Category Archives: Soul Winning

Three Stages of Evangelism

by Juan Pacheco, Pastor of the Hillsboro Hispanic Adventist Church

Our evangelistic program for the year was severely affected by the pandemic so we had to reinvent our plan. This year we talked about the crisis we were experiencing and planned for many resources in order to be effective as a church. We came up with three stages for evangelistic series to reach new converts.

Outreach

First, a program to help entrepreneurs who have been affected by this crisis. Several small business owners were forced into unemployment or had limitations as a result of the pandemic. Thus we began a series of topics on leadership, stress management, marketing, and how to trust God in difficult times.

Revelation Series

Our second stage, we presented an online 7-track Revelation series. After the presentation, interested people wrote me for questions and answers.

REAPING

Then in our third stage, we had a series of 15 harvest themes that was distributed in 2 weekly presentations by zoom. So far we have 2 professions of faith and 2 baptisms and recently started another series with 15 people studying the Bible.

Baptisms

Marcela and Julio were baptized after a series of meetings. Doctors gave Marcela 6 months of live because of an advanced case of cancer. She decided to surrender her life to Jesus, knowing that He can be her healer, but if His will is for her to rest, she knows that He already saved Her and will have a beautiful gathering in heaven when Jesus returns.

Comments Off on Three Stages of Evangelism

Filed under Changed Lives, Soul Winning

Second Coming Surprise

by Cristian Barrera, Pastor of the Central Valley District in Eastern Washington

This has been an interesting experience where, even in the middle of a pandemic, God has been moving. We started an online series of evangelistic presentations every Monday. Each night a biblical truth was presented in a practical and easy-to-understand way, especially for those who had no prior knowledge of the word. We had special guests such as Dr. Minner Labrador, Dr. Cesar De León, Mike Rosario, among other renowned speakers who accompanied us on different nights.

The idea was to not only ensure that viewers would get connected to the broadcast, but to also follow-up with them after. Bible studies began to emerge and God worked in a powerful way resulting in five souls for the Kingdom of Heaven.

One of the most interesting cases was the story of Abel, a Jehovah’s Witness and husband of a member from one of our churches. To reach him took a lot of work and prayer on the part of his wife and church leaders as he was still very attached to his beliefs. Yet, as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit, Abel made the decision to surrender his life to Jesus and accept Him as his personal Savior. On July 26, he was baptized in a very pleasant family ceremony, celebrated in the middle of nature.

Another experience that we also enjoyed seeing was the case of Esmeralda and her family. She is the daughter of Benjamin, one of the leaders and pioneers of our church in the Yakima Valley. He passed away at the end of last year and one of his greatest wishes was to be able to see his children again in the second coming. His prayer was answered when Esmeralda, together with her husband and children, made the decision to follow Jesus and give their lives to Him through baptism. The best part of this is when Christ returns and raises brother Benjamin from the dead, he will be overjoyed to see his daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.

There is no doubt that the Spirit of God has not been in quarantine during this pandemic, but has moved and will continue to move to transform hearts and bring them to Jesus.

Comments Off on Second Coming Surprise

Filed under Changed Lives, Soul Winning

Walking Together

by Florencio Bueno, Pastor of the Mabton and Grandview Adventist Churches

The beginning of the year 2020 was a powerful occasion to launch our evangelistic Series “Walking Together,” inspired by the idea to walk together with Jesus. This spiritual journey was intended not only for church members, but also for non-Adventist friends.

During our 15 part presentation, eighteen people showed up to participate in this powerful experience. As a result, several absent and no longer engaged members decided to return to an active and systematic attendance. Several visitors, church friends and community neighbors agreed to receive literature, event announcements, and some of them accepted Bible studies.

At the end of the evangelistic series, two precious souls were joined to our church through baptism another two were accepted by Profession of Faith and re-baptism.

One of these families kept their distance for a long time. For several months they had been far away from church, struggling with personal health, family, and legal issues. Their was an excitement throughout the church when they came to the meetings with their family and members were vibrant with joy when they were baptized.

The second story is about father of four. He had been running away from Jesus for around two years. He decided to leave his family and abandon his Christian faith. Nonetheless, Jesus had a different plan for him, he accepted the gift of restoration and renewal. Finally, he came back to his Savior, showing his commitment to Christ and returning to the faith by baptism.

Comments Off on Walking Together

Filed under Soul Winning

Heavy Conviction

Feeling free. Success and happiness. Happy young man with arms raised with blue sky in the background

by Scott Tyman, Pastor of the Tacoma Central Adventist Church

2020 has been quite a year as it relates to evangelism. We started out as usual with a number of interests from community events and evangelistic series interests from 2019.

Evangelism is truly a cycle. As usual I started out with my four Revelation classes scattered throughout the Tacoma community with 30 plus interests attending. Then COVID-19 hit toward the end of the series. I was forced to do individual Bible studies and work around their schedules.

I had been working with Robert for nearly five years. He and his wife had attended at least three or four evangelistic meetings in the past, initially coming to the church through a handbill. They had been into heavy drugs and alcohol. Robert had been under heavy conviction that the things he was learning was true, but he would never move forward. I wasn’t exactly sure why. I thought maybe it was the addictions he was fighting.

Then Robert’s wife died last year and again I came in contact with him. He was still searching and desiring a closer relationship with Jesus. He was still struggling with different addictions, but one he had given up was alcohol. I found out that his wife had really been a huge influence on him in not making a decision for Christ and baptism.

After a lot of prayer, Robert finally decided to accept the gift of salvation through baptism. He is now a very active church member, attends Sabbath school and church every week and is volunteering at the local Tacoma community center.

Comments Off on Heavy Conviction

Filed under Changed Lives, Soul Winning

Finding Hope

Hand turns a dice and changes the expression "new year" to "new start".
Photo by Fokusiert on iStock

by Jorge Richarson, Pastor of the Nueva Vida and Independence Spanish Seventh-day Adventist churches.

“Approximately 18 years ago, I arrived in the United States. I came with dreams and illusions of a better future. God gave me the opportunity to come with my greatest gift on this earth, my family,” Sara says.

Sara has been living in Independence, a city southwest of Salem, for 17 years. There, she has seen her three children grow up. She has also experienced the pain of a marriage destroyed by the alcohol and drugs her husband consumed. Alone, without hope, and with the battle of finishing the education of her three children, she kept going. As the years went by, her life kept feeling empty, stressful, disillusioned, and hopeless. One day her neighbors told her about some hope meetings. Sara said, “I need to hear hope.”

Sara then met Magoo, Head Elder at the Independence Spanish Church, started a friendship and became part of a small group in his home and began to study the Bible together. Pastor Jorge Richarson would visit twice a month and encourage her to go forward and give her life to Jesus.

Sara says: “My best day of the week was when they would visit me on Wednesdays at 7 PM and have the small group. That was a day where I could learn new songs, learn more about how to live a new life in Jesus. At first I did not understand anything, but then I was creating a study habit and I liked to learn about my origin, why we are as we are, we react as we react, it was very interesting to know: creation, the origin of evil and the effects of sin throughout time, and the great provision that God has made through Jesus Christ so that we do not continue in the chaotic life that we have lived because of sin. It has been 14 months since the small group became part of my life. I am now has peace, and I want to give myself to Jesus,”

In May 2020 there were three weeks of spiritual emphasis & evangelism through ZOOM entitled: Hope in a World with Covid-19 Bible Study led by the Pastor of the church.

In June 2020, the church met again in the building and Sara decided to be baptized and also her nephew who attended the small group.

When she was in the baptismal pool Sara said: 18 years ago I came to USA, and I came with dreams and illusions of a better future – today I have found a better future in Jesus Christ – today I decide to be born again, to live under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Today Sara is emotionally restored, she serves as a deaconess in the church and testifies of what God has done in her life. In addition, she is giving Bible studies to her parents and her husband who wants to restore their marriage relationship after 7 years of separation.

This story of Sara’s redemption reminds us that there is still hope in a world with Covid-19.

Comments Off on Finding Hope

Filed under Changed Lives, Soul Winning

Until the Nets are Full

Old fisherman is catching fish with fishing net on his boat, Çivril, Denizli, Turkey.

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

God has been blessing us with new visitors every weekend. Our church leaders are mission focused and enthusiastic to nurture each current member and serve our community. Growing 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 unchurched in our community has ever been our focus.

We’re ever brainstorming ways of establishing connections in our community and helping the unchurched in the Richland Seventh-day Adventist Church experience Christ. In 2020, we developed a new series on the 11th chapter of Hebrews called By Faith. This was a 3-month Sabbath series, covering 18 sermons that focused on each life and what defined their faith.

The series had a great energizing effect in our congregation. We have baptized six so far, even though covid-19 tried to take the wind out of our sails. We are studying with more contacts and hope to have an even richer harvest.

I am thrilled with how many members are actively involved with the community and how many new connections are being made every day. Our attendance is up and we are continually seeing a stream of new seekers coming through our doors. I’m excited for the next few years growing the amazing leaders we are blessed with here in Richland, collaborating with them in this endeavor, and figuring out new ways to bridge the gap between members in our community. 

I love the everyday evangelism and discipleship that happens at Richland and look forward to the proclamation evangelism series that will bring in the harvest that 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!

Comments Off on Until the Nets are Full

Filed under Leadership, Soul Winning

First Fruits

by Victor Rodriguez, pastor of the Shelton Spanish Adventist Group

Shelton Spanish is a daughter church plant project of the Olympia Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Hispanic population has grown considerably with Mexicans, Guatemalans, and others Latinos and the need for more churches is great. So our new church was started just a few months before the pandemic reached Seattle area in February 2020.

Although the pandemic has hurt church attendance for several months, the Shelton Spanish Group was ready to adapt and get into prayer and intersection mode as well as to do Bible study in a different way. All of these could not be done face to face because of the preventive orders and rules in place in our Washington State to stop the rapid growth of sick people. However, through teleconference and the use of Zoom virtual meetings, the group was able to navigate to a new era to which it was not prepared.

For several months, a group of sisters and brothers in Christ lead intercessory prayer for our community. By the end of August 2020, we finally saw the opportunity to open the church, but it was a completely different environment. Following the recommendations and mandates of the state, everyone in attendance wore masks, and physically distanced. Hand sanitizers were provided and a registration was taken every Sabbath. But, although the service was then shorter and schedule changed to a later time, all those who where able to attend were very happy to be there. Many new friends were gained.

We were then, ready to follow our evangelistic meetings set for every fall, which normally becomes the last reaping meeting of the year. All the members were excited that we could still have a meeting, which could be also be available through digital media to the public who may not be able to attend.

The Shelton group was set for evangelistic meetings dated for the end of October 2020 and beginning of November. Advertising was done every Sabbath and through social media. Our meetings were planed to take place on the weekends. Every night we had people from other places and countries who connected on Facebook to watch the presentation of the series “We will see Jesus,” with speaker Pastor Victor Rodriguez.  The series presented answers for our times of troubles, the love of God, certainty of salvation among other topical presentation which ended with the second coming of Jesus.

We had local people who attended the meeting but within the capacity limitations that were indicated. Every night we had a good response to the calling of the Spirit of God through Pastor Rodriguez and we can say that about 20 to 25 contacts were establish who continue to come to church on Sabbath services. On October 30, three new members were baptized and joined the Shelton Spanish Seventh-day Adventist group.

We have seem the hand of God guiding and leading as we move by faith toward the goal of making disciples for Christ as the Great Commission asks us to: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20).

Please pray for us as the new year will bring new opportunities in witnessing for Jesus Christ.

Comments Off on First Fruits

Filed under 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.

Comments Off on Reaching People Where They Are

Filed under Soul Winning

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.

Comments Off on These Meetings Were for Me!

Filed under Changed Lives, Soul Winning

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.

Comments Off on Reaching an Entire City

Filed under Prayer, Soul Winning