Announcing a New Principal for Maplewood Academy

Stacey Stocks (MWA teacher)The Maplewood Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Mrs. Stacy Stocks has accepted their invitation to be the new principal of Maplewood Academy effective July 1, 2015. She will take over following Mr. Justin Okimi.

Stacy has been at Maplewood Academy for the past three years serving as English teacher and most recently as Development and Recruitment Director. She comes into this position with a strong background in Adventist Education. She has served as a teacher, girl’s dean, and college dean. She has also served on the Board of Education for the Indiana Conference. We are excited for the vision and passion that she brings to this position.

Mr. Justin Okimi served Maplewood Academy extremely well as principal for the last three years. We want to acknowledge his effective leadership at the time the Conference was developing distance learning program sites. Mr. Okimi leaves with the blessings of the Minnesota Conference; it has been very rewarding working with him at the Academy. Our very best wishes to Mr. Justin Okimi and his wife, Shelly, for a new career opportunity. And we wish the very best to Mrs. Stacy Stocks and her husband, Brandon, as she transitions into her new role.

e-TNL Staff: Brian Mungandi, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: 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.

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Michael Jones Accepts Invitation to Pastor the Hutchinson Church

Michael Jones (Dodge Center pastor)The executive session of the Minnesota Board of Trustees extended a call to Pastor Michael Jones of Dodge Center to pastor the Hutchinson Church on the campus of Maplewood Academy, succeeding Pastor Wayne Morrison. We are so pleased that the Jones family has accepted this call.

Pastor Jones has been in the Minnesota Conference since 2005 serving the Pipestone district. He trained at the seminary in 2010 and returned to Minnesota upon his graduation in 2013. He is currently serving as the pastor for the Dodge Center district.

Michael says he received his spiritual call to pastoral ministry sometime in 2003. Michael comes into the pastoral ministry from a teaching profession with a clear understanding that, “Pastoral ministry is not just a gift and a calling; it’s a vocation, one that requires skill, devotion, endurance, ability and wisdom.” He also understands that in pastoral ministry you are dealing with people, co-laboring with God to inspire and motivate others to live for Christ. Michael has learned with experience that that is not an easy task. Success in ministry comes when one is willing to depend on the Lord, spending time in prayer and in the study of the Word and being willing to be Spirit led.

We welcome Pastor Michael Jones and his wife Aquarius and son Josiah to the Hutchinson church to take effect June 1, 2015. We challenge the Jones family to continue preaching the Word, this everlasting gospel, to lead out in worship, to do visitations and pastoral care as they take up their new post.

e-TNL Staff: Brian Mungandi, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: 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 India

Two students from Maplewood Academy, Nicole Muehlberg and I, joined Sunnydale Adventist Academy on their annual mission trip to India during Spring Break. A total of eleven students and two sponsors, eager to share their faith, set off on a journey to spread the Gospel through an evangelistic series on the morning of February 24th, 2015. Some 22 hours later, after three long flights, 13 tired, but excited faces emerged from the airport into the beautiful country of India. A bus awaited our group and we boarded it to be greeted by wooden seats and the Indian heat. After settling in, our group set off through India to the sunny Sunderban Islands where we would be preaching for the next three weeks. The traveling was well worth it, as we were surrounded by the smiling faces of local Indian children when we arrived at Achintvanagar Adventist Church.

After hauling all of the luggage into the church and setting up tents to keep the bugs away, everyone fell into a greatly needed sleep. The next morning we awoke to a breakfast of curry and rice. Everyone ate and then discussed the details of the mission trip. Each night every student would be sent to separate sites on the Islands to preach sermons. The sermons would cover the basic truths of the Seventh-day Adventist church. The sermon for the first night would cover creation of the world and the Creator God. The rest of the day was spent preparing the sermons, playing with the kids, and exploring the village.Regina India mission trip

Around three o’clock in the afternoon, people would begin departing for their sites. There were a couple of students who had gone on these mission trips before, so they were not worried about the sermons, but for those of us who had never preached before, leaving for our sites the first time was a little nerve wracking. I happened to be one of those students with a stomach full of butterflies. I left for my site at five o’clock, taking a twenty-minute rickshaw ride, bumping up and down the winding roads, to get to my church. Once I got there I played with the kids and set up my equipment. The program began with my translator and the church Bible worker singing Bengali Hymns with the people. Then I played a video that depicted the life of Jesus, which the local people loved. They would flock to the church to come watch it. After the video I gave a children’s story and a health talk. Lastly, I gave the sermon with my translator at my side. The meeting was successful and I had almost 100 people at my site! It was a really great start to the mission trip.

Although the schedule was pretty much the same every day, wake up, have breakfast, work on our sermons, have lunch and then depart for our sites, each day of the mission trip was unique and special in its own way. Some days we would see a child caring for a little brother and other days we would meet a mother who was trying to raise a family on her own. The whole culture in general made each day special. The culture showed us a different way of life. We would watch at least fifteen women and children every day coming to the well and getting water. Sometimes they would carry up to two large jugs of water to their homes more than a mile away. They do not have the modern conveniences we do such as electricity or running water. In fact, our group of high school students was better entertainment for them than hours of television would be for us in America. It was really moving to see how happy they were. They were content with what they had and were always smiling and laughing.

One of the biggest things I learned from this mission trip is the fact that there are a lot of things I can’t do, but I can always trust that God can. This trip was my first time ever giving a sermon. The most I have done before is a five minute speech in English class. Giving a sermon with a translator is a lot less intimidating than doing it without one. Having a translator gives you time to pause and think what to say next. I really was not nervous giving my sermons, but I still feel that I was definitely not the next Billy Graham. Actually I felt that I was far from it. I know that I am not a good speaker because public speaking is just not my thing. However, during this mission trip I learned that no matter how hard I try to be a great speaker, I cannot change the way people will perceive the message. I cannot change another person’s heart. Only God can convert a person’s heart. He has the ultimate control.

Throughout the evangelistic series we also had many baptisms. In total we had over 120 baptisms! It was so amazing seeing a person that I had preached to giving their life to Jesus. There is nothing better than knowing that you had a part in bringing a life into the kingdom of God. Leaving India was a bittersweet goodbye, but we could be happy knowing that we had done our part in spreading the Word of God.

Regina Leach

e-TNL Staff: Brian Mungandi, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: 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.

Reach the Other World around Us – Mission Trips

The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Mission Trip

The South Dakota mission trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation was an amazing experience. We did a variety of different work projects around the mission. We had the opportunity to build a porch, chop firewood, re-do fencing, and picking up garbage around the mission. We learned a lot of things that we really did not know how to do before. It was really cool to see things come together through the work we did. Working on the reservation taught us that we all have our different strengths in different areas. But once we all used our strengths and worked together these projects came about just the way we wanted them to be. I think we could all agree our favorite part of mission trip was being able to learn from the kids at Vacation Bible School.South Dakota We believe it was really impactful for us just as much as it was for the kids. For some they had never heard about Jesus so it was really cool sharing with them our perspective about Him and His love for them. In addition to teaching kids about Jesus, they got to teach us about their culture. As well as getting to know the kids we enjoyed getting to know each other, whether we were doing kitchen clean up or going on nature walks in our free time. There always seemed to be laughter or singing in the background.

We want to thank everybody who made this Mission Trip possible. We didn’t go anywhere far, but it was still a life changing experience. We ask that you continue to pray for the children at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and their families, as well as for Bill and Marilyn as they continue to spread God’s message.

The Page, Arizona Mission Trip

Page ArizonaThis year I was able to go with the Dodge Center Church on a mission trip to Page, Arizona over spring break. Our goal was to get as much of the church remodeled as we could in the 10 days that we were in Page. I was able to gain some construction skills, like building and sheet rocking walls, from some of the professional contractors that came with our group. We worked on church building and also spent time in the community by showing Christ’s love to the people of Page. The Page church planned outreach activities for the Maplewood students. The outreach activities included two days of Literature Evangelism, helping in the local food pantry, and picking up trash along some of the public trails.

The most eye opening and life changing experience for me was the literature evangelism. The first day we were going out to do literature evangelism I was skeptical of it, I didn’t really want to go out of my comfort zone. I ended up having an alright experience the first day, but I decided it wasn’t the thing for me. However, Thursday afternoon came and we were going out to the Native American reservation. While spending the afternoon on the reservation I had an immense change in my attitude towards literature evangelism. I was able to meet so many incredible and friendly people. I was touched by some of their stories that they shared with us and I was humbled from my experiences, and so blessed to be given the opportunity to touch people’s lives in a way that I have never experienced before.

Brandon Rickard

e-TNL Staff: Brian Mungandi, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: 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.

Nuggets from India

False Prophets in Thippapaly Village

Early this year Keith and Barb Christiansen went to India as part of the ongoing Minnesota Conference mission trip – India project. Barb tells about their visit to Thippapaly village to witness baptisms. She said when they got there, they were told “We have a problem in the village. A 23-year-old man died of cerebral hemorrhage during the night. No one will come out to the baptisms or eat, drink, light a fire or bathe until the body is buried, they won’t even come to the meeting tonight.”

India Late yound manThey went to visit the man’s 17-year-old widow, who was two months pregnant. Barb said, “Imagine the scene in the village, the body of the dead man was still in bed, covered with a brightly colored blanket. The young widow was sitting on the ground beside the bed, caressing her dead husband and the rest of the 150-200 villagers sat on the ground, weeping and wailing. It was a setting that was reminiscent of Mary and Martha’s home when Lazarus died. Our translator was able to press in and pray for Arush, the widow.”

When Barb started to place her hand on Arush’s head, intending to pray for her, she took Barb’s hand and placed it on her dead husband body. This young widow begged through her tears for Barb to bring her husband back to life. Barb told the translator to tell her “Only God can raise the dead”. She continued to assure her that “all those who are dead in Jesus will rise again when Jesus comes the second time.” Barb then started to pray, “Lord, help thou my unbelief”.  With tears running down her face she prayed for God to raise the young man up if it was His will, however, this did not happen. When it was time to leave, Arush clung to Barb’s sari. This young widow begged, “Just wait, 15 more minutes and you will see, he will rise.” Still he did not rise!

Keith then prayed for the large group of villagers. They left for the evening meeting which coincidently, the topic for that night was on the topic of Death.  Would the villagers continue to come out to the meetings, or would they see this as a sign of bad omen and stop coming to the meetings? That night the attendance was down but because of the loud speakers many of those who were at the funeral house- the home of the deceased, could still hear the good news. Death is not the end, Jesus has overcome death! The next night the attendance was back up to 375-400, Praise God. The meetings where well attended each night. Barb and Keith were called false prophets because they couldn’t raise the dead, but in the end the Lord was victorious, with 249 souls being baptized.

The Baptism in the Upper Malyala Village

India BaptismExcitement was quite high, yet subdued; a Hindu couple of high caste was going to be baptized. A few years before the wife was at the point of death. They had spent over $166,000 USD, trying to find a cure for her but nothing seemed to work. A friend recommended that she should maybe read the Bible since everything else had failed. This lady began faithfully reading her Bible, and she was healed.

In the process of reading the Bible, she got to know a Sunday keeping pastor, and amazingly through him, she met a Seventh day Adventist pastor. The Seventh day Adventist pastor was conducting some evangelistic meetings, which this lady attended and accepted the truth. She chose to be baptized. There was so much excitement because of what happened in the lives of this couple. The pastor says because of this influence, she might bring 200 people from the community into the church.

Barb Christiansen

e-TNL Staff: Brian Mungandi, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: 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.

Takes Many to Make a Difference

In 2007, Dwayne & Melisa Mauk moved into a quiet neighborhood located in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.  After getting settled, they started to make friends in the neighborhood.  One of their neighbors, Ellen Bjork and Brandon Krogstad, became good friends of theirs, and after a couple of years, in discussing where the Mauks worked, it came out that Brandon had joined the Andover church in 2006 during an evangelistic series that David Kobliska and a visiting evangelist had conducted.  Due to various reasons, he had stopped going to church, but was still searching.

Several years later, when Ellen retired, she was also searching, and began attending church at The Edge Christian Worship Center, where Brandon would also go.  There she became friends with Lynette Hubin who worked with the Mauks at the conference office.  Shortly afterwards, Pastor Rob Lechner and his wife Dee Ann Lechner came to pastor The Edge, and became friends also with Ellen and Brandon.  Ellen joined a Bible Study group at The Edge and continued her search for her personal walk with the Lord.

The Mauks increased their prayer efforts for their neighbors, but especially for Ellen and Brandon, and often times the Lord would open the door for little discussions to happen over the years.  When the Voice of Prophecy meetings were being conducted in downtown Minneapolis at the convention center, she told the Mauks that she was planning on attending the meetings, at least definitely on the weekends, and continued studies during the week.  RSP_5742About a week into the series, she made the announcement that she was planning on being baptized on March 20, 2015 on a Friday evening, and that Brandon was rededicating his life through baptism as well.RSP_5786

It was with excitement that the Mauks were able to be a part of these baptisms. Especially since this was one of the first that they had been able to witness in seeing people choose to follow Christ and be baptized.  But it also was a reminder that often times, it takes many people and much time for a person to be brought closer to Christ.  Numerous members from the Andover church and Pastor David Kobliska (who has now moved to another conference), members from The Edge and Pastor and Mrs. Lechner, all have been a part of helping and watching and praying for Ellen and Brandon to continue their walk with Christ.   Now, the Mauks have doubled their prayers for their other neighbors who are also searching.  Time is short, and if they get to see all of their neighbors as well as family in heaven, what a reward that will be.

Dwayne Mauk

e-TNL Staff: Brian Mungandi, Director; Melisa Mauk, Website-editor
E-mail: mnsdanewsletter@gmail.com Website: 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.