Dear AWR Friend,
Over the last few weeks, we have watched in disbelief the heart-wrenching scenes of conflict taking place in Ukraine. Our staff at Adventist World Radio has joined our world church in praying for peace—and especially praying for our dear brothers and sisters as they face incredible loss and hardship.
By God’s grace, we are still airing uninterrupted throughout Ukraine—and will continue to do so as long as our radio tower stands! Right now, we’re in the process of acquiring a radio station in Estonia that will also cover Ukraine and ensure God’s message continues to reach this embattled country.
But there’s more. As thousands join together to provide for the physical needs of fleeing refugees and those stranded within the country, we have just pledged $1 million for evangelistic projects and to provide solar-powered Godpods so that when people receive the much-needed help for their physical needs, they will also receive help for their spiritual needs. The Godpods will contain the complete Bible, along with our full prophetic Adventist message, and children’s stories in Ukrainian.
One pastor recently said, “Right now, the Ukrainian people are desperate for any spiritual support they can find.” And we are committed to supplying that need.
Amid the chaos and loss, we are also witnessing God’s care and His mercy, and have been receiving encouraging reports from our AWR radio engineer in Ukraine, Vasili Makarchuk. He shared the following report:
“This past Sabbath we had a baptism in a church that was struck by a missile. The missile made a hole in the roof and in the wall as it passed through and exited the building, but it did not explode until it had cleared the church and was far enough away that no additional damage was sustained to the church building. It was a miracle, and we praise God for that!”
God is at work not only in Ukraine but around the world, and we must “keep our eyes on Jesus . . . so that we will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:2, 3). Jesus is coming soon, and we must keep beaming this wonderful truth around the world!
I will keep you posted on developments in Ukraine as we receive them. Now let me share a few of the incredible things that are taking place right now in other parts of the world.
MIRACLE ON THE ZAMBEZI RIVER
We just had a baptism on an island in the middle of the Zambezi River in Africa. This is a story that began five years ago when we were preparing for evangelistic meetings in Lusaka, Zambia. You may remember the story. We had just finished a planning meeting with the Zambian Union leadership and the Lusaka pastors, and everyone was excited. The pastors had pledged to hold an unprecedented 1,000 simultaneous evangelistic meetings in the capital city!
We had returned to our hotel and proceeded to make a hotel reservation for our next stop in Livingstone, to plan additional evangelistic meetings, but when we tried our regular hotel there, it was full. So was the next hotel and the next. Every hotel in the city was fully booked!
This had never happened before, and we learned that government meetings were being held throughout the city. Finally, after much searching, we found a lodge with a vacancy. The website said it was “a short distance” outside Livingstone, but we were so relieved to find any available room that we didn’t question this and immediately made a reservation for the Taita Falcon Lodge.
After arriving at the airport, we started the drive to the lodge, and all was fine until we left the main highway onto a gravel road, where we bounced and bumped for more than an hour! To make matters worse, it was late at night and we couldn’t see anything!
We finally arrived, and to our relief, were met by a kind hotel manager, Antoinette, and a few of the staff. The lodge was comfortable, and meetings in Livingstone with the pastors went well the following day. On the morning we were scheduled to leave, we went to the hotel dining room for breakfast, and noticed that Antoinette was sitting at one of the tables, smoking a cigarette and studying the Bible. She said, “I just love to study prophecy! I get these messages on my cell phone. A guy named Neville is sending them to me.”
The name “Neville” is an unusual name, and I knew I’d heard it before. I said to my wife, “Kathy, don’t we know a Neville Neveling?” We had just returned from Europe, where Neville—along with a group of other volunteers—had participated in a Total Member Involvement (TMI) evangelistic event.
To make a long story short, Antoinette gave us Neville’s phone number and I called him. “Tell me more about these messages you’re sending on your cell phone,” I said. And that’s how we learned that Neville had been sending the TMI sermons to the Dutch farmers in Africa—the same sermons we’d provided for the European series!
When he shared with us the responses he was receiving, I knew we had to use this method at Adventist World Radio. And that’s how AWR’s cell phone evangelism project began. One year later, when we returned for the evangelistic series, I had the privilege of baptizing Antoinette, who along with 18,000 other precious souls gave her heart to Jesus!
How God led us away from Livingstone along that bumpy road in the middle of the night to that out-of-the-way lodge, and to the one person who was studying the Bible and could connect us with Neville, was an incredible act of God’s providence. Today, millions around the world are receiving these life-saving messages through their cell phones, and the numbers keep growing.
THE REST OF THE STORY
But I said at the beginning that we just learned of a baptism on an island in the Zambezi River—and that’s because the story continues today, five years later!
I love the quote from the Desire of Ages that states, “Every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary,” (p. 195) and Antoinette was no exception. After her baptism, she began sharing the cell phone messages with friends who live on an island in the Zambezi River. She kept in touch with them, sharing the wonderful message that Jesus is coming soon. Just a few days ago, we received word that those friends were baptized!
As I write this letter, we’re preparing to travel back to the island of Mindoro to witness the baptism of 700 new souls who have made a decision for Jesus through the witness of the Former Rebels baptized last November. I shared with you how they had pledged to “each one win one,” and they fulfilled that promise! They, too, are new disciples born into the kingdom as missionaries. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and I look forward to sharing with you the latest miracles of lives changed! Plus, I’ll have an update on the many new church buildings being raised in the different villages. Watch for this update next month.
THE ORTHODOX JEWISH SCHOLAR
God is calling people from all walks of life where we least expect it. For some time now, we’ve been trying to find ways to reach the Jewish community in Israel, and we are trusting that God will find a way. Just like He guided Kathy and me to the only person in Africa who could connect us with Neville, He is guiding sincere hearts to the truth.
David* is a highly respected Jewish Orthodox teacher in the Hebrew-speaking community in a certain part of Israel. One day, he was passing by an Adventist Hebrew congregation and heard them singing hymns in Hebrew on the Sabbath day. Intrigued that a Christian congregation was having services on the Sabbath, he went inside and met Pastor Shalom*, who introduced him to Pastor Richard*.
It so happens that Pastor Richard had just finished an AWR training course that we held in Iceland last year. He was now in Israel trying to learn Hebrew to find a way to reach the Hebrew-speaking community, something extremely difficult to do.
David showed such an interest in the Adventist message and the fact that the Sabbath is honored as God’s holy day, that he wanted to learn more and started attending regularly. This was done in secret, since due to his status as an Orthodox Jew and a teacher, he could be in danger if his community discovers his interest in the Adventist message.
Soon, a friendship was formed, and when Pastor Richard learned that David was a history buff, he suggested that David read The Great Controversy, which he did! He was blown away by what he read, so when Pastor Richard told him of his desire to record the book in Hebrew—for the Hebrew-speaking community—David agreed to do the recordings. They placed an ad on social media for those who wanted to sign up, and more than 500 people registered to listen. Now, David is regularly reading chapters of The Great Controversy in Hebrew to 500 listeners! He plans to continue with The Desire of Ages and Patriarchs and Prophets.
Recently, AWR’s assistant to the president for evangelism, Pastor Louis Torres—who held the training in Iceland that Richard attended—visited this Adventist congregation during their Friday evening service. He had a wonderful visit with David, who now has cut off his side curls, another indication that he is separating himself from Jewish Orthodoxy.
*Names changed for security reasons
WE CONTINUE UNINTERRUPTED
There is no doubt that God is calling people from all walks of life—all who with a sincere heart are searching to do His will. And as the world spins inexorably on its path to God’s climactic finale, Adventist World Radio continues to share God’s last-day message with every nation, kindred, tongue and people—and that includes Africa, Israel, Ukraine, and wherever God’s children are waiting to receive it.
Thank you for supporting the work of Adventist World Radio. Right now, we are urgently working with the Godpods and other materials for Ukraine. There isn’t a minute to lose, and while we pray for peace, we know the country has a long road to recovery. We plan to continue to be there, beaming God’s truth every step of the way. Please join us in praying and supporting this project. We know God can turn any evil intent of Satan meant for harm into an opportunity for salvation.
Thank you for being a part of Adventist World Radio. Jesus is inviting all to stand under His banner. Working and praying together, we will make a difference for eternity.
will be! “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”