Generation of Youth for Christ 2015


Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Chad Kreuzer


Series Code: 15GYC

Program Code: 15GYC000008A

01:42 Oh Father God, those calls to prayer are from the millions of
01:47 Mosques that haunt me day and night.
01:50 There are millions, and millions of people around me in the
01:54 Middle East and North Africa who need to know what we know,
02:00 but, Oh Lord, who can tell them?
02:03 Father You've called all of us.
02:05 You've chosen each of us for a different responsibility.
02:10 Not all are called to the same place, or to the same task.
02:14 But I pray this morning that You'll pour out Your Holy Spirit
02:18 and impress those that You have chosen to take the gospel
02:21 to this final frontier for mission.
02:24 Empower them to be faithful, even unto death,
02:28 if that's what You ask of them.
02:30 In Jesus' name, Amen.
02:32 Achmed is a young Muslim.
02:37 He's a twenty-four year old university student.
02:40 These days he spends much of his time sitting on his dorm room
02:45 bed watching television.
02:47 He hates what he sees, but he can't seem to tear his eyes
02:51 away from the horrors of war, the atrocities of ISIS,
02:55 or the agony of the refugees.
02:58 Sometimes he jumps up from his bed and shouts at the walls,
03:03 What is going on? How can people do that kind of
03:07 thing to each other?
03:08 Even when he's out walking on the Cornish with his friends,
03:13 he can't get these scenes out of mind.
03:15 And his conversation often goes something like this:
03:19 I just don't get it.
03:20 We all pray in the Mosque, we read the Koran, we give Zakat,
03:25 we plan for a Hajj to Mecca, and yet what
03:28 difference is it making?
03:29 ISIS is killing Christians, and Muslims, and men,
03:33 and women, and children.
03:34 Not only that, he says, I've been thinking.
03:38 Ashraf, the fruit seller down at the corner,
03:42 he leaves the Mosque after prayers, and goes back and
03:46 cheats the same people that he's been praying with.
03:50 What is the purpose of religion anyway?
03:54 What's the purpose of life?
03:55 Are we just here to make money, and have lots of wives,
03:58 and children, and then die?
04:00 I hear the Imam's talking about the coming of Isa and judgment.
04:05 What does it mean? I'm afraid.
04:08 I'm afraid of being blown up by somebody's stupid bomb.
04:12 I'm afraid of the coming of Isa.
04:15 I'm afraid of the judgment.
04:16 I just wish I knew somebody that could share with me what's
04:21 happening, and explain to me what's going on in all of this.
04:27 Oh if only we had one young Adventist
04:31 in Achmed's university.
04:33 If only we had one young Adventist in his university
04:37 that could share with Achmed what it's like
04:41 to be a follower of Jesus; somebody who could become his
04:44 friend, because that's what would have to happen first.
04:47 Once Achmed learns that his new friend doesn't drink alcohol,
04:52 or eat pork, or pray to Saints; once he realizes that his new
04:56 friend lives a righteous life, and loves God, then Achmed will
05:00 begin to talk freely with him.
05:02 Opportunities will come up for him to learn about Jesus,
05:05 and he will begin to compare what he's learning with what he
05:09 sees around him in the Muslim world,
05:11 and in the heathen Christian world.
05:14 If only we had one sincere young Adventist who could deliver
05:20 the gospel to Ahmed.
05:22 Not by preaching; Achmed would never attend
05:25 a series of meetings.
05:26 He would never knowingly stop the dial on a
05:29 Christian TV station.
05:31 He would never intentionally pick up a Christian
05:33 piece of literature.
05:35 The only way we can reach Ahmed is for an Adventist
05:42 end time believer in Jesus to move into his community,
05:46 and get to know him, and become his friend.
05:48 Then they can show him what it's like to be a follower of Jesus.
05:53 I want to shift gears a little bit.
05:57 Picture with me a small city in one of our large countries.
06:01 The Seventh-day Adventist Church has been working there
06:04 for a hundred years.
06:06 But mostly, almost totally, our work has been among Christian
06:13 background people and foreigners.
06:16 The members of the church have lived with centuries of
06:20 animosity between Christianity and Islam.
06:23 They don't even think about crossing that cultural,
06:26 and religious divide.
06:28 Oh, they'll do business with each other, but that's it.
06:32 If someone even starts to talk about doing something
06:36 with Muslims, the Adventist members in that city will do
06:40 everything they can to stop them.
06:42 David is eighteen. He sees no future for himself
06:47 in the Middle East.
06:49 He longs to find some way to get a Visa for another place
06:53 where he could get a good job.
06:54 David loves the Lord.
06:56 He goes to church with his family faithfully,
06:59 but he feels there is no opportunity for work,
07:02 or for mission in the Middle East,
07:04 and he longs to go where something is happening;
07:07 where there are other young people singing, and praying,
07:10 and worshipping God together.
07:12 And so one by one, two by two, we are losing what few
07:16 Adventists we have in the Middle East in North Africa.
07:20 If only we had a couple of sincere young Adventists
07:25 who would move into David's city, and inspire the local
07:29 Adventist young people that still remain there,
07:31 by showing them that it is possible to live an Adventist
07:36 Christian life and reach out to the people around us.
07:40 You see, Mena has a problem, a big one, or maybe it's a small
07:45 one, depending on which way you're looking at it.
07:47 We don't have many Adventists at all in the Middle East
07:52 in North Africa, and even fewer young adult Adventists.
07:56 And we are steadily losing the ones we have.
08:00 Mena was a dedicated young Adventist.
08:04 He loved the Lord, and unlike many of his friends,
08:07 he decided he was going to stay in Egypt.
08:10 He wanted to become a pastor to his people.
08:13 Mena finished his secondary education at Nile Union Academy,
08:18 and then he began to work as a Bible Worker.
08:20 Eventually, because of the extreme shortage of pastors,
08:24 he was given several small churches to care for.
08:27 He got married, had a baby, and poured himself into the work
08:32 of taking care of those little churches,
08:34 and the scattered members.
08:36 He eagerly drank up the mentoring that he was given,
08:39 the occasional seminars and classes that
08:42 were provided for him.
08:43 Church leaders were thrilled at the potential for the future.
08:47 And then, just a few months ago, on his way to visit some
08:51 members, and Bible study interests, a truck ran through
08:56 and intersection and suddenly Mena's wife was a widow,
09:00 and the church had lost yet another young pastor and worker.
09:05 Humanly it will be years before we can find someone
09:10 to be ready to replace him.
09:12 If only we had one dedicated Adventist Arabic speaker
09:18 somewhere in the world who was willing
09:20 to come and replace Mena.
09:23 We can use foreigners, but it takes them years to learn
09:26 the language enough, and the culture enough that they can
09:30 preach, and give Bible studies in the local language.
09:35 Imagine what would happen if two thousand young people,
09:39 young Adventist's around the world would pledge themselves
09:43 to start learning Arabic, or Turkish, or Farsi, or French,
09:47 so that they would be ready to step in and replace one of
09:51 our fallen workers when that happens.
09:53 I praise God that little by little, slowly, slowly,
10:01 is becoming
10:04 And imagine is becoming reality, but it's oh so slow,
10:08 and it's oh so little.
10:10 Three years ago we began sending some young Adventists where
10:15 we had never had Adventists before.
10:18 We called them Waldensian Students.
10:21 We're carefully planting them in universities around the
10:25 Middle East in North Africa.
10:27 We have massive universities there: 75,000 students,
10:32 150,000 students, massive high quality universities.
10:37 And we're little by little placing students
10:40 in those universities.
10:41 I want to share with you just a little of what has happened
10:45 as a result of this beginning experiment.
10:48 On your seat some of you would have seen a card
10:51 for Waldensian Students.
10:52 Feel free to pick that up and contact us
10:56 if you need more information.
10:57 For obvious reasons I'm going to change the names in the stories
11:02 that I'm using so they aren't really the name of the people
11:06 that I'm talking about.
11:07 Three years ago there were no Seventh-day Adventists,
11:12 zero Seventh-day Adventists in a capitol city in one of our
11:16 countries of five million people.
11:19 Now just for comparison, that's twenty times as big as
11:23 Louisville; twenty times as big as Louisville.
11:26 In fact, it's bigger than all of Kentucky combined.
11:29 Not a single Seventh-day Adventist living in that city.
11:33 If you put that city in the United States it would be the
11:38 second largest city in the U.S.
11:40 If you take whole metropolitan regions, that include several
11:45 states, and all of the little cities around a big city,
11:48 it would still be one of the top ten cities in the United States,
11:52 and not a single Seventh-day Adventist.
11:54 And we have many others like it.
11:57 But three years ago in that city, we had a series of
12:04 unplanned, and sometimes disheartening events,
12:08 that ended up with a group of young Waldensian Students
12:12 going to that city instead of the city they had been
12:16 planning on going to.
12:17 And we hadn't planned on sending them there,
12:19 but that's the way it worked out.
12:20 They were a little disappointed.
12:23 We weren't sure what was going to happen.
12:25 On the first day of Freshman Orientation in the university
12:29 one of those Waldensian Students discovered that her limited
12:34 local language ability had gotten her in trouble.
12:37 She had ended up in the wrong part of the
12:40 campus at the wrong time.
12:43 She wasn't sure where she was, but she knew that there were
12:46 thousands of students milling all around her trying to get
12:49 registration completed; going into offices,
12:52 and rooms, and doors.
12:53 And she didn't know where she was, or what she was
12:56 supposed to be doing.
12:57 But instead of giving in to the wave of discouragement that
13:01 started to sweep over her, she began to pray.
13:04 She actually shut her eyes right there in the midst of all
13:07 that was going on and she said, Dear Lord,
13:09 I don't know where I am.
13:10 I don't know why I'm here.
13:12 I don't know what I'm doing.
13:13 But please help me to see Your providential
13:17 guidance in this somehow.
13:19 As she opened her eyes, immediately a young lady
13:24 approached her and said, Are you Korean?
13:27 I have a friend who wants to meet a Korean and learn Korean.
13:31 Just stay here a minute.
13:33 Let me introduce her to you.
13:34 So she ran and got her friend, and in a few minutes came back,
13:37 and introduced our Waldensian Student to Essma.
13:41 Essma was also a newcomer at the university.
13:45 She was quiet, and shy, and she wouldn't even look at our
13:49 Waldensian Student at first, but she gladly gave her
13:53 phone number to her.
13:54 Suddenly our disoriented Waldensian Student felt a little
13:58 lighter, a little happier.
14:00 Maybe Jesus had led her to that part of campus for a purpose.
14:05 Essma was a Muslim from a rural village.
14:08 She had three younger brothers, and a sister,
14:10 and she was extremely shy.
14:12 At first when they would get together she could
14:14 hardly say anything.
14:16 Not because she didn't know anything to
14:18 say, but just too shy.
14:20 So most of the time our Waldensian Student and Essma
14:23 communicated by text message first, but gradually she began
14:29 to teach her a few Korean words, she began to teach her some
14:33 Korean dishes, and how to cook them.
14:35 And soon they began actually talking together about what life
14:40 had been like growing up in Korea,
14:42 or in the small village in that country;
14:44 about what life was like today; about university.
14:47 They began to get together every Wednesday in the Waldensian
14:51 Student's apartment.
14:52 They would study language.
14:54 There they shared a lot about their families, about hobbies,
14:59 even about their spiritual lives.
15:01 And slowly Essma began to open up.
15:04 She began to smile more, and even to initiate
15:07 conversation at times.
15:09 She also began to enjoy spending time with the other Waldensian
15:14 Students in the group.
15:15 Eventually Essma started coming to church with them on Sabbath
15:20 in the little group that they had in that city.
15:24 Essma said that when she was with them she felt peace.
15:29 She liked coming to church.
15:31 Now Essma started to bring some of her conservative Muslim
15:36 friends to the Bible study that they were having each week.
15:39 The main focus of the Bible study was on the gospels.
15:43 They were discussing the life of Jesus.
15:46 And sometimes those discussions became heated.
15:49 Sometimes they would go on until after midnight.
15:52 During that time Essma did her best to compensate for the
15:58 Waldensian Student's lack of local language ability.
16:02 That meant that often she had to attempt to explain the concept
16:08 of the gospel that they were studying that night
16:10 to her Muslim friends.
16:12 That also meant that she received the brunt of their
16:16 attacks when they would get defensive and upset
16:18 at what was being said.
16:20 But through all of that she became more and more convinced
16:24 about God's true character, and of the person of Jesus.
16:28 One evening, as the two of them were walking back to Essma's
16:31 dorm room, Essma turned to her Waldensian Student friend
16:35 and said, I've never found, I've never found of the love of
16:43 God in the Koran, but as I read the Bible,
16:48 I'm seeing a God of love.
16:50 She confessed that all through her life as a Muslim
16:54 she had felt a void in her heart.
16:55 The void seemed to be vanishing as her learned about
16:59 Jesus through the Bible.
17:00 Essma eagerly began to read Steps to Christ,
17:04 and Desire of Ages, Daniel and Revelation.
17:07 Her conviction of truth was evident.
17:10 But she was very hesitant about being baptized,
17:15 and officially changing her religion.
17:17 And then one day our Waldensian Student felt cell phone buzz,
17:23 and she pulled it out, and there on the cell phone was
17:26 a text message from Essma.
17:30 it read. Essma's baptism was a secret one in a bathtub
17:37 in the Waldensian Student apartments,
17:40 surrounded by her friends.
17:42 They couldn't sing loudly, because of fear of attracting
17:46 attention, but they joyfully sang in
17:49 whispers and soft voices.
17:52 You know, most of us don't understand what that's like;
17:54 to worship in a place where the only singing
17:57 you dare do is in a whisper.
18:00 Essma's journey since her baptism has
18:02 not been an easy one.
18:04 She's lost friends since making the decision to follow Jesus.
18:07 But she continues to share her newfound faith with her family,
18:12 and her classmates.
18:13 And recently Essma's mother accepted Jesus
18:17 as her personal Savior.
18:19 And where we had zero Seventh-day Adventists
18:23 three years ago, today we have a group of almost forty
18:27 that meet together every Sabbath,
18:29 and during the week for Bible studies, partly because of a
18:34 lost Waldensian Student.
18:36 But what if she hadn't left home?
18:39 What if she hadn't gone to this strange country to study
18:43 in a city where there were no Adventists, and where you had
18:45 to sing in a whisper?
18:47 If you want to know more about our Waldensian Student program,
18:51 go to our booth, #113, and talk to us there.
18:54 We have some live Waldensien Students there that you can
18:58 talk with about their experience.
19:00 In that same city, where three years ago we had no Seventh-day
19:05 Adventists, our group has grown to where they can't fit in the
19:09 living room anymore.
19:10 They've rented a little storefront church from another
19:14 Protestant group, and we use it on Sabbath,
19:17 and they use it on Sunday, the other group.
19:19 On one Sabbath a Muslim lady walked into the back of that
19:24 little storefront with a candle, her veil on,
19:27 but she was holding a candle, and came into the church.
19:29 She was nearly in tears as she whispered
19:32 to the greeter her story.
19:34 She and her husband had come to that city as refugees.
19:39 He had left her there and gone on to the U.K.
19:42 to try and find a job.
19:43 But she hadn't heard from him in weeks, and she was almost
19:47 out of money, and she didn't know what to do.
19:50 She didn't know what had happened to him.
19:52 On Friday night she'd had a vivid dream.
19:56 It told her to go out and buy a candle, and go find a church.
20:00 Well, she obeyed. And as soon as it got daylight she went
20:05 and bought a candle.
20:06 But she had no idea where a church was.
20:08 She had never been in a church before.
20:09 She hadn't paid any attention to where churches were.
20:12 She asked a taxi driver to take her to the church.
20:16 The taxi driver dropped her off at the storefront where our
20:20 Adventist group was meeting that Sabbath morning.
20:23 The greeter wasn't able to go up and tell the leader what
20:27 the story was, but she whispered to the leader that this lady
20:31 needed prayer right now.
20:33 And so the group gathered around her, lit her candle,
20:37 and began to pray for her.
20:39 Now you might not agree with lighting a candle
20:42 as we start to pray.
20:43 It's not something that our group there usually did either.
20:47 In fact they were quite uncomfortable doing that.
20:49 But the lady had come with a candle, and she wanted prayer,
20:52 and they didn't know what to do, and so they went ahead
20:54 and lit it and had prayer.
20:56 They didn't know her story at that point, but they prayed
20:59 fervently that God would hear her cry,
21:02 and answer her prayer, whatever it was.
21:05 Tears were streaming down the lady's face
21:09 as the prayer finished, and she sat down with the group
21:12 for the rest of the church service;
21:14 her first time ever in a Christian church.
21:17 In the midst of the service someone's cell phone rang
21:21 and was quickly shut off.
21:22 Nobody noticed who it was.
21:25 Nobody thought much about it.
21:27 But the next Sabbath one of the members who had followed up
21:31 with that young Muslim lady during the week,
21:33 told them the rest of the story.
21:36 That cell phone call, minutes after their prayer,
21:39 had been from her husband, calling to tell her where
21:43 he was, and what he was doing.
21:44 Her prayer, their prayers, had been answered almost instantly.
21:49 This is a currently unfolding story.
21:52 I don't know what the end result will be,
21:55 but I am ever so thankful for a group of young Adventists
21:58 who have gone where no one else has gone.
22:03 A couple of months ago an Adventist Egyptian young adult
22:08 shared with a group of us about an exciting project that she had
22:12 been part of during their school break.
22:14 She had joined a Young Waldensian Student from Brazil,
22:17 who's studying nursing.
22:19 And by the way, he's here.
22:20 He's one of our Waldensian Students that will be at the
22:23 booth, if you want to talk to him.
22:25 But this young Egyptian had joined this young Brazilian
22:28 nursing student, and some other Adventist young people,
22:32 for a project during their break.
22:35 There was a Neurologist from Columbia who had given up his
22:39 career and come to help us in a city with very few Adventists.
22:43 There was an Columbian Paramedic who had joined our
22:46 Waldensian Student program, and there were two Syrian
22:50 refugee teenagers who have already given their hearts
22:54 to Jesus, and are reading the Bible faithfully every day.
22:57 That small group decided to go from home to home during their
23:02 break, checking on Syrian refugee families,
23:05 and taking a survey of their health needs.
23:07 They hoped not only to document those health needs,
23:12 but also to be able to help some of the families.
23:15 They visited ninety Muslim homes during their break.
23:21 They were able to help with a few of the physical needs,
23:24 but what brought tears to the eyes of this young Egyptian
23:27 Adventist was that they had offered to pray in each Muslim
23:32 home, and not one home had refused to let them.
23:36 She said, with deep emotion, People, you have to realize,
23:41 I lived my entire life thinking we couldn't do anything
23:46 religious, or spiritual with Muslims.
23:49 I've grown up in a Muslim country, but part of the
23:52 Christian minority, and I didn't think it was possible
23:56 to cross that divide. Now I know I can.
24:01 But what if those other young Adventists hadn't made the
24:06 sacrifice to leave family, and friends, and move to what many
24:09 consider to be a dangerous part of the world?
24:12 What if there had been no one for this young Egyptian
24:15 Adventist to join with in a project like that?
24:18 She still today would think that she can't reach
24:22 across that divide.
24:23 Now let me switch gears slightly.
24:27 What would happen if a dedicated young Adventist professional
24:32 were to move into the heart of one of our closed countries,
24:36 one of our large, difficult cities, and take a job with
24:40 an oil company, or a hospital, or a bank, or something else?
24:44 What would happen if we had some Adventist tent makers
24:48 moving into our communities?
24:50 Well, it is happening, little by little, so let me share with you
24:54 a tiny glimpse of the results of the
24:57 beginnings of our experiment.
24:59 Like an iceberg, I think what we see is only the tip of it.
25:04 When Jesus comes we'll see the full results.
25:08 Roger works as a manager in a large company in one
25:13 of our closed countries.
25:14 He and his family often share some of their ethnic dishes
25:18 from their country with his co-workers,
25:21 and friends, and neighbors.
25:22 They invite them to their house for food, but their purpose is
25:26 to get to know them, and be friends, and hope that they can
25:30 expand that discussion into spiritual things.
25:32 And sure enough, many of their friends now come not just for
25:37 food, but for times of prayer and Bible study with them.
25:41 One of those friends is Mahmud.
25:43 For a long time Mahmud has hated his father, because his father
25:48 sometimes abused his mother.
25:50 Roger keeps talking to Mahmud, pleading with him
25:55 to forgive his father.
25:56 But at one time Mahmud and his father had had an argument,
25:59 and his father actually hit him in the face,
26:02 and Mahmud was furious.
26:04 He actually reported his father to the Office of Human Rights.
26:07 But even that didn't heal the pain, and anger in his heart.
26:11 But Roger kept on, reading him verses from the Bible,
26:16 promises about forgiveness; urging him to forgive his
26:19 father for his own sake.
26:21 Finally, one day, Mahmud came to Roger and said, I did it.
26:26 I decided I was going to forgive my father, and you know what?
26:29 That night when he walked into the room,
26:31 I felt no hatred for him anymore.
26:34 He said, I got up and I kissed him on the forehead,
26:38 which is a very meaningful expression in that culture.
26:41 And he said, My father embraced me, and confessed that he was
26:45 sorry for being so hard hearted toward me.
26:48 Now Mahmud realizes the power in the promises of God's Word,
26:53 and he keeps coming regularly to Roger's house for times of
26:58 Bible study and prayer.
26:59 God is still in the business of turning the hearts of children
27:04 to their fathers, and fathers to their children even in Mena.
27:09 And He's using dedicated tent makers to help do that.
27:13 But what if Roger had decided to stay in his home country,
27:17 and keep on with the good job that he had there?
27:20 What if Roger hadn't made the sacrifice to move to this very
27:25 difficult, closed country?
27:27 You see, Mena is one of the last frontiers for mission
27:32 in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
27:34 And yet we have almost no Seventh-day Adventists living
27:39 there who can show what it means to be an
27:41 end time believer in Jesus.
27:43 The people of Menna believe that soap operas are an accurate
27:49 description of Christianity.
27:51 Okay, how do you like that?
27:53 Soap operas accurately describe Christianity.
27:57 That's what they believe; the people around us.
27:59 They think that all Christians eat pork, drink alcohol,
28:03 pray to Saints, kiss idols, and live like the movies.
28:07 And most of the five hundred million people in our Union
28:11 want absolutely nothing to do with what they consider to be
28:16 heathen Christians, and yet they have a
28:19 longing to know something.
28:21 They see what's happening and they say,
28:23 What is going on in the world?
28:24 Is this where our religion leads?
28:27 What? Who knows something that they can share with us?
28:31 They don't want to know from Christians, but when they meet
28:33 a Seventh-day Adventist things are different.
28:36 Many of them are having dreams, but the dreams
28:39 often leave them puzzled.
28:41 They long for someone who understands what's happening
28:45 to be able to share with them.
28:47 Mrs. White says, Christ's method alone will bring true success
28:52 in reaching the people.
28:54 She says that Jesus mingled, met their needs,
28:57 won their confidence, and then invited them to follow Jesus.
29:02 We often want to skip to that last step, don't we?
29:06 We want to skip right to the inviting.
29:09 We want to have a ten day, or a three week evangelistic series,
29:13 and hope that's enough to bring people to Jesus.
29:15 And in some places it may be.
29:17 But in the Middle East in North Africa it does not work.
29:22 We need living, breathing, remnant end time believers
29:27 in Jesus on the ground for the long term, for 3 years,
29:32 5 years, 10 years, for the rest of their lives.
29:35 Whenever we find someone who's willing to make that kind of
29:39 commitment, and we move them into a community,
29:41 things begin to happen in that community.
29:45 John is a Civil Engineer in one of our
29:49 difficult countries in Mena.
29:51 He's worked there for a number of years.
29:52 At first he had challenges with his work, because the boss
29:57 wanted to require him to come to work on Sabbath.
30:00 Everybody else worked on Sabbath.
30:02 But through God's intervention, and John's personal
30:04 determination to be faithful, finally his Muslim employer
30:09 agreed to give him all of his Sabbath's off work.
30:11 He's the only employee in that company to have that privilege.
30:15 His work has been increasingly successful.
30:18 He has enabled his employer to get some contracts for massive
30:23 buildings in that city.
30:25 The best friend of his employer noticed what was happening.
30:29 He noticed that John was an excellent designer and engineer.
30:33 He also noticed all the money that his best friend was
30:37 making from John's work.
30:39 And so one day he invited John to come to his office;
30:43 have a personal meeting.
30:45 While John was there he strongly urged him to leave his boss
30:50 and come work for him.
30:51 Now this is a best friend, okay?
30:54 But he urged him to leave the boss and come work for him.
30:58 He said, John I'll double your wages.
31:01 Well, John told him, I need the pay increase, but I can't break
31:07 my promise, and betray your friend, and my boss.
31:11 If you get his permission, I will gladly
31:14 come and work for you.
31:15 The man laughed! He'll never give his permission for you
31:19 to leave his company.
31:20 You make him way too much money.
31:21 Well, at this time John's boss had become quite unpredictable.
31:27 He was moody. Without warning he would yell at the employees.
31:32 Things were tense in the office.
31:34 In many ways John wished that he could leave that business
31:38 and go somewhere else.
31:39 He wondered if he had done the right thing.
31:41 I mean, it was just a promise.
31:43 Why not go somewhere else?
31:46 A few days went by, and the best friend invited John to come
31:51 again to his office.
31:52 While he was there he said to John, John,
31:56 what's your favorite sports car?
31:58 John thought for a moment and he said, Ah, a BMW Roadster.
32:03 The man typed something into his computer and turned the screen
32:06 toward John, and there was a picture of a
32:08 brand new BMW Roadster.
32:10 He said, John, if you will leave my friend, and come work for me,
32:14 I will double your wages, and give you that car by tomorrow.
32:18 Well, John thought about the low pay that he was getting.
32:26 He thought about the pressures at work.
32:30 He wanted to say yes, but finally he repeated his first
32:34 response to the man.
32:36 The man said, John, you are an absolute fool!
32:39 I know that my friend is not paying you what you're really
32:42 worth, but you still refuse to leave him and come work for me.
32:46 John left the man's office with a heavy heart, wondering if he'd
32:51 made the right decision.
32:52 But he finally decided to go talk to his employer.
32:55 John got up his courage; went into the boss's office.
33:00 He could see that the man looked disoriented, distracted,
33:04 irritated, frustrated.
33:05 But finally he blurted out, Sir, one of your friends has asked me
33:11 to come and work for him full time.
33:13 The boss looked up, startled.
33:16 John said, You know my wages are a little low for the industry
33:20 standard, and Sir, things have been very tense
33:23 in the office lately.
33:25 You've not been treating us very kindly.
33:28 But I told your friend that I would not break my promise
33:31 to you, and leave your company unless you gave your permission
33:35 and agreement for that.
33:36 His employer got up from the desk and turned around,
33:39 walked to the window with his back facing John.
33:42 And then he began to sob; sobs shaking his body.
33:46 After several minutes of crying there at the window,
33:49 he came back and sat down in front of John,
33:51 wiping the tears out of his eyes.
33:53 And he began to tell him that he was the
33:56 oldest son in the family.
33:57 That the father had just been diagnosed with a terminal
34:00 disease that was ravaging his body; how he longed to do
34:04 something to help him, but all the money that he had,
34:07 all the possibilities couldn't do anything to save his father.
34:10 And he was distraught continually.
34:13 He looked at John, and he thanked him for his willingness
34:19 to stay on with the company.
34:21 He told him that he was sorry for the way he'd been treating
34:24 them, and that he would do better, and would do whatever
34:27 he could to retain John.
34:29 And from then on things changed.
34:31 The relationship between John and the boss became close.
34:35 Many times they pray together now.
34:38 But what if John hadn't gone to that difficult country
34:44 to work as an engineer?
34:45 There's a young Philipino procurement officer in one
34:50 of our difficult closed countries.
34:52 It's a country where we're not allowed to have
34:54 Christian churches.
34:56 Our Adventist groups that are there have to meet secretly.
34:59 Now probably the government knows where they are,
35:02 but they don't bother us right now.
35:04 Someday they might, but right now they're not.
35:06 So we're not sharing with you what country it is,
35:09 or what they're doing.
35:10 But Lucas, when he came to the country, was not an Adventist.
35:15 When he grew up in the Philippines
35:17 he wasn't an Adventist.
35:18 When he married his wife he wasn't an Adventist.
35:21 She was a former Adventist, but she was no longer practicing,
35:25 or attending church.
35:26 Years went by; the kids got older,
35:29 were getting ready to go to school.
35:31 He needed more money, so like many, he moved to this difficult
35:35 country where he could make good money, and send money back
35:38 to the family every month.
35:39 There in that country one of his wife's cousins is an Adventist
35:45 attending one of our secret churches.
35:47 She kept inviting him to come to church, but he kept saying,
35:53 Why should I go to a church that my wife
35:56 is no longer a part of?
35:57 Eventually he began to go for the fellowship and the food.
36:01 But little by little his interest increased,
36:05 and he began to study the Bible with some of the members.
36:07 A heart longing he didn't even know he had was beginning to
36:11 be filled by the friendships in the Word of God.
36:14 Almost every night he was sharing with his wife by phone,
36:18 and by Skype, what he was learning in the Bible studies.
36:20 And eventually she started going back to church, too,
36:24 and recommitted her life to God.
36:26 But Lucas' job was still requiring him
36:29 to work most Sabbaths.
36:31 Eventually he came to the point, after a long struggle,
36:34 months of struggle, that he decided he wanted to make
36:38 the decision to keep the Sabbath faithfully.
36:41 He called his wife and he said to her, Honey, I'm going to tell
36:45 the boss tomorrow that I'm going to not work on Sabbath anymore.
36:48 He'll probably fire me.
36:50 He'll probably send me home.
36:52 We won't have any money anymore.
36:53 She said, That's okay; be faithful to Jesus.
36:57 Amen!
36:58 They prayed together, and with fear and trembling Lucas went
37:02 to the bosses office the next day, and just like he expected,
37:06 the boss was furious.
37:09 His boss threatened to fire him, and then he threatened to deport
37:13 him, finally he threatened to have him put in prison
37:15 for breach of contract.
37:17 For hours it went on, and then they went to the next higher
37:20 bosses office, and on and on for three days.
37:24 Finally, part way through the third day, they took him
37:27 to the big bosses office.
37:29 This was a huge, ornate office where the boss seemed big,
37:34 and the visitor seemed little.
37:36 And the boss was just like all of the others.
37:39 He was unrelenting in his demands.
37:43 He was firm, he was severe.
37:44 But suddenly the big boss stopped
37:49 his tirade against Lucas.
37:53 He smiled, he leaned back in his chair and he said, Lucas,
37:57 you can have your Sabbaths off.
37:59 We've been testing you to see if you were severe,
38:02 if you were sincere, not severe. Sorry about that!
38:05 He said, You are a valuable worker to us.
38:10 We trust you. We need people like you in this company.
38:14 You can work Friday while the rest of us take off
38:17 to go to the Mosque.
38:19 But, Lucas, and he smiled at him, he said, Make sure and stop
38:23 work before sundown on Friday, because we've been researching
38:28 you Seventh-day Adventists on line, and we know that your
38:31 Sabbath starts Friday night, not Sabbath morning.
38:34 Amen!
38:37 I realize Lucas didn't go as an Adventist.
38:40 He didn't go with any intentions to be a missionary.
38:43 But God used some others who had gone ahead of him to reach
38:48 Lucas, and He used Lucas to reach out to his bosses.
38:52 If only we had more people like those faithful Adventists,
38:57 working in each of the massive cities of Mena.
39:01 But we have hundreds of cities the size of Louisville,
39:06 without a single Adventist in them.
39:08 Hundreds of cities the size of where we are today
39:12 without an Adventist.
39:14 If I gathered every Adventist in our entire Union...
39:17 Our Union is way way bigger than the United States.
39:20 If I gathered every Adventist we would have only a small part
39:25 of what's here this morning.
39:26 We have more people here this morning than we have in our
39:29 entire Union, and yet every time we plan to dedicate and end time
39:35 remnant believer in Jesus in a city, things begin to happen.
39:39 You know, we had tried for several years to get one or two
39:44 of our Middle Eastern Arabic Adventist students to take a
39:49 year off and work as a student missionary.
39:52 We have some projects that are wide open for the gospel.
39:56 But we need an Arabic speaking young person to go live in that
40:00 project for a year, and it would make a powerful difference.
40:04 We would probably have a small group of believers
40:06 by the end of the year.
40:08 It's that open. But for two years we have been unable to
40:11 find one single Middle Eastern Adventist Arabic speaker
40:16 who was willing to take off school and go.
40:19 If we wanted to send them to the U.S., or Brazil, or Europe,
40:23 fine, they would be glad to go.
40:25 But go work with Muslims in a difficult place,
40:28 and interrupt my school? No way!
40:32 Then a group of Seventh-day Adventist families came...
40:37 I was going to say this year, but we're in 2016 now.
40:40 It's last year. A group of South American Division families
40:45 came to the Middle East University,
40:46 our Adventist University in Lebanon.
40:48 They came for a month of training.
40:51 We had chosen this group and were sending them out to some
40:55 of our difficult and challenging parts of the Union,
40:59 but we wanted to give them some training first.
41:01 They ate, and studied, and played football, soccer we call
41:05 it here, but played with the students for that whole month.
41:09 The students saw that these families were different from
41:12 what they had expected.
41:14 They saw that they had left high paying jobs,
41:17 in highly developed countries, and were willing to come
41:21 and work in dangerous, and difficult parts of the Middle
41:24 East in North Africa for only one salary; not one for husband
41:28 and one for wife, but one between them.
41:31 At the end of that month, one of those young missionaries stood
41:36 up... We didn't ask them to.
41:38 It was kind of impromptu.
41:39 He stood up at the end of the last meeting that they had
41:42 together, the last Vespers, and he made a call for the students,
41:47 the Arabic speaking Middle Eastern students, to be willing
41:51 to start preparing to be missionaries.
41:54 And many of those young people came forward.
41:57 It's a new day for Mena.
42:00 But we need to follow up on that.
42:02 Now we need some of you to come to the Middle East
42:07 University as students to study for a year, or a semester,
42:12 to work with our Adventist students, our few Adventist
42:16 students that are there.
42:17 You can come on the ACA program.
42:19 That's the Adventist Colleges Abroad program,
42:22 and study Arabic and Middle Eastern culture for a year.
42:25 Or you can come on your own and study business, or theology,
42:29 or education, or something else, and then transfer your credits
42:32 back to your U.S. university.
42:34 Your presence and involvement on our campus, your involvement
42:39 in the mission projects around Middle East University
42:42 would be a statement to our students, and would help to
42:46 transform their lives. We need you.
42:49 We have a representative at our booth for Middle East
42:52 University, if you want to go there later and talk to them;
42:55 see what courses are being offered.
42:57 We would love to have you come; not just for the thrill of it,
43:01 but for the mission.
43:03 Every time that we put someone into a community, they begin to
43:12 find people who have already had dreams, who've already been
43:15 searching, and longing.
43:17 Most of the people around us don't trust most Christians.
43:21 They consider them to be heathens.
43:23 But when they get to know an Adventist they're always amazed,
43:28 and they soon start asking questions.
43:31 We need you to come and help us reach out to the
43:35 people around us, but we also need you to come and help
43:39 us reach out to the few remaining Adventists
43:41 in the Middle East in North Africa.
43:44 Those who come as missionaries are making a difference
43:47 in the lives of those remaining Adventists who have grown
43:50 discouraged through the years; who don't think there's
43:54 anything else they can do.
43:56 We need you to come to Mena.
43:58 But even if you don't come, we need you to pray.
44:02 Maybe you'll come later.
44:03 Maybe God hasn't called you to come at all.
44:05 You know, I get a little frustrated sometimes that,
44:09 that me included, we all think that our ministry,
44:14 our particular gift is what everybody else should have.
44:17 But as an Adventist church, we believe in the multiplicity
44:21 of gifts, don't we?
44:22 Not everybody is called to the same thing.
44:25 Not everybody is called to be a pastor.
44:28 Not everybody is called to be a teacher.
44:31 Not everybody is called to go to the Middle East
44:34 in North Africa Union.
44:35 I don't want to give the impression that those who
44:39 respond to my call at the end of this time are more spiritual
44:43 than those who don't.
44:44 We are pleading with the Holy Spirit to be poured out on our
44:47 hearts, and help us to know that all of us are called.
44:50 All of us are chosen for something.
44:53 And may we be faithful to what we've been
44:56 called and chosen for.
44:58 Amen!
44:59 We have five things that we would like you
45:04 to add to your prayer list.
45:06 Because that is something you can do for us,
45:08 even if God doesn't call you to come and join us.
45:11 Let me share with you five current things that are gong on.
45:14 There are many we could have shared.
45:17 But there's a couple from the United States who have given up
45:21 their jobs, and gone to one of our countries that's often
45:25 in the news because of massive terrorist attacks on tourists.
45:29 I'm not going to say the name of the country,
45:31 but that couple are already there.
45:33 They're studying the language, and looking for work that they
45:37 can do as tent makers.
45:38 He's a social worker, and she was a professor at one of our
45:43 Adventist universities.
45:45 Some of you here know who they are.
45:48 There's a young physician from Columbia, who's given up a high
45:52 paying job at a prestigious university where he taught,
45:56 and I can hardly even say what he taught,
45:59 he taught neuro rehabilitation, okay?
46:02 He hade an excellent job in Columbia.
46:06 He left all of that and has gone to one of our largest countries,
46:09 one that's been through a very trying time of
46:13 political change and unrest.
46:15 A young lady from Lithuania has just completed her masters
46:21 in business, and she'll be traveling to one of our
46:24 countries next month, in February,
46:26 to begin searching for a job.
46:28 A couple from the United States...
46:31 Their parents are here today.
46:34 A couple from the United States, both have doctorates in physical
46:38 therapy, they're ready to give up their jobs, and are currently
46:42 searching the internet for possible positions in Mena,
46:45 where they can serve.
46:47 And the parents shared with me, a day or two ago,
46:50 that they've now gotten an appointment for an interview
46:54 in one of our countries.
46:55 A lady dentist from Columbia has left her private practice,
47:00 and is currently in one of our countries processing her
47:04 paperwork with the government.
47:06 As soon as it's approved and processed, then her husband
47:09 and children will be able to join her in that
47:11 difficult mission challenge.
47:13 These, and many others, have already made the decision to go.
47:18 They aren't just thinking about it, they have actually picked up
47:23 their crosses and entered Satan's territory,
47:27 and that old roaring lion is not going to sit idly by and let
47:31 them have an easy time of it.
47:33 These pioneer missionaries are pioneers in
47:37 every sense of the word.
47:39 When the Adventist church used to send missionaries
47:42 to Lake Titicaca, or to the heart of the Amazon,
47:45 or to Central Africa, or wherever it was,
47:47 they were pioneers.
47:49 They often didn't come back.
47:52 These pioneers have pledged their lives to Jesus.
47:58 They have gone. They're going to need prayer warriors around the
48:02 world holding up their hands, and they need
48:07 teammates to join them.
48:08 It's a lonely and discouraging work to be a pioneer missionary.
48:12 We need teams of people in each of these unentered cities.
48:17 But one by one we're finding people, and putting them
48:20 together in teams, and placing them there.
48:22 We need more teammates.
48:24 Are you willing to join them?
48:26 Wednesday night Natasha shared with us the goal of GYC,
48:34 to take the gospel to every man, woman, and child
48:38 in this generation.
48:40 She said that would require a love for God so strong that we
48:45 would be willing to be a martyr for Him.
48:48 Right now I'm going to make a very specific call.
48:53 It's not a general call.
48:56 You need to consider carefully before you answer this call.
49:00 I often cry as I'm making these calls, and as I'm sending people
49:06 to various parts of Mena, because I know that someday
49:10 some one of them that I've sent will never return home.
49:15 We're recruiting workers for this final frontier of mission,
49:21 and we aren't looking for those who just want an adventure.
49:25 We don't believe that God has called
49:28 everybody to come to Mena and work.
49:31 We know that some of you He's called to stay right here,
49:34 and witness to the people in Louisville, or Chicago,
49:38 or wherever you happen to live.
49:39 But we know that He has called and chosen some to come,
49:43 and our prayer is that the Holy Spirit will poured out on your
49:46 hearts, and that those He has called and chosen to come work
49:49 in Mena, who are willing even to give their lives for Jesus,
49:54 if necessary, would respond.
49:57 Some of you that respond will be asked to make the
50:01 ultimate sacrifice.
50:03 So today I'm not making a call for people to give
50:06 their hearts to Jesus.
50:08 I hope everyone here has given their heart to Jesus,
50:11 and will continue to do that.
50:13 I'm looking for those who know they've been called and chosen,
50:16 to go to the difficult parts of this earth, and maybe even to
50:21 give their lives, if necessary.
50:24 So please don't respond to this call unless in your heart
50:29 you are willing to be a martyr for Jesus.
50:33 Don't respond if you just think, Yeah, that sounds neat.
50:36 It would be fascinating to go there.
50:38 If that's the way you feel, come as a tourist.
50:40 I could tell you many stories of people who are now Adventist,
50:43 because of Adventist tourists that came to
50:46 our part of the world.
50:47 That's fine. God may not have called you to come.
50:55 I want to ask for those that feel God calling them to make
51:00 an incredible sacrifice, to go to a difficult part of the world
51:04 and maybe even to be a martyr, if you feel God placing that
51:09 call on your heart, would you come forward now?
51:14 I'm making a call for those who feel convicted that God may be
51:18 asking them to go to a place that could even result
51:23 in them being a martyr.
51:28 Last night Sebastian said he'd found the chapter
51:32 that Satan hates most.
51:34 He said it's Revelation 12.
51:37 And I just would like to re-read with you verse 11.
51:40 And they overcame him, Satan, by the blood of the Lamb,
51:43 and the word of their testimony; and they loved not
51:47 their lives unto death.
51:48 The glory of that victory goes to God, not to us.
51:55 It's the blood of the Lamb that won the victory,
51:58 not what we decided we would do.
52:01 But finishing the work in our generation is going to require
52:07 people who have been called and chosen to be faithful
52:11 to that calling, and to that choosing.
52:13 It's going to require us to share our testimony,
52:16 and not love the easy lives, but to be willing to
52:20 risk all for Jesus.
52:22 A few months ago I was at our Adventist
52:26 university in Columbia.
52:28 It was a mission weekend.
52:31 On Friday night the president, Dr. Abraham Acosta, gave a call
52:36 for those who were willing to be martyrs
52:38 to come up on the platform.
52:40 More than a hundred young adults came forward.
52:45 And then he asked me to come up and pray for those who had
52:49 responded to the call to be martyrs, but I could hardly
52:52 pray because of the tears that were running down my cheeks,
52:56 and choking my voice.
52:57 You see, Dr. Acosta hadn't just called other
53:02 people's children to come.
53:04 There on the platform behind him was his own young university
53:10 aged daughter telling her Daddy, and God, that she was willing
53:16 to be a martyr for Jesus.
53:17 Not only that, I knew that his other daughter, his son-in-law,
53:23 and his grand daughter were even then making the final
53:27 preparations to leave Argentina and go to one of our difficult
53:31 countries as tent makers.
53:34 What a sacrifice; for a father to instill a sense of mission
53:39 in his daughters, and then call them himself to be martyrs.
53:47 I want us... We have just a few minutes left.
53:51 I want us to take those few minutes in prayer.
53:54 Groups of two or three...
53:56 And I want the group that's here to stay here.
53:58 At the end of that time I will pray, and I'd like you then that
54:02 are up here to just step to the sides,
54:04 so we can scan your badges.
54:05 We want to talk with you; stay in touch.
54:08 We're going to try to have even a little meeting tonight
54:10 with those of you that have come.
54:12 I want to ask those of the rest of you, all of us, to hold these
54:16 folks up in prayer.
54:18 I want you to pray for those who have made the decision
54:21 to come, even it means being a martyr for Jesus.
54:23 I want you to pray for those who have already gone.
54:26 I want you to pray that the Lord of harvest will send
54:29 laborers into His harvest.
54:31 The harvest is ripe in Mena.
54:33 It's time for Jesus to come.
54:35 What we need now is to plead for laborers who will move in
54:39 to that harvest no matter the cost.
54:42 And then we need people holding them up in prayer.
54:45 Would you join me, and lets just kneel and pray for the next
54:49 two or three minutes, and then I will close with a prayer.
54:52 Lets kneel.
55:01 Those of you here in the front can pray
55:03 together as the others are.
55:06 Oh Father God, I long for the day when there won't be a single
55:13 country in Mena without a Seventh-day Adventist group,
55:16 even if it's a secret one, worshipping there.
55:20 I long for the day when there won't be a single city in Mena
55:24 that doesn't have a small group of Seventh-day Adventists
55:28 praying together in a living room even.
55:30 I long for the day, Lord, when there won't be a single
55:33 university in Mena that doesn't have any
55:36 Seventh-day Adventist students.
55:38 I long for the day when there's not a single Mosque giving
55:42 a call to prayer over, and over again without an Adventist who
55:46 lives near enough to hear that.
55:48 I long for the day when Jesus will come.
55:51 I don't know how this work is going to finish, but I believe
55:55 that it's going to finish soon.
55:57 We're at the end, the edge of the Jordan River.
56:00 You haven't asked us to figure out on our
56:03 own how to get across.
56:05 All You've asked us to do is to step into the water,
56:08 and then You will open the river.
56:10 And Lord, a group of young people, and some that aren't
56:14 so young have come forward this morning saying that they feel
56:17 You have called and chosen them for a special work,
56:21 a work of going to the challenging,
56:24 difficult places on earth.
56:25 Lord as they step into the water, I pray that You will
56:31 open up the river before them, and that hundreds,
56:34 and thousands, and millions will be standing with us on the
56:38 sea of glass, on that wonderful day.
56:41 It's time for You to come.
56:44 We pray that Your Spirit will be poured out;
56:46 that You will help us to use wisdom in the work that we do.
56:50 But help us to do it faithfully.
56:52 And Lord for each of us, those who feel called to a different
56:56 kind of work, I want to pray that Your Spirit
56:59 will be with them; that You will enable them to be doing
57:02 the work that You've called and chosen them for as well.
57:06 Thank You so much that You are with us wherever we go,
57:10 even to the ends of the earth.
57:13 This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world
57:17 for a witness to all the multitudes,
57:20 and then the end will come. Amen.
57:23 Even so come, Lord Jesus. Amen.


Revised 2016-07-28