Prayer and Commitment Mark Evangelistic Series Pre-launch in St. Croix

Initiative is spearheaded by the General Conference Treasury team and partners.

Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review
Prayer and Commitment Mark Evangelistic Series Pre-launch in St. Croix
Seventh-day Adventist leaders, local pastors, and Bible instructors dedicate the speakers of the Impact 24 evangelistic series to God, hours before the official launch of the initiative in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. [Photo: Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review]

It couldn’t have started any other way, Seventh-day Adventist church leaders said.

On March 29, just a few hours before the official launch of the Impact 24 evangelistic initiative in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, church leaders, series speakers, and Bible instructors met at the headquarters of the North Caribbean Conference of the Adventist Church (NCC) to pray.

The evangelistic effort is the brainchild of the General Conference (GC) Treasury team, led by treasurer Paul Douglas, and coordinated by its associate, Josue Pierre. Under the theme, “Your Journey to Joy,” the two weeks of evangelistic meetings in four venues across the island will include a health clinic facilitated by Loma Linda University Health and other community initiatives. They will cap months of planning, prayer, fundraising, and work on the ground through digital evangelism and visits by Bible instructors to interests.

Claiming God’s Power and Promises

A night before the March 30 Easter weekend launch, the select group that met at the local conference offices asked for forgiveness for their shortcomings, claimed God’s promise of blessings over their efforts, and requested the power of the Holy Spirit over their endeavors. They sang, praised God’s name, and committed their lives to God and His mission.

Noting some last-minute hurdles, including the cancelation of a flight that prevented Douglas from getting to St. Croix in time for the launch, NCC president Desmond James welcomed everyone and reminded them that God is more powerful that any issue we might encounter. “We serve a God that does not panic on a predicament, so we gather tonight with an attitude of gratitude to thank God for His blessings and for bringing everyone safe,” he said.

Pierre agreed. “We are very excited about what God is going to do,” he said. “The Lord has ordained this moment, the Lord has ordained this field, the Lord has ordained our speakers and our entire team.”

From Just Saying ‘No’ to Bringing Souls

He also referred to the change of paradigm that GC Treasury is looking for. “Normally, we see that treasury is about saying, ‘No’ and focusing on budgets,” Pierre quipped. “But now we want to focus on what is the main thing, which is bringing souls into the kingdom. And even though we may be a large organization with so many layers, at the core, what is our job, and our focus, is just bringing souls into the kingdom.”

Pierre reminded the evangelistic team that God could have chosen many ways to save His people. “But He said, ‘I’m going to use flawed vessels who are also in need of salvation, and they are the ones who are going to bring hope to my people.’ ”

Not Just a Mission Trip

Douglas, who spoke through the Zoom videoconference platform, shared that the idea of participating in a frontline evangelistic initiative “came up in a staff meeting.” Now the time has come, he said, for implementation. Douglas thanked James for his “willingness to partner with us as we try to do something special on your island.”

He explained that everything was ready. “We have powerful preachers, we have powerful ministries of music, we have powerful Bible workers, we have powerful church members, we have a powerful team that will join you, and I just believe God wants to do a mighty work,” Douglas said. “This is not just a mission trip. I believe this is to build up the kingdom of God. And I am so thankful to join you as part of this ministry that will take over the next two weeks.”

Douglas also reminded the team that they are about God’s business. “And it’s interesting that as we reflect on this season of Christ’s death and resurrection, we are about the business of why He came to die. He came to die for those who were lost in their sins, and He paid the price. And we have a message to tell the world, that the price has been paid.… I am so glad that we are together in doing this work.”

The Spirit, in a Measure Never Seen

Regional leaders emphasized the collaborative nature of the initiative. Meetings will be held in English at three venues and in Spanish in one venue. Bible instructors will be available in English, Spanish, and French, according to the needs of the interests at each venue. The core team includes local facilitators from St. Croix, but also from Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, and Saint-Martin.

In a moment of dedication, NCC secretary Wilmoth James prayed for God to bless the initiative and especially the speakers, which include pastors Ainsworth Keith Morris, James Doggette Jr., Luis Soto, and Ramone Griffin. “From the moment this idea was born until its execution, we cannot doubt your unwavering guidance upon this ministry,” Wilmoth James said. “You have brought us all from various corners of this planet. Even though at times the work of the enemy tried to interrupt, yet tonight … we have the confidence that You have been with us. On this account, we go forward in your name, knowing that victory is ours in the mighty power of Jesus.”

Wilmoth James also asked for a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit “in a measure never seen on this island.” With the assistance of the Holy Spirit, he said, “hearts will be pierced, victories will be won, healing will take place, deliverance will happen, sinners will come to salvation, and Your church will grow in the mighty name of Jesus.” And, he added in his prayer, “we ask You give us the spirit of commitment, that will go to the end till the battle is won.”

He also prayed for the people invited to the meetings. “Wherever they are at this moment … may they feel uncomfortable at their homes; let something [move them] to go out and hear a different message from what they have been listening since their youth: a message of hope, a message of salvation, and a message of deliverance,” Wilmoth James said. “Tonight, we are calling upon You to do a miracle we cannot do. We claim it, and we thank You.”

Planting the Banner of Christ

To close the meeting, Doggette, director of young adult ministry at the Lake Region Conference in the U.S. and one of the speakers in St. Croix, prayed for the group of Bible instructors. These are people, he said in prayer, “who have been already taking the banner of Christ and planting it in the enemy’s camp.” Doggette added, “We thank You for those who they have already touched. We are grateful for those whom You have designated to touch, and we know, Lord, that You are going to give Your glory on this island, because it’s not about us, it’s all about You.”

Finally, Doggette recommitted every team member’s life to God. “We pray that You play us in whatever key You desire to hear,” he said. “Do it for Your good, do it for Your glory, do it so that St. Croix might know that You are still King of kings and Lord of lords. And that You are coming soon.”

Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review