Empowering Keera Kenya

Empowering Keera Kenya

Mar 18, 2016

by Caroline Snyder SDB Church of Daytona Beach, FL Many years ago, Audrey and Menzo Fuller, former Seventh Day Baptist missionaries to Africa, inspired me to dedicate my retirement years to missionary work. So it was with both humility and excitement that I was privileged to participate in Pastor Steven James’s mission trip to Kenya in June 2015. Our group brought varying backgrounds and skills to Keera, as well as different expectations and desires on how best to demonstrate God’s love to these incredibly warm and friendly people. Pastor Steve and Pastor Kory Langley did an excellent job of teaching the elders and preaching. It was fascinating to watch Pastor Benard Mose translate not only with words but also with body language and expressions. Debbie James taught sewing techniques, and the ladies produced beautiful quilts and stuffed animals. Marleigh Fjako worked on music with the leading musicians of the churches. Amanda Langley taught the children and showed great kindness and dignity to all. Although my job was undefined, I was able to counsel several who were infected with AIDS. I am a “late bloomer” and did not have the wonderful blessing of being taught from the Bible about God as a child. I prayed constantly for the Holy Spirit to direct me, waking each morning to ask God, “How can I help today?” Keera is located in the mountainous region of western Kenya. Census figures from 2015 report that approximately 20,000 people live in this undeveloped area, with about 7,000 adults, 6,000 children, and 7,000 within the two AIDS camps. These numbers indicate that over a third live in the camps, while many others are HIV or AIDS victims. As of 2015, the population of the entire country is over 49,715,318. Over 75% are under the age of 30, so the vast majority are of child-bearing age. Obviously, they are in vital need of AIDS awareness education and supplies for prevention. The current SDB leader in Keera is Pastor Benard Mose, who took over when his father died 14 years ago. Since then, he has added four other churches, spending all his days in outreach and teaching. A strong sense of community is vital...

California Here We Come!

California Here We Come!

Mar 18, 2016

By Rob Appel Executive Director   The History The last time we had General Conference gathering in Southern California was 1993! Since 1949 we have been in SoCal a total of five times. That means between 1949 and 1993 we averaged about every eight years we would be there. So, what happened between 1993 and 2017? Why haven’t we been there? There are two main reasons: 1. It costs more to go there. Most of our SDB population reside east of the Mississippi River. Their cost of travel is more expensive to attend. (Please understand, those who travel from the west coast incur these high travel costs every year they attend.) Because it costs more, we have had lower attendance at the sessions, as low as 268 and as high as 466. It also costs more for the SDB Center and Missionary Society to ship their items for the gathering. 2. In 2007 at Newberg, OR, at George Fox University, it was decided that we should attend in the Western part of the USA or Canada once every ten years — because of the downturn in attendance. In 2003, we were also at George Fox and the attendance was 467. Four years later it was 342. That is a 26.7% drop. 3. This means that once we attend Southern California in 2017, there is a good chance that we will not be back there until 2037! We will most likely be in the Pacific Northwest in 2027, and you can almost count on that. The Invitation to Azusa Pacific University In 2017, we will revisit the site where we held our General Conference Sessions in 1975; yes, some of you were not even born yet. Azusa Pacific University is located in the beautiful city of Azusa. Azusa is just 21 minutes east of Pasadena, CA — where the Rose Bowl Parade and Bowl Game are held every New Year’s Day. Just west of Azusa, about 11 minutes, is the city of San Dimas. The 26-40-year-olds will recognize this as the home of Bill & Ted. Most Excellent! (If you do not get this reference, check with someone younger.) Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm are...

Fantastic Experience — We Saw God’s Goodness!

Fantastic Experience — We Saw God’s Goodness!

Mar 18, 2016

by Casey Greene Berlin, NY, SDB Church I had the privilege, along with four other youth from the Berlin and First Hopkington SDB Churches, to go to Puerto Rico this past summer. Our time there was an amazing and eye-opening experience. The relationships and connections we made there will be a blessing for a lifetime. Never before had I walked into a place and been able to tell immediately that God was working there. But that was apparent the first time I stepped foot in Iglesia Bautista Del Séptimo Día. One of the purposes of the trip was to paint the church. We started the first day we were there and finished the front of the building before we left. While we were painting, a couple of people came over and spoke with us. One of these people was Eric, a teenage boy who came to the church off and on. To our surprise, English was his first language. We had a great conversation with him and he agreed to come to camp. Later it became obvious it had been orchestrated by God. On our second day in Puerto Rico, we had the opportunity to do street ministry outside a market in San Sebastian. I had never done street ministry and it was nerve-racking at first, but it quickly became easier. The people were incredibly receptive and the pamphlets we handed out (about the differences between Seventh Day Baptists and Seventh Day Adventists) inspired great conversations. The highlight of the trip was by far the camp. The camp gave us a chance to get to know the kids of the church better. The faith of all those involved grew during that time. The theme of camp was “breaking the chains.” Through the preaching, teaching, worship, and fellowship, we saw God work mightily. I wish I could share every little detail, but length forces me to focus on highlights. I mentioned earlier a young man named Eric. After just a week at camp he was like a different person. We watched him get set on fire for God and develop a passion for sharing His Word with others. He told us by the end of...

God Owns Everything. You Own Nothing!

by Kory and Amanda Langley SDB Church of Texarkana, AR   “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:3 I am going to tell you two different stories from the past year. One happened on the official mission field and one at home. To understand my stories you have to understand this: no matter how much you seem to have or not have, God owns everything and you own nothing. This is what it means to be poor in spirit. As most of you know I went to Kenya this summer with a group of missionaries. We had several meetings and watched several videos explaining things that we should expect. The biggest moment that happened, though, was something that no one warned me about. I stood on the side of a mountain after church with a group of ladies and suddenly one girl handed me her baby. She then told me the baby’s name was Methuselah, she was five months old, and didn’t get sick. Then she said something I still can’t talk about without tearing up; she said, “And now she is yours.” And now she is mine. I could not take Methuselah in my arms, no matter how much the woman begged, but I have continued to hold her in my heart. That night in my room, I made a bracelet out of braided fishing line. It stays as a reminder to me that even though Methuselah has disappeared from my eyes, she has not gone away. The extreme circumstances that urged several women to offer their children to me still go on. I can control none of it — but God holds all of it in His hands. Now for my second story: In my first story, I held a baby in my arms that God recently sent to Earth. In 2015, I also experienced in my hands a life that God was taking home. This is going to be brief because I do not feel as if this story is mine to tell. But I will tell you this: in four weeks I went to three funerals — one great-grandfather who died of a heart attack...

Sepsis

Barb Green, Parish Nurse Milton, WI Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. An old term for it is blood poisoning. Sepsis can occur to anyone, at any time, from any type of infection, and can affect any part of the body. It can occur even after a minor infection. Sepsis is caused by any type of infection anywhere in your body including the skin, lungs (pneumonia), urinary tract, abdomen (appendicitis) or anywhere else. When germs enter a person’s body and multiply, an infection occurs. This can cause illness and organ and tissue damage. Anyone can get sepsis as a bad outcome from infection. The risk is higher in people with weakened immune systems, babies and very young children, elderly, people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, AIDS, cancer and kidney or liver disease, and people suffering from a severe burn or wound. Symptoms of sepsis can be shivering, fever being very cold, extreme pain or general discomfort, pale or discolored skin, sleepiness, difficultly waking up, confusion, feeling like you might die and shortness of breath. Since sepsis is the result of an infection, symptoms can include infection signs (diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat, etc.) as well as ANY of the symptoms listed above. Sepsis can be deadly. It kills more than 258,000 Americans each year and leaves survivors with life-changing after effects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state there are over one million cases of sepsis each year. It is the ninth leading cause of disease-related deaths. Doctors diagnose it using physical findings like fever, increased heart and breathing rates, and lab tests. Since many symptoms are the same as in other conditions, sepsis is hard to diagnose in its early stages. Death from sepsis can occur as quickly as 6 hours after symptoms appear. That is why it is so important that people be aware of this outcome. If you have any signs or symptoms of an infection or sepsis call your doctor or go the ER immediately. This is a medical emergency! Tell the treating physician that you are concerned about sepsis. If you are continuing...