Churches Partner for Evangelism Ministry
Three churches partnered in evangelism to expand their reach to more than 10,000 around the world.
Israel Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, presented by Jewish Adventist Alexander Bolotnikov, was a combined outreach effort between the Beit Shalom Balevav (The House of Peace in the Heart) Adventist Jewish congregation, a company newly formed by the Oregon Conference; Living Word Russian Church in Portland; and the Whipple Creek Church in Ridgefield, Wash.
Such a nontraditional topic for evangelistic campaigns attracted many people of different walks of faith and culture. The topic of Israel is interesting not only for Jews but also for many evangelical, Protestant and even Catholic Christians. To the surprise of some visitors, the topics of the seminar were not politically slanted but rather focused on the themes of covenant, relations between Israel and God, and God’s mercy, which He expresses to Israel through His Messiah Jesus.
About 145 people attended the meetings on a daily basis. Russian translation was provided every evening. More than 150 guests participated in the special Passover Seder, a "hands-on" experience of what was happening in the upper room during the last Passover supper, which Jesus had with His disciples.
During the midweek, those who could not attend meetings due to traffic or job obligations were able to watch the meetings online through the live streaming both in English and in Russian. On average 170 people watched live broadcasting, with maximum live views peaking at 470. All participants at the lectures were incredibly blessed by the music ministry of talented local musicians Denise Rutledge and Elena Abel and by the singing of the guest soloist Helen Salo, an Adventist believer and the lead mezzo-soprano from Bolshoi Opera House of Belarus.
The seminars are still available online and can be accessed through each church’s website, and the number of online views soon exceeded 10,000 from the U.S. and 45 other countries.
Members already know of a number of people who never showed up at the meetings but watched every day online. One of them, Bob Glass, raised in the conservative Jewish family, was baptized on Sabbath morning at the Sunnyside Church in Portland.
The highlight of the seminar was the baptism at the Whipple Creek Church on Friday night. One devoted Bible student, who spent her academic career training other educators, dedicated her life to Jesus.
This seminar was sponsored by generous support of the Oregon Conference, the North American Division and the North Pacific Union Conference. But this endeavor would not have taken place without dedication and incredible teamwork between the three churches. Whipple Creek Church hosted the event, and Living Word Russian Church provided online broadcasting, video recording and Russian translation. Beit Shalom Balevav initiated and led the program, and many volunteers helped with registration, preparing meals and refreshments, children's programs, music, welcoming the guests, and prayerful support.
This evangelistic effort continues influencing lives of many people every day in the U.S. and abroad and needs continued prayers.