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A large harvest

Acts 2:37-42

After Peter explains to the people that Jesus is the predicted Messiah, rose from the dead and poured out his Spirit, many are deeply touched. When asked what to do Peter tells them to turn from their old lives and be baptised. That day 3,000 people start following Jesus and form the first church. 

Does this still happen in our time? YES, for sure!

A record-breaking 97,344 people accepted Christ in baptism during a two-week evangelistic outreach by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Rwanda in May 2016. The baptisms took place at 2,227 sites across the African country. 

Local church leaders credited the Holy Spirit and Total Member Involvement for the unprecedented number of baptisms. “When each member is involved, there will be a big harvest,” said Sophonie Setako, president of the church's North-West Rwanda Field. Total Member Involvement is the name of an initiative that encourages each church member to find ways to share Jesus with friends and communities. 

"When each member is involved, there will be a big harvest"

In Rwanda, the 720,000 members took Total Member Involvement to heart. Many studied the Bible with neighbours and went door-to-door, inviting people to the evangelistic meetings. Members also donated money for food, cows, and health insurance policies aimed at improving the lives of impoverished people in their communities. Medical clinics at three locations provided free services to nearly 6,000 people over the course of a week. 

Thousands of people packed the sandy shore of Lake Kivu to witness the baptisms. The elderly and disabled were baptised first, followed by pregnant women and long lines of men and women. Eight pastors baptised 1,971 people in about 2 ½ hours. People emerging from the lake couldn’t have been happier. Wide smiles filled many faces as they exited the water and made their way to white tents, where they changed out of their water-soaked baptismal robes. 

Jesus said that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. What is your own place as a worker in God’s harvest field? Were you encouraged by this story? Sign up for more. :-)