Sunday, March 8, 2015

Series has Ended

            Joseph Cruz a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the Father.

    Greetings my brethren that are spread out in the land of California. May God continue to bless you as you campaign for His Kingdom that will last for eternity. I, your brother in the faith bring good tidings from the city of Madera... (I've been listening to Word of Promise) Revelation.

I am blessed. God is so incredible it brings me to tears when I listen to chapter 1.

"To Him who washed us from our sins in His own blood." -Rev. 1:5
"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered." -Ps. 32:1
"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."-Heb. 8:12

I am blessed.

We had a list of 22 people we have started following up with 9 of which we are working to prepare them for the baptismal waters.
The photo here shows Dale Leamon a retired pastor and our evangelist facing a very special and particular group. At the Madera SDA Fellowship we have a Deaf Group! and over the course of the meeting we found a way to work around not having a translator present, because that wasn't always available. We used Apple's "Messages" to transcript the whole talk. They loved it because it was available for those who weren't able to make it, and so they could study it later. It was shocking to us when they asked to keep the transcription even with the translator present.
Our original translator Rosanda had planned to stay with us throughout the series. But cause of some unexpected emergencies she was unable to help from the 3 meeting on. We were in some what of a panic trying to get someone to translate for us. Pastor Dean had made friends with a translator in the past. Her name was Jane, she was fresh from the sign language school and the group could sense it. They would help her with a word or two she didn't know. Later she told us, "I had never heard things like this!, or seen young people so on fire." She was from a Russian Orthodox church. In A later encounter she told us her story about how she came to know and love the Lord.

               She had been raised as many are going to church but she didn't understand anything, because it was all in Russian and she was from Ukraine. At first it was because her parents asked them to go, but she witness one day in her mid-teens that Jesus was real and he wanted to have a relationship with her. Since then she has gone on several mission trips, and dedicated her life to a group of people that are virtually over-looked. She said "school is hard, but my father told me that nothing worth living for is easy." So she kept going and now she is working with a company that sends her anywhere she is needed.

               As she finished Joey and I began to transition into what we do. We told her about YouthRush; about what we do and the beauty and joy it brings, not just us but the people as well. Testimony after testimony, we saw her eyes light up and her jaw slightly drop as we described the the reactions of people who needed those books. We told her we were just 2 of thousands of young people who have stories of their own. We left her with a magazine style Peace Above the Storm, and Great Controversy. We told her these are some samples of what we share. As we walked her out an hour after the meeting had ended, we told her to really consider trying the program. She said she would.

Please pray for our up coming baptisms and for the candidates we are preparing, for our deaf group that will be having a deaf evangelistic series this month, and for Jane.

May God Bless each and everyone of you.


Friday, February 20, 2015

My First Study, My First Repair!

First and for most I want to praise God for the opportunity He has given each one of us, in taking part of the greatest work ever interested into man. The work of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to a world clouded by the evils of this world. I so thankful to be learning more and more about the soul winning work. I was given the opportunity after hours, day, and weeks, to finally give my first Bible Study to a couple of young mothers; Aurora, and Fernanda. We first made contact with them outside of their house Aurora was getting a couple of treat for the Paletero man (ice man in Spanish) for her girls.

The was Monday and now two days later I was their opening the Word to both of them. We studied Daniel chapter 2 it was a joy trying to figure out how to pronounce Baby-lawn and King Nebuchadnezzar, but the best part was the relief the had, the breath of fresh air they took when I revealed what the stone was. "The Kingdom of God. A Kingdom that will last forever, and there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying." Old thing have passed away behold,  all things have become new. ( 2 Cor 5:17)  please pray for them. and for our next study.  

The other more minor thing I want to praise God for was the fact that I was finally able to get my phone fixed. I had cracked the screen on day knocking doors it had fallen out of my bag. I was looking for places to fix it. The estimates were no less then $110 which is still good! but I didn't want to pay that much. So I decided that i would look up on Youtube to see how difficult it would be to change an cracked screen and digitizer. It didn't seem extremely difficult so I bought the screen, digitizer, and tools on Amazon for $31.00.

Yesterday I got the stuff and after our pastors meeting I began working on my phone. It has been very difficult not having a phone I wish I had a picture of how bad it was. I couldn't do anything, except make calls cause of Siri, the problem with that was that i couldn't hang up! It was so bad.  Well after spending a few hours rechecking my work it finally work back to normal. Praise God I can now make calls, receive them, hang up and best of all I saved at least $70 dollars! I'm no expert but I am grateful for the results!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Flyers, Flyers, Flyers!!!

Getting ready for our Evangelistic Series
Our Pastoral Team had decided to get 15,000 flyers. the original plan was to mail a few thousand out but, sort of last minute it was decided for budget purposes we would hold off on mailing them. We had decided that we would start dropping them full time two weeks before the meetings were scheduled to start. The plan was to give them only to people we made contact with at the doors, people who we could personally invite.

Well now we are two weeks away  from the meetings Mike and I had been giving them to people we met but that was not enough. Our Sunday outreach was decent, but the bottom line was that we still had 11 boxes left and each box had approx. 983 flyers. So lets do the math.

12 Days (before the meetings) x 11 boxes(which had 983 flyers each) = ______ flyers we need to get out per day.

It comes out to 10,813 flyers, and 901 had to go 
out per day. That was a number that was more then we could handle. Mike and Joey were both still getting their contacts ready for the series and we had our Spiritual Friends class we were preparing for, and on top of that our House mom was getting ready to leave and we were doing our best to make things easy at home as well. Long story short we were swamp. We had done a test run of how long it would take( at the pace of church members) to get out 500 flyers to the community. Mike and I found it took 2 1/2 hours passing them out, but it took 3 planning drops and driving to them. The test was to gage the baseline of the amount of help and time we would need. 

It was simple we didn't have enough hands to make the deadline for the flyers. Sabbath we had plan an outreach an by the grace of God people came out we had about 25 that day. Sunday we had 20 and each day we planned and worked to make our time more efficient with the people we had. Monday it dropped to 10 Ricky came and helped lead, Tuesday we had our faithful 3 the Khan sisters. Three young girls from Pakistan but are punjab in blood. Their names are Taiba 9, Nefeesa 10, Mariam 12 they were the faithful 3 that came out each day for 5 days straight to help Mike, Joey, and I pass out flyers. Each day following Sunday Joey had told the girls he would call their mom to ask for permission so that they could come. Their mother told Joey on Monday, " they woke up and came to my room asking if the you had called yet." They were so excited to help, we asked them later while driving to and from territory. "What do you like most about passing out flyers?" they answered, its fun, its easy, and most importantly the affect it will have on the people that come to the series. We praise God for their work and shared with them this quote.

In the closing scenes of earth’s history, many of these children and youth will astonish people by their witness to the truth, which will be borne in simplicity, yet with spirit and power. They have been taught the fear of the Lord, and their hearts have been softened by a careful and prayerful study of the Bible. In the near future, many children will be endued with the Spirit of God, and will do a work in proclaiming the truth to the world, that at that time cannot well be done by the older members of the church.” Counsels to Teachers, pp. 166,167

Miriam and Taiba Khan.
Wednesday we gained Stanley an awesome trumpet playing brother who is devoted to the Lord, he came out and helped us get the last of our flyers out. 

In total we got all the flyers out, we saved 250 for the meetings and by the grace of God alone we 
got the help we needed to complete a task we could not finish on our own.
God had supplied the necessary help and we had completed it on time.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 - "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it."(kjv)

Pray for our meetings.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A.F.C.O.E Germany

This is Teresa M. Berkebile, our house mom. She entered the church less than a year ago along with Isaiah Daniel, who is now attending SOULS Northwest. They both came into the church during "The Revelation of Hope" prophecy seminar, last year.

She opened up her home to us not knowing what was going to happen. All she knew was that we were from SOULS West and were going to do "the same thing Joey does." Right off the bat she told us that she was leaving in February to go to a school. You guessed it! AFCOE, but she wasn't going to the one close to home. She was going to Germany.  Frankfurt, to be exact, a place she knows well because she grew up there as child in an Air force family. She planned to leave early so that she could visit some of the places she grew up in. So on January the 29th Mike and I made plans so that we could have a going away party for her just before she would head off.

 All her close church friends were invited and even Baca showed up! She had been stressed the whole week; making preparations, trip planning, packing and finding someone to take care of her animal. She mentioned it was nice to get out of the house and do something other than worry.

And now we are here staring at the bowl of cereal I had for breakfast. We didn't get a lot of time eating together, but when we did this is how she made cereal for us! So today I made myself Teresa style cereal and it was good! Pray for us we will be passing out fliers all week! Our series starts in a week from tomorrow! Blessings All!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Holy Spirit is something else!!

Its amazing to do this work!! So I was at a door and met Stephanie. It was really interesting because. I tried to  put a Something Better into her hand and she told me she didn't have time to read cookbooks. Also she said I know how to cook already and I don't cook any of this type of stuff. So then I proceeded to put a book we have called Steps to Christ in her hand. She didn't want to take the book into her hand. She didn't want to take that either! She finally took it in her hand to find out it was a religious book and immediately gave it back to me and said I'm not religious and don't do religion. Being a Bible worker/Canvasser I asked that question. "What happened if you don't mind me asking". She didn't want to tell me. After about 3 minutes of getting no where I was ready to walk away, but the Holy Spirit was convicting me to continue to ask questions. After a little bit she started to open up a little bit! I was able to share my testimony and how God was working in my life and she then told me later that I won her over. The most interesting thing though was she started to ask crazy questions about the Bible and when I say crazy I mean the ones that we have answers to that people don't normally ask. Then once I pulled out my Bible and started to show her the answers from the Bible and gave her a flyer to the evangelistic series coming up she asked the million dollar question!!! "Does anybody teach this stuff"? I then said that's why I'm here. The Holy Spirit is something else because this lady went from not even wanting anything to do with me to 45 minutes later signing up for Bible studies!!! It doesn't get any better than that!! God is so amazing! Fight for souls! Jesus came to save every single person. Blessings all! Keep us in prayer.

Monday, February 2, 2015

From Sitting on Pews to Preaching the Good News

 I was tipe-toeing to door as a slung by backpack over my shoulder, it was 8:00 am and I had to get to the church fast! Two night before I was asked to share on Sabbath for the Sermon and at first I was going to share my testimony. Friday night after our Young Adult Vespers Joey, Ashly, Aphi, and little Sebastian came to the church along with Mike and I to practice for song service on Sabbath. Joey asked me to man the sound system to get things going. Once everything was taken care of, I started to work on my sermon. The whole day i had this desire to share something that would engage young and old, but at the same appeal to both. I was tweaking my testimony here an there after a while everyone said goodnight and i was still working things out. I told Joey to take Mike home cause I was going to be a little while longer. I wanted to practice what I had so for and work out the kinks out loud. Well I went through it and I prayed "Lord get me through this." It was going to be my first time sharing a sermon and I was nervous yet excited. I get home and get ready for bed and as i am laying down looking up at the sealing I said another prayer "Lord I don't think this is gonna cut it." As I quickly though of somethings that I could share on... that out of no where came the idea! You see a week before I had helped my dad get something together that he was gonna share about and i instantly though. Why not share the same thing with my own twist! So on Sabbath morning while my house mom was still sleeping I scrambled to get to the church so I could put my message together. God helped me, it was about Evangelism and why we should do it and at the end I shared what evangelism had done in my personal life. By the Grace of God it went well! I praise the Lord for every new step He shows me and I so glad that He gives us the strength to take the next step with Him.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Spiritual Friends - Training Church Members!

This week as been exciting! We kicked of our Spiritual Friends Class which is centered around getting church members more involved and equipped in maintaining and preserving the visitors that will be coming to our evangelistic series called A World Falling Apart by Pastor Dale Leamon.(a link to our Facebook page below) The classes have been going really well considering that Mike and I are teaching the entire class. Our first class was focused on the purpose of the class, and why the work of preserving member is important. Our second class we focused on getting the members to approach these visitors; what to do and say according to different scenarios. They are so funny to watch, at first they were nervous but over the course of the application portion they really warmed up to it and are even know taking part of our Glowathon! Which by the way its going well, will let you in on the numbers soon! Its been great teaching and learning how to teach effectively. Our classes are on Sunday at 5:30pm. Open to church members that want training! God Bless you'll!