Friday, September 19, 2014

Meeting Christ - 1

God has many ways of reaching people for Him! Recently our students shared their personal testimonies of how they met Christ and we will share a few of the most inspiring ones with you!

“I grew up in a Buddhist family in the countryside and went to study with the Buddhist monks. I became a very serious Buddhist follower, but loved to work on the farm. I definitely wasn’t a Christian and had a very ‘hopeless’ life. I was the bad child in the family. But I found Christ when my oldest brother brought me to study in an Adventist school. There I learned about the Bible and made many friends that helped and encouraged me to follow God and be a Christian. I was baptized a few years ago in the school where I was studying. Now God has blessed me so abundantly! He gave me a new life to be His servant and provided all my needs! God has richly blessed my life now! I am so happy!”

 “Before I met Jesus, I was very miserable – indulging in all the world’s pleasures and entertainment with my worldly friends. I would rather sleep than go to church and when I did go, it was so boring for me. But I found Jesus when I started working as a literature evangelist. This missionary work really directed me to Jesus. I learned that doing my earthly pleasures didn’t fit with my new work. I discovered that attending church was very essential to keeping up my relationship with God and I found myself becoming an active church member! I learned how to walk with God, while doing His work and my life was completely changed. I’m so glad God really changed my life and I realized God has a plan for my life! My life now is so blessed because I am here in PAFCOE to be trained on how to work further for the Lord. I really believe that God really cares and knows what’s best for me. Today I’m really enjoying my life as a soul-winner with Christ. This is such a great experience to be working together with God in every step of the path I am on!”

“I had almost everything I wanted in my life, but I felt a need of something or someone to share my problems to. Such a need led me to look for it everywhere I went. I ended up looking for answers in the wrong direction and ended up in the wrong places. I tried everything until I exhausted my energy. Finally I was sitting in a park one day thinking about my life when I remembered my father’s words when I was still young. He told me that he will not look for riches, profession or accomplishments. He would only ask how my relationship with Jesus is. I took my Bible and began meditating and seriously praying again. I took all my problems to god and began loving Him with all my heart! My life began to change. My trials, temptations and persecutions are not all gone, but rather increased! However, I found the peace to endure and strength to overcome through Jesus Christ. As the days go by, He makes me feel complete and I always have someone to lean on during days of trials. I found the purpose of my life in Him! Jesus is the most significant person in my life that I want to share with others!”

“I was not always a Seventh-Day Adventist. Before I became one, I was drinking, smoking and even using drugs. But God was guiding me in the right path and gradually transformed my life! About 9 years ago, a lay woman evangelist went to our place because that was her assignment. One of my friends, who happened to be a SDA backslider invited me and other friends to do Bible studies with the lay woman evangelist. Why? Because we were interested in her beautiful daughter and wanted to have the privilege of courting her! We were 13 boys studying with the mother, hoping to gain the daughter! After months of studying, we all decided to be baptized, but I was the only one who could not be baptized because my parents gave me severe opposition. I experienced a great deal of persecution from my family and my Mother decided not to support me anymore in my school. Then she told me that if I didn’t stop worshipping on the Sabbath day, she will decide to make me as if I was not her son anymore. So I went to live on my own and became independent. I became a working student and worked to pay for all my expenses. But still God is so good to me and He never left me despite my challenging experiences! Four years later, I was baptized and the brethren encouraged me to join the missionary work. That is the time I found the true peace in my heart that I was looking for! I found true joy! I still have many struggles, but God is so good because He is always with me and helps me to continue walking with Him! I always claim His promises and they encourage me so much!”

That was just a few of the many exciting ways our students have found Christ! More will be coming soon!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Inspiring Experiences from Doing Bible Studies! - 3

Outreach is continuing here at PAFCOE and God is richly blessing our students as they go out witnessing for Him! Below are more of their stories:

One said, “This week, we shared the Origin of Evil topic to our Bible study student, her son and her sister. After the study, we asked them what their reflection about the study was. The 11 year old son replied, ‘This was the first time I learned about this!’ The mother smiled and it gave us courage to continue our efforts because they are not in vain!”

God gave one of our students a remarkable divine appointment! She said, “Our student seemed to be absent as my partner and I approached the place where we were expecting to meet her. As we turned to leave, we saw her walking up the street toward us! We greeted her and went inside her house for the study. As we talked, we found out about her family situation. As we went through the study, she nodded and listened attentively. By the time I came to the appeal, tears were falling down her face. It really touched my heart! I prayed for her and her family and she thanked us for our time and made sure we were coming back again.”

She added, “From this experience, I learned that God really can read the heart! He will lead you to the right place at the right time and speak through you to help the people. But what I realized more than ever before was that God was using these experiences to convince me that I should continue in His work!”

Another student had this experience: “Upon entering the home of our Bible study interest, I saw her lying in bed. Her husband brought two chairs and set them by the bed and my partner and I sat down. We began to know more about this family. Our interest had been operated on months before because of colon cancer and she was still struggling to fully recover. Her husband was taking care of her and their dog, Nathan. She was so thankful for the lessons because she said it helps her be closer to the Bible. She was also thankful for our visit and welcomed us to return again next time.”

While doing outreach, you never know who you might meet, as one student said, “This week during our outreach, a man was observing us that we are doing surveys in that place. While we were walking along, looking for people to survey, he came to us and asked us if we were really aware of what we were doing. So we paused for a moment and listened to his words. He was a Bible scholar, but he didn’t look like one because he looks like a common person. But he told us many stories and facts about the Bible and later told us that he believes in Jesus and had left everything for Christ. He was separated from his wife because she didn’t want to be a Christian and he lost his position at his job also. He also told us how amazed he was at us for going out to share God’s love to those who don’t know him yet. I was so inspired!”

Yet another said, “We are so happy this week because we conducted our first Bible study together! The two Bible students with whom we did it were so eager to learn many things regarding the Bible. My partner and I were very impressed that they enjoyed it so much! They told us that before two Mormons had been visiting with them and studying with them, but had suddenly quit. Praise God, they told us because now we have someone else to study with! Thankfully they were not prejudiced by us, either!”

Of course, outreach always comes with a few surprises and adventures as several students experienced! Here is their story: “My partner and I decided to ride a bus going back home after outreach since the ticket is cheaper than other public transportation. When a bus came by, I asked him if he was going to D. Tuazon and he said, ‘Yes.’ So we jumped on but as we rode along, I had an uneasy feeling that we rode on the wrong bus. So I asked the ticket man many times if we are going to the right street and he always answered me the same. They dropped us off at P. Tuazon – totally in the wrong place! It was just the first letter of the street name that made the difference and we were very far from home! We didn’t know what to do, so we prayed and as we were waiting for another bus to come by, here came two of our classmates! They had also made the same mistake and ended up in the wrong place! I believe God allowed that to happen to them so we could have companions as we went home and didn’t have to be alone. We made it back to our home safe and sound, praise God!”

Yes, doing outreach had its challenges and adventures sometimes! But God is always there to see us through! Keep watching for more exciting stories to be posted soon!
Happy students on outreach!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Inspiring Experiences from Doing Bible Studies! - 2

God promises to give us strength as we work for Him! Plus, He is arranging circumstances to bring our students into places to reach His lost children for Him. Here are more experiences from their outreach doing Bible studies.

One student said, “It’s so amazing this week that God lead us to a weird house that looked like a haunted house. We hesitated to push the doorbells because it seemed like no one was inside, but suddenly a young lady came out and told us her name. She is from the same city we are from in southern Philippines and was well acquainted with the SDA college we had been attending before coming to PAFCOE. We talked for quite awhile and she was so interested in studying God’s Word. She even knew some SDA friends back in our home town! I know God loves her so much and we prayed with her and plan to visit her again next week.”

She continued, “(This happened just a few minutes before we met the young lady above.) My sister and I decided to talk to the people at the nearby ministore. We introduced ourselves and our purpose and when we said we were volunteers working with Amazing Facts TV, she asked what channel that is on. When we told her, she said, ‘I think Amazing Facts is about the Bible because I watch that program sometimes.’ We were so amazed and happy that she already knew about Amazing Facts, though she is not a SDA. So we gave her a drop-off study and this week we came back and had it all completed and gladly received the next lesson. We also let her borrow my sister’s Bible so she could study more. Real happiness is found in serving others! :)

Her sister said, “I learned this week that we should not underestimate the people or the house we are seeking to reach. We should not skip any house, because God is holding us accountable to try to reach them for Him.”

The first sister shared another inspiring experience by saying, “Before going out to our territory, I prayed that God would lead us to someone who had a longing to receive His Words. As we walked along within our area, we talked to a few people and prayed for some. But some were interested in doing the survey. I started to think that maybe today was not the day for God to give us miracles; maybe next week or some other time. While walking on our way, we looked at our map to see where to go. Then a man asked us if we are looking for a place and could he help us. We just said, ‘No sir, we’re fine. We’re just going home to ____ (name of the street). Suddenly I had the thought to ask him to do the survey. So we did and he accepted without hesitation.  He even gave us his telephone number and address and told us to visit he and his family the next week and we prayed for him.”

“The next week came and we were going back out on outreach again. We visited all the homes of those who had done the surveys the previous week, but most of them were gone. As we were checking the list of those who had answered the survey, we remembered that man from last week. We decided to visit him. When we arrived at his house, we were very amazed because he was really waiting for us! He had prepared his Bible and he and his wife were ready to listen to the Bible study. So we prayed and started our study. They were both so happy because it had been a long time that they had opened the Bible because there was no one to help them understand it. After the study, the man offered to pray and he did. We are planning to go back to their place and do another study with them. Praise God! Deep inside my heart, I was so happy! God answered my prayer and gave us such a great divine appointment for my sister and I!”
Another student shared his experience, “I saw God’s love this week by how receptive the people were to discuss the Bible. They want to know God’s Word. Even in the lower class areas, people greeted me with a smile and the kids love my smile! I saw God’s love in making friends with the people.”

He continued, “My wife and I entered a gated community and were able to survey 3 houses before the guard saw us at the fourth one. He listened to us and then courteously escorted us out of that gated community. I was so inspired how my wife kept witnessing to the guard! In another area, an elderly lady accepted studies with us who told us that her children were SDA, but she is not. It really inspired me to be doing Christ’s work!”

God is continuing to bless our students with amazing experiences for Him! We will sharing more with you soon!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Inspiring Experiences from Doing Bible Studies! - 1

Outreach here at PAFCOE is going very well and our students are being blessed with many good experiences! Most of them have at least one Bible study with someone in their territory and some have several studies. All are excited to share God’s Word with others! Here are some of their experiences:

One student said, “I met 2 busy people who were selling food beside the street. I gave them the short survey and found out that they want to know more about the Bible! One of them said, ‘I want to read the Bible because I have a friend that was a really bad guy before, but when he started the read the Bible, his life was changed and now he’s a preacher!’ I asked him if he wanted to have that experience in his life, too and he replied positively. The man who was with him was not saying anything and I said to him, ‘Sir, you are very busy!’ He replied, ‘No, it’s ok. I am here always every day.’ I did not expect he will reply that way. I was so inspired that he was willing to take time out of his busy schedule to study the Bible!”

Another student said, “This week we conducted a Bible study with one of our interests. She was so receptive and loved to share with us her experiences. She told us that she was experiencing depression before and had attempted to commit suicide by taking all her pills at one time. Thankfully her children saw her and rushed her to the hospital. She told us that God is really good to her for giving her another chance to live life with her family. She added that our getting to know her was not an accident, but that God was using us to study the Bible with her.”

One student said this, “This week when we went to do our Bible study, our interest was not there, but her sister was washing clothes outside their home. So we conducted a survey on her and she answered all the questions and even accepted the offer for Bible studies. She left her clothes washing to talk to us and after we prayed for her, she told us that we can visit her anytime we come to that area!”

One of our foreign students told her story, “On Thursday, I conducted my very first sit-down study! After going through the study, we continue to share about our faith. Our interest is a very faithful Christian and was so inspired by our study together. She told us personal experiences about her health and how God has helped her. Then she started crying and I wondered why? Because everywhere she goes, she sees people who don’t know Christ’s love. Her tears really spoke to me about how God sees all His children and He loves us so much that He also feels pain over even one lost soul!”

Another happy student said this, “My most inspiring experience I have during this week is that our Bible students really enjoyed our lessons and really can’t wait for our next ones! I’m so glad to be in this ministry! I am so inspired of what God is doing every day in my life here in PAFCOE!”

This was another’s experience, “This week when we went out to do surveys, the first two or three times, no one wanted to take the survey. We started to pray for them and by the fourth house, we met a young man who asked us many questions like – who are you? What are you doing here? What is your purpose and why do you have this question about the Bible? When we answered his questions, we found out that he is an Adventist but for 6 months had not gone to church because of his work. He didn’t even know where he could find a SDA church, but he wants to study the Bible more!”

Another said, “We found a study with a man whose roommate told us to go away! God wanted us to study with that man instead of his roommate!”

Yet another shared, “God is so good to us this week for He led us to a house that really needs Jesus! We knocked at one house and we noticed that there was a little girl who had a big wound on her hand. We asked if we could help them by using natural remedies. They agreed and the next day we brought the things we needed and applied a charcoal poultice. Her mother had a lot of questions about our purpose, ourselves and our religion. But she became interested in learning more about Jesus! She was so amazed that someone who help her child because they didn’t have money for going to the Doctor. She was so thankful to God that He send us to help them and we were so blessed too!”

One student said, “This week we found a very interested old lady to study with! She was so happy to accept the study and promised she would be there next week when we come back for another study.”

The last student shared that she and her partner met an old man and his wife on their outreach and the old man used to be an Adventist, but was not anymore. His wife is atheist but she was very nice to them when they talked to the couple. While she talked with him, her partner talked to his wife. They found out that the old man really wanted to keep his faith and he always prayed that God would save he and his family together in heaven. The student said, “It was such a heart-warming experience! I almost cried when he started to cry.”

You cannot find a more greater joy than to share God’s Word with someone else! More outreach stories will be coming soon!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Divine Appointments in Unexpected Places!

Does God have a divine appointment for you somewhere? He probably does and it might be in a place you didn’t expect, either! Pray for that and He will answer and bring you in contact with people who are looking for Him! This week our students wrote their experiences of the divine appointment God gave them and many were so amazing!

One student said, “This week as we were going to our outreach territory, we were riding on a jeepney. As we were traveling along, a man beside us in the jeepney asked us about our Bible study guide that we were holding. We began to talk to him and gave him information about Amazing Facts and he was very open to receive God’s message! We hope he will come to the upcoming seminar and we’re so blessed!” A divine appointment on the jeepney – yes an unlikely place!

Another student said, “Every morning, I pray for the divine appointments God will have for me. On my way to the church for some business, I stopped by a vegetarian restaurant to eat my lunch. I finished my meal and was sitting there at the table, talking to the owner of the restaurant who is my friend. As we were talking, two people entered the place and took their seat at a table next to mine. The lady asked me if I was a vegetarian and I said, ‘Yes.’ She said she is also one and I asked her if being a vegetarian was related to religion and she told me that she had been seeing a well-known Adventist Doctor for some sickness she had. I told her that that Doctor and I are members of the same church. She said, ‘So you’re an Adventist!’ I learned she was receiving Bible studies already from one of our pastors and that she is starting to attend church on Sabbath, too! ‘Praise God!’ I told her. We talked a lot after that and I hope and pray that the Holy Spirit will continue working on her heart and bring her to a decision to be baptized soon!” A divine appointment in a vegetarian restaurant!

Another divine appointment came from this student who said, “Yesterday my partners and I visited a lady with two sons. She and her Mom were sitting in front of her door, so we approached her and gave her the health tract we were distributing. Then we started to talk and as we introduced ourselves and that we are volunteers working with the AFTV (Amazing Facts has a 30 minute broadcast every Sunday on TV), she surprised us! She said that she watches AFTV every week and really enjoys the program! My partners had a long and enjoyable talk with her and we promised to visit her again next week! It was clearly a divine appointment!”

One of our students found a very unique place for her divine appointment! She said, “Last Monday I prayed to God for my divine appointment. The following day, I was invited to go to a wake (the viewing of the one who died). I was hesitant to go, but I forced myself to attend because as a soul-winner I have to socialize. One of my fellow church member lectured to the people on the subject of death and I distributed tracts on the subject of death to all those present. They were all very appreciative! Then I began talking to a young man in his late 20s or early 30s and was able to use the FORT method for our conversation. When he asked what church I go to, I told him and then I also distributed copies of the Great Hope book which I had brought with me and he also received one.” What a great place to witness!

Another student said, “We met many people who wanted to study the Bible this week. One of our Bible studies is with a backslider Adventist. When we first visited his home, he answered our survey for us and then asked us what religion we are. We told him we were Seventh-Day Adventists and asked him if he knew about us. He said, ‘Of course, I am an Adventist too!’ But he had not attended church for 6 months already. We studied with him the prophecies of Daniel and I believe we met him so that he can come back to the church!”

What great places to find divine appointments! If you have not experienced a divine appointment, start praying that God will give you one and watch what He will do through you!

More stories are coming soon!