AFCOE (Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism)
The small town of Creston, British Columbia was recently blessed with a powerful weekend of evangelism training. Amazing Facts Ministries Canada (AFM) sponsored the first AFCOE To Go at a church in Canada! AFCOE (Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism) is a training program based out of Sacramento, California that focuses “on Christ-centered friendship evangelism, giving dynamic Bible studies, gaining decisions for Christ, setting your church on an evangelism cycle and much more”. Participants from the local communities in the East Kootenays, as well as various places across Canada, all had the desire to become effective disciples for Jesus.
This event, although it was quite the production, started with humble beginnings. It all began with a small group of people who were on fire for the Lord, in the community of Invermere BC. As a result of the Holy Spirit this group now has four baptized members, and others who have joined to support along the way.
This group has been prayerfully working on planting a church in their community. I was on the hunt to get them resources and training on giving Bible studies and doing evangelism. The search was not easy, but then one day my wife queried, “what about Amazing Facts Ministries and AFCOE?”.
Around 80 people signed up and gathered together in Creston May 12-15, 2016. Close to half of that group were local church members from Creston, Cranbrook and Invermere. The sessions started on Thursday morning, and continued on until Sunday evening. The instructors of the course shared personal testimonies and great insights to the work of evangelism. We were reminded throughout the weekend that the only method to do evangelism, is “Christ’s method”.
We were blessed also to have several sessions specifically on working with Muslims. It was a real privilege to have personal testimonies from individuals who have worked extensively with this population, as well as a testimony from a man who used to be a Muslim, but is now part of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church family.
Willy Lumbanraja, one of the training participants who is from Toronto shared, “I wanted to deepen my understanding in evangelism. I previously had very negative views about Muslims, but through trainings like this I now have a positive outlook. The cost of the trip to come to Creston is nothing compared to what I am getting here. This is great information, because I have two Bible studies going on right now, and this material will really help me”. These presentations really opened our eyes to the unique opportunity that the Seventh-Day Adventist Church has to reach the Muslim population. It really is not as hard to reach out to this population as once thought.
One of the precentors gave a simple illustration on how to “hang a scripture on a picture”. This catchy phrase just encourages people to share a simple story, and attach a scripture that helps bring home the emphasis of the story. It was also captured in the training binder that “every believer is a missionary, every believer recognizes the powerful obligation resting on him or her to reach the world and preach Jesus”. So what does this mean? It means no one is off the hook! We are all called to this work, and friendship evangelism is a great starter tool for people at all stages of this evangelism experience.
We were really delighted to see some youth attend this training as well. They seemed very engaged and shared some of their own powerful, personal testimonies. We pray that any church that has youth, are ensuring to include them in the work of evangelism, they are part of the “royal line” and have a mighty work to do for our King.
Kiera Weimer, an eleventh grade student from Armstrong shared that this training has “helped me learn more about how to relate to other people, and how to share the gospel with them. I don’t want to be a “woodpecker”, but a friend, I want to help them with what their needs are”. In result of this training, Kiera has already signed up for a four-month training with AFCOE coming up in July.
So, this started with a small group from Invermere having a need for some evangelism training. Well, they got it! They are energized and excited to continue “evangeliving”, in their community. Vina Halford, one of the members from Invermere shared, “I know nothing is too small for God to care about and accomplish, all He needs is for us to be open and willing”. Vina is excited to start going door to door in her community, something she has never done before.
This training was very informative, inspiring and uplifting. We want to extend our sincere gratitude to the entire AFM team as well as the AFCOE team and guest precentors. We are eager to see the ripple effect this training will have in our communities. May we all continue to follow Christ’s great commission.
Pastor Josue & Tammy Molina
Pastoral Couple of Cranbrook & Creston churches, and Invermere Small Group
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