Dam Mang https://www.dammang.com Life is a never ending learning process Wed, 28 Jul 2021 12:13:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.6 https://www.dammang.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/cropped-icon-32x32.png Dam Mang https://www.dammang.com 32 32 149723435 Adventist athlete qualifies for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics https://www.dammang.com/adventist-athlete-qualifies-for-the-2020-tokyo-olympics/ https://www.dammang.com/adventist-athlete-qualifies-for-the-2020-tokyo-olympics/#respond Wed, 28 Jul 2021 12:13:39 +0000 https://www.dammang.com/?p=1873 Nathalee Aranda traveled to Japan to participate in the long jump category BRAZIL | ROSMERY SÁNCHEZ JULY 27, 2021 Nathalee Aranda is a young Seventh-day Adventist who will represent her …

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Nathalee Aranda traveled to Japan to participate in the long jump category

BRAZIL | ROSMERY SÁNCHEZ

Nathalee Aranda is a young Seventh-day Adventist who will represent her native country, Panama, in the long jump mode of the Olympic Games.

“Having qualified for the Olympic Games is a great joy for me because I have been working for years to achieve this goal,” said the athlete in an interview for Radio Nuevo Tiempo Perú.

Upon receiving the news of her qualification during a training session, her excitement overflowed into a jump and a cry of joy. “It was exciting and I thanked God very much because thanks to the will, effort, and discipline {He gave me] the goal was achieved,” says Nathalee.

However, reaching this level has meant going through several challenges, such as the limitations she had for her training and several of the competitions that were canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite all this, her trust and faith in God grew stronger.

Nathalee Aranda is a 26-year-old athlete who started her sports career when she was 12 years old. During this journey, she has participated in important sporting events in Central America, Central America of the Caribbean, and South America, even winning some of them.

Today, she is happy to be part of the Olympic Games that take place from July 23rd to August 8th in Japan and affirms that each of her achievements is owed to God. “I have always placed each of my competitions and training in the hands of God; I have trusted Him. My trust is in Him because I know that with God I can do everything.”

This article was originally published on the South American Division’s Portuguese news site

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President of the Allegheny East Conference Henry J. Fordham and his wife Sharon pass away in a house fire. https://www.dammang.com/president-of-the-allegheny-east-conference-henry-j-fordham-and-his-wife-sharon-pass-away-in-a-house-fire/ https://www.dammang.com/president-of-the-allegheny-east-conference-henry-j-fordham-and-his-wife-sharon-pass-away-in-a-house-fire/#respond Mon, 19 Jul 2021 12:26:41 +0000 https://www.dammang.com/?p=1865 President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Ted N.C. Wilson, sends message of condolence. SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES | ALLEGHENY EAST CONFERENCE/TED N.C. WILSON, PRESIDENT, GENERAL CONFERENCE OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS …

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President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Ted N.C. Wilson, sends message of condolence.

SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES | ALLEGHENY EAST CONFERENCE/TED N.C. WILSON, PRESIDENT, GENERAL CONFERENCE OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS

The Adventist Church in the Allegheny East Conference, located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, is devastated to report the passing of our beloved president, Henry J. Fordham, III and his loving wife Sharon Fordham. They passed tragically in a house fire. More information will be shared as received. We are soliciting urgent prayers for the Fordham and AEC family as we process this great loss for our conference.

President of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, Ted N.C. Wilson, shared his heart-felt condolences on Facebook.

What tragic and disheartening news to hear of the passing of Pastor Henry and Mrs. Sharon Fordham. Pastor Fordham, president of the Allegheny East Conference, was a trusted church administrator and a longtime friend. He came from a long line of faithful Adventist leaders. His kind and godly leadership will be missed by all, and by me personally. I recall attending a few years ago the opening of the new Allegheny East Conference headquarters and also experiencing the beautiful setting of the Pine Forge Academy property. He and his wife, Sharon, gave loving care to the Allegheny East family, and their passing will be strongly felt by all. What a shock to see this announcement. According to reports, the Fordhams passed away in a house fire. Our hearts go out to the grieving family members and all church members of the Allegheny East Conference. May the Holy Spirit comfort each of you and may the Lord come soon! 

More information will be disseminated by the Allegheny East Conference as it becomes available.

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What Is The Purpose Of Public Campus Ministries? https://www.dammang.com/what-is-the-purpose-of-public-campus-ministries/ https://www.dammang.com/what-is-the-purpose-of-public-campus-ministries/#respond Mon, 19 Jul 2021 12:23:21 +0000 https://www.dammang.com/?p=1862 Learning about how to maintain connection on non Christian campuses. SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES | NICOLE DOMINGUEZ 17 JULY 2021 College is a time for independence. A time of …

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Learning about how to maintain connection on non Christian campuses.

SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES | NICOLE DOMINGUEZ

College is a time for independence. A time of liberation where many young people are on their own and away from their families for the first time. Yet with this new found freedom comes the loss of church community. For some, this is a silver lining, but for many more, it’s a struggle. ANN InDepth hosts Jennifer Stymiest and Sam Neves interview Pako Mokgwane, the Associate Youth Director for the Youth Department for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and leader of Public Campus Ministries (PCM) andl along with several students who have been involved with the ministry over the years.

Not every student has availability to an Adventist college, so PCM works to bridge the gap between stand alone students and church communities. The app allows students to search for places where you can find like minded believers and connections that bring you back into the fold. Not only that, but the app allows for guidance on how to start your own ministry on campus. This resource is not only helpful for seasoned Christians, but new believers who are trying to find a community to support them in their growth. Mokgwane elaborates on the ministry, saying how they are attempting to “put stipulations and tenants in our policy that will mandate youth leaders and PCM leaders to encourage local churches to connect with public campuses.”

“Once we have that connection, then we’re going to make sure that as they leave their comfort zones, their local church, and go to this new space, new environment, new type of lifestyle there are people who will welcome them and show them the ins and outs of how to navigate, and also connect them with same-minded students,” he continued.

More often than not, such attempts to create a church community on campus is a pioneering effort that is often faced with obstacles. Akehil, a student in Canada, faced major pushback from universities that challenged the Candadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is embedded in the constitution and provides religious freedom and safety. For many Christian students, professors and universities will attempt to prevent representations of faith.

“We see professors who don’t accept sabbath accommodation letters which bridge Adventist students in a bind, we see professors who purposely single out Adventist students or Christian students for their faith and and sort of challenge or even try to humiliate them in front of class and when it’s a class no matter if it’s a big class that’s scary if it’s a small class it’s embarrassing,” said Akehil.

It is because of this that pushing for partnership with local churches and building community, has become crucial. Akehil verbalises the need for a church community not only serves Adventists, but non-Adventists who come from countries where religious freedoms are nonexistent or are in need of advocates when religious liberties are challenged.

Guilherme, a student at Yale University, found the usual difficulties when attending a non-Adventist institution such as exams and events all scheduled on Sabbath. Yale was the only ivy league that didn’t have a Seventh-Day Adventist campus fellowship, and therefore Guilherme,and two other adventist students “had the desire to start something where a Seventh-Day Adventist could feel at home, where they could be a community, but also reach out to the community, to be in the world, but not of the world as John 17 says.” The ministry grew to provide several social services such as outreach for the homeless, visited housing for retirees and Matthew Daley, a student and pianist, performed for them, they also had their first religious liberty symposium. The ministry soon became a benchmark of ministry leadership for the campus. On his graduation, the Director of Student Affairs approached Guilherme and said that “the Seventh-Day Adventists have set the gold standard for student organizations at Yale divinity.”

Kayc is yet another Adventist student working to further the PCM movement. Since there are no Adventist Universities in Panama, she found a greater community where Adventists could meet to worship and provide a space for connection. “PCM definitely marked a special point in my life that showed that I was doing something for the lord and that I was committed to work for him and to go in the line of what I believe” Kayc says. She found wearing PMC merchandise garnered questions from those not aware of the ministry, allowing for greater mentorship. It was a way for others to ask questions, learn about the community, and introduce them to Christ.

The activity of the Public Campus Ministry has had ripple effects far greater than expected. PCM is parallel to church planting in its grassroots efforts to build a faith based environment that allows current believers to continue their journey and welcome converts. Seventh Day Adventism is starting to be revitalized, both in private and public spheres with their presence in the community as a faith based organization that pours love and leadership wherever they go. It is the hope that this ministry continues to thrive and share Christ’s ministry.

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Church Membership Hits 600,000 https://www.dammang.com/church-membership-hits-600000/ https://www.dammang.com/church-membership-hits-600000/#respond Sat, 17 Jul 2021 13:20:50 +0000 https://www.dammang.com/?p=1857 PAPUA NEW GUINEA | TRACEY BRIDCUTT 16 JULY 2021 Seventh-day Adventist Church membership in the South Pacific has now exceeded 600,000, largely driven by a significant jump in the number …

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PAPUA NEW GUINEA | TRACEY BRIDCUTT

Seventh-day Adventist Church membership in the South Pacific has now exceeded 600,000, largely driven by a significant jump in the number of members in the Papua New Guinea Union Mission (PNGUM).

According to the South Pacific Division (SPD) Statistics Report presented to the Division Executive Committee last week, membership in 2020 was 609,868, compared to 567,139 in 2019. Significantly, the church’s growth rate was 7.85 percent, the highest it has been in the past ten years.

In 2020, the overall number of baptisms/professions of faith was 57,947, of which 48,622 were in PNGUM. Membership losses totaled 15,596. A calculation of gains to losses reveals that for every 3.7 people who joined the church, one left.

According to the report, there’s a significant difference in the number of Adventists in the populations of the union missions compared to the union conferences. In the Trans-Pacific Union Mission (TPUM), there is one church member per eighteen citizens; in PNGUM, it’s one per nineteen citizens; whereas in the New Zealand Pacific Union Conference, (NZPUC), the ratio is 1:261, and in the Australian Union Conference (AUC), the ratio is 1:407.

There is also a noticeable disparity in the number of members per pastor: 496:1 in PNGUM, 414:1 in TPUM, 236:1 in NZPUC, and 166:1 in AUC. Tithe per capita was AU$1,423 in AUC, AU$988 in NZPUC, AU$108 in TPUM, and AU$58 in PNGUM.

In 2020 there were 14,075 denominational employees across the division, including 3,937 teachers and 1,584 pastoral/ministerial employees.

President of the Adventist Church in the South Pacific, Glen Townend, was excited to see the growth in membership in 2020, despite difficulties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What we do know is that the disciple-making methods of Discovery Bible Reading and World Changer Bibles being used in Papua New Guinea and the Trans-Pacific are really working, and that’s great to see,” said Townnend. “During the pandemic last year, they were able to meet in small groups to read the Bible and listen to each other and what God was saying. The increased involvement and relationship connection lead [sic] to this growth.”

“In Australia and New Zealand, it continues to be a challenge to reach people; however, the reach by electronic media of streamed worship services and the impact of Hope Channel in NZ and Faith FM in Australia grew significantly. These countries are very secular, and most people are not interested in the Bible, but the seed of the gospel has been sown,” he said.

This article was originally published on the website of Adventist Record

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Lockdown Births Innovative Walking Ministry in the British Virgin Island of Tortola https://www.dammang.com/lockdown-births-innovative-walking-ministry-in-the-british-virgin-island-of-tortola/ https://www.dammang.com/lockdown-births-innovative-walking-ministry-in-the-british-virgin-island-of-tortola/#respond Sat, 17 Jul 2021 13:17:01 +0000 https://www.dammang.com/?p=1854 ST. CROIX, US VIRGIN ISLANDS | NCC STAFF AND INTER-AMERICAN DIVISION NEWS 16 JULY 2021 A group of members from the Maranatha Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tortola, British Virgin Islands …

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ST. CROIX, US VIRGIN ISLANDS | NCC STAFF AND INTER-AMERICAN DIVISION NEWS

A group of members from the Maranatha Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tortola, British Virgin Islands (BVI), ventured to create a ministry based on walking. An evangelistic, health-focused initiative, the “Newstart Walkers” ministry, saw the local church get involved in a practical way to live the gospel, organizers said.

Every Sunday morning at 5:30 a.m., the group walks from the church’s newly renovated parking lot to the sound of meaningful chatter and occasional, mild outbursts of laughter. The routes normally provide different, exotic, breathtaking, yet relaxing views that participants regularly record on their devices.

Local church pastor, Jerome Bevans, explained the rationale for the initiative: “Individuals are generally unwilling to accept a Bible study from a stranger or a strange belief system. However, they are more accepting of healthy lifestyle information to boost the immune system during the current pandemic.” It is this reason, Bevans said, that the initiative has created several opportunities to reach the community in a practical and innovative manner.

Ministry coordinator Tessa Smith said the ministry came to light shortly after coming out of the strict lockdowns in 2020. “We were unable to fellowship at the church—we were spending lots of time online, which was not conducive to the healthy lifestyle we encourage,” Smith explained. “We wanted to use that time to encourage healthy living through exercise in the sunshine and fresh air. We also wanted to use that opportunity to fellowship, which we were unable to do for quite some time, and encourage the community to join us.”

Elder Khoy Smith, personal ministries leader for the Maranatha Church, has not missed a step throughout the eight-month-old ministry. For him, this has been a great opportunity to employ Jesus’ method that guarantees success in evangelism. “We have seen a reconnect[ion] with many members who were not in attendance,” Smith shared. “We have also gained new friendships, and a couple even visited our regular Sabbath service. The walk serves as an opportunity to talk about life’s problems and provide practical and spiritual counsel to our guests,” he added.
The Maranatha Church is a tight-knit congregation with a track record of innovation in pioneering several outreach ministries. In 2008, the church was responsible for the launch of the Spanish-speaking work among the growing Hispanic population in BVI. More recently, it approved an initiative headed by church planter Wil Davis to reach the minority Caucasian population.

Church members have been participating in other activities to engage with the community, including attending gyms and engaging intentionally in the marketplace, local church leaders reported. They are always ready to reach out to offer help as they try to improve people’s health and support residents when they go through challenging life experiences. Against this background, the new initiative seeks to increase the opportunities of knowing and interacting with the community, ministry organizers said. “The work is slow, difficult, time- and resource-consuming, but God [has] been opening doors to reaching hearts,” they said.

Bevans said he understands the great benefits of participating in a group that walks as Jesus walked. “The group is a safe place,” he emphasized. “It provides for visitors to attend and experience true and genuine friendship without being pressured. This ministry has been providing opportunities for contacts and forging friendships that will eventually, by God’s grace, [prompt them to] ‘walk’ through the pearly gates.”

Tessa Smith also detailed some of the goals of the ministry and shared some of the group’s plans. “Our purpose, moving forward, is to continue to bring awareness of the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle among the members and the community. As simple as it seems, our weekly walk provides opportunities for us to build bonds with our community and each other outside of the walls of the church,” she said.

Smith also explained the group’s method: “The formula is simple. We get outside together every week in nature. We invite our friends, community members, to join. We talk, we laugh, sometimes we cry, all while building bonds of friendship and staying active and healthy. Nothing complex.”

Above all, Smith said the group is mission-driven and mission-oriented. “Our goal is to win souls for Christ.”

This article was originally published on the Inter-American Division’s website

 

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President of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, Ted N.C. Wilson, sends message of encouragement to members in Haiti. https://www.dammang.com/president-of-the-seventh-day-adventist-world-church-ted-n-c-wilson-sends-message-of-encouragement-to-members-in-haiti/ https://www.dammang.com/president-of-the-seventh-day-adventist-world-church-ted-n-c-wilson-sends-message-of-encouragement-to-members-in-haiti/#respond Sat, 17 Jul 2021 12:27:26 +0000 https://www.dammang.com/?p=1868 SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES | TED N.C. WILSON, PRESIDENT, GENERAL CONFERENCE OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS 17 JULY 2021 Editor’s Note: Below is a letter of spiritual encouragement from Ted N.C. …

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SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES | TED N.C. WILSON, PRESIDENT, GENERAL CONFERENCE OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS

Editor’s Note: Below is a letter of spiritual encouragement from Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, to members of the Adventist Church in Haiti after unrest and violence in the country. Adventist leaders in Haiti have asked for prayer and God’s protection and peace in the wake of the assassination of Haiti’s president this week.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Haiti,

On behalf of your world family of Seventh-day Adventists, I want you to know that our hearts go out to you in the traumatic situations you are facing. We have been praying for you. We are grateful for the support and encouragement you receive from the Inter-American Division and the world field. As you face many challenges and uncertainties for the immediate future, may you and all of us put ourselves and God’s work in His hands! Jesus is coming soon! What an opportunity to serve Him during these momentous times as you support the people of Haiti through our various services of health, education, community services, and spiritual direction.

We praise the Lord for the almost half a million Seventh-day Adventist members in Haiti. Each of you can provide the spiritual and moral encouragement to your neighbors and friends as you present Christ and His power to change our lives giving us an eternal perspective that can help us to know that He holds the future. What a comfort to know that when we put ourselves in God’s hands, He can give us life and life more abundantly……now and for eternity. This is the blessed hope that Haitians long to hear………God will use you to share that hope during these troubled times as you model the infinite value of every human being and the sanctity of life…..all through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Whatever unusual situations you face in your daily lives and your service for God in Haiti, He will create miraculous openings for your testimonies to others of God’s goodness and salvation. The everlasting gospel message announced by the first angel of Revelation 14:6-7 is to be proclaimed with Holy Spirit power to every corner of Haiti. Thank you for being a “light on a hill” as you let others know of your love for Jesus and His power in your life to remake you into someone more and more like Him. Thank you for your dedication and commitment for sharing God’s precious truth including the powerful announcements of the three angels’ messages in Revelation 14 and the fourth angel of Revelation 18 with Christ and His righteousness at the core of the three angels’ messages. We are grateful for the religious liberty you have in Haiti to share the good news of Christ’s soon return utilizing your role in Total Member Involvement.

As you share your faith and the full Bible truth as Seventh-day Adventists understand it, lift up Christ in all you do and remember as Ellen White indicated that the greatest sermon that can ever be preached is the life of a loving and lovable Christian. As we see world events pointing to the soon coming of Jesus, share the Advent message with a happy heart and a good smile with those around you as you participate with the world church in strategic plans of “Reach the World—I Will Go.” God will use you in a powerful way to touch the lives of people in Haiti as you humble your hearts before the Lord every day. We will continue to pray for you as members, for our spiritual church leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Haiti, for the government leaders of the country, and for Haiti as a nation. Let us all pray for spiritual, social, political, and economic stability for the country of Haiti as we seek God’s guidance in all that is done.

What a privilege to claim the wonderful promise found in John 6:45, 47, and 48 where Jesus said: “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me………Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life.” What a blessing to share the Bread of Life with others in Haiti.

In “Last Day Events,” a compilation from Ellen G White’s writings, we see that we are living in the last days of earth’s history and Jesus is soon to come as we read on page 11: “The calamities by land and sea, the unsettled state of society, the alarms of war, are portentous. They forecast approaching events of the greatest magnitude. The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones.”

May God encourage you during these last days of this earth’s history as we plead for the latter rain of the Holy Spirit so the three angels’ messages will be shared quickly in Haiti and around the globe. May God spiritually and physically strengthen you during this very challenging time in Haiti as you proclaim the Advent message with Holy Spirit power lifting up Christ, His Word, His righteousness, His sanctuary service, His saving power in the great controversy, His three angels’ messages, His health message, His last-day mission to the world including the need to plead for the latter rain of the Holy Spirit, and Christ’s soon second coming.

With kind Christian regards and sincerely yours,

Ted N C Wilson

President

General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

 

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Safety in the Storm https://www.dammang.com/safety-in-the-storm/ https://www.dammang.com/safety-in-the-storm/#respond Fri, 16 Jul 2021 11:01:49 +0000 https://www.dammang.com/?p=1851 President of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, Ted N.C. Wilson, talks about how the Word of God can help us overcome life’s perils. SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES | TED …

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President of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, Ted N.C. Wilson, talks about how the Word of God can help us overcome life’s perils.

SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND, UNITED STATES | TED N.C. WILSON, PRESIDENT, GENERAL CONFERENCE OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS

Greetings, friends. Have you ever been in a storm where the wind is howling, the lightning flashing, and the thunder crashing? It can be a frightening experience. But imagine how much worse it would be on the sea, where the waves seem to be crashing over you while the storm swirls all around.

The apostle Paul found himself in just such a situation. We read about it in Acts, chapter 27, where the situation became so dire the crew and passengers began throwing everything overboard.

“And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship,” we read in Acts 27:18 “On the third day we threw the ship’s tackle overboard with our own hands. Now when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest beat on us, all hope that we would be saved was finally given up” (Acts 27:18-20).

That’s a pretty dire situation. And yet, there was one on board who hadn’t given up, and that man was Paul. For you see, this was not the first deadly situation the apostle had faced.

He describes his experiences in 2 Corinthians 11:24-27—”From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;  in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;  in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—”

This man of God had been through a lot! How was he able to keep pressing on through all of these trials and discouragements? I believe the answer is found in what he said while in the middle of that terrible storm on the sea.

Even though Paul had advised the captain of the ship not to sail further at that time, he still spoke faith-filled words of encouragement. Listen carefully to his words recorded in Acts 27:21-25:

“‘Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss.  And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.  For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve,  saying, “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.” Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.”

How was Paul able to have such rock-solid faith in the midst of a storm where everything seemed lost? How could he retain hope in what appeared to be an utterly hopeless situation?

Well, you might say, “it’s because an angel came to him.” I’m sure that was encouraging, and yet, I believe there was something more than just the presence of an angel—I believe it was the God-given message that the angel delivered to him. Notice Paul’s words, again, “Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.” (Acts 27:25).

And that is exactly what happened. Although the ship was completely wrecked, Paul, and all on board were saved. Paul had peace and courage because he had full and total confidence in the word of God–that it would be just as God said.

Friends, we are told very clearly that “a storm, relentless in its fury” is coming. “Are we prepared to meet it?” The pen of inspiration continues: “We need not say: The perils of the last days are soon to come upon us. Already they have come. We need now the sword of the Lord to cut to the very soul and marrow of fleshly lusts, appetites, and passions. . . . The thoughts must be centered upon God” (Testimonies for the Church, volume 8, p. 315).

And what is this “sword of the Lord?” It is the same sword described in Ephesians 6:17—”And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Friends, our only safety, our only security in the days ahead is to take God at His word–as revealed through the inspired Scriptures of the Bible. The Bible has withstood the test of time over the centuries. The prophecies given have so far been fulfilled right on time, and we can rest assured that what remains will also take place just as the Bible reveals.

We have also been given, as indicated in Revelation 19:10, the wonderful gift of the testimony of Jesus, which is the Spirit of Prophecy, to help guide us through these last days of Earth’s history.

As we navigate the days ahead, we don’t need to worry. As long as we keep Jesus as our “North Pole,” the Bible as our “compass,” and the Spirit of Prophecy to illuminate the map, we can be confident in reaching our final destination in safety and joy and peace. Let us press together as we move forward in mission, proclaiming the three angels’ messages through the power of Christ, and the amazing news that Jesus is coming very, very soon!

Let’s pray together just now. Father in heaven, thank you for the amazing message that you give to us. Thank you for the Word of God, the Bible, that is as sure as any foundation. It is the foundation of all of your love, and your character. It reveals to us that your character is founded upon love and these precious words in the Bible are your love letters to us to give us instruction, and guidance. And thank you Lord for the Spirit of Prophecy, through the writings of Ellen White, your servant. Thank you for giving us the Spirit of Prophecy, which illuminates the way points to Jesus and to the Word of God. Thank you for the privilege of knowing that our future is secure as we lean upon the merits and blood of Jesus Christ every day, accepting his justifying and sanctifying righteousness, which is the very core of the three angels’ messages. Helping us to understand, to turn back to the true worship of God and proclaiming this to the world. Lord, give us a firm conviction that your Word is the source of all life and truth. Bless us now, as we move into the last days of earth’s history. Lord, we lean upon you on your word and on your instruction in the Spirit of Prophecy and we thank you for hearing us. In Jesus’ precious name we ask it, amen.

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Healthy Habits Formed During the Pandemic Provide Benefits Moving Forward, Experts Say https://www.dammang.com/healthy-habits-formed-during-the-pandemic-provide-benefits-moving-forward-experts-say/ https://www.dammang.com/healthy-habits-formed-during-the-pandemic-provide-benefits-moving-forward-experts-say/#respond Thu, 15 Jul 2021 05:44:43 +0000 https://www.dammang.com/?p=1847 UNITED STATES | ADVENTHEALTH JULY 14, 2021 Stephanie Thieman, a busy professional and mom from Florida, started working from home at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the …

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UNITED STATES | ADVENTHEALTH

Stephanie Thieman, a busy professional and mom from Florida, started working from home at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the lockdowns, her family often went out to eat in the evenings, as an alternative to cooking. However, as restaurants shut down, and with more time on their hands, the Thiemans decided to create a new, healthier routine.

“My husband and I saw this as an opportunity to teach our son about the importance of adopting healthy lifestyle habits. We began growing food from our garden and cooking meals at home,” said Thieman. “We even purchased a subscription food box service for the whole family. We spent a lot of time cooking and eating plant-based meals together.”

The combination of home-grown vegetables from the garden and their meal subscription helped Stephanie’s husband lose nearly 50 pounds.

“Just working toward losing a little weight, a pound or two, starts to decrease inflammation and your risk of a bad reaction from COVID-19,” said George Guthrie, MD, author of Eat Plants Feel Whole and a board-certified physician at AdventHealth who specializes in lifestyle medicine.

The human body needs the right amount of nutrients and physical activity to fight off infection, which has never been more important than in the last year. Physical and mental health can improve when families cook and eat meals together, a practice not as common in homes before the pandemic, said Dr. Guthrie.

Cooking together wasn’t the only healthy change the Thiemans made. Like many families during the pandemic, they began spending more time outside being active. They started going on walks together around the neighborhood and even bought kayaks to enjoy active family time on the weekends.

In fact, a study from the Outdoor Foundation shows participation in outdoor activities increased significantly in 2020. Biking, day hiking, running, and other outdoor activities were considered some of the safest activities during the pandemic.

Over a year later, about 55 percent of the U.S. population over age 12 are fully vaccinated, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Restaurants have begun filling to capacity once again, and social gatherings are taking place, both outdoors and indoors.

While there are many reasons to celebrate newfound normalcy, intentionality around healthful living throughout the pandemic has transformed the ways families spend time together.

“Families are starting to realize the importance of eating meals together,” said Sherri Flynt, registered dietician and nutritional excellence manager at AdventHealth’s Center for Nutritional Excellence. “That is one thing I always talk about with my patients. Eating together as a family is beneficial for a child’s health.”

While Stephanie and her husband are now fully vaccinated, she believes her family will continue these healthier habits, even as life returns to normal. “We really changed our lifestyle for the better when we had extra time at home to cook and invest in our family time. I don’t anticipate that will change anytime soon.”

https://www.adventhealth.com/news/healthy-habits-formed-during-pandemic-provide-benefits-moving-forward-experts-say

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Platform wants to train new Christian YouTubers https://www.dammang.com/platform-wants-to-train-new-christian-youtubers/ https://www.dammang.com/platform-wants-to-train-new-christian-youtubers/#respond Thu, 15 Jul 2021 05:42:03 +0000 https://www.dammang.com/?p=1844 7Class will teach audio, recording, and content techniques for those who want to use the internet to preach the gospel BRAZIL | ANNE SEIXAS JULY 14, 2021 If you were …

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7Class will teach audio, recording, and content techniques for those who want to use the internet to preach the gospel

BRAZIL | ANNE SEIXAS

If you were to open the YouTube app or website right now, you would easily find content on a wide range of subjects, including Christianity. According to a survey published by Cisco in 2019, the YouTube platform is currently the second most searched on the internet.

Also according to this same survey, 80% of the content found on the web is video. With that in mind, 7Class, a school to train Christian YouTubers, was launched in partnership with the Adventist University Center of São Paulo (Unasp). As part of this online school, 83 video lessons are offered in two different languages.

The training is especially targeted to young audiences. “Many teenagers and young people who visit Feliz7Play send messages [to us] expressing their desire to participate in the mission to share Jesus through video content. 7Class is a response to these requests,” explains Carlos Magalhães, Manager of Digital Strategies for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South America.

“God uses… different tools to preach the gospel. I believe that technology gives us multiplied possibilities for the gospel to be preached more clearly, stronger and more incisively”, emphasizes Rafael Rossi, who recently led the Communication Department at the South American Adventist headquarters and helped develop the 7Class school.

Distance learning

Classes will be opened periodically. The training is divided into 13 modules where students will learn how to plan their own YouTube channel, receive technical instruction on audio and video capture, and learn how to disseminate the content.

The objective is “to train and prepare a generation, which already knows a lot about technology and online social networks, to serve as missionaries and positive influencers in the digital world”, emphasizes Magalhães.

For Rossi, the pandemic accelerated the migration process. “With the pandemic, we need to reinvent ourselves and move digitally. Young people were the ones most apt to use technology in favor of the gospel. They were the ones who pulled the line for all the transitions, adaptations, and the more strategic use of communication.”

The first class will be available for free on Feliz7Play’s YouTube channel so that everyone has the opportunity to be introduced to the content. Those who enroll will have access to classes through Next, Unasp’s distance learning platform.

“Because of the internet, information has become more accessible. However, there is still a gap in access to knowledge. Unasp understands that the experiences that the institution brings, added to the information and the Christian principle that we pass on to the students, forms knowledge”, explains Geyvison Ludugério, Coordinator of Extension Courses in Distance Education at Unasp.

On the other side of the story, are local pastors and church leaders who will be able to learn and hone their gifts for internet preaching. In the coming months, a digital ministry will be launched.

With content aimed especially at church leadership, the proposal is that they learn to communicate better using new technologies, occupying spaces on social networks, and also create content for Youtube and other online platforms. For Rossi, creator of the project, “it is essential that leaders are prepared and active in this new and growing way of talking about Jesus.”

This article was originally published on the South American Division’s Portuguese news site

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VOY Ignite in North Luzon Philippines yields 549 baptisms. Three ministers accept the Adventist faith. https://www.dammang.com/voy-ignite-in-north-luzon-philippines-yields-549-baptisms-three-ministers-accept-the-adventist-faith/ https://www.dammang.com/voy-ignite-in-north-luzon-philippines-yields-549-baptisms-three-ministers-accept-the-adventist-faith/#respond Thu, 15 Jul 2021 05:38:23 +0000 https://www.dammang.com/?p=1841 PHILIPPINES | MIKE DANIEL SUBALA, NORTHERN LUZON MISSION, PHILIPPINES JULY 13, 2021 Nearly 600 people in Northern Luzon Mission (NLM) recently accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord after …

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PHILIPPINES | MIKE DANIEL SUBALA, NORTHERN LUZON MISSION, PHILIPPINES

Nearly 600 people in Northern Luzon Mission (NLM) recently accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord after the concerted, intentional, and unconventional effort of 36 Voice of Youth (VOY) teams.

NLM young people heralded the good news of salvation in every way possible with limited face-to-face VOY Ignite evangelistic meetings, house-to-house visits, radio broadcasts, and online Bible studies. The VOY teams held evangelistic campaigns adhering to local mandates due to the pandemic.

“To avoid a large number of gatherings, we divided our group into four, and we ended up doing house visitation,” says Marjurytt Salvador of San Manuel Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Alpha Bulatao of Lokeb Seventh-day Adventist Church, explains: “Due to restrictions, our VOY Ignite meetings were done online via Google Meet. I am amazed that it brought us thirty committed people ready for baptism.”

Hence, the synchronized VOY efforts culminated in an online media evangelism via Facebook Live themed, “I AM JESUS: The Way, The Truth, and the Life” June 16-25, 2021. The online series was championed by Pastor Ron Genebago, Youth Ministries director for the Southern-Asia Pacific Division. In his message, Genebago emphasized that Christ is the only way to salvation, forgiveness, and righteousness; the truth on which all teachings of the Bible must be centered; and the source of abundant and eternal life.

“To encourage viewers, we sent them mobile loads so they can watch our nightly programs using internet data,” explains Pastor Roseller Zamora, NLM Adventist Youth Ministries and Communication Department director. “I find it remarkable that our church members are also thrilled to watch our programs with their friends using a big screen in satellite meetings.”

The two consecutive Sabbaths of the campaign resulted in the baptism of hundreds, including three ministers from other Christian denominations. One of them is Alex Calidayan, leader of the United Methodist Church in Bulaoen, Sison, Pangasinan. He shares that on a sunny afternoon, while he was lazing on his hammock, he thought of searching for a Christian-oriented program on the radio to make his power nap even more worthwhile.

“I tried my worn-out transistor radio to see if was still working, and to my surprise, it did,” he relates. “I was hoping to find a Christian program and I browsed the stations until I heard a song that caught my attention.”

Calidayan quotes the chorus he heard: Umay manen, Umay manen, ni Hesus umay manen! (Coming again, coming again, Jesus is coming again!)

Calidayan had tuned in to 107.7 Adventist World Radio NLM. For one year, he listened to the program until the radio simulcast of the online series of Pastor Ron Genebago reached him. On June 26, 2021, Calidayan decided to be baptized.

The other two, Ronald Ramos and Glemark Agustin, were ministers of the Pentecostal Church in Manalpac, Solsona, Ilocos Norte. They were visited regularly by Glady Pascual’s VOY team.

“The two ministers had no qualms whenever we presented biblical truths,” says Pascual.

Their continuous pursuit of biblical answers led the two ministers to accept Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life through baptism on July 3, 2021.

“From now on, we will worship on the true day of rest,” Agustin says. Then he adds, “We will also continue to attend the church service of the Pentacostal Church on Sundays because we want the members of our former church to know the truth we found in Christ.”

“I have seen the desire and determination of these two pastors; that’s why we will evaluate their educational transcripts,” says Pastor Marvin Diaz, president of NLM. “Based on those, we will enroll them in the theology program for the Adventist Church so that someday they can be full Adventist ministers.”

The Voice of Youth program is one of the many ways the church is responding to the I Will Go strategic focus of the world church. As for the NLM, the concerted efforts of the youth will always be instrumental in realizing the vision of one congregation in every seven-kilometer distance leading to a town or district.

“I am happy to see how the Lord is using his people in this mission,” commends Pastor Samuel Saw, president of the Southern-Asia Pacific Division. “They are fulfilling the vision to reach every place by establishing a congregation every seven kilometers, preparing people for the Lord’s soon coming.”

This article was originally published on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division’s news site.

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From a liquor bar to a juice bar https://www.dammang.com/from-a-liquor-bar-to-a-juice-bar/ https://www.dammang.com/from-a-liquor-bar-to-a-juice-bar/#respond Wed, 14 Jul 2021 11:28:17 +0000 https://www.dammang.com/?p=1838 AUSTRALIA | GEORGE KWONG/RECORD STAFF JULY 13, 2021 Wailoaloa Beach is a famous tourist destination in Nadi, Fiji, known for its affordable lodging, restaurants, and especially its liquor bars and …

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AUSTRALIA | GEORGE KWONG/RECORD STAFF

Wailoaloa Beach is a famous tourist destination in Nadi, Fiji, known for its affordable lodging, restaurants, and especially its liquor bars and night spots.

When COVID-19 struck Fiji in March 2020, many of the small coffee shops, fast food outlets, and restaurants along the beach lost business as the tourist industry took a plunge. One such place was the Bamboo Resort.

Sensing an opportunity to take advantage of the availability of affordable, abandoned space and the need to expand the influence of the 10,000 Toes campaign in turning the tide on diabetes, 10,000 Toes ambassadors from three local Seventh-day Adventist churches partnered with the Bamboo Resort to set up the Bitu Wellness Bar (bitu being the local name for bamboo), using a space in the resort that was once a coffee and pastry outlet.

The bar—offering a host of wellness and health programs, including free biometric screenings, exercise programs, fat loss challenges, and personalized meal plans—gained popularity in a short time. Locals flocked in daily for their daily doses of traditional natural herbs, and therapeutic, healthy fresh juices.

The idea was to have the bar as a center of influence that encouraged Fijians to take a more holistic and natural approach to their health in the war against lifestyle diseases—particularly diabetes. It was also to create awareness among patrons that this bar offered healthier and better alternatives than alcoholic drinks.

In April 2020, the second wave of COVID-19 struck Fiji in a very unexpected and serious manner. Authorities ordered that the Bamboo Resort be completely shut down. All activities came to a halt, including the Bitu Wellness Bar. For two weeks the patrons and regular customers were calling daily to find out when and where the new bar location would be. What happened next is beyond the ordinary.

One hundred meters up the road is the Beach Escape Resort, a neighbor to the Bamboo Resort. Managers Anne and Ruben had been watching daily with interest, curious about the crowds of people driving in and out of the Bamboo Resort, and noticing that more people were visiting the juice bar than the alcohol bar. They also noticed that there were fewer alcohol-induced incidents on the street—that the neighborhood was now much quieter and more peaceful.

Happy with what they had observed, the couple offered their liquor bar to serve healthy juices and their premises to be used as a wellness hub. At first, the 10,000 Toes ambassadors turned down the offer because they believed healthy juices should not be sold from the same bar as alcohol. However, the managers had already decided that no more liquor would be sold on the premises.

Alcohol was completely cleared out from the bar, fridges, and coolers and replaced with juicing machines, blenders, and healthy local fruits, herbs, and veggies. Last Sabbath was the first Saturday the bar was closed. What was usually a very busy bar day has become “a restful and peaceful day”, says Ruben. Now Ruben’s kitchen offers a special healthy plant-based menu daily.

The Bitu Wellness Bar is up and running again. God works in marvelous ways. The juice bar has not only influenced patrons of the old Bamboo Resort but has also been able to transform the Beach Escape Resort to be part of something that brings hope and healing to the community. What better influence could a center of influence be!

Praise God the 10,000 Toes campaign goes far beyond saving limbs and lives. It allows people an opportunity to open their hearts and be a positive influence to others. Anne and Ruben cannot wait to be trained as ambassadors for 10,000 Toes and to be part of this great life-saving movement.

“The South Pacific Division Comprehensive Health strategy aims to positively impact the community and has set a goal of 400 wellness hubs across the South Pacific sharing whole-person health by 2025,” says South Pacific Division Health Strategy Consultant, Geraldine Przybylko. “We encourage you to be part of this vision!”

For further details on how to partner with us contact 10,000 Toes Coordinator Pamela Townend at pam@10000toes.com.

This article was originally published on the website of Adventist Record

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Adventist leadership faces the challenge of attracting and keeping new generations https://www.dammang.com/adventist-leadership-faces-the-challenge-of-attracting-and-keeping-new-generations/ https://www.dammang.com/adventist-leadership-faces-the-challenge-of-attracting-and-keeping-new-generations/#respond Tue, 13 Jul 2021 15:05:06 +0000 https://www.dammang.com/?p=1835 Over the past five years, several initiatives have been adopted in relation to new generations, but challenges remain, especially when statistics are read. BRAZIL | FELIPE LEMOS JULY 12, 2021 …

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Over the past five years, several initiatives have been adopted in relation to new generations, but challenges remain, especially when statistics are read.

BRAZIL | FELIPE LEMOS

For the second time in the last five years, the theme of the importance of engaging new generations will be one of the emphases proposed by the general leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South America.

For Pastor Stanley Arco, the idea of ​​repeating this emphasis is obvious because it is one of the most important challenges for Adventists. “The Seventh-day Adventist Church, like other denominations, sees the need to continue investing so that more children, teenagers, and young people are reached by the gospel message. And, in the case of those who are part of the religious community, who can remain active, motivated, and enthusiastic to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Retrospective

For example, in 2017, a streaming platform for series and films was launched, Feliz 7 Play, which seeks to address biblical themes in a different way for this specific group. The platform records a monthly average of 3 million content views and 400,000 hours of display time.

Another initiative was the creation of a lato sensu specialization on new generations, offered to Adventist leaders for these age groups. The course started in 2018, with a forecast of 360 class hours. The first class had 48 students from seven countries and the second, in 2021, with 57 participants.

There is also the project In each Church a Club, created by the Ministry of Pathfinders and Adventurers. It was created in 2015 with the aim of increasing the presence of clubs for children and adolescents. At that time, there were 9,317 Pathfinder clubs and 5,093 Adventurer clubs. Today there are 12,617 Pathfinder clubs and 8,077 Adventurer clubs.

The past five years also registered the project called Evangelism Kids. It is a discipleship and mission movement in which parents and children are empowered to share Jesus with their friends. The mobilization registered more than 8,900 children involved in evangelistic activities, 2,134 missionary pairs, 2,371 small children’s groups, and 693 baptisms.

Current Generations

The Executive Secretariat’s report, presented during the Plenary Board of Directors of the South American Adventist headquarters, made an interesting comparison. Around 36.6% of the general population in the region served by the South American Division (eight countries) is made up of people between 10 and 29 years of age. Among Adventist members, this percentage is a bit higher at 39.2%.

When the theme is the exit and entry of young people in the Adventist Church, the numbers are worrying. Between 10 and 29 years of age, for example, 46.7% of those joined the church in 2020, through baptism, rebaptism, or profession of faith. For those between the ages of zero through 29 years of age, this percentage reaches 54.9%.

However, the departures of those aged between 10 and 29 years, in the same time period, were 54.3%. And between zero and 29 years of age, the average dropout rate reaches 55.7%.

Worrying Avoidance

The record from 2011 to 2020 shows that, during this time period, the Adventist Church in South America has received 2,260,725 people. At the same time, 1,589,600 people left. This leaves a positive balance of 29.7%.

If this is analyzed, also in a period of ten years (2011 to 2020), taking into account the age group up to 30 years old, then we have an entry of 1,414,279 people who came in, while 943,096 left the church.

However, when the analysis is done on the specific age group of 17 to 30 years of age (youth), then the losses outweigh the gains of members. There are 674,408 who left the Adventist community, while only 534,136 joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the same timeframe. This equals a membership loss of about 26.3%.

Caleb Mission and One Year in Mission

One of the most significant reactions, in relation to young people, is shown through projects such as Mission Caleb and One Year in Mission (OYiM). Data that deals with the new generations, presented by the Executive Secretariat, shows that, in three years, on average, 1 in 4 Adventist young people became involved with the Mission Caleb project. Other data shows that, for every 3 regular youth members in the church, 1 is a participant in the Caleb Mission.

Youth Ministry data show that, in the last five years, OYiM has had around 6,000 young people in this project. The Missão Calebe, which calls for less time involvement than OYiM, registered more than 700,000 participants for the same time period.

Pastor Carlos Campitelli, Youth Ministries leader at the South American Adventist branch, notes something important about the challenges presented. He points out that the data show the need for awareness on the part of adults in the sense of collaborating, giving space, and helping the development of new generations.

This article was originally published on the South American Division’s Portuguese news site

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