Dear AWR Friend,
As I write this letter, Kathy and I are back in the Philippines with our Adventist World Radio team to witness another amazing miracle—the baptism of the first fruits from the evangelistic work of the Former Rebels on the island of Mindoro!
They have been sharing with others the wonderful truths they’ve discovered in the plan of salvation—that Jesus freely pardons all who accept Him as their personal Savior.
Think about it . . . this new group being baptized is comprised of those who were led to Christ by the Former Rebels (now Fully Reconciled)! And if I thought there was rejoicing when the rebels were baptized last year, the joy on their faces now, as they watch those they’ve led to Christ enter the waters of baptism, is a sight to behold! That’s because there’s nothing more thrilling and rewarding than leading others to Jesus.
I will share more about this event in next month’s letter, because the festivities in Mindoro are still ongoing. We’re now preparing to visit a few of the churches being built with the funds donated by you and all those who want to see these new Adventist Christians succeed and thrive in their faith and ministry.
THE SUNDAY PASTOR – UPDATE
Let me share with you a thrilling update we just received from Pastor Hmar, an evangelical pastor in India who for security reasons we had to refer to as “Pastor L” in our AWR videos. In June of 2020, I shared the story of his conversion, and again last year gave a brief update on his ministry.
If you recall his story, once he heard the truth on one of our AWR radio stations, it became precious to him, and he never let it go. He was a pastor of great influence, with connections in more than 300 charismatic churches in India, but almost overnight he became an outcast, shunned by all who knew him. Even his wife threatened to leave him, but he prayed for her and loved her into the Adventist truth.
A BAPTIST PASTOR HEARS THE MESSAGE
In 2019, he began working with Adventist World Radio in northeast India, and last year, through his dedicated ministry, a Baptist pastor named Raju and his wife studied and accepted the Adventist message. Pastor Raju immediately began sharing the Sabbath truth with his Baptist congregation, but soon he was told by the church deacons that he could no longer be their pastor and was forbidden from visiting the members.
But some of the members secretly visited him and began studying the Bible with him. Soon, several had accepted the message and were baptized into the Adventist Church. Pastor Raju was later invited to work as a Bible worker for the local Adventist Church field in Assam, India.
THE UNEXPECTED VISITORS
Recently, Pastor Raju had an unexpected visit. Five top leaders from the Baptist Association in Pastor Raju’s area visited him with a very tempting offer. They promised to give him more money and a promotion if he would return to the Baptist Church.
Pastor Raju responded by presenting to them the truth directly from God’s Word, giving testimony of his faith. The leaders said they found his reasoning solid and unarguable, and after some discussion they finally said to him, “Look, you may return, and we will give you a higher position and more money—and you can even keep your Sabbath. But we just ask that you don’t tell anyone about it.”
Now, keep in mind that Pastor Raju is poor. In fact, we recently learned he lives in a house where the rain comes in through holes in the roof. The Baptist pastors were offering him a much bigger salary for what they considered a small compromise. But Pastor Raju resolved to be faithful. He said, “God has led me to this truth, and I will not let Him down.”
He quoted the words of Peter when he said, “We cannot but speak the things we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20), and “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Finding their efforts futile, the Baptist leaders decided to leave. But as often happens when God’s Spirit is at work in sincere hearts, one of the leaders lagged behind and said to Pastor Raju, “Can you please give me your phone number? I want you to come to my home and study with me and my wife.”
Isn’t that amazing? We are never working alone. God’s Spirit is present wherever the truth is shared. But the story doesn’t end there!
AN UNEXPECTED TWIST
It just so happens that Pastor Raju was not only an ordained Baptist minister, but he was also a former speaker for Trans World Radio, the largest Christian media organization in the world, broadcasting on the same platforms as we do at Adventist World Radio—mainly AM/FM, internet and shortwave radio. Pastor Raju’s daughter worked as a technician to help him prepare his programs.
And it just so happens that AWR has no studio or ongoing media work in the state in India where Pastor Raju lives. Who better to fill this need than the one person God brought to us capable of doing this?
Our AWR Region Coordinator for India and Asia, Tim Saxton, said it best when he told us, “In the words of the Pharaoh when speaking of Joseph, ‘Can we find such a one as this?’”
Pastor Saxton is requesting that AWR set up a special fund to support the work of AWR in providing the recording equipment and broadcast funds for this new station, and also to support other pastors—like Pastor Raju and Pastor Hmar—who are
leaving everything behind to follow Jesus.
We have pledged to help Pastor Raju replace his roof ($300), and purchase a new motorcycle ($800). He earns $80 a month as a Bible worker to support his family of five.
We’ve also agreed to set up a special fund called “Converted Sunday Pastors” to help pastors like Hmar and Raju. If you would like to help with this specific project, please indicate so on the enclosed response card.
AWR has many projects around the world. With more than 1,000 radio stations and studios—including our shortwave radio towers in Guam, and our ongoing evangelistic outreach—our plate is full, but we cannot ignore this request.
We are seeing more and more pastors leave all security behind to follow their newfound faith, and it is our privilege to help them. Every year we also help in the establishment of new radio stations, studios and towers, and we’ll gladly support the new broadcast studio in this part of India.
A TIME FOR ACTION
Everywhere we look, there is an open door of service. People are eager to know God’s will for their lives and their future, and they want to understand the ever-increasing chaos in the world. They long for a hope that can only be found in Jesus.
Ellen White described what will happen when all of us together as a church walk through that door to proclaim without fear that Jesus is coming soon. It’s what we’re seeing and experiencing today!
“The light of truth will shine forth in clear, strong rays, and, as in the time of the apostles, many souls will turn from error to truth. The earth will be lighted with the glory of the Lord. Heavenly angels have long been waiting for human agents—the members of the church—to cooperate with them in the great work to be done. They are waiting for you. So vast is the field, so comprehensive the design, that every sanctified heart will be pressed into service as an instrument of divine power” (Review & Herald, 1904).
What a privilege! You and I are working with heavenly angels for the salvation of others—and we are all being pressed into service! Wherever we look—whether in Mindoro, India, Africa, and even in the Middle East and beyond—strong rays of truth are shining brightly, lighting the earth with the knowledge of God.
What a time to be alive! Jesus is coming soon and right now we have a golden opportunity—a door wide open for service, and a host of angels eager to work with us. What can be better than that?
Thank you for joining with us in this incredible adventure of faith. Soon the last sermon will be preached, the last radio program aired and the last baptism witnessed. We’ll see Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven, and we’ll know that every sacrifice has been worthwhile, because when we invest in heaven, the rewards are out of this world!