04/03/2010: A Pilgrim’s Journey
A Pilgrim’s Journey
In Dominican Republic
“Our message is a life-and-death message, and we must let it appear as it is, the great power of God. We are to present it in all its telling force. Then the Lord will make it effectual. It is our privilege to expect large things, even the demonstration of the Spirit of God. This is the power that will convict and convert the soul.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 60, 61.
“The Lord has given to every man his work, and every man is to do the work that the Lord has given him. All have not the same gifts or the same disposition. All need to feel daily the converting power of the Holy Spirit, that they may bear much fruit for the Lord. It is not the one who preaches the gospel that provides the efficiency that makes his efforts successful. It is the unseen Worker standing behind the minister who brings conviction and conversion to souls.” Bible Training School, November 1, 1909.
“Let the people understand that you have a message that means life, eternal life to them if they accept it. If any subject should enthuse the soul it is the proclamation of the last message of mercy to a perishing world. But if they reject this message it will be to them a savor of death unto death. Therefore there is need to work diligently, lest your labors be in vain. O that you would realize this, and that you would urge the truth upon the conscience with the power of God. Give force to your words and make the truth appear essential to their educated minds.” Evangelism, 297.
We are realizing the effect of moving out of God’s way and allowing Him to do His will. In October 2009, four more souls chose to surrender to Christ and His message. Chino and his wife studied with Elizabeth for more than a year on and off; but, watching the changes in others’ lives, they too moved forward and are studying earnestly to be more prepared to share truth with others.
Tito and his wife Onicia are the result of the evangelistic work of those baptized earlier in the year. Amen! All, both youth and adults, who have committed to Christ thus far under our work are still growing in grace and are active, both in the growing church and the weekly evangelistic house-to-house visits. Nina is soon to be baptized and is already giving Bible studies to her neighbors. Nina’s brothers Johnny and Chino have already given their lives to Christ and His service. She has witnessed the baptism of her three children and has partaken deeply of the moving of God’s Spirit. Nina has a very active prayer life and desired for months to be baptized. Her only problem was Leo. Leo is the father of Nina’s children and the head of the household. However, as is usually the case here in the mountains, they have been living
together for seventeen years without the benefit of marriage. Leo has attended the majority of the Tuesday evening studies but always seemed to have a rebuttal of whatever was presented. He liked to complain about the church members he knew; and he swore that he would never marry, so that Nina could not be baptized. Then suddenly the morning of the last baptism, he heard in his head what he describes in his own words: “The Father God spoke to me and told me, ‘Stop your foolishness and go to church today and go in a hurry!’” From that day to this Leo has been changed. He considers himself a Christian, encourages his children and wife, and plans to soon marry Nina and be baptized himself! Amen!
“Now, as never before, we need to understand the true science of education. If we fail to understa
nd this, we shall never have a place in the kingdom of God. ‘This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent’ (John 17:3). If this is the price of heaven, shall not our education be conducted on these lines?” Christian Educator, August 1, 1897.
“True education is missionary training.… To fit us for this service should be the object of our education.” Ministry of Healing, 395
From the beginning of our missionary journey in Honduras until now, we have always had the desire to begin, with God’s help, all the beautiful facets of His ultimate plan for last day labor, which are medical missionary work, literature work, city and rural evangelism, as well as a true education program executed from a country outpost. We have found that God is faithful to fulfill His will, and piece by piece He will complete His plan. He will have a people. He will give a demonstration of His plan in the end of time. Jesus will be lifted up by self-sacrificing workers who commit all their energies to fulfilling that plan.
Apart from the hands-on spiritual training that our young people receive and their never ending agricultural work, Sister Nelly Tejeda (formerly Nelly Fuentes) has finally established herself in our area and is currently working with all the youth in our area in catching up academically in Spanish grammar and other subjects. Brother Jose Cordero with his wife Margarita has joined our team and is giving basic and advanced math classes. He also is giving music theory with guitar classes to many of our youth and adults. We have offered ourselves to give auto mechanics with driving lessons to our teens and adults in the mountains.
We are preparing to provide week-long seminar-style classes on health, natural remedies, Bible doctrines, simple trades, etc. If you are interested in coming for one or two weeks to offer your skills or knowledge in training people who are hungry to learn and do God’s will, please do not hesitate to contact us soon.
“True education is the preparation of the mental, moral, and physical powers for the performance of every duty, pleasant or otherwise, the training of every habit and practice, of heart, mind, and soul for divine service. Then of you it can be said in the heavenly courts, ‘Ye are laborers together with God’ (see 1 Corinthians 3:9).” Selected Messages, vol. 3, 228.
We recently experienced a wonderful way to reach people and educate the young people at the same time. An elderly brother
in the capital city was in desperate need of help on his property. Economic and other factors make it virtually impossible to hire outside laborers, and his land was turning into a jungle around his home. We enlisted the help of our young people and planned a three-day land clearing project. Knowing that the hot sun would not permit us to swing the machetes after noon, we planned afternoon visits to the neighborhood around that brother’s home for the purpose of distributing literature and making friends. Four of our young people, being from the mountains, had never seen the ocean, not even in photos. So in the evening after our visitations, we took them to the ocean.
As in all things, the Lord did exceedingly abundantly above what we could have asked or thought! In two mornings, starting immediately after our 6:00 AM worship and ending at noon, we hand-cleared four acres of heavy brush! Everyone that saw the work was very impressed, including the neighbors who we would visit in the afternoons. The boys went beyond what we anticipated in giving literature and actually engaged and challenged some of the young people in the neighborhood with impromptu Bible studies. Then the Lord blessed the second evening visit to the ocean with a wonderful rainbow on the horizon as we arrived, as if to say, ““I love you all; continue in that which is good.”
A Pilgrim’s Journey
One afternoon while coming home from an errand on foot, I was hot, sweaty, weary, somewhat discouraged and carrying a load in my backpack that contributed to my saying to myself, “I’m getting older; my children are almost grown; I work so hard here in these mountains, and there is no hope of rest in the near future. Is this really what Jesus requires of me?”
Although I had almost reached the top where the outpost is, I paused to reflect and catch my breath. Just then my eyes fell upon my shadow on the ground before me, and the silhouette of my form immediately took my mind to John Bunyan’s allegory of the Pilgrim’s Progress.
I could see the outline of a burden on my shoulders, and I felt like crying as I realized that the burden I carried was in no way as heavy as the burden carried by my Lord and Savior Jesus when He yielded up His life for my sins. So what if getting to my house is all uphill? So is getting to heaven. Each passing step strengthens me for the next, and the joy of arriving causes me to forget the wearisome climb. I felt guilty for my inward doubts. I reviewed all along the path I had just traversed, seeing with my eyes literal fruits of my physical labor; and also I remembered the strong spiritual evidences that, yes, Jesus had been leading all along.
It is a journey. It is a journey for the brave, for the determined, for the humble servant. It is a difficult journey with a lot of heartache and loneliness at times. However, I confess in faith, even though I have not yet grasped all the promises of God that I can see in the distance, I am glad to be a pilgrim and stranger upon the earth (Hebrews 11:13). Who is going to walk that road with me on my journey home?
We would like all our TLC family to understand that though your economic help is much needed and gratefully received, we covet more than anything your earnest prayers that the Lord will enable us with whatever we have in our hands to execute a true soul-winning work while obeying all His revealed will. We are trembling for our own souls and praying for those in our charge as we see the solemnity and reality of these last days.
Should finances continue to come, we will invest as much as we can in the following items: present truth literature, Bible worker expenses, ongoing ministry needs and equipment.
Though the work here has real needs, we believe that, should donations decline, it is because the time is indicating that in our particular work they may not be needed as much as in other parts of the field. Pray and do only as the Lord impresses you. And if God leads you, come and visit to see for yourself what the Lord is doing.
Donations that need tax-deductible receipts should be made out to the Amicus Seventh-day Adventist Church and mailed to our address with Dominican Mission in the memo.
T.L.C. Medical Ministries
P.O. Box 36
Oak Park, VA 22730