Operating for only the past six years, the South England Conference (SEC) “Go School of Evangelism” has graduated its one-thousandth student. During a Sabbath (Saturday) afternoon ceremony at the conference’s annual camp meeting, Trans-European Division (TED) president Raafat Kamal charged students to trust in God as they go out to make disciples for Christ.
During the June 23 ceremony in Prestatyn, Wales, United Kingdom, 171 students received certificates of completion. With his focus on mission, Kamal commended the SEC for the initiative and acknowledged the leadership of British Union Conference (BUC) Personal Ministries director Kirk Thomas, SEC Personal Ministries director Michael Mbui, and the numerous teachers who provided effective missionary training.
TED President’s Message
Speaking to the graduates, Kamal reminded them not to lose sight of the primary reason for being Seventh-day Adventists. “Our main purpose,” he said, “is to call all people to become disciples of Jesus Christ, to proclaim the everlasting gospel embraced by the three angels’ messages, and to prepare them for Christ’s soon return.”
In his keynote address, Kamal emphasized three main points.
First, “keep asking why you are here. What is the purpose that God has inspired and put on your heart and mind?” he said. “Believe it, memorize it, embrace it, be passionate about it, write it, speak it, shout it, live it, and be intentional in God’s Word. Because if you don’t, you will gradually lose sight of it.”
He added, “We exist to make God known and to glorify Him. Our real purpose will be clear as we look to Jesus Christ.”
Kamal then noted that Christians are called to make disciples for Jesus Christ. “God’s response to the fall in Genesis 3 was a response to mission,” he said. “[It implies] to seek, to go, to save, to heal, to give a second chance. Through our calling and ministry, He wants us to bring with us as many as possible from our families, our neighbours, friends, and colleagues.”
Kamal’s third point was that the graduates needed a positive attitude toward life’s circumstances. “The intrinsic values a person has cannot be taken from him,” noted Kamal. Despite the hardships, pain, and suffering that graduates might endure while serving God, he said, “one’s God-given values are far more important than the external circumstances. Whatever those circumstances may be, you can choose to have the right Christ-like attitude.”
This year’s group was the largest graduation of the School of Evangelism since it began, with the total estimated to rise to 200 later in 2018. The program started with six cohorts but has grown to 20 areas of mission and leadership training. It includes subjects such as Community Evangelism, Forgive to Live, Stress Therapy, British Sign Language, and Muslim Relations.
Mbui said the training centers have now spread to five regions across the conference. “The vision of the Personal Ministries Department is to engage every church to be disciple-makers through training,” he said.