Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lightning, mosquitoes and sponsors!

What do lightning, mosquitoes and sponsors have in common? They all relate to difference experiences our PAFCOE students have been having! Keep reading for some amazing stories!

One of our foreign students from another country said this, “I don’t know why, but it seems that all the mosquitoes here love my blood! They leave many “kisses” on my poor arms. When I went into one shop for outreach, the clerk saw my arms and feel pity for me. Because of that, we became friends with the clerk and were able to talk to that person who needs the Lord. I suddenly understood that ‘all things really do work together for good!’ Thank you, mosquitoes for giving me an opening to share Jesus, but please don’t bite me anymore!”

Another student added, “This week when we went on outreach, we went with my partner to a place we had already conducted surveys before. When we went to a new area, the guard would not allow us to survey the places, so my partner and I stopped and prayed for awhile, asking God to help us make friends with the guard. Then we decided to survey him and started asking him questions about Bible prophecy. But he couldn’t answer our questions! Finally we said, ‘Sir, if you are willing, we would love to share with you about Bible prophecy, so you can have answers to those questions!’ After we talked with him awhile, he thanked us so much and let us do our surveys all through that place! God is so good!”

God’s protecting hand was really over another student who had this experience, “When we went for outreach one day, the rain was already pouring. We were walking down the street going to our interest’s home, when suddenly a great flash of lightning hit just about 3 feet away ahead of us! I was ahead of my partner and I was almost hit by that lightning flash and would have probably been killed or seriously injured. But I am so thankful to God that He protected me and I felt no pain or anything! Praise the Lord for His continual guidance and protection!”

He continued sharing another experience, “Another day, we visited the store of a person who had done the survey with us. She warmly welcomed us to her place and told us that she had already read the first lesson we had given her and then related to us what she had read. My partner asked her if she would like to have a sit-down Bible study and go through the lesson together, but she was not sure because she is so busy. We handed her the second lesson and told her she will really enjoy it, too! She told us that she was so blessed when she read the lesson because she learned many new things about the Bible. We prayed for her and she was so thankful! We pray she will continue to hunger and thirst after the truth!”

Another student shared his experience: “My inspiring experience this week during outreach was when God provided for us! Both my partner and I didn’t have money for our public transportation ride, going to our outreach. But praise God, He never fails to provide for us! He used our classmates to share some of their money with us, so we could go to our outreach territory! And the most inspiring thing that I ever experienced in my life was when I learned that God had given me and my partner a sponsor for our tuition here in PAFCOE! It really was an answered prayer and God used my sponsor to be a channel of blessing to me! The lesson I learned this week is to not worry about the things we need because God knows all about it and He has a thousand ways to provide for them! If we just do our part as workers of God, He will take care of us!”

Yes, friends, God is in the business of taking care of those who work for Him and allowing things to happen that will all work out for our best good!

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Entering Wedge

What is a wedge? 

According to the Webster’s Dictionary it is: “A piece of metal, particularly iron, thick at one end and sloping to a thin edge at the other, used in splitting wood, rocks, etc.”

If you are splitting wood into smaller chunks, a wedge is very useful! It helps to divide the hard wood into pieces without so much effort.

Did you know the sometimes people’s hearts are just as hard as wood? So we need to have a wedge to enter their hearts with the gospel! What is our wedge?

“I can see in the Lord's providences that the medical missionary work is to be a great entering wedge, whereby the diseased soul may be reached.” --Counsels on Health, p. 535.

So the medical missionary work is our wedge and by using it, we can enter people’s hard hearts with the gospel message! Does it work? Yes! Keep reading for some of our students’ experiences of using this effective wedge!

“On Wednesday, my husband and I ventured into a new area with our health survey sheets. We soon discovered that this method was so much more effective than offering Bible studies! While we were checking the people’s blood pressure and counseling them, I could really see them start to relax and open up to us! One young girl just couldn’t get enough and kept asking question after question. Also her uncle seemed to have every health problem in the book! I can really see how medical missionary work can reach the heart! On another day, we visited another one of our interests, knowing that her husband had the chicken pox. They invited us inside and when I pulled out the blood pressure cuff, her eyes lit up. She said, ‘I was trying to get my husband to go get his blood pressure checked, but he refused to go. But God brought the blood pressure to us!’ We were so blessed this week!”

Another student said, “This was a very exciting week for us! We really saw how medical missionary work easily reached the people and they welcomed us with big smiles! We conducted so many health surveys and I was inspired by one lady. Why? Because she has colon cancer, but is still an active drop-off study student and all her answers are correct! What inspired me most this week was that people readily welcomed and accepted us because of our interest in their health. It’s so inspiring to help people with their health problems! They were very open to us and told us everything about themselves and it was so amazing!”

Another one said, “The medical missionary work is really the right hand of the gospel! We experience many times that it was so difficult to go inside someone’s house because they were prejudiced. But when we started doing health surveys and offering blood pressure check-ups, we found immediate entrance! In one place we had passed earlier that refused to listen to anything we had to say, we stopped again and offered to do the health survey and amazingly, they agreed and we went inside their house!”

One student added, “This week we had a Bible study with our interested we met 2 weeks ago. She was busy and didn’t have a lot of time to study. But last week, she had a terrible stomachache, so we did a health survey on her and then brought her some charcoal and directed her how to take us. When we visited her a few days later, she felt much better! I think that opened her heart to us because she allowed us to do a Bible study with her! Our first study went really well and she shared to us that one time she had a very serious disease and how Jesus had helped her! Her eyes filled with tears as she told us about it. God’s love is working for everyone who will seek Him! Another time, we met a man who had had a stroke and also had all kinds of bad habits, which caused his various diseases. He was sitting along the street and we conducted a health survey on him and he was very happy for our help! I remembered the story of the paralytic man whose heart was filled with guilt and his friends took him to Jesus. I was very touched that we could help this man and I’m hoping he will get well and be able to praise God for it!”

And another student shared her experience by saying, “We met a Muslim family this week on outreach who owns a shoe shop. We were passing by their shop when we decided to turn back and talk to the women inside. We didn’t know they were Muslims until we completed the health survey on the lady of the shop. One of the questions is, ‘What is the amount of time you spend each day in Bible study and prayer?’ She said she prayed 5 times a day, but doesn’t read the Bible because she is Muslim. Her husband was also there and wanted a health survey done on him, too. We agreed to have another visit with them to do the health survey for him and to give her a massage and hydrotherapy treatment. Jesus loves even the Muslims!”

And those were just a few stories of how the medical missionary work – the entering wedge – has been successful for our PAFCOE students! God has provided us the way to get into hard hearts to be able to reach them for the gospel!

More stories will be posted soon! :)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Meeting Christ – Part 3

Here is the last of our inspiring stories of how some of our students met Christ!

“I lived a very worldly life before I met Jesus Christ since I was not raised a SDA. Though I went to a Methodist Church as a child, Jesus was not part of my life. I lived my life as I chose – ate what I wanted, did what I wanted, etc. Because I always had a good job, I could always afford whatever I wanted and did whatever my worldly friends did. I went to another country to work and began to realize that my life was very meaningless. The only good thing in my life was that I was sending money home to help my parents and siblings. After 4 years in that country, I went back home. During that time, my parents had become converted Christians and were praying for me. One night, I couldn’t sleep and I found a Bible and began to read. I continued to read through the night into the early morning and my relationship with Jesus started that very day. I continued to read the Bible and eventually went to church. After receiving Bible studies, I was baptized! Then I went to be trained as a medical missionary because I want to help people know more about the Lord through health. Now I am studying at PAFCOE to understand the prophecies of the Bible better so I can be a more effective worker for the Lord. I currently work with the medical missionary work and enjoy it so much! God really changed my life!”

“I was raised in New York City listening to all kinds of bad music. I wanted to become a famous rapper or an actor. My Dad was a Catholic and my Mom was a backslidden Adventist, and consequently I didn’t know much about God. When my parents divorced, it brought great destruction upon my siblings and I. I became very angry and rebellious. My Mom then went back to the SDA church and worked double time to pay for her 4 kids. I was the child that got into the most trouble! My brothers and sisters accepted Christ long before me and tried to get me to go to church, but I loved the world and all it offered me. I became more rebellious and lived a life on the streets with gangs. Later in life, I found myself in trouble with the law and that’s where I found Christ. I almost committed suicide because my life was in such a mess. I was in more trouble than I could handle! The very night I was going to end my life, Christ came to me in a vision to prevent me from doing it. He told me He would bring me out of this mess and to come, follow Him because I was one of His disciples. I began to cry so much and a great unexplainable peace came over me. My life changed dramatically that day. The life I lived before I no longer loved. The music I loved before, I hated now. I love to hear the hymns and psalms now! God gave me a new heart! I joined the Assembly of God church and for 6 years continued there. I got involved with the tongue speaking (babbling), but God began impressing me with His true Sabbath. I started to feel empty in that church and started to question my Pastors about the Sabbath and amazingly, they gave me answers that didn’t harmonize with the Bible! I then began attending an Adventist church nearby and in 2007, was baptized! It has been a long journey on this road! Thanks be to God for His unspeakable faithfulness to me! He never left me alone! I will never think of turning back! My life today is to proclaim the everlasting gospel to those who have never heard and now I am a student at PAFCOE, learning to fulfill the Savior’s Commission!”

“I was born as an Adventist, but I have a very unique love story with Jesus in the journey of my life! I grew up on the farm with a very simple life. After high school, I got a job for 3 years as a carpenter mason. By the time I was 20 years old, I had almost died in 13 different times. Because of the influence of the city where I was working, I slowly became very worldly. I almost married my girlfriend but something happened and I ended up going to an Adventist college and there I really met Jesus. It was so hard for me to adjust at the college because I thought everyone around me was so brilliant and wise and I am not! I didn’t have money for my needs, either, so I got odd jobs cleaning the staff’s garage, washing clothes, cleaning the church and other things. Whenever I had problems, I went to the roof of the church and prayed to God. Soon I joined the program of the literature evangelists and there in canvassing, I learned how great God really is! When I gave my life to Christ to serve Him forever, I was so happy and had a peace I had never experienced before! I love to find creative ways to share Jesus! One time, I went to a large church (prominent church here in the Philippines) and entered the prayer room as if to write a prayer request. What I wrote was this, ‘The time will come when your idols will make miracles because Satan will use them. If you want to know the truth, find a Sabbath-keeper – the people with the truth who are waiting for Jesus to come.’ I dropped the paper in the box and went out. Maybe God will use it to touch someone! I love to distribute tracts and papers for Christ and was able to give away many of them in the city that was the worst hit in the terrible typhoon last year. I hope many of the people were able to read them. I have been so blessed to be able to canvass many of the ‘elite’ people to buy our books and many have! I love to share my love story with Jesus to them! He provides all my needs and even some of my wants! Now God guided me to join PAFCOE to mold and improve my character and I’m so very blessed being here! I have learned so many things here and God has been helping me to improve my knowledge to witness for Him. I have so many more experiences to share of what God has done for me and how He has guided my life! Please include me in your prayers that we will be saved in heaven at last with those we have shared our experiences with!”

Yes, please pray for our students and all their Bible study interests! God is using them and we will be sharing more stories from their outreach in the new update!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Meeting Christ - 2

Here are more of our students inspiring testimonies of how they came to know Christ personally. Be blessed as you read them!

“I was born into an Adventist family, but as I grew up, I became used to doing worldly things as I mingled with my non-SDA friends. I was addicted to texting, FaceBook, games and many other things. That’s why I didn’t know God very well. I was a bad child and didn’t want to do my household chores, but all that changed when I met Jesus. One day, my sister called me and asked me to help her in Manila because she was a Sunday student from last batch who was doing her OJT in the area. She told me they needed someone to cook, clean and help in the children’s program. God is really so good! Why? Because I was not expecting that this kind of activity will lead me to be a PAFCOE student myself! So I agreed to join her and was so blessed and happy seeing the children learning from their teacher – another PAFCOE student. One day during that one month, I really felt God calling me to join PAFCOE and learn how to work for Him. I really found Jesus during that time and I know that He changed my life and I’m so happy about it! I know now that God has a great plan for me and I am so happy to serve him! Serving Him is the best work there is! Christ changed my life in a great degree and now He is giving me the wisdom and knowledge to continue my studies here in PAFCOE. My life is so full of blessings now as I serve God!”

“My life before was like a sheep wandering around without a shepherd. I was a SDA, but my lifestyle was not acceptable to God and I was also enjoying worldly things. I didn’t listen to my parent’s advice and only obeyed Satan’s directions. But praise God, for He didn’t leave me there! I found Jesus when I started to read the Bible and I was really touched by the stories and promises found in the 4 Gospels. Those stories really spoke to my heart because the more I learned about Jesus, the more I realized I am not worthy of His death. He suffered a lot for me just to save me from my sins! I also started reading the Spirit of Prophecy books and they were a great blessing to me and helped me to understand the Bible in a new way. Today I am so blessed because I really enjoy my life with God! He provides all my needs now and I feel His love with me all day long. Whenever I have problems, I just pray to God because He always helps me and most of all is developing my character like His. Praise God for calling me out of darkness into His marvelous light!”

“At the age of 7, I stopped praying to Jesus. I only prayed when I was in trouble and I really didn’t know Jesus. Though I grew up with everything the world had to offer, my life was miserable. I got angry very easily and all the high standards my parents taught me were drowned in the world’s pleasures. My life was a huge confusing mess. Finally one day, I fell on my hands and knees and began to sob with total honesty that I had had enough of this kind of life. I didn’t know what I needed. I pleaded to Jesus in a desperate way to help me! Well, God is such a merciful God and made me feel His presence around me. I gave my life to Him and what a peace filled my soul! Only God can do that! It was a complete turn-around in my life to meet Jesus. Life finally made sense! I woke up with purpose in my life! God changed my life – yes, 100%! And He has never been away from me. Christ has given me everything I need so I can work for Him and I am so blessed!”

“I was born into an Adventist family, but definitely was not converted because of it! I grew up with a superficial faith where I never felt much motivation to study other religions because I already had my own. I attended church simply because my family did. I prayed because I was used to it and I believed there is a God who loves us and sends His angels to watch over us because of my parents’ great Bible storytelling abilities. The way I found Christ was through my family and also through my own effort. I was so blessed to have a family who helped to guide me in the right way. All I had to do was to study more about the Word of God on my own initiative. I found Him when I started looking for ways to strengthen my relationship with Him. I know God used the people around me to help me in the right direction. Now I can say I have a good relationship with my Creator, Savior and Friend, Jesus Christ. He never left my side whether I experienced good or bad things. He became my greatest comfort and forever the source of my real strength and infinite love. I never doubt His plan for me and have surrendered my life to Him! I’ll continue this journey (not with my own plans), but following His way, holding onto His promises until the second coming.”

“I was raised in by a godly mother and grew up in a Christian environment, but I did not learn to surrender my life to Jesus until later in life because I was doing things that are not acceptable to God. I didn’t follow my parent’s good advice and became very rebellious in everything. I did not see my own defects or realize my need of Jesus. After some time, I began to try to do the good things, but always I found myself doing what is bad and I became very disappointed. So I began to devote myself to Christ, asking Him what I should do and He directed me to His Word. He directed me to pray earnestly to Him because He promises to answer. Gradually my perspectives began to change and I appreciated more clearly Jesus’ sacrifice for my sins. I found out that He loves me so much and forgives me as long as I surrender to Him. I responded to His love by giving myself to Him and praise the Lord, I am found! Because of my great love for Him, now it is my desire to reach others for Him. Because of Him, I am now living with hope and desiring to share this hope with others who are depressed, confused and struggling. Every day, Jesus is guiding me and helping me in times of trial and temptation. He changed my life! Won’t you let Him change yours?”

Yes, friends, if you haven’t yet, won’t you let Christ change your life? You will never regret that decision! The last of our Meeting Christ stories will be coming next!