Saturday, January 3, 2015

Visitation Works! (OJT – Part I)

Jeezrel and Fermin
The stories and experiences our PAFCOE students bring back with them are so amazing that we want to share some with you! In fact, there are so many that probably you will still be reading about them when the new upcoming session has already started! Here is the first one by Fermin, a young theology student who was partnered with one of our kitchen staff, Jeezrel for the children’s program.

Their open venue.

He was assigned in an island in the southern part of the Philippines and this is what he said the first week, “During the opening night when everything was ready for our start, it rained so hard. We were supposed to start at 5:30 but it rained and didn’t stop until 6:45, so we started soon after. We couldn’t continue when it was raining because we were using an open venue with no roof over it. But we still praise the Lord that people came! The rest of this first week, it rained every afternoon, but stopped before our program and continued after we finished! Truly God sheltered and protected us!”

Having an open venue is a challenging situation but God can turn that into a blessing by holding the rain so His Word can be preached! Later on, Fermin said, “I was so tempted to polish my sermons until late afternoon to be sure I really understood them and just forget about visiting people. But I decided not to do that. So we went with our Pastor to visit one of our church members in the area who was very old and not able to attend church anymore. We did worship with he and his family and I shared a devotional from the Bible. The old man said, ‘I was almost tempted to think that no one cared for me anymore since I have been in bed for 10 years now, but I’m so happy and blessed to have my fellow church members visiting me!’ Then I realized how important it is to do visitation and that in seeking the good of others is where true happiness is found. We started doing Bible studies with his wife who was not an Adventist and saw how hungry his family was to learn from God’s Word.”

During the time that Fermin and his partner were there in that town, a woman was stabbed and several others were killed and soon the rumor spread through the village that this was a cult and people became afraid to go out at night for fear of what might happen to them. One night, Fermin asked one of his faithful attendees if she was fearful to go out at night to their program. She said, “I don’t care if I am hit by a bullet or something else, because what’s important to me is to hear the Word of God.” What commitment!

Preaching in the church
When the program was moved to the church from the open venue, some of the people stopped attending, but still there were the faithful who continued on coming to the program. Fermin said, “This week, I really had to be dependent on God as I preached the ‘hot’ topics – antichrist, mark of the beast, etc. It seemed that I never had enough time to learn my sermon, but when I preached, it was so amazing! It was like it was not me preaching, but God through me. I learned that even if there’s not much time to spend on learning your sermon, if you do your best, pray and do visitation, God will bless you!”

During the last week, he said, “I was so touched when I found out that a lady I personally given the flyer to had come to all the meetings and was baptized! I never expected that someone I gave a flyer to would get baptized!”

The baptismal candidates and friends.
One of those baptized who wrote that last part.
Praise God for the souls who decided to be baptized! One of those baptized said, “I can say that the Prophecies of Hope Seminar gave me confidence to make my decision for Christ. I thank God for sending Amazing Facts to this place! Because of it, we know what the truths of the Bible are. God is so good to us!”

Yes, visitation is very successful! God used that personal contact to help to win souls for Him!