Monday, December 29, 2014

God changes lives at PAFCOE!

PAFCOE (Philippine Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism) is an evangelism training center where students of all nationalities can be trained in the techniques of soul-winning.  PAFCOE offers a four-month training course for full time students. During this course students learn personal, public, literature, health, and child evangelism. In addition, subjects on Daniel and Revelation and Bible doctrines are taught. For local professionals who are working, PAFCOE also offers a 12 Sunday training in personal evangelism known as “iShare.”  In addition, PAFCOE offers a Bible worker intern program where selected PAFCOE graduates are offered the opportunity to practice Bible work for a six-month period usually in preparation for an evangelistic effort. Through the diligent efforts of the PAFCOE students aided by the power of the Holy Spirit, PAFCOE has been able to give thousands of an opportunity to hear the good news of salvation. The full course program consists of three months of training and one month of OJT (On the Job Training) in which all students conduct an adult or child evangelistic seminar. Each session, more than 500 souls are added to the kingdom of God. But PAFCOE training is not only about winning souls. In the process of working for God, the lives of the students themselves are often transformed. They not only learn the principles of soul winning but they also learn the principles of a close relationship with God. 

PAFCOE session 6 was conducted from August 8 - December 10, 2014. A total of 42 full-course students and 20 iShare students were trained during PAFCOE batch 6. More than 550 souls were baptized or rebaptized during the course of the training with hundreds more to follow in the future. More than 2,000 people were directly approached by our students, and more than 2,500 people attended the nightly meetings of our students during OJT. Thousands of souls were given a chance to hear the message of salvation. Thousands of doors were knocked on and more than 100 books were sold.  Hundreds of Bible studies were also given. This session was joined by nine foreigners from countries such as Japan, South Korea, Australia, England, Cambodia, USA, and New Zealand.

Here are the testimonies of selected students:

One student from Japan said, "I was raised in a SDA family and got baptized when I was 12 years old. But I wandered away from God. I always wanted to overcome sin, but I could not. I tried many worldly things. But God did not give up on me. He is leading me step by step. He brought me here to PAFCOE, and through this training, I have learned so many things. In fact, what I learned was not really what I wanted to learn, but it was what I needed to learn. The first day I arrived here in the Philippines, I got cold; then the next week my money was stolen. Then I had an extremely difficult time extending my Visa, and many others. [He was given difficulty at the office of immigration because another person with his same name was on the country’s blacklist as a criminal.]  But I can see that all things indeed work together for good to those who love God. I praise God for his special plan for my life.

Through the PAFCOE training, I started to understand the present truth — the truth I must share with the world. I learned that these truths are made effective by the power of living and experiencing them. My daily life is made up of small choices such as what I say, what I watch, what I read, or what I listen to. Before I came to PAFCOE, I would go to the movies, waste hours of time playing sports, and spend God’s money for foolish and worthless things. I was a slave of sin and I was one of Satan’s most powerful agencies. I went to church, but I did not have any peace. There was no big difference between me and nonbelievers. I was a fake Christian and I was an expert at making excuses for doing the wrong. I always felt guilty and empty.

But by the grace of Jesus, I repented of all my sins.  I no longer want to hurt Jesus. Jesus once told a woman who had committed adultery, “Go and sin no more.” I want to overcome sin by the power of God. I now understand and feel God’s amazing love for me. What a blessing it is to be involved in the work of spreading the gospel! What a thought that God could have commanded angels to do the gospel work, but instead he chose us. 

During PAFCOE, my experience with the Lord changed so much that I decided to get rebaptized. I know I am not worthy to work for God. I am the chief of sinners, but my hope is in Christ. Jesus showed me how wonderful it is to obey God and he showed me how to obey his commandments. 

Because of what Jesus did for me, now it is my turn to show my love for him by working for God with all my heart. I want to share the gospel with everyone who will listen to me, especially in my home country of Japan where the work of sharing the gospel is indeed challenging. I want to be a self-supporting missionary.

One of our students from Cambodia said this: "When I was a new Adventist, I was afraid to read Revelation because many church members told me that the book of Revelation is the scariest book in the Bible. I was seeking to know what the message in the book of Revelation is, but I just could not understand it. I always thought, “Why is the book of Daniel and Revelation too deep for me to understand?” I read the book over and over and I felt upset with myself because I couldn’t understand it. I wondered what the problem with me was or what I needed to change so I could understand Daniel and Revelation. I asked myself, “Who can help me understand Daniel and Revelation?” I kept on praying to God for understanding. I prayed, “Lord, please help me! If it is your will please send an angel to explain to me these books! Because I read and read and read but I just can’t understand.” I waited for an angel to appear, but nothing happened. Then I thought, “Maybe my heart is so sinful that God will not hear my prayer. Or maybe I am not really surrendered to God.”

Here at PAFCOE, God really used my teacher to explain Daniel and Revelation to me. Every time we had a Daniel and Revelation class, I felt that God was speaking directly to me and that he really wanted me to change. As I studied Revelation, my eyes were opened to see the message Jesus wanted to communicate in the book of Revelation.

I really praise God because Jesus has overcome death and he has the key to open the grave. Before I was a Christian, I was constantly struggling with the fear of death.  I wanted the religion of Buddha to help me, but it gave me no hope.  I asked myself, “Who can help me find freedom from death? Who can give me hope for the future?” I knew that of myself alone I could not live forever. I knew that at some point I must die. “Oh who can help me?” I asked myself.  Many times I cried because I didn’t know who could help me. I didn’t have any hope for the future. But when I came to know Jesus personally and started to read the book of Revelation, especially the first chapter, my heart and my eyes were opened. [Hope sprang up in my heart.] Now I know and I see that there is a living God. Jesus overcame death!  He lives!  He has the keys of death. When Jesus returns, our bodies will be changed to new bodies because we have received Christ’s righteousness. There is hope in Christ for me at his second coming!  I pray always, “Lord, help me to be faithful to you and to walk with you more closely moment by moment. I pray that Jesus can work in my life. I want to fulfill your will. I want your will to be done in my life, in Jesus' name, Amen."

Another student said, "I have made many changes in my lifestyle habits during the PAFCOE training. Before joining PAFCOE, I just spent my whole day, aside from household duties, watching movies, eating, and sleeping. That was my everyday routine after finishing my college and taking my board exam. I even watched movies in the cinemas. But I praise God because he brought me to PAFCOE. I’ve changed a lot because God led me to the truth and he wants me to obey him. I do not regret anything. I learned that being active inside the church does not guarantee that we have a relationship with Jesus. I must spend quality time in earnest, constant prayer, and study of the word of God, meditating on it day and night and sharing it with others. Like the Laodicean Church, I need to make an effort on my part to come to Jesus in order to receive the gift – salvation. Although salvation is free, I need to put forth effort to obtain it, just like Revelation 3:18 says. I also experienced some great disappointments in my life. Some of my plans failed. For example, I failed my board examination. Supposedly after taking the board exam and passing it, I will work in a hospital and pursue my profession [as a pharmacist].

But God’s plan is far better than my plans because He has brought me here to be trained in PAFCOE. I realized that maybe if I had passed the board exam, I would not have had the opportunity to be trained here at PAFCOE. Praise God because even though in my own perspective it was a great failure, in God’s perspective it was a great victory. I know that my God is in control of my life.  I know that he is still with me, working out his eternal purpose in my life. Through all the events of the earth, both good and bad, God will reveal His wisdom to the universe. He will work out his own will.

And those were just a few! We hope to post more soon!

6th Graduating class!