Pacific Northwest Adventists Volunteer for Global Evangelism

When I first saw Bob Marcus, he was preaching in a large tent not far from Dominican Adventist University in the Dominican Republic. Every seat was filled, and people milled around outside. It was a moonless night, but light bulbs strung overhead through the tent revealed at least 150 people intently listening as he and his translator preached.

The tent flaps on one side had been raised, so I moved close to the platform where I could get better photos of Marcus and of the group from the university who supplied music for the meetings

Methodically working with his translator, a theology student from the university, Marcus seemed at ease as he presented the Word of God and illustrated his message with pictures on a screen from a computer projector in front of him. The messages and pictures he presented from night to night were from a prepared sermon series provided by Global Evangelism designed specifically for his Hispanic audience.

Only three months earlier Marcus was looking for new employment. For some time he had been a lay pastor in the Upper Columbia Conference and had received the conference newsletter.

In the early December newsletter he noticed a request for volunteers to present evangelistic meetings in the Dominican Republic. But he ignored the idea until he saw it again in the late December issue. “I didn’t have any reason not to go,” he said. “So I decided to look into it.”

After contacting Global Evangelism to check into what was needed, Marcus assessed his situation. “I’m willing to go, but I don’t have the money for the travel and living expenses,” he thought. So despite his family’s pessimism, he requested help from everyone on his e-mail list.

Then he prayed, “Lord, if you want this to happen, please send $100 in pledges by this weekend.” By week's end the pledges had exceeded $100. Still unsure, he asked for a sign: checks enough for the trip to come in the mail. Within a short time, enough funding arrived for his needs.

His passport arrived just days before he began his trip. He had already acquired the necessary equipment and was ready to go.

In the Dominican Republic, he received instructions about how to conduct the meetings during orientation classes in Santo Domingo and was assigned with two other evangelists to serve in the Bonao area.

“I had preached occasionally for years and served as a Bible worker, but this was my first experience in evangelism,” he said. “It’s been an exciting experience to see people giving their hearts to Christ.”

Marcus set a goal for 25 baptisms and, by the second Sabbath, six had been baptized.

One night no one seemed to respond to the call for commitment until a small boy came forward. A deacon motioned for him to sit down. But the boy shook his head and whispered, “I want to be baptized.” Others in the audience, touched by the boy’s response, began to join him, many of them teenagers.

“On the second Sunday night my translator made a call for commitment, and 15 came forward,” Marcus says. By the end of the meetings 32 had been baptized.

On the night I visited his meeting, several people were baptized in the tank near the platform. As Marcus watched, the joy he experienced could not be hidden. “I’d love to do this full time—several campaigns each year," Marcus confessed. "I don’t have the money, but God does. So we’ll see how it goes.”

Marcus was one of six pastors and lay evangelists from the North Pacific Union area who served in the Dominican Republic in late February. Another 10 Northwest members conducted meetings in March and one in June. Others served in the Philippines in September.

For more information about how to be a volunteer with Global Evangelism, go to www.global-evangelism.org or contact R. Folkenberg: (540) 296-1602, e-mail rsf2@compuserve.com.

October 01, 2003 / North Pacific Union
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C. Elwyn Platner