Preach? But I've Only Been an SDA for 2 Years!

August 2 2012 / ShareHim in Dominican Republic B, Jul. 6 - Jul. 21 '12 #565
by Saul Gonzalez

Personal Testimony of Saul Gonzalez.

Coming on this Pennsylvania Conference mission trip has been interesting to see how God works. Because I have practiced with my sermons and equipment, I knew the material, but prior to coming, I did not have any preaching experience. I have also had to work hard in my assigned church here in Higuey to get everything organized, get things to happen on time and make sure the local members are doing what needs to be done – that usually the local pastor cares for. So I have had more work to do than many of those coming from Pennsylvania.

Although only being a baptized Seventh-day Adventist member for just two years before coming in this trip, I had a reluctant and even negative attitude toward making appeals in church and in evangelistic meetings. I knew a pastor from Canada that pushed so hard in meetings of his that I had attend, that in coming here, I was resisting the idea of giving appeals, and seeming like I needed to pressure people. But here I realized that when I preach, if I don’t make an appeal, I am just giving a speech. It became clear to me that I needed to give people the chance to accept Jesus. I have learned to be persistent, look people in the eye, and invite people individually to get up and come to Jesus.

WhiIe I am here, the Lord has impressed upon my heart to pray specifically for a young lady at my meeting named Johanna. From the first night, she was laid on my heart, and when I am preaching, the Holy Spirit has led me to look her straight in the eye and make the point for conviction.

Last night, she seemed to be under conviction during the message on the judgment. I was led to invite her to get up and make that decision. While she has not stood yet, I can see the conviction. I will be especially praying that God will lead her to make this decision before the meetings are over.

We gave the sermon on why the change from Sabbath to Sunday, and I was a little skeptical of how this might be received because of this being such a heavily Catholic country. But under the power of God, I gave the appeal and 8 people came forward. I was so surprised and happy. Some of those have already been baptized now. It reminded me again that what we are doing here is not about us, but about God.

On one sermon I know I did not feel that I did a good job with at all. In fact, I thought I really stunk. I just wanted to slink back to the car. When I did get in the car, my driver who takes me from the hotel to the church told me that the visitor that they brought that night really liked that sermon and it meant a lot to them. This really lifted my spirits and let me know that God is at work even when I felt so inadequate.
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