“Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.” Psalm 25:8-10.
Coming to Duluth district was challenging. After receiving a call to serve in the Minnesota Conference, the family and I moved from Michigan to Duluth in January 2021. Yes, I know what you are thinking; it was a brave move to relocate to Duluth in January. We did, however manage to settle in, not knowing one of our biggest challenges was yet to come.
Due to the COVID pandemic, the churches were following strict rules and regulations to protect their most vulnerable members. Our attendance was minimal, and we had more pews than people every week. People were confused and wondering what would happen next. Despite these circumstances, I trusted in God’s process, and was convinced that there was no better time to preach the gospel. When the world is upside down it is best to call upon its Creator. Therefore, I decided that I would center my sermons on the love, power, authority and faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ. No matter how bad things may seem, we can always seek solace in Christ.
God takes pleasure in delivering His children from the enemy’s ruse. He quickly took charge of both the Hinckley and Duluth churches and as He called upon His children, they responded with sincere hearts.
One Sabbath afternoon, a young lady name Catherine came up after the sermon and shared how she grew up in the Hinckley Church, but had not been in attendance for years. She had felt impressed to visit, and it happened to be my first or second sermon at that church. As we spoke, she tearfully explained that she desired to give the rest of her life to Jesus. The church and I were excited! We glorified God for His faithfulness. Catherine was baptized a month later.
“Train up children in the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Prov. 22:6). Testimonies such as Catherine’s give ample reason to trust in God’s process. He will never fail us, and always keeps His promises.
The next Sabbath, the living God orchestrated another fantastic moment. After my sermon in Duluth, Dorothy, one of our regular attendees and a Baptist, approached requesting to become a Seventh- day Adventist. Her husband Felix joined her, requesting to join the Duluth church by profession of faith. Around the same time, my ten- year-old son, Isaac, who had been asking for baptism since he was seven years old, requested to attend baptismal class. Upon asking him why he wanted to get baptized so badly he answered, “Daddy, I want to know more about Jesus and when He comes, I want to be with Him.” That was good enough for me! After sharing the exciting news with our Stone Ridge Christian School, several students including Grace, Carisse and Micah requested to take the class. By July 2021, the Duluth church had five baptisms and one profession of faith. To God be the glory! “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32).
Trusting in God’s process is the best thing anyone can do. His process guarantees a victory. God magnified His name in the Duluth district despite a pandemic, limited church attendance, and ever-changing rules and regulations. I’m sure He can and will do the same for you. Just trust fully in Him.
Jude Senatus pastors the Duluth District, which includes Christ Our Righteousness, Duluth, Grand Marais and Hinckley churches.