Weeks before the recent evangelistic series hosted by the Cambridge (MN) Church, Pastor Carlos Rodriguez began conducting training classes and equipping the members to participate. Their hearts and minds were ready when the series began, and night after night they willingly worked to help arrange the stage and equipment and welcome guests. Members truly displayed a sense of unity and took ownership of their responsibilities.
We observed the Holy Spirit working in each person attending the seminar. Small groups were praying every night in various corners of the facility. Visitors invited friends and marketed the event for us. One newly-baptized member brought five to eight visitors every night. She was truly a Christian soldier experiencing her “first love” for Christ and her fellow men.
One day during the series our conference ministerial director, Elder Sherman McCormick, was visiting Pastor Rodriguez to see how the meetings were going. When they arrived at a local restaurant to eat that evening, they encountered several visitors who were attending the seminars. The visitors greeted them and complimented the pastor on the way he delivered the messages and stated how the Lord was using him to strengthen their personal relationship with God. Later, when Elder McCormick and Pastor Rodriguez were ready to pay for their meal, the waitress informed them that the bill was already taken care of by the visitors—a deed that spoke louder than words.
The Lord blessed and we witnessed the baptism of four of our guests, for which we praise God! However, five people had planned to be baptized that day. Sadly, the fifth visitor passed away on the day the baptisms took place. Each evening after the meetings she had been sharing the messages with her children and loved ones. Her fiancé, who was also attending the seminars, was baptized on the last evening and brought her whole family to witness the event.
Even though her passing was a time of sadness, it was another opportunity for our church to come together and be a pillar of strength and hope for this family. We planted seeds that evening by giving each of them a Bible and just being there to show our support.
I can personally testify to the power of evangelistic seminars. When I was 13 years old my family was invited to a series being held in white tents. There were hundreds of people and the church worked together to bring as many people as possible to the Lord. Members were neither ashamed nor embarrassed to pass out flyers or sell Adventist books door-to-door. The clear truths of the second coming and the Sabbath were delivered without fear. The message of God’s love was presented in an amazing way that changed my life forever. Today I am proudly married to a pastor who plans and conducts many seminars, as did his father before him.
During this recent seminar, the Cambridge church members planted numerous seeds—especially that last evening—and we can’t wait to see what the harvest will be!
Author Liz Rodriguez is the wife of Pastor Carlos Rodriguez.