Dear AWR Friend,
“THE SMOKE THAT THUNDERS”
The story is told that when David Livingstone was traveling in Africa, he heard about the “smoke that thunders.” He was mystified by what appeared to be smoke rising in the distance. The closer he got, the more thunderous it sounded, until he was finally able to gaze in wonder and feel the refreshing mist of the now-famous Victoria Falls.
As Kathy and I stood watching those majestic falls last year during an AWR evangelistic series in Zambia, I reflected that we, too, have been told of a “smoke that thunders.” We can see it on our world’s horizon, more thunderous every day. And as this old world spins out of control, headed for destruction, we have the promise that reinforcements are on the way—those refreshing drops of latter rain are being sent to help us finish the work—because Jesus is coming!
“In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out My Spirit on all people.’” (Acts 2:17) We are seeing that today! People are searching for hope, and we have a golden opportunity to share the message! God’s Spirit is being poured out, multiplying the efforts of all who are willing to proclaim the Good News of Christ’s soon return.
Things are rapidly changing in our world due to the threat brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, but I never tire of saying that one thing remains constant—Adventist World Radio continues to share this wonderful message not only through the airwaves, but through multiple media platforms. It’s a beacon of light—and the darker the night, the brighter it shines!
The other constant is what God is doing. It’s thrilling to hear the new ways in which God is reaching people. We are seeing amazing things we’ve never seen before that tell us Jesus is coming soon. Let me share a few of these stories with you.
“MAMA, ARE YOU AFRAID TO SLEEP IN THE CEMETERY?”
We were holding the evangelistic meetings near Victoria Falls on both the Zimbabwe and Zambia sides of the border. As we crossed the bridge connecting the two countries, the lady at the immigration counter looked at us and exclaimed, “Are you the people holding the meetings?”
We told her we were, and she said, “My daughter is attending every night!”
She proceeded to share the question her daughter had posed the night before about going to the cemetery, to which she had replied, “Yes, of course I’m afraid!”
To her amazement, her daughter had said, “The pastor told us that the people in the cemetery don’t know anything. They’re in their graves until resurrection morning when Jesus comes.”
Her daughter had then shown her one of the most thrilling texts in the Bible found in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17:
“According to the Lord’s Word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
This woman was so excited to learn of this wonderful promise! It had always been in her Bible, but it took her daughter to point it out—and AWR to carry the precious message to her corner of the world.
That’s what AWR is all about—sharing the good news that Jesus is coming soon!
WAITING FOR RESURRECTION MORNING
We recently learned about Marco, a young boy in Colombia who was terminally ill from leukemia. But there was one ray of hope in his tragic life: he had discovered cell phone evangelism while listening to the radio!
Marco enjoyed the messages, and they became the highlight of his day. One day, he heard the good news that Jesus was coming again! He had never heard this before—Jesus was coming back! The sick would be healed and those who had died would be resurrected!
He got so excited about this news that he shared it with his parents. When his mother began to cry, he said, “Mommy, please don’t cry, because when I die, I will be asleep until Jesus comes, and then everything will be fine because God will make all things right.”
He then shared the same texts from Thessalonians that the young girl in Zambia had shared with her mother, plus verses 13 and 14:
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him.”
Marco said, “Mommy, please meet me when Jesus comes. I want you to be in heaven.”
Soon after, young Marco fell asleep in Jesus. His parents were devastated and heartbroken. Their only hope was in what their son had told them. But could it be true? They felt so sad after Marco died that they returned to their home country of Venezuela. There was no longer a reason to remain in Colombia, where they had sought treatment for their son and hoped for a better future.
Shortly after their return, they received an invitation to an evangelistic series in a nearby Adventist church. When they read the brochure, it reminded them of the words of their son. They wanted to have the same hope Marco had felt, so they attended the meetings and soon heard the good news they longed to hear—and the familiar Bible texts Marco had shared with them. What Marco had told them was true! Jesus was coming again, and they would be reunited with their son.
Marco’s parents gave their hearts to Jesus and were baptized at the close of the series, all because their son shared the good news he’d heard one day on the radio. But ultimately, this was made possible thanks to your support of Adventist World Radio. It really does make a difference. All of our programs go out on the power of prayer and the generosity of those who want to share this wonderful message with others.
THE PENTECOSTAL DUTCH PASTOR FROM SOUTH AFRICA
More and more people are sharing everything through their smartphones—and that includes evangelistic sermons—they’re xploding! Entire AWR evangelistic series are being heard around the world through those small devices that can be carried everywhere, something we never even dreamed of just five years ago.
That’s what happened in South Africa when one day, Neville Neveling, who initiated AWR’s cell phone evangelism project in that part of the world, noticed that a man was responding enthusiastically to the presentations. When the series was over, the man wanted more information, so Neville sent him a series based on Matthew 24, about the signs of Christ’s return. The man was so excited that he ordered 45 sets of the AWR Bible studies.
Neville was intrigued. People normally don’t request printed copies of what they receive on their cell phones. But he went ahead and sent him the studies. To his surprise, he learned that this man was a Pentecostal Dutch pastor from South Africa who was so thrilled with the biblical content of the messages that he had organized Bible studies at his church and was sharing the messages!
Soon they had finished the studies and the pastor was calling back. He had a question on the rapture, so Neville provided him with a short series on that. By now, the pastor and his church had accepted the Sabbath and most of the Adventist teachings. They even began calling themselves Adventists!
Just a week ago, the pastor called Neville with a very special request: He and his church members now wish to be integrated into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. As I write this letter, arrangements are being made with the South Africa Union Conference to welcome them into our church!
Isn’t that amazing? We know this is God’s Spirit at work, and as we near the end of time, we will see ever-increasing miracles for God’s kingdom!
Thank you for making a difference—for your support that brings salvation to people like Marco and his parents, to whole churches in Namibia, and to millions in every corner of the world.
What a time to be alive! These stories thrill my heart as we see God at work, opening wide a door of possibilities to share the gospel message. If we are willing, God will use us to bring hope to a hurting world as we share the good news that Jesus is coming soon! Thank you for partnering with us in the greatest calling ever—the saving of souls for the kingdom of heaven.