A Walk with Jesus in Cana

A Walk with Jesus in Cana

Nov 22, 2017

by Clinton R. Brown Executive Director   I have heard and experienced that it is challenging to hold unforgiveness, hatred, or generally bad feelings towards someone if you are praying for him. I had an experience in Lebanon that I believe gave me some insight into caring for others like Jesus does. In October 2017, I was traveling with Gabriel Bejjani, pastor of the Riverside SDB Church in California, along with his kind wife, Hayatt. We visited with Seventh Day Baptists in Poland, then made our way to encourage and assess the Kingdom work going on in Lebanon. We stayed and visited with relatives of Hayatt and Gabe. We saw some of the northern region, and met with SDBs and other Christians in Beirut. At one point we went to see a ministry partner in the far south, near the border of Israel. From that former Muslim’s home, we could see Israel and the city of Qana, Lebanon, on our side of the current political boundary. Tradition of many Lebanese Christians holds that this is the original location of the first miracles of Jesus performed in the John 2:1-11 account of the Cana wedding. Here He participated in a celebration feast and on the third day turned water into high quality wine. Our friend led us to the site tourists are shown which includes a gift shop, a small cave, and some carvings in the stone of the hillside that are reminiscent of crusader era iconic artwork. Quietly, he also took us to a site on the other side of the village at the back of an orchard where there were some broken ancient stone water pots, the possible remains of a well, and what appeared to be the outlines of some ruined walls and ancient collapsed masonry. This was all very interesting and this secret site seemed to have more credence than the location designated for Christian pilgrimages. However, this was not the most memorable part of the Qana visit for me. As we went through the main narrow winding road of the modern village of Qana, my imagination went with vivid clarity to Cana of two thousand years ago. I could “see”...

Your Ready-Made New Christmas Gift List!

  by Clinton R. Brown Executive Director         Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. 2 Corinthians 9:6 Please consider discussing with your family if you can add some of these to your Christmas gift list this year. We have Seventh Day Baptist families around the world who are hoping for a brother’s help to better share the Gospel or minister in Christ’s name to those of their community in greatest need. It is a high priority for us that we partner with the local congregations and that they invest in the ministries that we undertake. We seek accountability of funds used in each related project and each is to be specifically for a Seventh Day Baptist ministry. If you send the gift in the name of someone else, upon your request we can contact that person with a thank you card letting him know how his gift was put to use. Emergency Relief Funds □ 1 – Life Saving Food (Suggested Gift: $35) □ 2 – Emergency Medicine (Suggested Gift: $25) □ 3 – Clean Water for a Family (Suggested Gift: $15) □ 4 – Disaster Relief Supplies Urgent Need (Suggested Gift: $50) Children’s Ministries □ 5 – Shoes and Clothing (Suggested Gift: $25) □ 6 – Help Orphans transition into Christian homes (Suggested Gift: $30) □ 7 – Buy Seeds for sustainable food gardens in Uganda (Suggested Gift: $25) □ 8 – Life Saving Mosquito Nets (Suggested Gift: $10) Gifts Under $15 □ 9 – Hot Meals (Suggested Gift: $7) □ 10 – Soccer Balls for Young Adult Ministry (Suggested Gift: $8) □ 11 – Shipping Blankets Urgent Need (Suggested Gift: $6) □ 12 – Missionary Society Membership for a friend (Suggested Gift: $10) Evangelism and Discipleship □ 13 – Evangelist/Pastor Training Bibles (Suggested Gift: $20) □ 14 – Motorcycles for the Mission Field (Suggested Gift: $1100/ Share the Cost: $110) □ 15 – Ship SDB Helping Hand Overseas for a year (Suggested Gift: $22) □ 16 – Share of Mission Lodging & Transport (Suggested Gift: $100) Construction Projects □ 17 – Freshwater Wells in...

I am God’s Favorite

I am God’s Favorite

Sep 25, 2017

by Clinton R. Brown Executive Director This year in June, I had the privilege to travel with Saul Alonzo, SDB pastor in the Washington, DC, area, to visit Christian brothers and sisters in Quito, Ecuador. The believers there have allied for the last several years to translate SDB Helping Hand materials from English into Spanish for their congregations in Ecuador. They publish the materials locally and export them to other Spanish- speaking SDB groups including some in the USA. The congregation in Quito was excited to have us and treated us like honored guests — caring for us, sharing with us, and giving us an opportunity to share some about our ministries and what is happening with SDB groups around the world. At one of our meals with some of the leadership, the conversation drifted to travel and they were curious as to where was my favorite place to visit in my ministry travels. As I began to explain that many of the locations have many positive attributes and were special in their own way, it reminded me of something one of the ladies in the Hopkinton SDB congregation in Ashaway shared with me. She recounted an experience where she was at a funeral of a relative and a pair of her young adult nephews came up to her. She hugged them and kissed them as she admired their sharp suits, and she told them that they were her favorites. They shrugged off the compliments with smiles and went and took their seats nearby. Soon after, two younger nephews approached her and she repeated the process including telling them that they were her “favorites.” Immediately one of the older nephews piped in, “Oh Aunt Susie, everyone is your favorite!” To that she responded, “Well, of course! All of you are my favorites!” It seemed ridiculous to the boys that their aunt would use “favorite” to identify each of them. However, she did not have a more concise way to express the feelings that she had about how she valued each of them in ways that made them uniquely prized and special to her. When she related that story to me, it made me think...

Gospel Feet 2017… Run for Hope!

Gospel Feet 2017… Run for Hope!

Aug 29, 2017

by Clinton R. Brown Executive Director   This year’s fifth annual Gospel Feet 5K Run was organized to raise funds to better enable SDB ministries across the globe to bring hope to people in their communities in desperate situations. The funds bring hope to the lost, food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, aid to the sick, and homes for children who have no one. This year’s 5K/1K Walk/Run had 58 participants. By the end of the General Conference meetings, $1,940 had been raised which the Missionary Society could use to partner in responding to needs near and far. Everyone who participated was a winner, but the first gentleman to cross the finish line this year was Seth Green. Not far behind him, our first place lady to complete the 5-kilometer run was Gabi Osborn. And our first to finish representing the Children’s Conference this year was Aaron Barbee. A big THANKS to all who participated, donated, and organized the event. It is an effort to which many contributed starting before the run began, and continues forward to bring the light of Hope in places of despair for God’s glory around the world....

No One is Outside the Mission

No One is Outside the Mission

Jun 23, 2017

by Clinton R. Brown Executive Director Our SDB leaders in the Cameroon have been working tirelessly over the last few years to bring the Gospel to the needy in their rural communities with medicine, food stuffs, clothing, shoes, and the Word of God. Though the material help is greatly appreciated, it is taking time for the message of salvation to penetrate the hearts of even the most desperate in the villages. The seeming lack of change among the people has apparently led to a little bit of discouragement. One of the leaders lamented to me that he felt many of the people there are just so uncivilized. So much so that the Gospel just was not able to gain a foothold in their backward hearts and minds. I understood his perspective, but was mildly amused at his assumption. I had done some genealogy research on my own family tree and subsequently missions and historical research on the Viking ancestors that I had come across. I remarked to him that my own family tree had roots that marauded and pillaged for their livelihood. My northern lands forefathers had been renowned as blood-thirsty savages and unscrupulous killers with no respect for the ways of God’s Kingdom. These uncivilized people, however, were conquered by the love of Christ. They took back Christian slaves and wives with their other plunder who carried within them the Gospel message. Eventually, this message converted those northern nations for a time to some of the most Christ-centered cultures in Europe. The idea that our God came with the power of salvation for only one people or another is not reflected in the Scriptures and diminishes the vision of what our objective should be and who our God is. The prophet Isaiah gave some insight to the bigger plans of God when he wrote to the Jewish people about the coming Messiah: [the LORD] says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”...

SDBs Gathered from Across the World – A Reflection on WorldFed 2017

SDBs Gathered from Across the World – A Reflection on WorldFed 2017

May 22, 2017

by Garfield Miller, Missions Coordinator I was privileged, in January 2017, to attend the 8th Session of the Seventh Day Baptist World Federation (SDBWF) held in Curitiba, Brazil, under the theme “The Kingdom of God is Like…” Permit me to reflect on that global gathering of SDBs. The Kingdom of God can be considered as a spiritual rule over the hearts and lives of those who willingly acknowledge the Lordship of Christ and surrender to God’s authority. This implies unity, kinship (therefore love), much like we experienced in Brazil. The Brazilian Seventh Day Baptist (SDB) Conference invited SDBWF delegates to attend their Family Conference, immediately preceding the World Federation Sessions, at the same venue. It was undeniably a wonderful experience, as they accepted us from different parts of the globe freely and openly. That kind of atmosphere promotes kingdom principles, and is a great ethos for the transmission of the evangelism and missions messages. What can we learn from the Brazilians? The SDBWF started with the dream of two SDBs — Gerben Zijlstra (Netherlands) and Everett Harris (USA) — to institute an association of SDBs around the world, resulting in its establishment in 1965. At the 2017 Session, we had the treat of interacting with two of the founding delegates; Rev. Jacob Tyrrell (Guyana) and Rev. Naval Harley (Jamaica). We don’t have to look too far across the member conferences to see the invaluable contribution the SDBWF has been making to the progress of SDBs globally. For many delegates, being at the Sessions confirmed for us our part in something bigger and not just in our individual corners of the world. Meeting with other SDB nationalities brought an energy that propelled many conversations and interactions, affirming self-value, re-igniting commitment to the mission of God. Fellowshipping with persons speaking different languages prompted me to think about the Babel Tower account in Genesis 11 — the dividing of mankind through languages — and the coming of the unifying force of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit played the role to empower, educate and unite in righteousness, and the congregation of SDBs in Brazil was for a similar reason: to empower us...