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April 2024 Carolina's 10,000 P5



Embracing Carolina with the Compassionate Call of Christ

The 10,000 President’s Prayer Partners is a fast-growing group of Carolina Conference constituents who take matters such as these to their knees. We invite you to join us and make this monthly list a matter of prayer. Together we seek the Lord for His answers and provisions to every need we bring before Him.


Going back in time, it was 2019 when the Carolina Conference hosted its last biennial event - intended to occur, every other year - that we’ve endearingly named as our “Welcome to the Family Retreat.”


Unfortunately, our COVID-19 crisis changed a host of plans and events in our scheduling. Next weekend we are grateful to host this event once again at Nosoca Pines Ranch for who were baptized or came in on profession of faith between April, 2019 and the end of 2023.


This event is especially planned for these new disciples of Jesus, and their immediate families -- spouses and children. This is a weekend of spiritual renewal, fellowship, fun, and nurture in the journey of being a faithful disciple of Jesus as we eagerly long for our Heavenly home with our Savior. We are so deeply honored to have Dr. Tim Madding as our weekend speaker for this event.


In 2021, Dr. Tim Madding joined the North American Division Evangelism Institute (often referred to as NADEI) and serves as the Director with a focus on revitalization, discipleship and church planting by equipping students at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary as well as pastors throughout the North American Division. He is married to Andrea, a physical therapist and graduate of the Andrews University School of Physical Therapy. They have one young adult son, Ethan. We are also very grateful to have the music department of Mount Pisgah Academy who will bless us with the music for this speial weekend’s events.


Every department of the conference and their ministry services will be represented during this weekend including the opportunity for shopping at the Adventist Christian Book Store or the Camp Store. Besides the pool, a host of camp activities will be made available to these newest members of our conference church family.


Let’s pray for God’s blessings during this time of revitalization and spiritual renewal in the hearts and lives of our most recent disciples of Jesus. Let’s also pray for God’s angels of mercy to protect all who will be traveling to this special weekend’s event.





One of the most heartbreaking moments for my Mom was the day my brother rejected Christ, the Church and walked away from our family. It was a moment of incredible sadness to all of us.


That sunset of sadness was erased by ten years of earnest prayer with the sunrise of joy on a Sabbath afternoon when my brother came back to our family and began a journey that reconnected him to Christ and a church family that loves and cares for him just as he now loves and cares for them and for our family.


When our children reject their faith in God, we feel alone and want to hide. We can often feel like failures. Shame interrupts our thoughts and condemns our hearts. When we pray earnestly that our children follow God and those prayers seemingly go unanswered, we tend to wonder where we went wrong. But it’s time for honest conversations with each other.


In this sacred space, there’s an opportunity to extend compassion and kindness. Hope is mingled with fear. There’s a holy hush when parents – and usually moms – share their pain.


What do you do when your prayers for your child – especially your adult child – go unanswered and that child falters or rejects God? Where can you turn? How can parents process this loss in a healthy way?


Paul wrote to the church in Galatia, “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)


I recently read three tips of wise counsel from a Christian parent when we bear such burdens in our hearts:


A. Talk with a trusted friend. Shame makes us as parents keep quiet, but when you open up to a trusted friend, we can find a sense of relief. It’s important that we find our circles of support in the church as the body of Christ where we are safe to be honest. Carole and I find that closeness in our Monday night conference prayer line and with our church’s Wednesday night prayer meeting zoom family. This is a perfect place for judgement and criticism to be set aside. Let’s be the compassionate hands and hearts of Jesus to hurting moms and dads. Sometimes we need to break through the icy venire and be the first to share our story. When we’re honest, we’ll find others who are willing to be more transparent and less reclusive with their burdens. Hope rises when we realize that we’re not alone.


B. Never stop praying for our children. When the ache is heavy, this is definitely a sign to move closer to God. Our Creator waits to ease our pain as we pour out our longing. Just look at David’s honest and heartfelt cries to the Lord. David opens Psalm 77 by explaining that he “cried out to God for help” when he was in distress. But this section of scripture also acknowledges something else: that sometimes we don’t feel God responding to us when we’re in the midst of our struggles. When we pray more and worry less, we’re met with God’s compassionate grace. Whether we realize it or not, God loves our children more than we do as their parents. In His perfect timing, He will answer. I love this quote by Ann Voskamp: “A wise mother knows what powerful men can forget – that the way to move heaven and earth isn’t with a strong arm but with a bowed head.”


C. Let’s learn ways in which we can support each other. Just a simple phone call, sharing a luncheon or a cup of hot cocoa, a walk together during a lunch break…these are just a few ways to make our physical presence say “I care about you and the burdens we bear for our children.”


There is power in togetherness. Our arch enemy seeks to isolate us. It is in those moments we can feel lost and forgotten. The remedy of Christ for our isolation is involvement in the body of Christ – His church. Let’s pray that our churches can be sanctuaries of strength and support through fellowship and friendship as we hold each other up.


By God’s grace, my mom went to her rest in Jesus knowing that her three children were safely in the arms of Jesus. At her funeral service, my brother tearfully shared his testimony to parents of prodigals by saying “I was that prodigal who came home. And if you have a child that has wandered from Christ, never give up praying, because my Mom never gave up praying for me.”


Let’s pray especially this month and through the coming months for the salvation of our adult children.





With each issue of our President’s Prayer Partners (P5), we continue to focus specifically on one of our goals and share some of the developments that are helping us in our journey toward accomplishing that goal.


In our March P5 issue for 2024, we focused on our third Quinquennial Goal with initiatives that will continue to enhance the ministry of Mount Pisgah Academy resulting in a strong, consistent, and sustainable enrollment of 125-150 students.


Once again we come back to our first goal of our continuing quest to develop measurable goals for discipleship.


During 2022 and 2023, we have focused and continue to focus on a careful study of the Discipleship Handbook.


During the past few weeks, the administration and ministerial council have been in the process of visiting the pastors of our six Area Ministerial Associations that span North and South Carolina. This year we have been gifting our English-speaking pastors with a wonderful companion book entitled Deep Calling – On being and Growing Disciples by Pastor Tara Vincross. This is a beautiful book that focuses on our continued walk with Christ. Dwight Nelson, former lead pastor for the Pioneer Memorial Church at Andrews University calls this book the “best book on discipleship I’ve read.” For our Spanish Pastors we have given them a new companion book by Pastor Alejadro Bullón entitled Mientras Vamos – Aprendiendo del Maestro el discipulado auténtico.


Elder Glen Altermatt serves as our Director for Evangelism and Discipleship. I asked him to share with us his perspectives as we continue developing nurturing companions as another focal objective of our discipleship goals. Here’s what he shares as we pray for this important development too:


As we continue our goal of having, healthy disciple making churches in the Carolina Conference, our effort this year focuses on having Nurturing Companions for every new member. Jose Cortez Jr., North American Division Evangelism Director says, “The end result of evangelism is not a baptism, it’s a disciple.” One way we can help, ensure that is to have someone, our Conference President, Elder Leslie Louis, calls them a Nurturing Companion, come along side of each of the new members in an intentional way, to help them become disciples of Jesus.


What is a Nurturing Companion and what do they do? Nurturing is defined as providing food, protection, comfort, or support. The act or process of educating or training. A companion is a person who is frequently in the company of, associates with, or accompanies another.


A Nurturing Companion plays a valuable role in nurturing, mentoring, and equipping new members with the necessary skills to grow in their faith. It will include the understanding of how that happens, what the basics are, such as, Bible study, prayer, sharing their faith, what it means to have a devotional life, worship, giving - both of their time and their talents. It means encouraging them to not be afraid to ask the tough questions in this ongoing learning process on which they’re on. It is helping them understand the Seventh-day Adventist culture with its own unique language. We need to be intentional about spending time with those whom God has entrusted to our care, being a friend and making sure they connect with others.


Here are some ways to grow in our relationships, giving more time to communicating, first by listening, personalizing our interactions, giving genuine support when people are going through difficult times, celebrating milestones in their lives like birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and weddings and more.


Yes, Jose is right, getting baptized is just the beginning and for far too long we have looked at it as though it was the end. New parents know that when the baby is born, they aren’t ready for their new life, with their old life totally disrupted and in disarray. But I have never met a parent yet, who would trade their new life for anything. Oh sure, it has its moments, but they would give their life for that new life.


Nurturing Companions should see their role as temporary with the aim of helping new members become disciples of Jesus, who in turn become Nurturing Companions and disciple makers of others. But I am willing to bet that if you give God the opportunity to use you as a Nurturing Companion, just like a new parent, you will not give them up either. A Nurturing Companion is someone who provides support and makes time for the other person’s experience in order to cultivate a healthy, life long-lasting friendship.



​01

Protection from Satan


Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

02

Protection from Our Sinful Heart


But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

James 1:14-15


​03

Deep Spiritual Encouragement


For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.

Romans 1:11-12

​04

Wisdom


If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

James 1:5

​05

Doctrinal Faithfulness


By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

2 Timothy 1:14

​06

A Healthy Body


But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others, I myself should be disqualified.

1 Corinthians 9:27

​07

A Strong Marriage & Family


He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church.

1 Timothy 3:2-6

Beginning with our April 2019 issue of P5, we started highlighting a department of the conference each month. Our aim is not to provide a comprehensive report of all their accomplishments but to uplift our leaders and their faithful service in their respective ministries through our prayers. In September 2021, we began the second full cycle of highlighting all the ministry departments of the Carolina Conference.


Last month we completed highlighting the Church Ministries Branch of the Carolina Conference and now we will turn our focus to the Children to Young Adult ministry branch which is divided into the following departmental subdivisions of service:

-Children’s Ministries -Education

-Young Adult & Public Campus Ministries

-Youth Ministries



During this April issue, we ask you to uplift in prayer our Children’s Ministries Department under the dedicated leadership of our director, Kathy Russell, her assistant for Hispanic Children’s Ministries – Yudith Flores, and the two gifted secretaries to this department, Chana Gentry and her sister Irma Munoz.


The goal of the Children’s Ministries Department is to provide training and resources for the Children’s Ministries leaders in our churches across Carolina Conference. It is their desire to give encouragement and share ideas with Children’s Ministries leaders to help them point the children of their church and community to Jesus’ love and salvation freely provided to them.


Through the use of active learning experiences in Sabbath School, camp meetings, Vacation Bible School (VBS) and many other children’s evangelistic outreach opportunities, they want each child to be introduced to the love of Jesus in such a way that they will want to love Him with all their heart, mind, soul and strength, and to love their neighbors as themselves. Since children are special gifts from the Lord, let us each pray that we will do all in our power to influence the children we meet by reaching out to them in a positive way for Jesus!







As a President’s Prayer Partner, we invite

you once again to be truly a people of the

Word. As Seventh-day Adventists, we adhere to

28 Fundamental Beliefs that are based solely on

the Bible. We began our third cycle of focusing on

these vital beliefs, which are centered in Christ as

both our Savior and Lord, in December of 2021.

Let’s continue to thoughtfully place His Word

in our hearts every day this month. I personally

carry a set of these passages in my car and recite

them aloud as I drive from one place to another.

My aim is to say one verse prayerfully at least

five times a day for a week, thus internalizing the

promise of God’s Word: “Thy word have I hid in

mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

(Psalm 119:11)


I encourage you to repeat these passages until

they become a part of your very being. Of course,

you’re always free to do more. Please consider, in

a prayerful manner, how you can saturate your

soul with His Word and make it a part of your

heart every day.



Be part of God’s praying church across North America by uplifting these leaders of our church who guide God’s work in these territories of God’s vineyard:




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Elder Leslie Louis
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