Forty-five people surrendered their lives to Jesus in baptism as the result of a new Seventh-day Adventist outreach effort called “120 Days of Power” in the U.S. state of Ohio.
The spiritual and missionary journey started with 40 days of prayer, followed by 40 days of witnessing and 40 days of preaching. The goal: 40 new souls for the kingdom of heaven.
But 45 people ended up being baptized as church members actively participated in the 120-day campaign — a testimony to the power of Total Member Involvement in conjunction with the blessing of the Holy Spirit, church leaders said.
“The mercy of God was exceedingly abundant, more than we could have imagined,” said Pedro Simpson, Hispanic Ministries coordinator for the Adventist Church’s Ohio Conference, who coordinated the initiative with leaders of the church’s Spanish District of Cleveland.
Church members in Cleveland committed to spend 120 days under the influence of the Holy Spirit, Simpson said.
The first action was prayer: 40 days praying at home and in district churches and groups in five local churches: First Cleveland Spanish, Ebenezer Spanish, Monte de Sion, Roca Eterna, and Akron Hispanic Mission. Church leaders appealed in a statement to every member to fast and pray on a specific day to ensure “all 40 days are covered and completely dedicated in seeking the power from on high.”
During the next 40 days, district church members contacted their friends, neighbors, and relatives, inviting them to small groups and to area churches. They also gave Bible studies and served as witnesses to the love of Jesus, Simpson said.
Then, ready to enter into the third phase of preaching, small group leaders preached in their territory in preparation for four full and simultaneous evangelistic campaigns led by four experienced evangelists: Julio Chazarreta, Andres Downs, Fernando Ramirez, and Oneal Howard.
The campaign concluded with the baptismal ceremony at the First Cleveland Spanish church in Cleveland. More than 300 people, including members and visitors, filled the building.
“Every church [brought] their candidates to be baptized to enlarge the Adventist family in Ohio and the world Adventist family as well," Simpson said.
Thirty-nine people were baptized that day. Six more people also made decisions for baptism during the 120-day event.
Simpson said members described the event as unbelievable and he heard a mixture of “music, tears, hosannas, and shouts of hallelujah everywhere.”
“Let us be happy for this celebration, but please know that we haven’t yet met the expectations of God,” Simpson said at the conclusion of the ceremony. “We still need to do more. We can do more and we have to do more for His kingdom.”