Over 5,000 church members and friends from 9 regions of the Guyana Conference are expected to attend a grand convention on Sabbath, March 17, 2018, that culminates the Caribbean Union Conference’s (CARU) Lord Transform Me (LTM) evangelistic initiative, “Impact Guyana 2018.”
Impact Guyana 2018 enlisted and empowered 50 evangelists at 50 sites in the Guyana Conference with the goal of baptizing 1,000 souls in one week. Coordinators planned for at least one baptism at each site, during the week. However, by end of the services on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, over 900 persons were already baptized into the fellowship of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church.
Evangelists have already begun to glorify God for what the Holy Spirit accomplished through consecrated and dedicated pastors and laity. The lead coordinator of the event, Pastor Claudius Morgan, stated, “We have never seen this before.” The evangelists have been sharing their amazing encounters with individuals who are thirsting for the living water offered by Jesus. Sores of weddings dotted the landscape at several sites as adults committed their lives to God and each other so families could be united through baptism. Members are thrilled by the leading of the Spirit and are preparing their families and friends for the Sabbath celebration. Pastor Claudius Morgan is anticipating the delights of the Sabbath and declared, “It’s going to be a sweet convention. I am excited at what God did and we are looking forward to a greater celebration this weekend.”
“It is the unity for the mission between the clergy and laity that makes this so powerful,” stated Pastor Anthony Hall, Youth Director of the Caribbean Union Conference, who baptized 72 persons over six days of evangelism. Pastor Hall reported that a woman came to the meetings and joined the fellowship of Gods remnant people.
Accounts of individuals accepting God’s salvation shortly before their death were sobering reminders that the evangelists are involved in life and death decisions. In response to such a miracle Pastor Matterson Preville of St. Lucia expressed, “It showed that God had a plan.” And, Pastor Sherwin White of the South Leeward Mission reflected on individuals who did not take the opportunity to choose Christ as Savior, “There are others who were not as fortunate.”
Pastor Charles Gittens, who was born in Guyana and presently serves as Secretary of the Grenada Conference, related the emotional experience of someone from the Hindu faith who became convicted that Christ is Lord after studying the Bible. The gentleman is the first from his extended family to become a Christian and his wife attended the baptismal service.
Pastor Wayne Knowles reflected on the head of a dental school in Guyana who attended the opening night of the evangelistic efforts to make opening remarks. Although he wanted to leave immediately after, because he had travelled a long distance, he was encouraged to stay for the presentation. His conviction, after hearing the message, was so great that he gave his life to Jesus, that very night, and was among those baptized during the week.
Program coordinators described how the uniqueness of the Impact Guyana 2018 effort was delicately balanced against the cultural norms of ministry in Guyana. “Impact Guyana brought together pastors and lay , to meet and exchange techniques and viewpoints that sharpened each other. When you visit the sites during the night, you can feel the effects of the camaraderie,” said Pastor Morgan.
Pastor Anthony Hall expressed, “When these evangelists return to their home-bases they will have a new understanding because they were able to learn from each other. Laymen who are preaching see themselves as equals in delivering the Word of God. Some of them participated in the baptism on Wednesday night. For them, the celebration is a celebration affirming ministry.”
Pastor Jumoul Sancho, the Assistant to the President for Evangelism in the Guyana Conference, is looking forward to a spirit-filled convention, “Sabbath convention has to end in a real celebration.” Leaders and members of the Guyana Conference are grateful for the support of dozens of evangelists and are experiencing a renewed sense of purpose and recommitment to the Mission of the SDA Church.
Additionally, local pastors, who may have felt overwhelmed by the challenges of public evangelism and may have been struggling to meet baptismal goals, welcomed the support of visiting evangelists. Impact Guyana 2018 has afforded them the opportunity to collaborate with talented and gifted evangelists and to demonstrate the success of evangelism through cooperation.
Guyana was targeted as a model field for launching such an effort due to its large population and the fact that, over the years, Guyana has yielded thousands of souls for the Kingdom of God, as a result of the personal ministry of members. The door of baptism added 2,545 persons to the SDA Church in 2017. The program coordinators shared that people are eager to give their lives to Jesus and with a pilot program like this, Guyana is definitely the right choice. “It says that something can be done and it gives energy to doing it again in the Caribbean Union,” emphasized Pastor Anthony Hall.
Pastor Morgan discussed plans for the Sabbath event: “The live-streamed program will feature the CARU President, Kern Tobias, and a mass choir featuring all 50 preachers who participated in Impact Guyana 2018. It is expected to show the true of the church in Guyana.” Over 10,000 live-stream viewers are anticipated, from around the Caribbean Union, to witness the final baptisms at the National Exhibition Centre. Special have been acquired for the baptisms which will involve all those who preached during the one-week series.
“We are working on rekindling the fire of soul-winning throughout the Caribbean Union, stressing to our pastors not to stop nor slow down on the mission to reach more souls for the Kingdom,” said Pastor Morgan who serves as the Special Assistant to the CARU President for Evangelism.
“It’s the power of the Holy Spirit which will open the way to reach more people with the gospel,” stated the Caribbean Union Conference President, Kern Tobias. “This weekend, we will reveal to the membership of the Guyana Conference and the Caribbean Union that God’s Spirit is alive.”