It is with gratitude and humility that we look at God’s amazing blessings across our territory during this past year. The deep dedication of our pastors and teachers along with the faithful members across our two states has enabled God to advance the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The ultimate reason we exist is to share the love of Jesus with whomever God brings into our path, whether inside the church or in our communities. This remains our top priority. Nearly 300 individuals joined our congregations by baptism or profession of faith during 2023. Each one is a child of God who has found love and grace. These are the results of committed Adventists sharing their faith.
The conference commits over $200,000 each year to evangelism. These funds are requested by local congregations and are used in so many creative ways to reach those around them. Events include traditional evangelistic meetings, community events and Bible study materials.
We are thrilled to watch our enrollment increase again this year with 533 young people receiving an Adventist education in one of our 10 conference schools. The dedication of each teacher is changing the lives of these children and youth. Adventist education may seem expensive, but the eternal benefits are beyond any earthly value. The teachers at our Garden City (Kansas) school worked so intentionally this year with their students that 12 were baptized on the same Sabbath. The education each student receives is excellent, but the spiritual experiences they receive are priceless.
The young people across our conference are one of our greatest assets. Because of that, every investment we make in them is worth it. This year there were nearly 200 decisions for Christ made at summer camp at Broken Arrow Ranch. Studies clearly reveal that when young people choose Jesus before the age of 16, the chances of them staying true to that decision as a young adult go through the roof!
Our Pathfinder and Adventurer clubs continue to grow. The hard work of the local leaders is driven by their love for the youth, and it’s paying off. Hundreds of our Pathfinders will be in Gillette, Wyoming, in August 2024 to join over 50,000 other Pathfinders from around the world.
In addition, attendance at our youth and young adult rallies has skyrocketed this year! At these events they meet other Adventist young people from across the conference and are challenged and inspired with messages and dialogue relevant to their lives.
As important as our adult members are, we are committed to providing Christ-centered experiences for our children. New materials have been made available to our Sabbath schools. More churches are conducting Vacation Bible Schools each summer. Dedicated parents are doing whatever they can to be certain their children understand the love of Jesus.
When one considers that the millions of dollars it takes to fund all these things comes voluntarily from the 12,000 plus members in our conference, it is truly a miracle. It is estimated that during 2023 our members gave over
$20,000,000 through tithes, local church giving, world missions, etc. because they believe in the mission of the Adventist Church. The tithe, which supports our pastors, teachers and evangelism in our conference as well as around the world, continues to go up each year. The conference, as well as each local church and school board, carefully, prayerfully and strategically decide how to use these funds to their greatest kingdom potential.
As we move into another year, our mission has not changed. We will pray for the continued presence of God’s HolySpirit so we are able to work within His will and plans. As our pastors, teachers and church members rally around this mission and press together as a united body, God will be able to accomplish His will in Kansas-Nebraska.