All over Boston, Seventh-day Adventist churches have been hosting seminars and trainings to teach lay members how to do Bible Work.
Attendees learn how to follow-up on leads, how to engage people who are interested in studying the Bible, how to go through a lesson with them, how to call people to make decisions for Christ, and much more. With our huge “reaping meetings” coming up this October, having a trained laity is crucial to preparing soil.
Compassion Boston has partnered with It Is Written for this fall’s evangelistic effort. John Bradshaw will be in Boston October 14–29, preaching a prophecy series entitled “Revelation Today.” In advance of these meetings, It Is Written has mailed thousands of cards to Boston-area neighborhoods, offering free Bible studies to anyone interested—and the returned cards requesting studies have been pouring in. Our handful of full-time Bible Workers could never study with everyone, and that’s where these lay-Bible Work trainees have been instrumental.
Highlighted below are some brief stories from the three most recent lay-Bible Work trainings, as reflected on by the full-time Compassion Boston Bible Workers who helped to lead and facilitate the programs.
On the weekend of April 29–31, Compassion Boston partnered with NETS Express to host a Spanish-language Bible Work training at the Salem Hispanic Seventh-day Adventist Church in Roxbury.
“The training with the Hispanic community went really well,” said Crystal Phillips, a Compassion Boston Bible Worker (and also the wife of Jack Phillips, the Bible Work Program Coordinator for Compassion Boston from It Is Written). “They were so open and welcoming towards our team. They offered us warm drinks and cake after the training was over. They really made us feel at home, which is what they’ll do for any new church members. They were so eager to learn and enjoyed practicing the Bible study skills we shared with them.”
“Carmen* and I clicked,” said Karen Matambo of another young adult who attended the training. (Karen is also a full-time Compassion Boston Bible Worker.) “Apart from her grandmother, Carmen is the only Adventist in her family. During the training, she sensed that God was calling her to be a missionary. She wanted to do something in service to the Lord, so she signed up to go on Bible studies with us.
“The following Tuesday morning she was sitting in a Bible study with me. Carmen clicked so well with Jane,* and the Holy Spirit touched all our hearts during the study. After the study, Carmen and I went to visit a lady who sent in a request for Bible studies. She wasn’t home, but her Spanish-speaking neighbor was. Carmen spoke with her for a few moments, told her that we studied the Bible with people in the community, then signed the woman up for studies! We thought we simply met so we could be friends, but God had bigger plans. Any other day, with my limited Spanish I would not have been able to connect with this Spanish lady, but God sent Carmen on His errand. Carmen was willing to let God use her and God had someone He specifically wanted her to reach.”
The next training was held at the Cambridge Seventh-day Adventist Church in Medford, May 13–15—another partnership with NETS Express.
While at the training, Karen met a lady from Boston Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church who had seen the announcements about the training and decided to attend. “She came the first night, was really inspired to participate, came all three days and even brought her husband with her,” said Karen. “As we got to know each other a little, Jane* told me that she wasn’t Adventist before. She was introduced to the faith when she married her husband who is Adventist. From there she accepted the truths, was baptized, and now says she has a testimony to share that can encourage others. For Jane, the training was the perfect opportunity to learn how to effectively share what God has done for her and point others to Jesus. God is calling so many people to join in His work, and it’s encouraging to meet people like Jane and her husband who have heard God’s voice and are answering His call.”
Several Haitian churches in the Boston area, led by Pastor Yves Francis, joined together to host a weekend-long training at Camp Winnekeag—room and board included.
“The Haitian community was a joy to be around,” said Crystal. “Watching them sing, their voices were filled with vibrance and joy. They really persevered through the training. It was in the 80s on the day we trained with them and their was no AC. We relied on fans that only reached certain parts of the room. Nevertheless, everyone stayed for all three portions of the training, instead of heading to a cooler place for a nap. They were so appreciative that we came and were eager to know more.”
Jack Phillips reports that upcoming trainings include a program at the Stoneham Korean Church on August 13, and a training with STRIDE this summer. They’re also working on another training with the Haitian group in August and another English training weekend as well. You can learn more about and volunteer to help with the Boston-area Bible Work on our Bible Work page (www.compassionboston.org/biblework), or sign up for our newsletter to find out about upcoming opportunities to learn and volunteer, and to read more Bible Worker stories. (Or you can click the button below right now!)
*Some names have been changed.