Sunday, October 27, 2013

Unexpected interests!

“Please pray that we can find the people and don’t get lost!” said one of the students to me as she passed by on her way to join her partner for outreach.

“I will!” I called out as she went by. Several times through the afternoon, I remembered to pray for them as they were on outreach, seeking to find the people who had requested them to deliver the books that day in a faraway place.

The next day during lunch, I asked them how it went and what a story I heard! It was so amazing! 

Later on, one of them wrote out the story and here it is:

“It has really been so inspiring this week – so inspiring of what God has done for us! Last Tuesday, when we were doing canvassing, we met 2 ladies who were sitting outside in a restaurant. We talked with them and showed them the 2 books (Health & Peace and The Great Controversy) we had. They were the most interested in the Health & Peace (the Ministry of Healing) and they wanted it to be delivered to their workplace – a real estate business. So we set an appointment with them to come the next day at 5:00 pm. The problem with that was that her workplace was far from here (more than an hour away) and neither of us were familiar with the area.

So the next day, we set out to find them to deliver the books. As we started out, we got so stuck in traffic. Finally we reached the train station and rode to the area we thought we needed to go to. Then we waited for an hour just for a taxi or jeepney to pass by. It started to rain, so we waited in the rain. And we prayed and prayed that we could make it there on time to meet the ladies.

The minutes ticked by and it was already 6:00 – an hour past our appointment time and we prayed that the two ladies would not go home though it was already after 5:00 pm. Finally we got a taxi and it was such heavy traffic that we couldn’t move fast at all!

At last, we arrived at the right place! We realized we were in the business area and all around us were business people. I saw the tallest ladies I’ve ever seen before and they were wearing “killer” heels – 6 inches high and the shortest skirts ever!

While waiting for the ladies, they showed us around the place. Once the ladies were free from their clients, we went to a coffee shop to give them the books. Once inside, they gave us the money and we gave them the books for which they were delighted!

We offered to pray with them, but suddenly someone else called us to introduce something to us. After they talked for awhile, several of them began smoking. Suddenly one of the ladies said, “Oh, before they go they wanted to pray with us. Can we pray?”

The others put their cigarettes down and responded, “Yes, sure! Let’s pray.” So we prayed for them all and they all closed their eyes. After prayer, they said, “Thank you! That’s just what we needed!”

I was so surprised and just so amazed that though these people may look tough and have anything they could ever wish for, yet they are empty on the inside. They are stressed, tired, hungry and thirsty for comfort and a knowledge of God’s love.

As we left, one of the ladies told us how excited she is to read the book and that it is just what they needed ‘to be a good person, to overcome our stress and have good health management.’

Then she added, ‘I believe we met for a purpose and that is not going to be our last time together!’

Though we reached home very late, we praise God for what He did through us that day!”

What a story! Yes, God wants to reach even the upper classes. Though they have everything money could buy, they are seeking for true happiness and meaning in life.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Joy of Selling Books!

There is joy in selling books! Joy in seeing someone buy a book that will probably change their life!

Just recently the PAFCOE students have gone out selling the Ministry of Healing (under the title of Health & Peace) and The Great Controversy. And what experiences they have gained doing so! Here are some of their stories!

“Doing literature evangelism was one of God’s ways of training me to be a missionary. And I remembered that training when this week we went out doing canvassing. Seeing people’s desire to acquire the books despite their financial incapacity truly inspired me to reach out to others through literature. From the 4 people who got our Ministry of Healing books, 3 of them were very poor and had to work very hard just to make ends meet. God has many ways to bring people the truth – especially through literature!”

Another student said this when he was canvassing the Health & Peace book:

“During out literature evangelism outreach this week, we met a man with a frowning face who said, ‘I am a Muslim. We don’t need Christian books!’ I answered him, ‘Sir, our books are not talking about religion. They show how to have a happy family with a healthy lifestyle. Don’t you want to have a happy family that’s healthy, too?’ He replied in a low tone of voice, ‘Sorry, sir for my bad reaction!’ I praise God for guiding me what to say to help him be interested in our health book!”

The same student had another interesting experience:

“We were canvassing another lady to buy a book. After handing her the book, she said, ‘I want this book!’ We were so happy and inspired because this was the very first person who ordered a book from us!”

Another student said:

“My outreach experience this week is very inspiring! We went to our outreach territory and began canvassing. Almost all of them responded negatively and didn’t want our books. But I always prayed silently that God will help us sell some books. Then God led us to a small house. Inside were 2 people waiting and after talking with them about Jesus and telling them about the book, they ordered it! And of the 2 people who ordered the book, one of them is the church pastor of a large Protestant denomination! They told us, ‘I pray that more people like you will continue spreading the gospel and the truth.’ I was so inspired to hear that!”

Yes, the joy of selling books to others is incredible! Here’s what one student said:

“We were able to sell all our books! It’s very inspiring to see even security guards ready to accept the book! Even some Chinese people who were not Christians were willing to open their minds on health and buy the book. Almost all the people in our area wanted our books – so praise God!”

Of course, selling books is not always easy! One student remarked:

“When we are sometimes down, God lifts us up by giving us the things we hoped for! This week, when we felt down from not being able to sell a single book, one day a total stranger asked my partner about the books he was carrying. They talked and my partner explained about the book to him and he bought The Great Controversy! Praise God for the encouragement! (Later) This week we were successful at selling books. I am also inspired to see my partner so fired up about getting sales! But more than the sales, we were inspired because of the seeds that we sowed through those books.”

Another student had this experience:

“We went to do Bible studies with our interest this week and they refused to continue studying. So we decided to sell books to the neighboring stores. We canvassed a person in the store who was so hospitable with us. He talked with us and he liked the book, but still he didn’t buy it. To make our time useful, my partner offered to share with him from the Bible. He agreed and what a joy it was to share with him and to have another Bible study!”

One student commented on his outreach:

“I really saw God’s love in our outreach with my partner this week when we started canvassing. Even though there are so many rejections, yet God has promised us that He is with us always and that’s what we’re holding onto. Though we have plenty of rejections, it makes me strong because I know God is with us and I continually believe that there are people who are waiting to be approached about God. We did sell some books, though and one of them was to a Pastor and I’m so excited that hopefully the book will be read and Jesus will come into their lives!”

The book about health was much more popular than The Great Controversy. One student said:

“We met many people during our literature evangelism this week.  Most of them were very much open in having the peace of mind and a healthy body that we promoted through the health book. That’s why the Health & Peace is the best seller! Health is so effective!”

You never know who might read the books! Another student said:

“We meet a man this week in front of a building that is under construction. We realized that he was a priest and had devoted his life to his church. We canvassed him and he seemed very interested, especially when I mentioned that one of our books talked about whether the dead could communicate with us.  When we told him the price, he said that they also need money for their new building (the convent under construction). So I offered him a lower price and then an even lower price. Then he asked why the price was so low. I told him that we’re not here for business but for ministry. So he told us to go with him to the nearby house and he would get his money to pay us for the book and we sold him The Great Controversy!”

What an opportunity!

We are told: 

“Let not the canvassing work be left to languish. Let the books containing the light on present truth be placed before as many as possible.” Christian Service, page 145.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Bringing in the (big and little) sheaves…

Bringing in the sheaves… 

We shall come rejoicing bringing in the sheaves.

Many of us have sung this hymn over and over again, but…

Is it true? Yes, it has proved true many, many times.

A time for planting,
A time for cultivating and
Finally a time for harvest. 
 How the farmer eagerly awaits the day when he will bring in the harvest – the sheaves.

Our work as soul-winners is so much like that of the farmer. We cooperate with God in planting His Word (the seeds) in the hearts of His people and then seek to help that seed spring up and bear fruit. And there is nothing more exciting or rewarding than to see the “harvest” – the baptism!

Here at PAFCOE, we recently experienced a “harvest” of souls in the baptism that ended our evangelistic meetings on October 5. The four weeks of meetings culminated with the 39 precious souls who gave their hearts to Jesus through the step of baptism.

A few days before the baptism as our students were visiting with the candidates and making sure they understood the Adventist message, one student said:

"God is really leading His children to the light if they are truthfully and wholeheartedly seeking it. I was assigned to clear a 60 year old lady who was faithfully attending the evangelistic meetings every night. She told me how God has been working in her life to lead her to the truth. There were a lot of denominations who were inviting her to join their church, but for 20 years, she kept on refusing them. She said when she started attending our evangelistic meetings, there was this kind of “force” that was continually urging her to attend the seminar every night. She was so thankful to attend the meeting and to learn about God’s end-time message.”

Another story came from another candidate who told it to one of our students:

“I was so inspired to hear the story of one of the ladies I was clearing for baptism. She was a Catholic, but had an Adventist boyfriend. Ever before the evangelistic meeting, she was already searching out the doctrines of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. And she began to apply it to her life, even before she was baptized! This was especially true when it came to Sabbath-keeping. Despite the fact that she might lose her stable job, she was willing to follow Jesus. She made the commitment that day to never work on Sabbath again and was so happy to be baptized and follow Jesus!”

And there were many other stories – stories that were not even told to anyone and written only in the pages of heaven. Someday we will get to look at the books of heaven and see what means God used to bring someone else to Him in ways that we never realized. What an exciting time that will be!

Remember those street children the students were picking up night after night for the children’s program? Yes, those children were also taught about baptism, God’s true church and the importance of following the truths God had revealed to them. It was so amazing to see the change that was taking place in their hearts. They were being changed by Jesus’ power and by His Word!

One of our students said this:

“I really see God’s love when I met all those street children in their homes. Even if the place was so crowded and you might think that there is no good person in that place, it’s not true.  I’ve met there lots of good children and they are so receptive and excited to attend our children’s program! I can testify because of God’s great love, those children are being changed!”

He added:

“I was so inspired by one child that was coming to the children’s meetings every night! When we came to get the children for the meeting, we saw they were having worship in their home and they told us it was every morning and evening. I can really see that the seed that has been implanted in the hearts of the children is gradually germinating and I was so inspired to see what God did! Many people have seen the change that is taking place in the lives of those children!

When we made an appeal for those who wanted to get baptized, around 25 responded! Yes, most of those 25 were those street children!

As we visited with each child and sought to prepare those old enough for the step of baptism, we explained what it means to follow Jesus all the way and give your heart to Him. All of these street children came from non-SDA homes and it would be a challenge to stand up faithful for what they had learned from God’s Word. We reminded them that they must ask permission from their parents before getting baptized since they were still young and still living at home.

Many went home that night and asked their parents for permission. Some of our students went along to help the children ask permission and one student said:

“I learned today that it is not that hard to ask permission from the parents for the child that wants to get baptized. I thought it was so hard somehow! Maybe sometimes it is hard. But I do believe that it is because the Holy Spirit was working on the parent’s hearts that they gave their permission.”

Many of the parents gave their permission and blessing, but some did not. One boy said, “I don’t care what my parents say. God wants me to follow Him and get baptized and I will do it whether my parents agree with it or not.” He told some of his friends whose parents also had not given permission and because of his inspiring example, some of the other friends said, “Well, I guess if he’s not afraid of his parents and is brave enough to follow Jesus, I’ll do it, too.”

Our students and staff and the newly baptized children.

And sure enough, several of the children went ahead with getting baptized, even though their parents didn’t approve of it. As I watched that 15 or so children go down into the baptistery and bury their old lives, my heart was touched that God really can change even the wild street children into little “missionaries” for Him!

Yes, God still changes lives, today! And being a part of it is so fulfilling and rewarding!

Bringing in the sheaves…

Yes, we shall come rejoicing bringing in the (big and little) sheaves!

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

Friday, October 18, 2013

The World’s Best Mom!

Do you feel your Mom is the best one in the world? I hope so! That’s definitely how my brother and I feel toward our dear Mother and just recently, she celebrated her birthday. God has truly blessed our family with the Mother we have and this is a tribute to her!

Not everyone has a special mother, who deeply cares,
One that is able to listen, give advice, and dry all tears.
Not everyone has a mother that's always there to give,
And who will sacrifice anything for her children to live.
Not everyone has mother that can be serious or laugh,
Or knows when to give insights for living and maybe a half!
Not everyone has a mother interested in every aspect,
Yet is willing to move past mistakes- forgive and reaccept.

Not everyone has a mother willing to give Godly advice,
Even if she knows she may have to repeat herself twice.
Not everyone has a mother that puts her children first,
Or will sit by their bed late at night for them to be nursed.
Not everyone has a mother whose main attribute is ‘selfless’
Willing to put aside personal wants to support the helpless.
Not everyone has a mother with a big heart for each other,
Even if the person she just met is not her actual blood brother.

Not every mother can be beautiful on the inside and out,
But this mother is, and is the most genuine without a doubt.
Not every mother can be non-judgmental yet thrifty with money,
Interested in what we enjoy with a sense of humor that's so funny.
Not every mother has a smile that’s contagious as her laughter,
Yet loves unconditionally with a love we all want to take after.
Not every mother is practical with a million talents plus more,
Yet will share each talent with anyone who comes to her door.

Not every mother has a child that loves in return,
And would do anything to see her with no concern.
Not every mother has a child that appreciates her,
But today, each of your kids wants you to look past the blur,
And rest assured that your kids, if they could go back in life-
Would not have a mother like you any other way.
Happy Birthday to one who always makes our day.

Happy Birthday, Mother dear! :)