Conference Banner Conference Banner Conference Banner

News

Archive for August, 2015

Free Clinic Provides Needed Health Care in Ocala

posted on August 14, 2015, under Church by

Nearly 2,500 people took advantage of free dental, optometry, and medical services at the FreeD.O.M. Clinic in Ocala, July 20-24. (Photo: Kolby Golden)

Nearly 2,500 people took advantage of free dental, optometry, and medical services at the FreeD.O.M. Clinic in Ocala, July 20-24. (Photo: Kolby Golden)

by Herb Pritchard

The FreeD.O.M. Clinic operated by United Hands, Inc., opened in Ocala, Fla., for five days, July 20-24. The Clinic’s mission is to provide free medical, optical, and dental, care for the indigent, homeless, and uninsured.

Pastor Monte Robison of Florida Conference’s Ocala Church and Pastor Curtis Crider of Southeastern Conference’s Shiloh Church realized the FreeD.O.M. Clinic would be an opportunity to do as Christ did in His outreach.

Free dental services included cleaning, extractions, crowns, and root canals. (Photo: Kolby Golden)

Free dental services included cleaning, extractions, crowns, and root canals. (Photo: Kolby Golden)

These churches were among other Adventist congregations that volunteered:

Florida Conference Churches
Belleview
Dunnellon
Marion Oaks
Ocala
Silver Springs Shores

Southeastern Conference Churches
Citra
Hernando
Shiloh

These churches formed a nucleus of support that included community volunteers from various faith groups. By the grace of God, a miracle opened the doors of a former 30,000-square-foot entertainment complex. A 12,000-square-foot canopy was also made available without cost.

A patient selects frames for new glasses after her free eye exam. (Photo: Kolby Golden)

A patient selects frames for new glasses after her free eye exam. (Photo: Kolby Golden)

Dental professionals cleaned and extracted teeth, performed root canals, and installed crowns. Audiologists tested hearing. Eye specialists tested vision and wrote prescriptions which each patient used to choose frames and order glasses which were available for pick up a few weeks later at one of the area Adventist churches.

Healthcare professionals provided general medical care, school physicals, vaccinations, and dietary/nutrition counseling. Haircuts, massages, and registration for future stop smoking and cooking classes were available.

At the last stop, 10 chaplains offered prayers and gave a free Bible to anyone interested. “I was a chaplain this week and loved it. I was so blessed,” testifies Dot Carey from Belleview Church. “The people were so grateful for provided services.”

“The Lord blessed mightily with many miracles and provisions,” says Ocala Church member Lori Doperalski. “The Holy Spirit moved on the hearts of volunteers and patients alike.” Lori was schedule coordinator for the 800 volunteers.

“My expectations were overwhelmingly exceeded in clients served, community support, and volunteer dedication.” said John Doperalski who provided logistics for paths to each service.

Ann Burnett, Director of the FreeD.O.M. Clinic, thanked volunteers for helping 2,470 patients.

Leave a Comment

Florida Institute of Evangelism for Laypeople Changes Lives

posted on August 14, 2015, under Conference by

FIEL class members take part in evangelism classes taught by Florida Conference leaders and ministers. There are 616 students attending classes at six locations throughout Florida. (Photo: Guillermo Pimentel)

FIEL class members take part in evangelism classes taught by Florida Conference leaders and ministers. There are 616 students attending classes at six locations throughout Florida. (Photo: Guillermo Pimentel)

Allan Machado, Florida Conference Vice President for Spanish-language Ministries, teaches a FIEL class at Winter Park Spanish Church. (Photo: Guillermo Pimentel)

Allan Machado, Florida Conference Vice President for Spanish-language Ministries, teaches a FIEL class at Winter Park Spanish Church. (Photo: Guillermo Pimentel)

by Rolando de los Ríos

Florida Institute of Evangelism for Laypeople (FIEL) has completed the first half of its 2015 session with almost 70% of the students passing the requirements. FIEL’s purpose is to prepare laity in the serious work of evangelization. The Institute continues to grow from an initial enrollment of 275 students in 2014 to 616 in 2015.

It is rewarding to see the enthusiasm of FIEL students. Some students travel more than two hours to attend area classes. Florida Conference leaders and ministers teach the classes once a quarter. Online tests covering selected books support classroom presentations about Jesus’ Methods of Evangelism and Hermeneutics. Students also participated in a church campaign as a requirement of practical evangelism.

FIEL student Adriana Rodriguez was assigned to preach on the subject of baptism, although she was never baptized. The appeal process of the sermon spoke to her heart, and she chose to give herself to the Savior. Her family joined her in baptism (from left): Jimmy, Adriana, and twin daughters Valentina and Luisa. (Photo: Guillermo Pimentel)

FIEL student Adriana Rodriguez was assigned to preach on the subject of baptism, although she was never baptized. The appeal process of the sermon spoke to her heart, and she chose to give herself to the Savior. Her family joined her in baptism (from left): Jimmy, Adriana, and twin daughters Valentina and Luisa. (Photo: Guillermo Pimentel)

Adriana Rodriguez is a FIEL student who attends the small Renacer congregation which meets in the library of Winter Park Memorial Hospital (part of the Florida Hospital network). From a pastor’s sermon, she prepared the assigned message including an appeal for baptism. Preaching on this subject was a challenge for Adriana because she was not yet baptized. She organized everything with the corresponding PowerPoint presentation and, when she concluded the message, a baptism appeal appeared on the screen. The message moved Adriana to tears. Her audience thought she was just caught up in the moment.

To the audience’s amazement, Adriana confessed her confusion when assigned the sermon. “I was not ready to preach it. I did not feel ready for baptism. Yesterday, I decided to delete the appeal and conclude without a call for baptism. Yet, tonight, we have just seen on the screen what I thought I had wiped out. I see this as a sign God wants me, and I will not continue to fight against the Lord’s call for baptism. Now, before you, I choose to give myself to Jesus through baptism.”

In reality, Adriana’s memory stick with the presentation was missing. As a computer systems engineer, she resorted to something that was easy for her to do—she searched the internet for her files and retrieved the presentation. She unknowingly retrieved the original presentation that contained the baptism appeal slide. She now praises God for her mistake and believes He is able to act on our behalf even when we are wrong.

Adriana’s twin daughters, Luisa and Valentina, wanted to join her in baptism. They asked Rolando de los Ríos, FIEL Director and Florida Conference Hispanic evangelist, to officiate the baptismal ceremony on January 17. As Adriana and her daughters entered the baptistry, it was a bittersweet moment. Her husband, Jimmy, who had been an Adventist in the past, had not joined them in the baptism decision.

Unknown to his family, Jimmy had spoken before with the pastor about his desire for baptism. So, it was with joy he entered the baptismal waters, embraced his family, and joined them in baptism. Adriana and Jimmy continue as active FIEL students preparing to be evangelists. Their goal is to let everyone they come in contact with know about Jesus.FIEL logo

FIEL students are preparing to preach and serve as Bible teachers at the October 2015 Caravan of Victory Campaign. Each student’s mind is set on winning souls for Christ, so they do not waste time in vain discussions. Those who concern themselves with the things of the Kingdom have no time to lose. Christ is coming soon! Every FIEL student will proclaim that message until they see Him coming in glory.

1 Comment

Florida Members Support Project Panda

posted on August 14, 2015, under Conference by

Project Pandaby Audrey Folkenberg

Florida Conference is partnering with the Chinese Union Mission in Project Panda which supports 40 indigenous two-person church-planting teams. These teams share the love of Jesus in unreached areas of China. As a result, 1,822 people were baptized this past year.

Recently, one church-planting team shared an experience from their ministry efforts:

“People finally seemed to be listening. They were not turning us away, and a few had chosen to study the Bible with us. We had joy in our hearts, but suddenly, we faced another challenge! We had been reported to the local government as members of a cult. Leaders from the religious bureau came to our home and banned us from sharing Jesus and worshipping there on Sabbaths.

“Desperately, we notified members from our far-away hometown of our plight. They fasted and prayed for us for several days as we prepared, with sadness, to leave this unreached city. Then, a miracle happened. An official from the bureau showed up at our door and gave us a permit. He told us that we were free to invite others to our home to share about Jesus. Our hearts now leapt for joy.”

For updates of the Chinese church-planting teams, contact Project Panda staff at kingdomgrowth@chumadventist.org

Leave a Comment

Quiet Heroes Lead Children’s Sabbath School

posted on August 14, 2015, under Church by

Ocala kindergarten Sabbath School leadership team: Sharron Miller, left, Margie Orem, and Kay Kayal. (Photo: Ricky Couch)

Ocala kindergarten Sabbath School leadership team: Sharron Miller, left, Margie Orem, and Kay Kayal. (Photo: Ricky Couch)

by Herb Pritchard

As you step into the Ocala Church kindergarten room on a Sabbath morning, the warm friendliness and winning smile of leader Margie Orem is contagious. For 18 years, she has brought Bible stories to life for children ages 4-7.

A featured part of the program is My Bible Lessons used as teaching aids with Scripture references, supportive details, and descriptive pictures. Each child is provided with a lesson quarterly, a memory verse book, and a copy of Our Little Friend magazine. “It is my wish that they learn about Jesus,” says Margie, “and keep His lessons in their hearts to share and to shine for Jesus.”

Assistant Kay Kayal has the same love for children on this team that works in harmony to impact the hearts of the kids for God in their classroom.

While Kindergarten pianist Sharron Miller’s specific task is music, she also enjoys organizing programs and helping with room decorations. Her interest in children’s Sabbath School has spanned 40 years with the last seven at Ocala Church. “My greatest desire is to spark children’s interest in knowing more of Jesus and His love,” says Sharron. “My greatest hope is for them to learn things that will prepare them for life and eternity.”

Leave a Comment

Bikers Ride to Benefit Disabled in Community

posted on August 14, 2015, under Church by

Adventist Motorcycle Ministry (AMM) was one of three groups participating in a community outreach event originating at Emmanuel Church in Orlando. AMM has chapters in several states including Florida. Learn more at adventistmotorcycleministry.org (Photo: Josie Santos)

Adventist Motorcycle Ministry (AMM) was one of three groups participating in a community outreach event originating at Emmanuel Church in Orlando. AMM has chapters in several states including Florida. Learn more at adventistmotorcycleministry.org (Photo: Josie Santos)

by Daniel Forbes

The rumble of motorcycle engines filling the air waves is not an unusual occurrence on a busy Florida highway, but when bikes turned into the Emmanuel Church parking lot in Orlando on Sabbath morning, May 16, people took notice!

The first part of this intentional mission outreach to the community began when three motorcycle groups, represented by Adventist and nonAdventist bikers, joined with church members in worship. Bikers shared heartfelt testimonies that blessed the congregation with their words.

After fellowship dinner, a charity ride took place to benefit The Russell Home for disabled children and adults. Bikers donated more than $200 for sponsoring the home that is dependent on the community for funding.

Members were blessed by the uniqueness of this outreach. “Our hearts were touched by The Russell Home, the spirituality of the worship service, and the kindness of the motorcyclists,” mentioned several members. The Lord was seen in every step of the day, including beautiful weather previously predicted as rainy. The event was dubbed, A Little Bit of Hog Heaven II. The initial Hog Heaven program was held at South Orlando Church resulted in two decisions being made for Christ.

Leave a Comment

Congregation Celebrates Pentecost with Baptism

posted on August 14, 2015, under Church by

Arnold Loomis was one of three people baptized by immersion in the Anclote River by Jeff Zaremsky. (Photo: Andreas Chodura)

Arnold Loomis was one of three people baptized by immersion in the Anclote River by Jeff Zaremsky. (Photo: Andreas Chodura)

by Jeff Zaremsky

The Beth-El Shalom of New Port Richey congregation celebrated Shavout, the Biblical Holy Day of the Feast of Weeks (also known as Pentecost) by reading the ten commandments in Hebrew. A special part of the day occurred when three individuals joined the congregation by baptism and one by profession of faith.

Brenda Bowman, who is Jewish through her father, and her husband, Arnold Loomis, were baptized by Rabbi Pastor Jeff Zaremsky in the Anclote River. Several years ago, Brenda started attending services with the Beth-El Shalom of St. Petersburg congregation and even attended a series of meetings held there with the help of Adventist-laymen’s Services & Industries (ASI) youth before moving away. Recently, Brenda, Arnold, and Brenda’s mother, who is preparing for baptism, moved back into the area closer to New Port Richey.

Nelson and Irene Janice started attending the congregation a year ago after Nelson met Jeff at a Passover service. He was intrigued by how we viewed the Jewishness and the Messiah as one. He was baptized and his wife was accepted into membership by profession of faith.

Leave a Comment