October-November of 2014
Here is a personal testimony I want to share with you on how the Lord gave me the privilege of visiting California to preach the word from city to city and from town to town. I was invited to speak at a church in Lancaster for what they called a “youth Sabbath”. When I got there I did not realize by youth Sabbath they meant only the youth would be giving the service that Sabbath. I’ve never seen so many young children, not even teens yet, up front, giving the welcoming, the church announcements, song service, scripture readings, and everything! It was a blessed sight to see all the youth so involved in the church service. Then they announced me as the speaker for their Sabbath school, their main service, and their afternoon meeting.
For these talks I knew I would be speaking to young people but I was trying to think of topics that my fellow youth commonly struggle with in our Christian walk. I figured, why not share my testimony on how the Lord changed my life at the young age of 16? My life testimony was the subject I shared. I asked God one day “What must I do to have a relationship with you?” and He told me two things, first “you need to quit playing video games, and you have got to change your friends.” I knew at that moment if I didn’t do both of these things I would never have a relationship with Him. I’ve always wanted to share a sermon answering from the Bible the reasons why God told me I had to quit playing video games and why I had to change my friends. So, here was the perfect opportunity!
My next two topics that Sabbath was on the influences of having godly friends in our lives, the effects of bad influences as friends, what the Bible says on courtship and dating principles. Finally, the last study we did was on the entertainment industry and what profound verses are contained in the Word of God regarding television, video games, music and the entertainment industry. At the end of the day a 12 year old girl walked up to me at the pulpit to say “Thank you for coming here and sharing with us. You really gave us some things to think about.”
From there it was off to Delano, California where I would be giving a week of prayer at a fellowship up there. I aware the sermons would be interpreted into Spanish while I was speaking there. This was my first time speaking with a live interpreter. I thank God because it gave me one more experience in lines of doing the work of an evangelist. With an interpreter, I soon learned that whatever material I wanted to cover, I now had half the time to cover it. My words needed to be well selected and few. The subject was a three part series on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd angel’s messages in connection with true education.
Sabbath evening was my last night there, and then I would be on my way back home. So I thought… A man came up to me at the end of the meetings that night and said “I see you are greeting the people right now, but I would like to talk with you once you are finished speaking to everyone. I can wait. But I want you to know I do want to talk with you when you are finished.” Meanwhile, a group of mostly Spanish speakers from another town further north had attended the meetings that Sabbath evening. What they heard that night they enjoyed so much, that they wanted me to stay for a while longer and hold more meetings over in their home town. They asked me if I would be willing to stay and hold more meetings to be interpreted into Spanish for the people who attend their fellowship the week following. Unbeknown to them I made a covenant to God if I am to be invited to speak I will go wherever the Lord opens the way. I told them, yes. They wanted to know when I would be ready to go and begin holding meetings. My answer to them was within the next hour or two, I said let’s go. But since it was already about 8PM they laughed off that suggestion and decided to begin on Monday. I figured at least they understood now my willingness to share the gospel with them.
As I was walking a young couple to the exit door, I handed them my business card with my contact info on it while saying goodbye to them. They were the last of the visitors. Now it was time to speak with the man who was waiting. While we were talking he soon made known his concerns regarding the message I shared on the 7 Trumpets of Revelation 8. He simply wanted to know what the importance of understanding these trumpets correctly was and what the end results (practically speaking) was to my personal experience with Christ. These were very good questions to ask oneself and I’m very glad he was taking the time to speak with me. Then he asked me “What is it in these messages that would cause the established church to reject these things and lead you guys to be over here at this church so that you can freely study these things? I saw tonight you used nothing but the Bible and the Bible alone. Who is the one rejecting this? Is it the leadership? The church members? Or just the pastors?” He didn’t understand. I believe the Lord was using experience of speaking with the interpreter the week prior to this conversation because my answers to him were straighter forward and more to the point than my usual answers. I could tell the Holy Spirit was guiding our conversation. As I was explaining to him the answers, he was nodding his head in acceptance, diligently taking notes of the Bible verses and quotation references I was giving him, and I didn’t discern any signs that was disagreeing with any of the answers I was giving him. In one of his sentences he briefly mentioned “I sigh and cry for the abominations done in my church all the time. I’m the first elder of my church. I see spiritual formation, the emerging church, contemplative prayer…” I thought to myself, first elder? I’m not familiar with that term. I interrupted him to ask “Is first elder the same thing as the head elder?” His answer “yes.” then he kept on talking.
Meanwhile I was thinking to myself, “Wow, this whole time I have been speaking to the head elder of a local Seventh Day Adventist church and I had no idea.” Our conversation had been coming to a close as we got up to walk towards the exit door. He then asked me how long I was planning on staying in the area. Apparently it looked like I would be staying around another week. He said “Good! Because I would like to see if somehow I could get you to come share these things with some of my church members. Do you have a card? I couldn’t help but notice you giving something to the young couple as they were leaving earlier tonight.” He got a card and we agreed to keep in touch. Immediately after he left I went to the pastor who I discerned was the one who originally invited him to come this night to inquire about his guest. Come to find out this man is the head elder of a church that has about 1600 church members with around 500 or so regular attendees each week from a large city nearby. I want to share with our readers, the Lord has many ways of reaching the people but he’s just waiting for you stand up and faithfully do the work that is just within your reach. By doing this faithfully He will put the people He wants in your path that you may be a light in this dark world. By showing faithfulness in the little things God will begin to trust you with that which is greater. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” Luke 16:10