“Proclaiming the Power of Pentecost”

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Since a couple of months before their marriage which was held at Cambridge SDA church this past March 2013, Robert and Christin Fast-Horse have been taking Bible studies with Pr. Carlos Rodriguez and their lives continued to change for the better; praise the Lord!

This wonderful couple was experiencing their “first love” for Jesus and when they heard about another weekend Revival Seminar held at Hinckley on the 30th of March, they did what was obvious to do for the Lord; attend.

Cambridge March baptismThis couple had already been eager to get baptized for quite some time now and after attending every night during this wonderful revival the opportunity came on Saturday night meeting at the closing of it. To our surprise, the newlywed couple expressed their interest in getting baptized together so their new life could begin together with the Lord, just as their marriage.

Christin’s dad; Ralph Youker, was also another attendee at the revival and he had been attending the Cambridge SDA church for a few months. He had also attended several of our Revelation and Daniel seminars but had not yet taken the decision to be baptized; even though he knew and accepted our beliefs. He also had accepted Jesus in his life as his only Savior and Redeemer as well as the Sabbath as the day of the Lord and memorial of His Creation. Unfortunately, his decision was firm on not getting baptized by immersion. We continued to have him in our prayers and continued to show him brotherly love and just had faith that one day the Holy Spirit was going to work wonders in him. Well, the Holy Spirit touched him in a very special way. When he saw his daughter and son-in-law getting baptized, something just clicked and he felt the need to get baptized and join the church family. He also felt proud to see his son-in-law’s eagerness to reach out to others and see him talk to everyone; coworkers, family members, anybody who came across his path about the Lord and the wonderful sacrifice He made for us.2 Cambridge baptism And so, after he saw this wonderful couple take the plunge, unprepared and without hesitation, he asked Pr. Rodriguez to baptize him that evening. It is wonderful when our church gets prepared for a certain amount of baptisms and suddenly they had to improvise to accept another child of God into the baptismal waters.

The Fast-Horse and Youker families have been a blessing to our church and we are pleased to have them as part of God’s family. May God bless them as they continue to express the gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ to other family members, neighbors and co-workers as God had appointed to each and every one of us in Matthew 28.

Pr. Carlos S. Rodriguez

Hinckley SDA Church, MN

e-TNL Staff: Jeff Wines, Director; Carol Lyons, Editor; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: http://www.mnsdanewsletter.wordpress.com

e-TNL is an informational bulletin issued by the Communications Department of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. You are free to re-print any portion of the bulletin without need for special permission. However, we kindly request that you identify e-TNL whenever you publish these materials.

The Heart of Camping Ministry

The western sky is aglow with shades of warm gold’s, yellows, pinks and reds. Laughter carries on the still evening air through trees, over rolling hills and mountains, across lakes and rivers. It is Friday and a culmination of an incredible week is about to take place.

All week long smiling, laughing faces have been seen. The joy of playing outside in a natural setting has been adventurous, exciting, and incredibly fun. Summer camp staff has seen young people climbing up rocks/walls, testing their skills, failing at times but trying again and succeeding. Arrows have flown from bows finding all sorts of targets! And yet the skill at hitting a target with an arrow increases as the week has continues. Interest and love for horses grows over the week. If the campers could, they would ride every day, spend time affectionately talking to each horse and brushing them. _DSC1751Waterfronts across the Midwest are teaming with campers as they play in the water. Excitement builds as the opportunity arrives to hang on to a tube being pulled by a boat or get up on a wakeboard trying to jump the wake, and if possible, jumping from wake to wake! Yes… it is summer and the warm breezes have beckoned young people to participate in the joy that is connected with the incredible experience of living life to the fullest in the great outdoors.

While the activities are filled with fun, the friendships which are to be built and renewed while at summer camp are even more richly rewarding. Friends come back year after year to be a part of a summer camp experience that is exciting and fun. When coming back they want to stay in the same cabin with their closest friends. Experiencing summer camp together builds ties that will last a lifetime. The ties of friendship also extend to the camp staffs that are investing their time and energy into people. Connections that will last, memories and choices that are made are milestones in each summer camper’s life and the lives of the staff. The relationships formed here often influence direction for life and eternity.

Summer camp is one of the most incredible ministries in the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church in North America. In 2008 the John Hancock Center researched summer camps across the North American Division (“Summer Camp Research Camper Survey, Summer Camp Research Staff Survey”). The data revealed what camp directors and staff have already known for a long time. When a young person goes to camp their life will be forever changed. While many campers are already spiritual in their focus, 50% attributed growth in their spiritual walk with God because of camp. This is an amazing statistic! The effectiveness of the camping ministry is directly impacting young people to be a part of the Kingdom! While 64% of the young people attending summer camp identified themselves as being Adventist, “31% saw the data increase due to the camp activities and worship programs”. The research findings of young people connecting with God, the church, and nature are so powerful that when looking at the significant decisions campers make, we see one of the largest evangelism meetings happening every summer for children.

While Adventist summer camps powerfully impact campers, research also showed that fact to prove true for the staff as well. One of the most intriguing insights found that camp staff were so invested in the church that many eventually will became employees and leaders of the SDA denomination. One of the questions asked was “Do you see yourself working for or with the Seventh-day Adventist church in the future?” A whopping 62% said that they were either employed by the SDA Church or they could see themselves working for the church one day. In other words, the summer camping ministry across North America is preparing a significant portion of the future leadership of the SDA Church.

This Friday night, of all the Friday nights in the summer, will be one to remember. The campers will be led to the foot of the cross by staff who have grown to love and care for each camper. They will hear songs that glorify and praise God, they will laugh enjoying worship with each other, they will hear staff share how Jesus is everything in their life, they will meet Jesus and have an opportunity to recommit to the incredible relationship that God has for them. Some will, for the first time, make decisions to follow Jesus, giving their entire heart to Him. This is the heart of the camping ministry in the Mid-America Union.

Jeff Wines, Youth Director
Minnesota Conference of SDA

e-TNL Staff: Jeff Wines, Director; Carol Lyons, Editor; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: http://www.mnsdanewsletter.wordpress.com

e-TNL is an informational bulletin issued by the Communications Department of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. You are free to re-print any portion of the bulletin without need for special permission. However, we kindly request that you identify e-TNL whenever you publish these materials.

Mission Accomplished

IMG_1882Pine Ridge Oglala Sioux Reservation in South Dakota was the destination for a group of Minnesota youth and their sponsors during Spring Break in March, 2013. Over the years the mission had fallen into disrepair and needed care, so we arrived at the Payabya (Pine Ridge) SDA Mission ready to work on the buildings, grounds and to put on a Vacation Bible School for the children on the reservation.

Each day we tackled different jobs under the direction of Bill Glassford, the Pine Ridge Mission coordinator. Our group divided up to accomplish different tasks such as painting the church’s fellowship hall and stairway, fencing the perimeter of the mission, picking up the trash in the fences and grounds, and clearing trees and brush all around the campus.

In preparing for this mission trip, many generous people throughout Minnesota donated coats, gloves, clothes, and diapers which we were able to give away to families as we invited the children to our Vacation Bible School. The purpose of our VBS was to bring the stories of Jesus to children who live amidst a culture of addiction and poverty. Starting on Tuesday and running through Sabbath afternoon, this program ended up becoming the highlight of our experience as you will see in the following words of Rachel Lozano, a senior at Maplewood Academy.

“One smile from the kids was all it took. I knew God brought me on this mission trip for a significant reason. Every day was a new opportunity to help around the property, connect with other students, and show Jesus to the children. The most extensive motivator to the kids was our Vacation Bible School Program. We taught them about Daniel’s bravery against Goliath, about Esther’s courage to save her people, and Jonah’s odyssey through disobedience and repentance. The eagerness they showed towards learning not only about the heroes in the Bible, but the praise songs we would sing with them, was so inspiring. It warmed my heart every time one of the little girls would volunteer to pray.

IMG_1779“Nothing was ever written in stone or repeated twice, each day had new adventures with the kids. We would do arts and crafts with them, and play some tiring but amusing games as well. One of my favorites was when they asked us older students for piggy back rides. They seemed to have Steven Keinath and Jordan Kaldahl as their number one picks. Steven was known for his striking ability to play duck-duck-goose with little six year old girls, while Jordan was preferred to be a mannequin that the kids could pull hair on. Trust me; it was a funny sight to see.

“There is no hesitation in wanting to return, their joy and laughter always made my day. The affection and warmth they demonstrated is irreplaceable, but I find comfort in knowing that God has a special plan for each and every one of those children. They have inspired and motivated me to have a better relationship with Christ and to continue to show Jesus to others. I am forever grateful for the journey God privileged me to experience on this mission trip.”

Rachel Lozano – senior at Maplewood Academy
Linda Vigil – Maplewood Academy teacher

e-TNL Staff: Jeff Wines, Director; Carol Lyons, Editor; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: http://www.mnsdanewsletter.wordpress.com

e-TNL is an informational bulletin issued by the Communications Department of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. You are free to re-print any portion of the bulletin without need for special permission. However, we kindly request that you identify e-TNL whenever you publish these materials.

Sacred Revolution

sacred revolution advertising-1From the four corners of Minnesota, young people gathered at The Edge Christian Worship Center where God waited anxiously to speak to them. The program began at ten in the morning, April 6th, 2013. No one knew how the program would unfold; they just knew that it was going to unfold mysteriously and slowly. Praise music filled the walls of unity and burned like incense to heaven. After the time for musical praise, everyone was told to find someone with the same size shoe, then those two were told to find another two; then the four were told to find another four and then sit down at a table. Instead of being set up in traditional pew rows, the worship center was organized with countless circular tables with eight chairs per table. At the start, tables were mixed with guys, girls and colorful skittles. The purpose of skittles was for the colors to represent questions that would be used at the table for the young people to get to know each other; from singing favorite song lyrics to saying what they wanted to be for the rest of their lives. Tables became close knitted as the questions came and as the message rained on their ears.

Bernie Anderson, pastor in Orlando, Florida and Sacred Revolution’s speaker, spoke about how he struggled with pornography in the first session. He spoke on the emptiness of lust and fullness of love, the goodness of Jesus and darkness of pornographic lies.

Lunch arrived with Burritos, Guacamole, cookies, and chips. As minds were being filled with the presence of the Spirit, Hispanic food was filling stomachs–and it filled them well.

After the delightful food experience, the guys and girls were told to find their best friend of the same sex, then find another pair of the same sex, and finally find another four of the same sex; the purpose was to divide girls and guys because of the conversations that would take place.

Pastor Anderson spoke again about relationships, trust, and one’s future soul mate. The words fell on guys and girls as refreshing and restoring. Then, the young people shared what their ideal mate looks like. Some of the girls mentioned that their ideal man would be, “tall, dark, and handsome” or “sensitive and a good listener.” Some guys said they want a girl with “a good sense of humor” and “good conversation skills.” Laughter was shared and God smiled.

Afterwards, Pastor Anderson shared the damage done to relationships when pornography is in the mind–the sickness and false expectations it creates within the heart. Table-talk resumed and the conversation’s content was on the introduction of pornography into one’s life and how to deal with it or how to help friends involved in it.

Pastor Anderson explained the pain and brokenness that came to his marriage. Trust is extremely essential to relationships with people, spouses, and boy/girlfriends; but most importantly with God. Sex in its proper timing and God-intended purpose is beautiful and ultimately good, but sex and intimacy outside of marriage can cause trust to be nonexistent in relationships. Table-talk followed again and so did a question and answer session. Pastor Anderson answered questions dealing with his personal testimony and questions about purity and relationships.

In summary, God was there. The windows of heaven shouted with joy as the ice of pornographic uncomfortably was broken, spoken about, and addressed. Love and grace grasped the hands of young people and reminded them of a transforming and redeeming power through Christ. The Sacred Revolution ended but a daily, sacred revolution will be forever taking place in the hearts of the youth that attended.

e-TNL Staff: Jeff Wines, Director; Carol Lyons, Editor; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: http://www.mnsdanewsletter.wordpress.com

e-TNL is an informational bulletin issued by the Communications Department of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. You are free to re-print any portion of the bulletin without need for special permission. However, we kindly request that you identify e-TNL whenever you publish these materials.

My Trip to Belize

Sun and Fun for the One

My Trip to Belize

Belize’s toasty climate lit up my winter this March as I, a 1-4 grade teacher at Northwoods Elementary School, joined Maplewood Academy students on a mission trip to this tiny tropical country. What a blessing! During my time in Belize, I learned a lot about provision, sure foundations, cleansing, love, and beauty.

Last fall, I decided I really would love to go on a mission trip. Having never gone before, why not now? When I heard the academy was going, I asked right away if I could tag along. I was told that they were actually looking for teachers to go down to Belize to hold training workshops for the Belizean teachers. Perfect!

When I found out the cost of the trip, I put it in God’s hands. One day, I received a statement for a bank account I didn’t even know I had. This covered half of the cost. Family and friends began sending me money for my trip, and before I knew it, I had the entire trip paid for from generous donations! God provides!

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

During our adventure in Belize, we helped set the foundation for a new Adventist school in Ladyville, Belize. As I bent steel rebar day after day, I realized the importance of our job to prepare the foundation for the new school. The steel rebar had to be cut in various sizes, bent in various ways, and tied together in various formations. Doing these tasks correctly was extremely important. We were setting the foundation. Without a solid foundation, we knew the school would collapse.

The Bible talks about foundations. God is our cornerstone, our foundation. If we have Him as our foundation, we will withstand the storms in our lives. He will keep us upright.

“My body and mind may waste away, but God remains the foundation of my life and my inheritance forever.” Psalm 73:26

As we worked on the school, the dusty soil clung to our feet. The first thing I did each day after work was wash my feet with a wet wipe. While I washed my feet, I thought about the disciples and how Jesus washed their dusty feet as well. What a humbling act. Our Creator wants to wash us, not only physically, but spiritually as well. He wants to cleanse us.

“He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5

While in Belize, we met wonderful children that adored us the moment we set foot on their school’s soil. They loved so willingly and welcomed us with their smiles and hugs. As we arrived at the construction site each morning, the children would run to our bus, waiting for us to come out as if we were celebrities.

One student in particular was especially fond of me. When she heard my birthday was coming up that week, she told me she would bring me a gift. It was touching to see a child with so little want to give me one of her prized possessions.

Driving through the streets, one can see that many people in Belize have very little. Even so, they are willing to share. Shouldn’t we do the same?

“Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.” 2 Corinthians 8:2-3

Besides working on the new school and interacting with the students, we held a Youth Rally, visited an orphanage, and presented a literacy workshop for the teachers. We were able to sightsee as well! Touring the Mayan Ruins, visiting a zoo, snorkeling over a coral reef, and strolling through the streets of San Pedro Island are just a few of the many memories I will never forget. The ties of friendship with the people of Belize and my companions from Maplewood Academy will always be precious to me. I thank our wonderful God for His beauty in creation, earth and man.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

e-TNL Staff: Jeff Wines, Director; Carol Lyons, Editor; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: http://www.mnsdanewsletter.wordpress.com

e-TNL is an informational bulletin issued by the Communications Department of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. You are free to re-print any portion of the bulletin without need for special permission. However, we kindly request that you identify e-TNL whenever you publish these materials.

Winter Workers Meeting: Rescue Consortium

For the first time in Minnesota Adventist history, Maplewood Academy students were included in workers’ meetings. Originally planned around the topic of bullying in Adventist churches and schools, the topic morphed to become “RESCUE: The Calling We Share.”

The tone was set Monday evening, Feb. 4, with the Maplewood Academy Choraliers singing, “Lord Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace.” Then Nathan Greene, beloved Adventist artist, shared his personal experiences with the rescue of God’s smaller creatures and the story behind his painting, “The Rescue”.Nathan Greene While we usually identify with the lamb, he suggested that it is just as valid to identify with the Good Shepherd, who is willing to risk everything in order to rescue one black lamb. Another highlight was hearing the story behind the commissioning of the Civil War painting, “I Was Thirsty,” where a soldier risked his life to bring water to injured enemies lying on the battle field.

Tuesday morning was begun with Dr. Joseph Kidder sharing the story of his escape from Iraq. Beaten to the point of death for honoring the seventh-day Sabbath, he survived, with the help of God, and was able to immigrate to the United States where he finished a degree in engineering at Walla Walla University. Not long into this career, he realized that God wanted him in full-time Adventist ministry. He now teaches at Andrews University and has written the books, “Majesty” and “Four Secrets to a Thriving Church”. After hearing his inspiring messages on the Monday preceding the rescue conference, pastors wished the teachers had been able to join them earlier!

Dr. Christopher Wall, Assistant Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic, shared reasons why young teens are not equipped to handle the stress of bullying at this time in their lives. He shared the tragedy of loss of life that results from bullying. Later he offered answers to questions from students and workers.

Rick Young, head of the International Rescue and Relief Program at Union College, came to show the students active means of rescue, but before doing so, he shared the story of how God had rescued him personally. Rick survived a 32-year career in law enforcement in the greater Los Angeles area working primarily with gangs and troubled youth. His break-out session with pastors and academy teachers provided awareness of drug abuse patterns among young people.

Kari Schebo, lower grade teacher from Minnetonka Christian Academy, used this same time period to expose elementary teachers to the benefits of Responsive Classroom technique in creating a culture of compassion within each school and classroom.

John Kriegelstein, MAUC Education Director, summarized the day by calling pastors and teachers to commit to the loving care of someone in need of the rescue they can provide. Each presenter came at “Rescue” from a different angle, but through the day it became clear that the cure for bullying is not to blame or change the victim, but rather, to establish a corps of RESCUERS who create an environment where bullying cannot succeed.

A Minnesota pastor wrote, “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a culture of rescue in all our schools, and yes, in all our churches? Our recent meetings brought us one step closer to making our churches and schools the safest places to be. I wonder if this is one of the most important prerequisites to fulfilling our mission as God’s end-time people!”

By Connie McCormick, Education Superintendent – Minnesota Conference

e-TNL Staff: Jeff Wines, Director; Carol Lyons, Editor; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: http://www.mnsdanewsletter.wordpress.com

e-TNL is an informational bulletin issued by the Communications Department of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. You are free to re-print any portion of the bulletin without need for special permission. However, we kindly request that you identify e-TNL whenever you publish these materials.

VBS – In Good Hands

The Wadena, Minnesota church is preparing for another year’s Vacation Bible School, and the program is in good hands. Gennifer Anderson and Sonja Toews have written the book on VBS – literally! After years of helping direct VBS in sections and as a whole from prepared programs, they saw a need for a VBS program that better fit their church’s dynamics than what they had used. Creating a unique VBS program each summer complete with skits written for and well played by the youth, Gennifer and Sonja have found a larger ministry with a published manual. Small Town VBS offers three different programs already tried and ready for you. The programs are complete with crafts, games, skits, and ideas for food. Watch for classes offered by these two at camp meeting this year.

e-TNL Staff: Jeff Wines, Director; Carol Lyons, Editor; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: http://www.mnsdanewsletter.wordpress.com

e-TNL is an informational bulletin issued by the Communications Department of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. You are free to re-print any portion of the bulletin without need for special permission. However, we kindly request that you identify e-TNL whenever you publish these materials.