They’re not so different from you or me. They’re just everyday people.
They don’t have specialized training. They’re not necessarily spiritual giants. They work, play, laugh, and cry. So what is it that makes them different?
They’re busy preparing for Hope for the Homeland.
Hope for the Homeland is a prayer emphasis and DVD seminar designed, not for far-off lands, but for people here at home. People like you and me—and our neighbors.
As the one-year memorial of the Sept. 11 attacks approaches, it seems the logical thing to do. In a world that often makes no sense, why not introduce the people we interact with in our communities to the One who will someday explain it all? What an opportunity to acknowledge where we’ve been and the hope of where we’re going!
The Hope for the Homeland seminar kicks off with a community prayer service on Sept. 11, and the DVD programs begin on Sept. 13. People are getting ready. They’re excited about what is about to happen. Here are just some of the preparations going on, right now.
Forty thousand brochures will be mailed in and around Anchorage, Alaska. As of press time, five sites will host Anchorage’s Homeland meetings. One meeting will be held in a home, another in a church. But not all meetings will be at predictable venues.
Michael Maxwell will be one of a group presenting in a dental office, while Steve Libby has opened his aircraft hanger and will be one of the speakers there.
With varied locations appealing to different people, the hope is that there will be a place that’s convenient and comfortable for everyone. And with multiple locations, there are even more opportunities for local church members to be involved.
Hundreds of miles away, in Spokane, Wash., local members are feeling the excitement. Kenley Sorenson couldn’t wait for the Homeland series to begin. He wanted to start using the DVD presentations right away.
But about halfway through his meetings, he lost his voice. He simply couldn’t continue. Not wanting to end the meetings, he asked a young man who had been attending and hearing the Adventist message for the first time, if he would help. He agreed, delivering the last half of the presentations. That young man was recently baptized.
All over the North Pacific Union, lay people are realizing the blessing it is to share Jesus. Brian and Cindy Cowin, members of the Everson, Wash., church, have been sharing the DVD programs since this spring with a neighbor.
In Bellingham, Wash., efforts are under way to organize a community appreciation and prayer service. Numerous area Christian churches have already signed on, in addition to representation from the Seik and Muslim communities. It’s a cooperative effort to highlight how we can work together, instead of concentrating on our differences.
The Milwaukie Spanish Church in Oregon has, at last count, 25 house groups in operation. The Canby and Molalla churches in Oregon face the challenge of their pastor moving just a week after the meetings begin. But instead of shying away from the challenge, the members are feeling energized by knowing that these meetings are their responsibility.
In Emmett, Idaho, planning for the community prayer service is in full swing. It is being held in the city park with hopes that the location will attract more people. Karen Green, one of the event coordinators, says, “We hope it will open doors—that people will become more familiar with the Adventist Church. Coming to the park may be less threatening than coming to a church.”
Hope for the Homeland is the featured theme for this program and will include participation of other area churches, the local Pathfinder club, and possibly even the mayor. Invitations to the Homeland meetings will be handed out personally at the prayer service.
Things are happening in communities in Montana as well. The town of Browning is located on the Blackfoot Indian Reservation. Recently, local members Kristy and Buddy Sinclair and Peggy Conner wanted to do their part to introduce their community to Jesus. And they did it in a cleaned out garage.
Unable to find another place, they used what was available to them. They hung a tarp, brought in a space heater, set up a screen, and invited the community in. Between six and eight adults attended each night, with another six or eight children participating in the children’s program. Of those who attended, three are currently studying for baptism.
Members from the Stevensville/Hamilton area have decided not to mail out any promotional materials for the meetings. Rather, they’re personally delivering each piece.
Prayer meetings are happening each week, with the dedicated purpose of specifically praying for the presentations and the people who will attend. When the seminar starts on Sept. 13, there will be weeks worth of prayer covering everything that goes on.
Tom Watson, a member of the Stevensville Church and seminar presenter, says they’re taking a flexible approach. They’re holding the first three meetings in the church building. Depending on attendance, they’ll either continue on there or divide into home study groups. They’ve thought the options through and are simply waiting to see how God works.
Watson thinks there will be a lot of interest in the meetings, because their timing coincides with the first anniversary of the attacks on our country. But, he adds, “It’s hard to tell what will happen. We’re leaving that up to the Lord.”
Here, There, Everywhere…
All across the Northwest, preparations are under way. It’s an exciting time, and each person involved is expecting the Lord to work in amazing ways in OUR communities. •
Pray for the following churches, whose members are
prayerfully counting down to evangelistic D-Day, 9-11-02.
Hillside O’Malley (5)
Midtown Christian Fellowship
Wood River Valley
Billings Heights Group
Fort Peck Reservation
Hazel Dell, Wash.
Meadow Glade, Wash.
Ridge Dell, Wash.
Salem Spanish Company
All Nations, Wash.
Brewster Spanish, Wash.
Central Valley Spanish, Wash.
Diamond Lake, Wash.
Grand Coulee, Wash.
Grandview Spanish, Wash.
Granger Spanish, Wash.
Hayden Lake, Idaho
Mission Native American, Ore.
Othello Spanish, Wash.
Pascoe Riverview, Wash.
Pasco Spanish, Wash.
Spirit Lake, Idaho
Spokane Countryside, Wash.
Spokane South Hill, Wash.
Spokane Valley, Wash.
Sunnyside Spanish, Wash.
Tonasket Spanish, Wash.
Walla Walla Eastgate, Wash.
New Church Plant
*This list has been changing daily. Although it is current as of our deadline, we expect there might be changes by the time it reaches the homes of our readers.