I am so thankful to the Lord for His many blessings; we have so much to praise Him for. Often our requests are so heavy upon our hearts that we forget the debt of gratitude that we owe and can never repay to our merciful God. “Shall all our devotional exercises consist in asking and receiving? Shall we be always thinking of our wants and never of the benefits we receive? Shall we be recipients of His mercies and never express our gratitude to God, never praise Him for what He has done for us? We do not pray any too much, but we are too sparing of giving thanks. If the loving-kindness of God called forth more thanksgiving and praise, we would have far more power in prayer. We would abound more and more in the love of God and have more bestowed to praise Him for…. Pray, pray earnestly and without ceasing, but do not forget to praise.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 317. May we learn the art of praise that we may discover that far greater power in prayer!
A couple of weeks ago, I returned from a blessed trip to Angola and am praising the Lord for how He is working there. This year, the brethren in Angola had planned several week-long seminars in several different locations to encourage the brethren, reach out to neighbors, receive new
ideas and learn of ongoing work around the world. During the first week, I traveled to an interior province while a brother and sister from Brazil traveled to an even further province to share and minister to the believers for a week. Each evening we would present messages and then visit with people one-on-one to counsel and minister individually. Many testified that they had seen truths from the Bible that they had never realized before and that a revival was taking place. While meeting individually with the people, we met problems from health to marriage to school and were able to pray with the dear people and encourage them in the way heavenward. What a joy it was when couples determined to reconcile and decisions were made to follow the Lord fully! The week culminated in a baptism for those who had made the decision to make a lifelong (and even eternal) commitment to our God. When that week was finished, it was time to move on to other locations and repeat the same approach. In the capital city of Luanda, where I was, nightly meetings, cooking demonstrations, children’s meetings and more occupied our time as we sought to minister to the believers. While decisions made for eternity, families reconciled and baptisms all thrill the heart, seeing a faithful group of believers moving forward, following the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy and taking the gospel to those around them brings perhaps the greatest joy. To see brothers and sisters with a burden to grow and share the message of a crucified, risen and soon-coming Savior indeed does the heart good. They have received a container with thousands and thousands of pieces of truth-filled literature from Cornerstone Publishing and are busy distributing it. I was also very happy to see that they had built, with their own funds, a simple but nice church building. As the work continues to grow, it is their hope and goal to build more of these churches so that they may have many more memorials for truth and so that they may be able to worship our God without fear of sun or rain. While they are doing what they can, they are asking their brethren around the world to help them in their endeavor to build permanent beacons of light in their area. If you would like to help our brethren in Angola, you can mark your donation “Africa Churches.” Let us remember not only to pray for our brethren in Angola and around the world, but also to “praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” Psalm 107:8.
Yours in the blessed hope,