The evangelist called for baptism yesterday at our morning service, when Joe one of my Bible study contacts stood up for baptism I thought my heart was going to come out of my chest 🙂 It was so powerful to see people coming forward to give their lives to Jesus.
I originally met Joe on a construction site near the church. Joe is a 45 year old Hispanic construction contractor. He originally bought a 3 DVD set from me and then signed up for personal Bible studies. My initial thought was that he wasn’t very serious. WOW how I was wrong. The first week Joe canceled on me for Bible studies because of something that came up. When I talked with him on the phone that day I felt God asking me to close him hard on the phone for Bible studies the next week. I basically told him that something was always going to come up every week to get in the way of him doing Bible studies because Satan didn’t want him to know God. I told him that what it would ultimately come down to was whether or not he was going to CHOOSE to do this or not…it got really quiet on the phone and then Joe said, “We will have Bible study next week for sure. When the following week came something did come up. His family who are not religious were all over at his house and he felt uncomfortable. But because he wanted to still do Bible studies he asked me to meet him at Wendy’s to do the Bible study. Bethany and I went together and what a powerful Bible study it was. Joe is a very perceptive person and really LISTENS and seeks to understand. Our first Bible study was on the character of God and His Love. Joe was deeply touched by the study by God’s grace 🙂 Joe has a Catholic background but from age 25-recently he had given up God for worldly things. When I first met him he said that the stress from his job was overwhelming him. He had stopped partying and drinking but had replaced trying to fill the void of life with those things to trying to use work as his fulfillment. But after our Bible study he started to realize that Jesus was the only One who could fill his heart. Since then we did 2 more Bible studies one on the validity of Scripture and the other on Daniel 2. He has consistently come to the seminar almost every night and is accepting the truths of God’s Word readily. When he heard the Sabbath message he went home and redid his schedule to make sure he would be off on Sabbath. He is a little bit of a joking sort of person (kinda fun and joking like Bethany) His big joke every time I call to remind him for the seminar is that before I have time to ask him if he will be there for the seminar he will say, so Janell just checking to make sure you’ll be at the seminar. Then he says you don’t have to worry I will be coming I want to know, I’m doing this for myself and to know God. Just tell me where to go and I’ll be there. Please continue to pray for Joe this week as he continues to make his decision for God. I look forward to seeing him come up from the watery grave of baptism to live for Jesus 🙂
Back in 2003/4, Gabriela, a Czech Bible worker, was doing Bible studies with Mr. and Mrs. UpChurch. After having some Bible studies together, Gabriela handed over the Bible studies to pastor George Johnson (currently works doing special evangelism projects with the Central California Conference of SDA’s). George Johnson continued the Bible studies with the family up until he had to leave to Afghanistan. George and the family have kept in contact ever since then, but the Bible studies were placed on the back-burner due to life issues, etc…
Ten years later…
My second week going door to door with our Cross Trainer, Gisel Sanchez, we met Barbra, (the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. UpChurch,) with her two children, Christian and Zachary just pulling into the driveway of their home. While conversing with Barbra and finding out her spiritual background, she asked us if we knew of pastor George Johnson. After answering the affirmative, the family signed up for Bible studies AGAIN! Since then, we have been having Bible studies. The family has decided to attend the evangelistic meetings and they have been faithfully attending as much as they can. Please continue to pray for them and their decision to follow Him!
Our seminar just started last night! SO EXCITING! We had more people than we planned for, about 150 people 🙂 So far counted we had 59 guests! PRAISE GOD! It was the greatest blessing to see the people we have been studying with come to opening night. Many people came from member invitations and from fliers we left on doors from Bible study lead cards. We are just starting the marathon 🙂 Can’t wait to see how it ends!
Janell-One of my favorite testimonies from tonight. One of my most solid contacts called and canceled the morning of the meeting because of sickness. We prayed for him and then took over a bunch of cold remedy treatments like a bag of lemons, oranges, garlic, grape seed extract, and garlic pills two hours before the seminar was starting…and PTL HE SHOWED UP! Everyone keeps saying when they meet him, this guy is a colportuer…he just doesn’t know it yet. Scott is in his 20s, a kind young man with a smile that never seems to waver despite personal difficulties in his life and his mom’s medical problems. Since the first Bible study he has kept seeking to draw the rest of his family out for the Bible studies. Praying for the rest of them to come out to the series!
Louis Vavala requested Bible studies through Voice of Prophecy. I visited his home about 4 times before FINALLY I met him and he signed up for Bible studies. We have since gone through 5 Bible Studies and he is always ready and excited to study the Bible! Invited him to the seminar, he was so excited and agreed to come!
Side note, when I originally couldn’t find him home I ended up surveying the street he lived on. The home right next to his was where I met Paulina and her 5 children who have been my most A+++ Bible study since the earliest weeks of us being here 🙂
Also another lead card we followed up on our first day and then several other times ended up blooming into a beautiful study. We kept missing them at home or just meeting the husband of Nina, the lady who requested the Bible Studies. I was going my last time 2 weeks ago and ended up meeting Nina and Joe Comacho. She said that she remembered the card and that since then God has worked so powerfully in her life and He even brought her children and husband into a relationship with God. They are now very active in their own church. The last 3 Bible studies have been a powerful experience! Our last study I studied with them, Jason Wichapool and his wife Desiree came with me. We studied Daniel 2 and I could see the breakthroughs happening in their eyes. Joe the husband suddenly just got it and I saw a look of hopefulness and confidence in the Bible that before had been lacking. Found out later from Jason that when he was Bible working at our church had also followed up on this lead multiple times but they were never home….faithfulness pays off. God knew the exact moment when they would be ready 🙂
Our ladies are learning how to follow up Bible Study card leads! Friday Night, Bethany Werner shared her personal testimony and shared a class on how to give your personal testimony! Yesterday we covered how to give Bible studies structurally in our Sabbath School Class! Today we had a guest Bible Worker presenter, Judy Benjamin, from Michigan who is working with us during this last week leading up to the Seminar! She covered how to do a door approach for Bible Study lead cards and other great Bible Working tips! Our lovely ladies did AWESOME, they learned so much! Joy Gaje, our church’s wonderful choir director said, “I have been asking for something like this for the past 10 years. I am so grateful to finally have this training. I’ve been having a desire but lack of confidence because of no training to do this work!”
Wow powerful testimony to share today the children from a non-Adventist family I haw bible studies with came to church today. At least one or two of them have been coming w me to church almost every Sabbath since the first weekend I got here. All 4 children stayed and helped with outreach handing out flyers for the evangelistic series door to door. I led them like a mini mag book team 🙂 not only did they do an amazing job but they had such a good attitude we’re so happy to do the work! Afterwards they said it was so much fun and that they really liked it! It deeply touched my heart to see God use these precious children to reach souls!
Bethany and I went together to a first study on Sabbath with Lisa, her 3 kids, and her sign language interpreter. Here is the amazing thing…Lisa is deaf! But when I first met her at her door several weeks ago, we “talked” by writing back and forth on a piece of paper. She expressed how she loves God so much and would love to have Bible studies together. Such a kind, supportive mother and gentle soul 🙂 We covered the character of God, Bethany leading out and me there for support! Praise God!
We’re both very excited to be a part of these meetings! Everyone is more than welcome to come and join us for this exciting event here in Fresno! We’ll see YOU there!