A Seed Planted in Time
The church educates and redeems through the preaching of the gospel in small group meetings. The story I’m going to tell you is an example of how a small group study brought a family back to Jesus.
About 10 years ago, a family dedicated their youngest daughter to Jesus at the Woodburn Spanish Church in Oregon. Shortly after the event, due to immigration issues, the father had to leave and was unable to return soon. The mother, with her four children stopped attending church.
After 10 years of absence from the church, they encountered a family problem and decided to seek advice from the pastor of the church. Throughout this process, a member from the congregation saw the family at church and brought a picture to the pastor of their daughter’s dedication. The pastor brought that picture to the family during a session. When the children saw the picture, they were surprised and exclaimed, “Look! Our youngest sister, Bianca!” It was at that moment the pastor offered them Bible studies.
In a span of three months, they met 30 times for Bible studies. That Bible study turned into a small group of around 10 people. Due to COVID-19, the small group meetings came to an end — but that didn’t stop the children from getting baptized. Although a family matter prevented the mother from joining her children, it was only a month later that she was baptized. The father, who does not live with his family, was accepted by profession of faith. The whole family came back to Jesus.
Something interesting about this story is that one of the daughters, Isabella, happened to have an Adventist friend. The two of them visited Pacific Union College and Isabella was impressed. She enrolled at PUC for the 2020–2021 school year. The children were so excited with the Bible studies and decided to participate in the Sabbath School classes as teachers.
I'm reminded of Proverbs 22:6. It says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." This is a message of hope for those families that dedicate their children to Jesus at a young age. This story is an example of how preaching the gospel using small group meetings can reach even the smallest towns around Woodburn.