Making Total Member Involvement Personal
By Blasious Ruguri
In many places around the world, pastors and other leaders sometimes seem to feel that they should be exempt from the trials and responsibility of personal discipleship in their home communities, because after all, they carry the burdens of the world and larger fields on their shoulders. But of course, this is not true. If we are to be effective witnesses and leaders, we should also be involved in our home circle.
With this in mind, over the last year, I began praying with my wife about how we could witness to our neighbors in our rural home village in a greater way. In our division, we always speak about Total Member Involvement as a personal lifestyle of evangelism, and we know that this message is also meant for leaders, no matter how busy we feel , or even how humble our efforts are.
As we began to pray and sacrificially take steps in faith, we saw the Lord open doors and bring others to join us in our efforts. It was so miraculous and clear that God Himself was taking charge of the whole effort!
Initially we planned a small evangelistic series. But instead of the small evangelistic series we had been praying for, God sent many donations, bicycles to be used to reach people in remote areas, and volunteers to preach and serve with us during the month of December 2018. In the end, there were 22 evangelistic sites where people received food, clothing, ministry to children and powerful preaching! Thousands of people walked the dusty paths and roads to come and hear the Good News. After over 1,000 baptisms, we are still seeing more people’s lives being touched by the gospel through the follow-up efforts!
This is truly an answered prayer and personal miracle for me and my wife. This area has long been dominated by groups who are unfriendly to the Adventist work, but now God has claimed a powerful home for Himself in our village. We are eternally grateful for the surprising way that He answers prayer, and how He responds whenever we take steps of faith for Him!
Blasious Ruguri is president of the East-Central Africa Division, based in Kenya.
East-Central Africa Division
May 12 - 19, 2019
BRIEF FACTS ABOUT THE ECD: The East-Central Africa Division (ECD) is comprised of 11 countries that include Burundi, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Somalia. These countries have a combined population of approximately 400 million people. Seventh- day Adventist church membership in this region is approximately 4 million.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Pray for wisdom and the Holy Spirit’s blessing on Blasious M. Ruguri, division president; Alain G. Coralie, executive secretary; and Jerome Habimana, executive treasurer. Please also pray for all the Union and Conference leaders, pastors, and their families in the ECD.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Pray that the ECD will more fully realize the vision for Total Member Involvement, where each member of the Church is a discipled and discipling follower of Christ, fully surrendered to the mission of Christ in the world. Please pray that God will give each member a powerful testimony to His goodness and faithfulness as they serve Him.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for the new ECD Adventist School of Medicine, scheduled to officially open in September 2019. Pray that the school be a unique witness for Christ and the timeless beauty of His plan for all to have physical and spiritual health. Pray that the school would be used to provide powerful Christian medical leadership, service and witness around the world.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for God’s glory to be revealed as our Church is affected by political and economic strife in ECD nations. Special urgent prayers for God to protect and bring a strong revival to the Adventist church in Burundi where spiritual warfare is threatening the stability of the 43,000 members baptized in 2018 and existence of the Church in that nation.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Pray for the missionary families who serve in ECD. ECD serves as the denominations largest host to missionaries for the Church. We pray for their health, their children and that the Holy Spirit would empower and bless their ministries.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray that God would open the doors of ministry for the hundreds of millions in ECD who do not yet have a saving relationship with Christ. Pray that the Seventh-day Adventist Church would represent a beacon of hope to them, which can point the way to a joyous and saving relationship with Christ. Please pray for areas such as Somalia that are currently closed to open ministry, and for an end to religious persecution across the division.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for our Church members in India and Bangladesh suffering from the recent cyclone Fani. This was strongest tropical storm to hit India and Bangladesh in 20 years. The region was lashed with ferocious winds and torrential downpours. Many are dead or missing. The full extent of the damage in both countries is not yet known and the death toll is expected to rise.