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2113 Costa Rica

Costa Rica – 28 Baptisms So Far!

IMG_1843 God is doing amazing things here in Costa Rica. Mark Remboldt, Treasurer for the North Pacific Conference and I (Ramon Canals) just finished two exciting series of evangelistic meetings in the city of Puntarenas. As a result of theseIMG_1840 meetings 28 precious souls were baptized with many others making preparation for future baptisms.

Amongst the people that were baptized was a lady who has been a catechist leader in the Catholic Church for more than 25 years. She fell in loIMG_1734ve with the beautiful message of the Bible as it is believed and preached by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and decided to become a member. She said that her only desire now is to share with others the beautiful truth of Jesus. The next day she brought her husband to the meetings. Please pray for these people and also pray for the more than forty missionaries that will be arriving today and tomorrow in preparation for these meetings.

Costa Rica is a staunch Catholic country. It is estimated that more than 95% of the popuIMG_1850lation profess the Catholic faith. However, God is working in the hearts of many people who are responding to His call.

Mark and I have also been working on all the logistics involve in organizing over 20 city-wide evangelistic meetings that will begin this coming Friday. Pacific Press donated thousands of books and Bible study lessons to the Costa Rica mission to help in the preparation for the meetings. This past weekend the Costa Rica Mission rallied all the pastors, translators, small group leaders and elders, to pray for the meetings and for all the missionary teams coming from around thIMG_1853e North Pacific Union and beyond. They are excited and grateful that we are doing this for them.

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2012 Dominican Republic

Early Arrival

I had arrived at Santo Domingo in Dominican Republic at 1:30 in the morning, earlier than I was supposed to. I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I had arrived, but there was no one there to pick me up because I was early. I thought about taking a taxi then realized that I didn’t have any money to get a taxi. I was stuck and just a little worried. Struggling I wheeled my luggage to a chair and sat down, thinking that I would spot someone that was there to pick me up. No luck. Then it hit me: I should pray. So I did. There was no mind blowing revelation, no stranger immediately there, so I decided that I would go and ask people that were there if they were waiting for a John Wilson. I talked to several people but they were all waiting for family or a friend. Finally I decided that I would talk to one last person. He was dressed in an orange shirt and looked pretty friendly. I went up and asked him if he was waiting for someone and he was. I began to converse with him and found out that he was waiting for his wife that was away on business. He then proceeded to tell me that he worked at a military base in Santo Domingo. Then the most amazing thing happened. He asked where I was going. I told him that I was waiting for someone to pick me up and brought out some papers of where I was supposed to go to: Coop Mareno in Juan Dolio, wherever that was. He looked at the papers and then told me that he would take me there! And after waiting till about two thirty (when his wife arrived) he then took me to my hotel, helped me check in and then left, leaving with me his phone number and email address. This is a miracle, I didn’t know what I was doing but God took care of me. Gloria a Dios! (Glory to God).

2012 Dominican Republic

Update on Dominican Republic

The usual challenges are popping up here and there, but so far no serious problems. Technology-you love it or hate it—sometimes both at the same time. But God has sent someone who knows how to solve those problems almost every time. Electricity is still iffy around here. Jared has had to preach outdoors in the street by flashlight because they thought more people would come if it wasn’t in the church. So that leaves him without his power point/computer, etc. At our Morning Group Meeting Ramon Canals held up his Bible and said, “Remember, this Book will never fail. The projector may fail, the computer may fail, but the Book will not.” He emphasized the need to study it and learn what was there so that we were not dependent on technology.

Natalie and Gina had the opportunity to do a television interview yesterday. Sounds like it went well. Natalie is so well spoken and competent. The speakers are now preparing for tonight’s presentation. We are praying for the Holy Spirit to speak to the hearts of these people. Some of them live in pretty bleak circumstances and the gospel would give them hope of a better tomorrow.

In our devotional this morning Sara shared her spiritual journey. We were moved as she told of her growth and understanding of grace and how that has made all the difference in her life. I am encouraging her to write it as it could be a source of encouragement to other young people. The prayers offered today were very moving. Our young people prayed the most beautiful and heartfelt prayers.

Ramon began a presentation on “The Secrets of Successful Evangelism.” The next few days we will learn some of these principles. It is nice that our students are receiving “how to ” instruction in evangelism from some of the best.

Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

2012 Dominican Republic

Tropical Downpour in the Dominican Republic

I (Jerad Wilson) am in the DR right now. My first sermon was tonight. I really like my translator he is a teacher at one of the Adventist school here in DR and he speaks pretty decent English.

Today just before we where about to go out we had a tropical rainstorm. I haven’t seen rain that hard even in Oregon. Raining cats and dogs does not come close to expressing how hard it was raining. The whole parking lot here filled with water about 6-7 inches deep. This was all within a hour. Of course this kept people away from the series because most walk. However we prayed that God would intervene and by the time we started the series the rain had mostly cleared up. The roofs here don’t really hold up well to water, they have leaks everywhere. My church is pretty good in this regard even though it is pretty small.

The people here are very accepting, at least the church members, even when you mess up they just keep smiling and listening. I’ve been trying to speak as much spanish as I can to as many people as I can and because of this many of the locals think I speak more than I do and start spouting off long complicated sentances, of course I get lost, and then they ask how much I actually speak, my answer; un poquito senior.

Well I guess that’s all I really have to say right now and I think I’ll head off to mi cama por el noche. Adios todos!

 

Global Missions

Stories from the Philippines

Michael AckerLast August, 8 Theology students from Walla Walla University went on a mission trip to the Philippines where they preached an evangelistic series. These are their stories.

 

Upon my arrival to the Philippines, my first thought was, “Wow, it feels like a hot steamy shower!” The humidity was pretty intense in the beginning. But, having the mindset to adapt and survive, I learned to adapt. I believe that is the key concept while heading into evangelism! While adapting to the heat, atmosphere, and culture, I realized that the people of Digos (a city in Mindanao) were looking at me as if I was one of their own. The only difference is that I’m a lot bigger than most Filipinos. Hence, my nick name, Big Filipino.

The Adventists in the Philippines are, without a doubt, some of the most gifted people when it comes to music. After preaching 17 sermons, I was privileged to hear two 2-year-old boys sing a full-fledged gospel song in English. It wasn’t even their native language, and yet, with strong passion and dedication, those two little boys sang with all of their heart and soul; plus, THEY WERE IN TUNE! As much as I would like to claim those two little angels as the climax of my story, they aren’t. Yes, the Philippines is a hot country; yes, Filipinos are very talented musically; and yes, I am bigger than most of them; but, the life changing climax of this trip lies in the hearts of the people. At first, I thought I was just teaching them via Share Him sermons by Elder Folkenberg. Wrong! Never in my life, which includes a pretty extensive amount of experience with mission trips, have I ever seen such a hospitable people. They happily serve others as a culture, like we happily shout when our team is winning the Super Bowl. It’s raw. There is no act. There is only genuine joy and happiness doing what they do best: serve! I might look like a big Filipino on the outside, but it is the inside of the Filipino that I deeply desire to imitate: their hearts of service! Amen.

~Chad Angasan

 

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…” This summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to spend three weeks in the Philippines, preaching God’s Word to the people there. Before Jesus left earth to return to His home, He commanded us to go, but I would like to argue that the most important part of His command was the promise: “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” While we spread the gospel, we need to remember that Jesus is with us, because it is not possible to spread any good news without Christ.

Late August and early September are still part of the rainy season in Mindanao, Philippines, where we were. It may be sunny one moment, with few to no clouds in the sky, while the next moment it is pouring almost as enthusiastically as Palouse Falls. Yet, during the majority of our time in the evenings, we were blessed to have no rain. Now, here in the states, it would be difficult to Continue reading “Stories from the Philippines”

Global Missions

Land on a Hill

In Missions, Argentina, Pastor Cristian Rizzo has a district of 11 churches and small groups, having to attend to more than 1,500 members. However, with a group of missionary leaders, they saw the need to open a new Church in a neighborhood that was still under construction. The pastor encouraged them with the project and they began to pray so that their dreams would become a reality.

After weeks of prayer, someone donated a piece of land on a hill next to the neighborhood where they were looking to open the new church. Happy with the response from the Divine they began to raise the funds necessary to begin the construction. And in His time, the same God who put in the hearts of a group of leaders, the desire to open a new Church opened the doors so that his name be exalted.

As part of the sowing stage they began to have classes of vegetarian food, week of health, classes about stress and others.

Finally they had a week of evangelism with the goal of planting and securing a new Church in the Cámpora neighborhood in the vicinity of Alem. Each night in a building that is not yet completed 100-120 people meet together and more than 40 people are visitors. Pastor Alejandro Dovald preached about the importance of having our names written in the book of life, in a series titled “Write your name”. At the end of the week 8 people were baptized and another 6 people are preparing for the next baptism.

Today, we have a new Church that shines with the truth of Christ!!! Finally the Church was built and every Sabbath almost 100 people meet together and glorify the Creator.

2010 Haiti Earthquake

In Haiti, the Displaced Are Left Clinging to the Edge

The article below found on the New York Times website mentions ADRA’s recovery work in Haiti.

Hundreds of families live on the median strip of a road in the Port-au-Prince area.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Hundreds of displaced families live perilously in a single file of flimsy shanties planted along the median strip of a heavily congested coastal road here called the Route des Rails.

Vehicles rumble by day and night, blaring horns, kicking up dust and belching exhaust. Residents try to protect themselves by positioning tires as bumpers in front of their shacks but cars still hit, injure and sometimes kill them. Rarely does anybody stop to offer help, and Judith Guillaume, 23, often wonders why.

“Don’t they have a heart, or a suggestion?” asked Ms. Guillaume, who covers her children’s noses with her floral skirt when the diesel fumes get especially strong.

Six months after the earthquake that brought aid and attention here from around the world, the median-strip camp blends into the often numbing wretchedness of the post-disaster landscape. Only 28,000 of the 1.5 million Haitians displaced by the earthquake have moved into new homes, and the Port-au-Prince area remains a tableau of life in the ruins.

The tableau does contain a spectrum of circumstances: precarious, neglected encampments; planned tent cities with latrines, showers and clinics; debris-strewn neighborhoods where residents have returned to both intact and condemnable houses; and, here and there, gleaming new shelters or bulldozed territory for a city of the future.

But the government read more

2010 Peru (Trujillo)

“The Willingness to say Yes” by Nan Peters

When you arrive on your first mission trip, you are definitely a little timid.  What is it going to be like?  How will I work with my translator?  Is my personal testimony okay?  Can I do the job?

At the first meeting with my church’s pastor and my translator, my Pastor Luiz asks me if I can give two mission talks a night.  Oh wow.  Should I ask our group leader?  Is this guy asking too much?  Can I do this?  Will I get too tired?

I said yes.  So many prayers were being said for me, by me, by and for the group.  I hoped that the Holy Spirit was involved in my answer.  But I knew God had given me a strong voice and I can talk tons – so say yes.

I’m so glad I did.  The two congregations were both fabulous that first week.  They were separated by about a 5-8 minute bumpy car ride.  

On the 2nd week of the mission, we did another church – a chuch that had been built by a Marnatha group.

We did quite a bit of visiting that week, one of which included a 12 year old boy whose parents ran a restaurant in Trujillo.  We went to the restaurant, it was closed and only young “Jimmy” was there.  He was very gracious and quite mature. 

I told him that there was nothing in life more important that making that commitment to the Lord.  This life is short and eternity is so long.  We want to make it.  We want to be there with God and all his angels. 

I believe “Jimmy” had already made his decision but it was gratifying to see him get baptized on the Sabbath.  Hallelujah !!!

Global Missions

Persecuted Members in Kandhamal, India

Sabbath morning, May1, 2010, I received a note from Leisa saying she woke with a very tangible sense of foreboding.  And not without reason. Kandhamal, the area we were traveling to Sabbath, is very remote and rather sparsely administered by the Orissa State and Indian governments. And it is the epicenter of Hindu/Christian tension that erupted into intense violence when Hindu mobs murdered nine Adventists and a number of other Christians, destroyed churches and the homes of Christians, and terrorized the entire population.

If something happened out there, there is no way to get help in a timely manner. Further, feelings remain intense. We were informed that violent Hindu extremists continue to regularly visit Christians and threaten that if they don’t reconvert to Hinduism, they will be targeted for violence again. Because of this pressure, many Christians have abandoned the faith.

I began questioning the wisdom of going out to visit our members in such a remote, volatile area. So I prayed. Sometimes we pray and we hear nothing. Sometimes we pray and the Holy Spirit gives us direction that is so loud, and so direct we do not dare ignore it. In this case, the answer was overwhelming – we should go. Not without some concern, but in faith, we set out. Leading our little group was Pr. Jena the president of the conference and with me was Dr. Christo, the secretary of the Division, who like myself had never been there. Continue reading “Persecuted Members in Kandhamal, India”

2010 Peru (Trujillo)

“God Has a Plan” by Greg Griffitts

Our first church was a small, upstairs room about 15’ x 25’. It had no roof other than a couple of tarps draped across two bamboo poles. Yet, the people became like family and took us in with open arms.

We had the opportunity to visit several of the interests in their homes. Most of these people had been studying with a member of the church and had been through a series of Bible studies prior to the meetings. Still, there were several who really struggled in making the decision to be baptized.

Two young men we visited from our first church, Sesar and Xavier, were both struggling with Sabbath work issues. Sesar’s wife had left him and taken his two year old daughter. He was so afraid that if he chose to fully follow Jesus he would lose his family for good as well as his job. We talked with him about the faithfulness of God, that God has a plan for his life that can only be fulfilled if he follows by faith. In the end, Sesar chose to be baptized and we heard that he quit his job so he could find employment that would allow him to keep the Sabbath. We’re praying that God will sustain him in this difficult time.

In our second church, El Recreo, we visited with a young man who had been through a set of the Bible studies but still hadn’t made a decision for baptism. In visiting with him, it became clear that he didn’t understand conversion. So we talked with him about giving his life fully to Jesus as Lord and Savior and experiencing the new birth. We had the privilege of kneeling with him in that living room and leading him in a prayer receiving Christ as his personal Savior.

An experience that was as fulfilling for me as any was having my daughter with me. She was with me on all the home visits, listened to the sermons, and watched people wrestle with Satan to break free and make decisions for Christ. She saw the battle between good and evil take place over and over in the meetings and in people’s homes. It became very real to her and changed her life as well!