What do you say when you've seen the Holy Spirit do things in your church that were hopes and dreams only a few months ago? Amen, and amen! At Meridian Adventist Church, we just concluded our meetings with Eric Flickenger, It Is Written associate speaker.
What a time it has been. Leading up to our meetings, we met every Friday evening for prayer vespers to ask God to bring revival and reformation to our church, as well as to our community — and that's exactly what God did.
I don't like to use the word "revival" very often because it isn't something that I've often seen on a grander scale, but that is what happened in my congregation. Prior to these meetings, we had low team morale, a weakened focus on our purpose and a distant memory of what the fruit of evangelism tastes like.
That has all changed. The final weekend of these meetings ended with nine rebaptisms and nine baptisms, with more coming up soon. The church feels like a family, the focus is on Christ and His mission, and the people have tasted and seen that the Lord is good.
One couple who was baptized hadn't been to a church in more than 26 years. They received a flyer in the mail and never skipped a beat. The husband has already started sharing his new-found faith with his friends.
Another man was about to give up on life after the death of his wife when he found It Is Written on TV. He said John Bradshaw and his team saved his life, and he gave his life to Jesus through baptism. Another family of three came and found Jesus to be a friend to them. They were baptized all together.
Lastly, we know just how important it is to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and not to delay. One of our members who requested baptism asked if she could be baptized outside in the river, rather than in the baptistery.
Well, that last Sabbath was going to be packed, and I asked her if it would be ok if we did it the next Sabbath, which she was ok with. Not long after that conversation, I felt like I needed to make sure we baptized her on the closing Sabbath, even if that would mean being late to the evening meeting. So, we did — just my family, Flickenger and her.
It was a beautiful moment. Little did we know that in just a few days she would be in the ICU on a ventilator. A life-long medical condition flared up, which caused bleeding in her brain. Her family and I are so thankful that we didn't put off for tomorrow what we could do today.
It was a wonderful pass through the Lord's vineyard, for He truly blessed and is continuing to bless our congregation. He is sustaining His people and He has given us a new zeal for His work, and all I can say is amen and amen!