night, the switching of the follow up and tracking participants program was challenging. Our most difficult issue was trying to train and transition our older volunteer virtual Bible workers to a new system. This really discouraged our volunteers. We struggled to stay connected with our online database participants and tracking was a major issue.

But there was the bright spot in all of this for our church. These issues helped us be intentional about prayer, outreach and evangelism. As a result we started praying. Our 40 Days of Prayer journey went from 40 days to a 100 days of praying and corporately fasting on Wednesdays. The church was better connected as a result of praying together.

The mindset shifted from taking care of our members to what can we do to bring hope to our city, which led to a community assessment where we learned that there was a need for covid testing and food security. As a matter of prayer, the Lord blessed us in partnership with Harborview Medical and UW Medical through our local mayors office to secure free covid testing at our church. We also were able to secure food for distribution. For the last 20 weeks or so, we have been able to provide free covid testing along with food distributions on Tuesdays. We have extended our food distributions at our location to Thursdays and Fridays and Mondays and Wednesdays at the Puyallup Adventist Church. Through our ministry to the community, we now have people who have joined our church and attend worship Sabbath morning as well as other activities.

As a result of community contacts and partnering with our local government, the mayor’s office paid to bring a dental van out to our church three times. The city of Auburn’s Health Director is currently looking over the NEW START health program. If approved, we will be leading out in teaching the NEW START health program to the whole city of Auburn. We are also collaborating with Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to research the air quality here in Auburn. This study will benefit the church by building positive relations in our community by providing actual test numbers and ways we will be working to increase better air quality for our city. As a pastor, I recently was invited to and have accepted the position to be on the newly established Chief of Police Advisory Committee for the Auburn Police Department.

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Surprise Baptism

by Gerizin De Pena, Pastor of the Salem Spanish Adventist Church

In mid-July, in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, we were blessed to hold virtual evangelistic meetings entitled “Today is Your Day. During these meetings, we had an average of 200 people connected every day. Several of the local families, watching the virtual meetings, were receiving Bible studies from members of the Salem Spanish and were making the decision for Christ. In addition to these, dozens of people in various parts of the world who also embraced Jesus as their only personal Savior.

I want to highlight the wonderful experience that occurred at the baptism on Saturday, August 29th, in the Willamette River in Salem, Oregon. That beautiful afternoon, with social distancing, a group of brethren got together to celebrate the baptism of a family of five. As we sang by the river, an Anglo man, named Nicholas, was observing our baptism. When we finish singing and praying, we proceeded to the baptismal ceremony. When we finished the baptism, Nicholas mentioned to a member about his desire to talk to me.

When Nicholas approached me, he said “God has touched my life and I need you to please baptize me now!” He spoke to me with conviction and a cry of the heart that could only reflect the sincerity of when the Ethiopian eunuch asked Philip the same question. I immediately asked him if he believed and accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and the answer was yes. Upon perceiving this impressive work of the Holy Spirit, I returned with this man again to the waters and there I baptized him. I have never seen such a cheerful face and expression of such joy in a newly baptized as I saw that afternoon. He looked like a child who just received a toy he had desired all his life!

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God’s Miracle Series

Network Connections World Map Polygon Graphic Background with Connected Lines.

by Myckal Morehouse, Pastor of the Stone Tower Adventist Church

In the Fall of 2019, we were gearing up for a great prophecy series scheduled for April of 2020. We had scheduled the Oregon Conference evangelist, we were participating in the Voice of Prophecy national evangelistic campaign, and we had all our funding in place to reach over
100,000 homes in advertising — that’s until a global disaster hit! With Coronavirus sweeping around the world, and cities shutting down across America, our prophecy series was cancelled. We had literally thousands of dollars in brochures that were printed and sitting in a warehouse that we were unable to use, and unable to get a refund for! We wondered together,
how could God use what little we had left in our budget, in the midst of global pandemic, to somehow reach our city when no one was allowed out of their homes to attend public events?

But God is bigger than any pandemic, and miracles happen when God’s people face red-sea sized obstacles with faith that God can make a way through. So instead of backing down or shutting down, we decided to press forward and try something innovative, we decided to take a risk! With four weeks to pull it all together, and only one fourth of our remaining budget, we began planning to host a virtual evangelistic series through Zoom, placing our faith in God’s ability to bring people, as He always does.

Opening night we were amazed as devices from all over our city and across the country began logging on to our zoom meeting. We watched as people engaged through the Zoom chat, responded to the appeals and made commitments for the Sabbath, the State of the Dead, and yes even Baptism! Unlike a traditional meeting, we didn’t take a break. We went 25 nights straight, and did absolutely zero preliminaries keeping the meeting to under an hour every night. We just went for the basics (preaching our message) and God blessed! A dozen made a commitment for baptism, many more committed to keeping the Sabbath, but the miracle God did was even bigger.

God’s miracle series reached one of our members who had moved to the east coast. She was praying for God to use her to be His witness during this pandemic. That’s when she got the idea of sharing the links from the whole series to a facebook friend who lived in Kenya, Africa. Little did she realize that her friend owned a radio station that broadcasts all over Kenya. This
friend decided to advertise and broadcast the series over radio and as a result over one hundred people have requested Bible studies and eight have called in to the radio station requesting baptism.

So a series that was nearly cancelled through a global pandemic, through the miracles of God, has reached hundreds for the kingdom around the world and has brought precious souls into our church family. We rejoice to see those making decisions for Christ. Praise God, His truth is marching on!

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Unexpected Visit Proves Worth of Drive-In Church

Read this inspiring storyabout how, despite a lack of indoor church services, the Anchorage Northside Church is still able to minister the community, even reaching those curious and first-time visitors.

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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 tra 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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