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The Precious Sabbath


Today’s story comes from Bujumbura, the capital city of Burundi.

Ever since Bella was little, her parents have taught her to love God and the Sabbath. But when she started school, she realized that not everyone loves God or the Sabbath as she does.

Bella’s school held classes six days a week, Monday through Saturday. When school started each year, Bella’s parents helped her explain to her teachers that Bella worships God on the Sabbath and would not be in school that day.

Standing Alone

Her first and second grade teachers allowed Bella to be absent from classes, but her third grade teacher told her that she wouldn’t receive any credit for the tests she missed on Saturdays.

Bella told her parents, and they spoke with the school principal. The principal said that it was up to the teacher whether or not Bella could be excused. Bella’s parents urged her to pray about the problem, and finally the teacher agreed to let her take the Saturday exams on Monday.

Saturday was a half day of school, and the teachers almost always gave quizzes to be sure that students understood the work they had covered that week. So every Saturday they had three quizzes, and every Monday Bella had to take these quizzes early in the morning or during recess.

Other students noticed that the teacher wasn’t happy that Bella was absent from school on Saturdays. They began mocking her, and some said she was lazy for not being in school. Bella often felt alone in her stand to keep the Sabbath, but her family supported her and told her she was obeying God rather than man.

Bella and her family began praying that God would make a way for her to study in a school that didn’t require Sabbath attendance. Bella studied hard to get good grades and high marks on her tests, and when children took their national exams, she scored well enough to choose the school she wanted to attend. She applied to study in a school that didn’t hold classes on Sabbaths.

Precious Sabbath

“The Sabbath has become more precious to me because I have had to struggle to keep the Sabbath,” Bella says. “I urge children to be faithful to God, to honor His will and His laws, even when those around you make it hard. Being faithful gave me chances to share my faith with others and let them know that God makes a way for those who trust Him.”

Bella is right. When we honor God in things big or small, He helps us. And others see our faithfulness and may want to obey God too.


Dr.Ted Wilson in Uganda

The Chief Elder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the world, Pastor Dr Ted Wilson, has called for total member involvement in God’s work.

“I want to encourage young people and everybody in Uganda to get involved in church activities. Uganda is part of a big global family of believers and that is why I came here,” he said.

Wilson was addressing journalists at Pennial Beach in Entebbe on Wednesday. He said Adventist students in secular universities should not be forced to sit examinations on Saturday, Sabbath.

“The Bible says it clearly that the Sabbath (Saturday) is the day of the Lord. We are not to engage in daily activities on that day. Forcing those observing Sabbath to sit exams is an infringement on their religious liberties. I will take it up with the authorities,” Wilson told journalists.

He was responding to question raised by a journalist on the predicament Adventists students go through at higher institutions of learning.

A couple of years ago, the Constitution Court dismissed a petition jointly filed by a group of Makerere University students and Seventh-day Adventist church in Uganda on the matter. The petitioners had wanted court to declare sitting of exams on Saturday illegal.

Wilson, 67, and his wife Nancy Wilson are in Uganda on a four-day pastoral visit on a mission to impact Uganda with Jesus and encourage Adventists to priorities God’s mission, which he dubbed as ‘total member involvement.’

n arrival at Entebbe, the couple was welcomed by the archbishop of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Uganda Pr. Dr Daniel Matte and Uganda Union executive secretary Pr Dr Israel Kafeero. He was also welcomed by the east and central division president, Pr Dr Blasious Ruguri and Central Uganda Conference president Samuel Kajoba.

“Let me express my appreciation to the country, President Yoweri Museveni and the regional church leadership to make me feel welcome. I am grateful for the wonderful hospitality. It is a great privilege to be here. I want to bestow God’s blessing to the people of this great country,” Wilson said. This is his second time to be in Uganda.

Reading from the book of Philippians, chapter 4 which says ‘rejoice in the Lord always..., Wilson said Ugandans he had seen were cheerful people.

'I share my home with 28 refugees'

Emergency officials in Nigeria say more than 40,000 refugees have poured over the border from Cameroon since last October - and their numbers are growing by the day.

They are fleeing violence in the country's south, where the military launched a bloody crackdown after separatists declared a breakaway state - "The Federal Republic of Ambazonia".

In Agbokim village, in southern Nigeria, the BBC met father-of-four Frank Okoro, who has welcomed 28 refugees into his five-room home. Frank, 57, is a secondary school teacher and a deeply religious man.

He uses his salary and what he earns from his cocoa and cassava farms to cater for his many house-guests. Some are related to his wife, who is from the Cameroonian side of the border - but others are not.

He decided to take them in because their situation was so dire. But it's a squeeze to find room for so many.

'We place mats on the ground," he says. "Almost all the children are on the ground, either on mats or their mothers' wrappers - provided they sleep and wake up peacefully in the morning."

Longest Serving Adventist Volunteer Services Missionary Honored

Each year hundreds of Adventist young people step away from their studies or work to volunteer full-time, for up to two years, around the world, through the church’s Adventist Volunteer Services (AVS) program. Among them, Helen Margaret Hall is unique. She is both the longest serving and oldest active AVS missionary for the Adventist denomination.

Hall, who turns 80 on February 16, will have served for 36 years as an AVS missionary on the Burma-Thailand border as of February 20.

On Tuesday, January 30, 2018, Hall was recognized for these milestones by Adventist leaders from two divisions, and the General Conference, during a four-division leadership conference in Bangkok, Thailand. Kevin Costello, AVS Director for the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD), commended Hall for her service both to the Karen people in Burma — now known as Myanmar — and in the Maela Refugee Camp in Thailand.

Hall then received special plaques from her home division via Glenn Townend, president for the Adventist Church in the South Pacific, her current division via Samuel Saw, president of the Southern Asia-Pacific region, and the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists via Vice President Ella Simmons who represented John Thomas, AVS World Director.  

Hall’s service includes years as an educator in four countries. A native of Australia, she first worked as a teacher and preceptress at Kabiufa College in Papua New Guinea. She returned to Australia and served for 22 years in the Victorian Conference. 

During a bus trip from Nepal to London, England, she saw the great needs of the Nepalese and other Asian children. As a result, she requested a one-year leave to teach Karen children in Thailand. That one year turned into 36 and counting. She shares, "I came here first for one year in 1982 and never went back to work in Australia again.” 

She energetically worked as an AVS teacher along the Myanmar-Thailand border. During this time of turmoil within Myanmar, Helen soon found herself and her school in the middle of a war. She shares that more than once the town where her school is located came under gunfire.  

Once she and the children had to hide in large, open pits while war planes stormed overhead, firing down on the very land where they had been. Later, when she and the students had to flee to Thailand, they were fired upon as they crossed the river by boat but eventually crossed to safety.

As a result of the war, a number of refugee camps were established for the Karen people on the Thailand side of the border, including the large Maela Refugee Camp. Although Helen was not permitted to live inside the campus, she made her way inside daily to see and work with her students. Soon she established a new school inside the camp.  

The school, which was named Eden Valley Academy (EVA), started with approximately 80 students. Helen, who has served as the school's founder and leader for over three decades, reports that it was not long before the school grew to over 1,000 students and over 150 teachers. Over the years, thousands of young people have matriculated through this refugee camp school and more than 1,500 have been baptized. EVA becomes home to the students and many graduates have continued on as EVA staff.

Through the years, Hall has received numerous awards including a General Conference Award of Excellence in 19991, a Women of the Year award from the Association of Adventist Women in 2005, and a Medal of the Order of Australia from the Australian government in 2006. According to reports at the time, she was “believed to be the first Adventist to receive the medal.”2 In 2010, Hall was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for her lifelong commitment to the service of God.”3

In addition to EVA, Hall helped establish the Karen Adventist Academy in Myanmar. 

During the recognition program in Bangkok, several leaders commented on Hall’s service. For Saw, who is Burmese, her service has special significance. 

“We deeply appreciate the determination, courage and commitment that Helen has had for so many years for the displaced people of the border,” said Saw. “Today, many of the refugees now live in the United States and around the world and are doing very well because of the education they received at Eden Valley. They do not face the struggles and challenges of illiteracy that so many other refugees who did not have the advantage of this Christian education face today. Helen has dedicated her life to changing the lives of others and many will be in the Kingdom because of her efforts." 

Please pray for Eden Valley Academy under the leadership of the church's longest serving active volunteer missionary today, Helen Margaret Hall. 

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nicaragua

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nicaragua recently inaugurated a brand new facility for its Adventist Hospital in Estelí, Nicaragua. The facility becomes the only private hospital in the city, located 93 miles, or 150 kilometers, north of Managua—the capital city.

The Jan. 9 inauguration ceremony drew city officials and community and church leaders.

“This is a very important entrepreneurship lesson because the church has worked hard in Latin America with these initiatives and today it is our turn here in the city of Esteli to have this beautiful Adventist Hospital for the well-being of all Nicaraguans,” said Mayor of Estelí Francisco Valenzuela.

Ministry of Health Director Dr. Víctor Manuel Martínez also applauded the church for its focus on health care and its commitment to the community. “We are very glad to work together and move forward to accomplish so many things so that the northern part of the country can have better medical attention and become healthier,” said Martínez.

Inter-American Division President Pastor Israel Leito congratulated the efforts of the medical staff and everyone involved in the project to continue trusting in God as they continue providing health care. “We exist to serve and to share the love of Christ with everyone,” said Pastor Leito.

The three-floor modern facility has 10 private rooms and 20 beds, thanks to contributions by Loma Linda University’s (LLU) Adventist Health International, Inter-American Division, the South Central American Union, and initial funds by Dr. Donald Vargas an orthopedic surgeon born and raised in Nicaragua, now based in Texas, said Dr. Elie S. Honoré, Adventist Healthcare Services Inter-America president.

“The hard work of the hospital staff, led by Dr. Socorro Úbeda, has been tremendous during more than a decade,” said Honore. The Adventist Hospital used to be located at the city of La Trinidad but years later moved to a small rented house that kept serving the community with excellent medical care and community outreach, explained Honore.

Honore visited the new facility days before the inaugural ceremony with LLU’s Albin Grohar, PhD., associate professor of the School of Public Health, and Hospital Director Dr. Úbeda, on the continued collaboration among the health institutions. So far LLU has donated a brand new X-ray machine and supported the operating room by providing equipment and parts for the operating system regularly, explained Honore.

“There are plans for LLU medical teams to visit and teach in the new facility and assist with health clinics in the community,” said Honore.

“The excellent health care the community of Esteli has seen confirms once again how a hospital or clinic can be a center of influence in the community,” added Honore. “It’s about the church with its health message as a whole playing a very vital role in the life of that community in Esteli”.

Thanks to the health educational programs, medical brigades, and specific health programs carried out by the Adventist Hospital in Esteli, the government is inviting the church to branch out in other cities across the country, according to Honore.

The Nicaragua Adventist Hospital is own and operated by church in South Central American Union headquartered in Costa Rica. The hospital is part of a network of 14 hospitals operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church under AHS in Inter-America.

25 Deaf People Baptized.

Twenty-five deaf people were baptized in the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s first deaf baptisms in Burundi as church members step up efforts to share the gospel with the hearing impaired across East Africa.

A total of 27 people were baptized during a joyous ceremony at the Kamenge Seventh-day Adventist Church in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, on March 25. In addition to the 25 deaf people, the baptismal candidates included a blind person and a hearing person.

The baptismal candidates gathered at the front of the church to take the baptismal vow before entering the waters of the baptismal tank last Sabbath. Afterward, they returned to the front of the church to wave their arms in praise of God.

Eric Steven Nsengiyumva, evangelism director for the Burundi Union Mission, wept as he watched the proceedings at the Kamenge church.

“I dimly looked around me as I shed tears of joy, and I saw other people shedding tears like me,” Nsengiyumva said. “It is obvious that God is definitely purposed to doing a great and marvelous job in special needs ministries in Burundi.”

Kamenge is the first Adventist church in Burundi to offer sign-language interpretation for the deaf.

Last Sabbath’s baptisms are largely the result of the work of a deaf Gospel Outreach worker named Janvier Nkurikiye, church leaders said. Gospel Outreach is a supporting church ministry that sponsors Bible workers in 50 countries worldwide.

“Janvier has done a very good work in Burundi within a very short time, and we need to pray for him,” said Paul Muasya, who attended the baptismal ceremony and serves as special needs ministries coordinator for the East-Central Africa Division, whose territory includes Burundi.

Nkurikiye beamed as he watched the baptisms on Sabbath.

Local church elder Richard Mutahi marveled at how much Nkurikiye has accomplished in the months since the two first met at an Adventist deaf camp in Kenya.

“We thought it was just happenstance that saw him attend the event,” he said. “But looking back, and taking into account all that has transpired since then, it’s easy to see the hand of God in all this.”

The Burundi baptisms come as the Adventist world church places a renewed emphasis on special needs under the leadership of Larry R. Evans, special assistant to the world church president responsible for taking measures to include those with disabilities in the mission of the church. Among other things, Evans oversaw the debut of Hope Channel Deaf, the church’s first television channel for the hearing impaired, in December 2016.

19,000 Receive Free Adventist Medical Care in Kenya

More than 19,000 people received free medical treatment during a two-week evangelistic series in Kenya as local Seventh-day Adventists embraced Christ’s method of meeting people’s physical and spiritual needs simultaneously.

A team of about 200 physicians, nurses, and other health-care workers treated 19,248 people at 59 sites during the evangelistic meetings from March 3-18, said Fesaha Tsegaye, health ministries director for the Adventist Church’s East-Central Africa Division, whose territory includes Kenya. At least 419 people were baptized in western Kenya as a direct result of the free clinics.

“Those people told local health directors that they came to the evangelistic campaigns because of the free medical services that they had received,” Tsegaye said. “We praise God for that!”

In all, 73,188 people were baptized as 4,000 evangelistic meetings wrapped up across Kenya on March 18, church leaders said. A second wave of evangelistic meetings kicked off last week, and additional meetings are scheduled to be held every quarter.

At the same time, church members have embraced Total Member Involvement (TMI) initiatives — sharing Jesus through free clinics, health seminars, Bible studies, and many other ways — as they pray for 400,000 baptisms in 2017, a figure that would boost Kenya’s church membership by 45 percent to 1.2 million.

“What they are trying here is unprecedented in the history of the church. It’s exciting,” said Ramon Canals, a TMI coordinator for the Adventist world church, who participated in the March meetings.

The free medical clinics in Kenya are also part of Comprehensive Health Ministry, a world church program aimed at meeting people’s physical needs as well as their spiritual needs. Free clinics were held alongside major evangelistic endeavors in Rwanda in 2016 and in Zimbabwe and the U.S. state of Texas in 2015.

Church leaders have emphasized the importance of following “Christ’s method alone” as outlined by church cofounder Ellen G. White in her book “Ministry of Healing,” page 143, which says, “Christ's method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.’”

Adventist Church president Ted N.C. Wilson praised the East-Central Africa Division for following Christ’s method by organizing free clinics in both Kenya and Rwanda.

“Praise God for what the East-Central Africa Division is doing to bring the three angels’ messages to the hearts of people using Christ’s method alone,” he said.

Peter N. Landless, health ministries director for the Adventist world church, said he was heartened to see the division take Comprehensive Health Ministry to new heights.

“East-Central Africa Division leadership readily and enthusiastically embraced Comprehensive Health Ministry … from its inception and has steadily been working and extending the borders,” he said. “Thank you so much for being willing instruments.”

At the Kenyan clinics, Adventist volunteers distributed free medicine, offered medical checkups, and provided cancer screenings and laboratory tests, Tsegaye said. Some of the clinics were held in collaboration with the country’s Health Ministry.

Kendu Adventist Hospital alone organized medical services at six sites and treated 1,064 people. In some places, pastors sat in tents and registered people for Voice of Prophecy Bible lessons.

“We give glory and honor to God for this successful TMI and Comprehensive Health Ministry in Kenya,” Tsegaye said. “We pray that we have learned and accumulated enough experiences to build effective bridges to move people from the physical to spiritual dimension. We need a divine wisdom to follow Christ’s method.”

How to Welcome a New Pastor (and Guests)

So, your church is getting a new pastor! Wonderful. This is a great time to learn how to welcome him and his family.

Church signs. The first thing that the new pastor will recognize as he drives down the road is the church sign. Let’s put up one that will be noticed and can be read.

My dream sign would be a 3D sculpture of the church logo with a spinning globe of the world, internally lighted, with real gas flames surrounding it. And of course, the church name, phone number, and website in letters large enough to be easily read at a speed of 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit in front of your church.

Distinctive architecture or landmarks like giant lighthouses or giant crosses work great over the long run when everyone identifies you by that symbol, but they don’t help our new pastor arriving for the first time.

Parking. The new pastor has seen the sign and the clearly marked church entrance, and he has pulled into the parking lot.

But too many parking lots are not marked. So, even though you may have always parked east-west, you know what a mess it ends up being when someone parks north-south or diagonal.

Spend the money to mark the parking spaces with paint, including the handicapped area and maybe a “drop off” zone. If the church is located alongside a main highway, offering “truck parking” would be a great service to those with large vehicles.

I contend that you need a “Pastor Parking” spot only if your pastor is trying to cover more than one church on a Sabbath.

Landscaping. This does not have to be elaborate, but it does need to be clean and orderly. It is wonderful that the grass was mowed yesterday, but an extra 10 minutes to blow the cut grass off the sidewalks would make a world of difference. Weeds in the flower beds, hedges not trimmed — we see these things for so long they become invisible to us. They speak of sloppiness and apathy to those seeing them for the first time, including your new pastor. Pray for the Lord to give you the eyes of the first-time guest. Little things like peeling paint convey huge meaning.

The Entryway. Have you seen those big stores with three entryways? They all provide clear directions for what you find through that door, either Market, Household Goods, or Outdoor Living. Some churches also have multiple entrances but no clear sign for which door is the main entrance.

If your church is large enough to have multiple entrances, you need a greeter team at each door. Even the “back door” where people are taking children or food should have a greeter for the “regulars” who enter that way.

The other thing that successful businesses offer is glass doors, which conveys a message of “open.” In contrast, the subtle message that solid wooden doors give off is “Members only. Not open to the public.” Let’s make sure we convey the “open” message.

The Lobby. You may not be able to do much about your lobby or narthex (a big church word for “lobby”). But let’s go over a few things it would be nice to see. If I were building a new church, the lobby would be one-third the size of the main meeting room (sometimes called the sanctuary). The lobby would have space for that mingling that happens as people come in and church ends. I would set an area off to the side with couches and comfortable seating for people to gather for conversation. It is great to have a reception desk, but keep most of the greeters in front of the desk. Avoid barriers that separate people in this area. The lobby is the main area for your greeter team.

Greeters. Every church I have ever been to has thought that they had greeters. Unfortunately, most have just had “bulletin dispensers.” You will need someone to pass out bulletins, but the greeter is so much more than that. Although we are several steps down the path of “first impressions,” this is a big one. It is the first interaction with a live person, so make sure that it really is a “live” person. Train the greeters repeatedly on how to greet. Take turns training with everyone in the congregation, so that everyone gets the training multiple times, and you will find those who really excel at this position.

Good greeters don’t pretend to make people feel welcome. They do make people feel welcomed. They use words like “join us” instead of “visit us” when interacting. They are aware of the activity in the lobby. Although they are constantly greeting people they know, they have a special affinity for those who may be coming through the door for the first time.

Have a Sabbath School class right there in the lobby for your greeters to stand on the fringe of. This is also a great place to invite those who come too late to join in the regular class without interrupting. This is one of the uses for that nice sitting area on the side of the lobby.

Information. When I walk through the door of a large store, I can look up and see a sign that tells me which way to go to find the restrooms. Seldom do I go into a church where there is a sign pointing out where things are. Your new pastor and other guests have just been driving, and many will need the restroom before they need a bulletin. Are there signs pointing where the children’s classrooms are, where the kitchen is, and maybe even where the meeting hall is, although that usually is self-evident?

Have a great church bulletin. Put some thought into how it is laid out. Don’t overload it with “data.” Remember that there are people who won’t know what some of those acronyms stand for, nor do they speak the specialized “churchese” that multiple generations have grown up with. “The AYC is going to GYC for a presentation to the NAD to take to the GC” won’t mean much to our guests.

A well thought-out welcome packet is essential to help educate our new pastor and first-time guests about who we are, what we believe, why we believe it, where we are headed, and how we are going to get there.

If you have some sort of gift for first-time guests, like a water bottle or a book bag with the church’s name on it, then everyone who sees someone with one of those will know that this is a first-time guest and act accordingly. Include a card in the welcome pack that guests can fill out with their contact information. Offer a second, different gift if it is returned all filled out.

Large-screen televisions make great “digital bulletin boards” to remind people of upcoming events, or even where we are in the flow of today’s service.

Name tags. You know the name of your new pastor, but he knows almost no one’s name and will still be struggling to remember who is who 10 weeks from now. Name tags for everyone make the conversation flow at a more comfortable level. When the greeter is introducing himself, the person behind the information desk is printing the name tags as the people (guests and regulars) respond to the welcome.

Multiple greetings. The pastor may know at least one person who goes to this church. Don’t let his friends hog all the time. Resist the thought, “Oh, he is with his friends, so I won’t interrupt.” He needs interaction with many members or he may get the impression that this is a cold church.

Use the right words. The difference between visitors and guests is that visitors come to visit and then leave. Guests come to stay with you for a while. Let’s make sure and refer to them as guests and treat them as guests. Every interaction is geared toward them staying, not leaving.

While we are on semantics, let’s replace “potluck” with “fellowship meal.” Christians don’t put any credibility in “luck” and have an even lower regard for “pot,” and the term “potluck” just speaks of a haphazard, thrown-together occasion. “Fellowship meal” speaks first and foremost of fellowship as the main reason for the get-together, which it should be. Terms like “the lost” and “non-Adventist” should not be used.

Accompany them, don’t just point. Give the new pastor and guests a quick tour if there is time. Show them where the different classes are and where the restrooms are located. Accompany them to Bible class if appropriate. Introduce them to everyone you can along the way.

Fellowship meal. Especially accompany them through the lunch line (you do have lunch for guests, right?). It is horrible to have a church say, “Let’s allow our guests go through line first.” Guests do appreciate the attention, but they don’t know where everything is or even which way the line goes around the table. The best way is for someone to accompany the new pastor and his family through line.

Go first and keep a running commentary of the local traditions: Is it a vegetarian meal? Do we have it every week or just special times? Are special dietary items marked? Will we pick up our forks at the end of the line? Are condiments on the tables? Is the dessert table a separate trip? How about drinks? Is there a specific place we should sit? Or avoid sitting? All these things are routine for you but brand-new to our new pastor and guests.

At one church, my wife and I once went through line first and no one came and sat with us at our table. We ate our meal alone, wondering whether everyone was afraid of us.

Invite them to your house. There is a good chance they have plans for the day, but it is just as likely that they are wondering what they will do for the rest of the day. Weather conditions will dictate what options are best for the situation, as well as whether they have a change of clothes. Be flexible, but even if today won’t work, strive to set a time to have them over. Write down the information so they have it later, including clear directions and what times may work best.

Go visit them. Most towns have a “Welcome Wagon”-type service, and you can take that information about the new town along, but this is primarily your church reaching out to them, letting them know how glad you were to have them in church last week. Arrange a work bee to help them move in if needed. Be respectful of privacy if they don’t want church members looking over all their stuff as the van gets unloaded.

Give them almost the same treatment next week. The welcome packet won’t be necessary, but the multiple introductions and invitations always are.

I am sure that you have grasped that we are writing about much more than a new pastor. While these ideas are great, the new pastor has developed a thick enough skin over the years that he will be just fine if it doesn’t unfold so smoothly. But other people coming through your church door for the first time do not know what to expect and may not have the experience to deal with even one perceived rejection.

Give everyone the same treatment. Every first-time guest should get this treatment, not just the new pastor.

Keep practicing, keep educating, until you get it right. You want to be the “friendliest church in town,” not “the most pretentious.” Practicing means developing a mindset of how a first-time guest interacts with what is going on.

There has been some bad press about how “seeker-friendly” churches water down the “true message.” The reality is that the basic gospel is the most seeker-friendly message available. I am not asking churches to be “seeker driven” but to be “seeker sensitive.” Look at everything we do through the lens of the first-time guest. You will never go wrong by lifting up Jesus. Let’s do church not just for us but for those who may be looking to join us.

Pastor Craig and Deanna Wiles have just transferred to a district in the U.S. state of Missouri, where they were warmly welcomed.