WORLD NEWS & PERSPECTIVES
La Sierra University Students Preach Gospel in Ghana
ore than 500 people in Kumasi, Ghana, were baptized as a result of a three-week Global Evangelism campaign conducted in August and September 2004 by eight La Sierra University (LSU) students and university president Lawrence T. Geraty. The La Sierra students were Yara Gomez, Manuel Arteaga, Daniel Estey, Chris Famisarian, Mark Tatum, Emmanuel Nelson, Stacy Gurgil, and Lorena Salto.
Global Evangelism, a ministry of the Carolina Conference, provided the equipment, the site, organization, supervision, and some financing. The Quiet Hour, an evangelism, broadcast media, and publishing ministry headquartered in Redlands, California, and the Pacific Union Conference supplied additional funding, and the students raised the rest of the money.
"It was a life-changing experience. It opened my eyes religiously and socially," says La Sierra senior psychology major Emmanuel Nelson. "I studied my Bible every morning to fortify myself, [and] . . . I preached in a Catholic school yard to about 120 people." Nelson, as well as every participant from La Sierra, preached a sermon each day during the campaign.
"The arrival of the president of La Sierra University in Kumasi was news," says Peter Mensah, president of the Ghana Union Conference. "Dr. Geraty's sermons and manners of presentation each night were unique and undiluted. Those of us who visited his site learned a lot from his varied experiences and methods."
"I preached to about 400 to 500 people each night," says Geraty. He chose the site of Ghana while Jodi Cahill, director of La Sierra University's Homebase Missions, identified and helped train the students who went on the trip.
"If God can use an ignorant, unqualified person because He said 'Yes, I will go,' then He can use anybody," says Manuel Arteaga, junior business/pre-seminary major. "In Ghana life is simple, less artificial. People are extremely happy [to receive] the gospel. It was amazing to see how much they love God and Jesus."
La Sierra University is an Adventist institution located in Riverside, California. For more information about La Sierra, go to www.lasierra.edu.
--La Sierra University public relations/AR.
Wintley Phipps Sings for US Inauguration
On the steps of the capitol on January 20 in honor the of inauguration of the country's 43rd president, George W. Bush, Adventist pastor and musician Wintley Phipps sang a song written in 1997 by U.S. senator Orrin Hatch and Janice Kapp Perry titled "Heal Our Land."* Phipps is founder of the U.S. Dream Academy, an online Christian academic resource, and has also served as senior pastor of churches in the Washington, D.C. area. He is currently pastor of the Palm Bay Adventist Church in Florida.
Also performing during the inauguration ceremonies were Ring of Fire, an internationally renowned bell choir whose musicians are alumni of Tualatin Valley Junior Academy in Hillsboro, Oregon, and a bell choir comprising students in grades 7 to 10 from C. F. Richards Junior Academy in Stanton, Virginia.
MARYLAND: CUC Celebrates Century Milestone
Columbia Union College (CUC), a Seventh-day Adventist educational institution located in Takoma Park, Maryland, celebrated its 100th anniversary on November 30, 2004, with a convocation featuring dignitaries from all levels of state and local government, as well as from the Adventist Church, who brought congratulations and presented the college with citations of achievement and appreciation.
The celebration continued that evening with a concert featuring CUC's internationally acclaimed music groups, and fireworks that exploded in time with recorded music for hundreds of students, staff, faculty, and passersby.
CUC, originally named Washington Training Institute, opened its doors 100 years ago on November 30, 1904, fulfilling a vision of church leaders to build an Adventist college in the nation's capital. The institute was built on land Adventist Church cofounder Ellen G. White had seen in visions from the Lord, and she said, "It seems as if Takoma Park has been specially prepared for us. . . . My hopes for this place are high" (Last Day Events, p. 104).
Since then, CUC graduates have gone on to become missionaries, pastors, medical and legal professionals, researchers, educators, business people, musicians, and more.
CUC is currently enjoying its biggest enrollment in 21 years, including the largest freshman class since 1965. The college offers 43 majors, 36 minors, seven associate degrees, a Masters of Business Administration program, and a degree-completion program for adults.
For more information about Columbia Union College, go to www.cuc.edu or call 301-891-4000. --Columbia Union College public relations/AR
HAWAII: Youth-conducted Evangelistic
Campaigns Target Children
Hawaii Conference has been a pioneer in youth-conducted evangelistic campaigns, having mobilized more than 200 youth speakers each year for four consecutive years in an annual "He's Alive" youth evangelistic campaign held during the spring, targeting other youth and adults. What will be unique in 2005 is the target audience will be children, not adults or youth.
The reason for the shift in target audience is the significantly higher probability of positive responses among the 5- to 12-year-old age group. In his book Transforming Children Into Spiritual Champions, George Barna said his research indicated that "the probability of someone embracing Jesus as his or her Savior was 32 percent for those between the ages of 5 and 12; 4 percent for those in the 13-to 18-year range; and 6 percent for people 19 or older. In other words, if people do not embrace Jesus Christ as their Savior before they reach their teenage years, the chance of their doing so at all is slim" (page 34).
"In the last four years scores of children, youth, and adults have been baptized. The campaigns were very successful," said Arnold Trujillo, Hawaii Conference president. "While I rejoice in the baptisms I am more thrilled in the number of youth who were mobilized (more than 200 per year) to proclaim the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Savior.
"It is my sincere hope that the focus of this effort on children between the ages of 5-12 instead of youth and adults will have an even larger impact not only on our churches but especially on the community around our churches," added Trujillo. "I believe that the mobilization of children and youth results in their internalizing their faith and in strong disciples of Jesus who are able to replicate themselves among their peers and their families."
The shift in the targeted audience for these evangelistic campaigns is one element in a paradigm shift characterized by the purposeful valuing of children as meritorious of intentional evangelistic planning, program development, and financial support. Other elements include a system to record, celebrate, and monitor decisions of children to accept Christ, a sermonic year of the worship service children's story, and purposeful integration of the various components of children's ministries (Pathfinders, Sabbath schools, elementary schools, Vacation Bible Schools, worship service children's stories, children's church, and others into a wholistic system that results in children becoming disciples of Jesus. --Hawaii Conference/AR
Doug Kilcher, ministerial director for the Mid-America Union Conference and a former professor at Andrews University Seminary, was elected as secretary of the Texas Conference. The former Texas Conference secretary, Leighton Holley, is now serving as conference president.
The Middle East Union (MEU) has a new Web site--www.adventistmeu.org--developed by MEU communication director Alex Elmadjian and volunteer assistant Ryan Taer. It includes current news stories; back issues of the union's electronic newsletter, Musings; a photo gallery; a retirees' corner; and a currency converter. --AR
Hope Channel Special Report for Tsunami Aid
On Friday January 21 the Hope Channel will broadcast a Special Report to raise money to help Seventh-day Adventists affected by the tsunami in Southeast Asia. To watch the Tsunami Adventist Aid program, tune to the Hope Channel at 7:30 or 9:30 p.m. (ET) or visit www.hopetv.org to watch by streaming video. The show is a half hour.
The program features interviews with Alberto Gulfan and Ron Watts, respective presidents of the Southern Asia-Pacific and Southern Asia divisions, and a video report tell the story of Adventist members and how they survived this horrific catastrophe.
The half hour program will rebroadcast on Saturday January 22 at 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 7:00 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. (ET). Check the Hope Channel website for other broadcast times. To make a gift to Tsunami Adventist Aid is 1-888-446-7388.
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