August 2023 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.
As I write this, I’ve just arrived in Phoenix, Arizona, for our quinquennial gathering of the Adventist educators of the North American Division, which includes over 100 of our own educational team from the Carolinas.
I’ve recently been in Kansas City, Missouri, experiencing a spiritual high weekend as the representative for our ASI ministries in the Carolinas and the Southern Union chapter of the North American Division.
So, what is ASI? It stands for Adventist-laymen’s Service and Industries. ASI is a membership-based organization of Seventh-day Adventist laypeople enthusiastic about actively participating in the church’s worldwide mission to spread the gospel of Christ. This diverse group of members ranges from business owners to individual professionals to supporting ministries. In essence, ASI members are Adventists from every walk of life.
When I attend these gatherings, I am always reminded of the beauty and blessing of being a Seventh-day Adventist. The awe-inspiring instrumental and vocal music, the sacredness and reverence of worship, the powerful testimonies, and the inspirational messages by
members who are devoted to the Lord make my heart swell with joy. It’s evident that they haven’t conformed to the ever-changing standards of the world. Instead, they’ve innovatively and faithfully pursued our unique and sacred calling without settling for mediocrity. I’m amazed at how many use their creative and technological initiatives to advance God’s mission. ASI represents hundreds of ministries, all working with passionate devotion in a world hungry for the everlasting gospel.
Every morning began at 7:00 AM with a 45-minute session of earnest prayer, scripture reading, and singing led by Pastor Don McLafferty, our Carolina Camp Meeting speaker from 2022. This wasn’t like the typical prayer meetings at our churches attended by only a few. Our large room was filled with circles of seven, amassing well over 200 prayer partners who got the chance to meet and unite in prayer.
My heart yearns to witness this kind of prayerful fervor in every Carolina church. Will you join me in praying for this Holy Spirit-empowered passion, so we can wholeheartedly experience the presence of Jesus?
From the hundreds of ASI ministries globally and in our homes, I’ve selected three this year that I personally engaged with. I ask you to uplift them in prayer and support as the Spirit leads:
1. God of Life International Ministry – This non-profit organization spreads the gospel through media in challenging places like Pakistan, using local and ethnic languages. They also provide hundreds of underprivileged students with a Christian education and are building a church and school to reach these souls with Christ’s message. Learn more about them at https://godoflifeintl.com.
2. Loma Linda Campestre – This non-profit began its missionary activities in Villa de Leyva from 2011 to 2017. Now based in Vereda Velandia, Boyacá, Colombia, they’re surrounded by nature, fertile soil, and spring water. Their goal is to aid the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church through social development activities. “Loma Linda” translates to “beautiful hill” in Spanish. They’re building a lifestyle center to boost educational and economic growth using sustainable agriculture. I had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful family leading this ministry during breakfast. Discover more at https://lomalindacampestre.org.
3. Arrow of Salvation – A lay-led ministry from our own Seventh-day Adventist Church in New Bern, North Carolina. Their name and mission derive from Ellen White’s statement: “The name, Seventh-day Adventist, carries the true features of our faith in front. ..Like an arrow from the Lord’s quiver, it will wound the transgressors of God’s law...” This ministry, led by the Hernandez family, commits to sharing God’s message as we prepare for His return. Through translations and publishing, they spread the message of present truth. Learn more at https://www.arrowofsalvation.org.
Focus on Mount Pisgah Academy
In each issue of our President’s Prayer Partners, we focus on specific goals and share developments contributing to our journey. For this August issue, let’s refocus on our third goal—what has been happening to enhance the ministry of Mount Pisgah Academy:
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV).
Change is inherent in our lives, including leadership. God orchestrated the leadership transitions from Moses to Joshua and from Elijah to Elisha. We understand that our time for change will come as well, serving as God’s leaders for His church in the Carolinas.
For the past five years, Mr. Remy Guenin has dedicated his heart and energy to serving Mount Pisgah Academy (MPA) as its principal. We express our heartfelt gratitude for his service. However, as time progresses, circumstances and needs evolve. After discussions with Mr. Guenin, various focus groups, the administration of the Carolina Conference, and the Carolina Conference Office of Education, a recommendation for a change in the principal’s position at Mount Pisgah Academy was made. This proposal was presented to a specially convened joint session of the conference K-12 Board of Education and the Mount Pisgah Academy Board. Mr. Guenin has now taken on new responsibilities as a field representative for our Trust Services and Estate Planning Department. This transition at MPA was finalized on Thursday, May 25, 2023.
On Sunday, June 4, 2023, the combined boards reconvened and endorsed Mr. Dewald Coetzer as the new principal of Mount Pisgah Academy. He has graciously accepted the role and the duty of guiding the educational ministry of our academy. Mr. Coetzer is committed to creating an educational environment wherein students grow closer to their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He also aims to deliver academic excellence, preparing students for both college and career while ensuring that their school life remains a cherished memory.
We are profoundly thankful for God’s guidance in Mr. Coetzer’s acceptance of this pivotal role. We invite you to join us in praying for his leadership and the educational ministry at MPA.
Another significant development this summer at Mount Pisgah Academy was the complete renovation of our MPA auditorium, graciously undertaken by the team from Maranatha Volunteers International. The revamped auditorium played host during the summer ministerial meetings and family retreat for our pastors of the Carolina Conference.
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
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.
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.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
2 Timothy 1:14
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
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 remembering all the ministry departments of the Carolina Conference. Starting with this issue of our President’s Prayer Partners (P5), we are shifting our focus from Outreach ministries to Church Ministries. The Church Ministries branch of the Carolina Conference encompasses the following departmental subdivisions of service:
• Family Ministries
• Prayer Ministries
• Hispanic Ministries
• Singles’ Ministries
• Men’s Ministries
• Women’s Ministries
• Planned Giving/Trust Services
• Health Ministries
For this August issue, we urge you to support our Family Ministries Department in prayer, helmed by the committed leadership of our director, Pastor Eric Bates, and ably assisted by the department’s secretary, Chana Gentry.
The chief mission of the Family Ministries Department is to mentor families in their journey with Christ, ensuring they exude Christ’s love to friends and neighbors. As our families increasingly resonate with the teachings of Christ, they wholeheartedly Embrace Carolina with Him. Ellen White underscored the far-reaching influence of a Christian family, stating,
“One well-ordered, well-disciplined family speaks volumes for Christianity, more than any sermon could.” - Adventist Home, p. 32.
The array of services offered by the Family Ministries Department includes:
• Romance at the Ranch: A marriage retreat held at Nosoca Pines Ranch in February
• From This Day Forward Seminar
• Camp Meeting Seminars
• Journey Towards Intimacy Seminar
• Divorce Recovery
• Marriage Seminars
• Parenting Seminars
• Family Emphasis Sabbaths
• Seminars addressing challenges with pornography
Beyond local efforts, the department also equips families with resources from outside the Carolinas. Moreover, the Family Ministries Department boasts an extensive and current library. Both families and pastors can borrow from this resource pool without incurring any charges.
Families in the Carolinas remain in our prayers. When approached for assistance, individual members, couples, and entire families are offered biblically-grounded counsel. Referrals to Christian professionals are also made available for comprehensive ministry. The overarching goal is to shepherd families through both challenging and smooth phases of life, fostering resilience and harmony. We envision nurturing families destined for eternity.
As the President’s Prayer Partner, we invite you
to cultivate a deep relationship with the Word
of God. As Seventh-day Adventists, we believe in 28 Fundamental Truths that are solely based on the Bible.I wish to emphasize these essential beliefs, which are centered on Christ as our Savior and Lord.
Let’s continue to prayerfully immerse ourselves in
His Word throughout this month. Personally, I carry
a set of these passages with me in my car and recite them aloud as I travel from place to place. My aim is to repeat one verse at least five times a day for a week, embracing the promise of God’s Word: “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against Thee” (Psalm 119:11).
By repetitively meditating on these passages, they
will become ingrained in your very being. However, feel free to do more if you are led to. Prayerfully consider how you can saturate your soul and make His Word an integral part of your daily life.
As we anticipate the imminent return of our Savior, the church confronts a crisis foretold by Jesus two millennia ago: the urgent need for more laborers in His harvest field. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” (Matthew 9:35-38 NRSV).
Within the next two years, it’s estimated that approximately 40% of current church servants in various roles will be eligible for retirement. The 13 Adventist colleges and universities in North America are witnessing declining student enrollments in their schools of religion, affecting both pastoral ministry preparation and teacher training for Adventist education. This impending crisis requires fervent prayers, beseeching God for guidance and provision.
We implore God’s people to ardently pray for the essential laborers, those who will dedicate their lives to furthering Christ’s mission. Here are the immediate needs within Christ’s vineyard in the Carolinas:
• Our school year commences in a few days, and we urgently require a first and second-grade teacher for our thriving church school in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
• We currently have vacancies in several churches and church districts, and, as of now, we have no prospective leads for pastors:
• Winston-Salem & Clemmons Fellowship Churches (North Carolina)
• Roanoke Valley, Rocky Mount & Wilson Churches (North Carolina)
• Clinton Laurens & Greenwood Churches (South Carolina)
• Goldsboro, Little Creek Fellowship Church & Little Creek Fellowship Hispanic Group (North Carolina)
• Hickory Spanish Church, Lincoln, Valdese, and Hamptonville Spanish Companies, and Lenoir Hispanic Mission Group (North Carolina)
We beseech our prayer partners to consider this a pressing matter of prayer, not just to fill these vacancies, but to ensure they are occupied by individuals whom God has chosen and blessed.
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: