News and information from around the Ohio Conference
Stereo Adventista Listener Surrenders Life to God
"We are really excited to see how God is moving through multiple ways in the Ohio Conference, and Stereo Adventista undoubtedly, is not the exception," shared Peter Simpson, Hispanic Ministries coordinator for the Ohio Conference.

Simpson explained that Sabina Jerez de Peralta had visited the First Columbus Hispanic church for several years, "but she never took the decision to be part of the church, in spite of all the efforts made by the church members to bring her to the feet of Jesus." Nevertheless, Stereo Adventista (the online radio station created and operated by Ohio Conference Hispanic Ministry leaders), began to play an important role in her spiritual life after she received the app from her best friend in the church and prayer partner, Carmen Rodríguez. Rodriguez is an active lay leader and mission-minded member of First Columbus Hispanic church. Soon, Jerez de Peralta "became a 24/7 faithful listener and suddenly, God worked a miracle," said Simpson. "On May 30, 2020, the message preached by Pastor Lail Fuentes touched deeply into her life and right after the sermon, she decided to call the radio station and personally announced that Pastor Fuentes' message has impacted her life on that day in such way that she wouldn’t wait any longer to surrender her life to God."

Immediately following the call, Jerez de Peralta spoke to Rodríguez, and asked her to make arrangements for her baptism on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 3:30 PM.

Simpson shared that Jerez de Peralta "is just one of many others that have been impacted by our radio station, who now are in preparation, but shortly they will be taking the same steps to formally establish a close relationship with Jesus and His Church. To God be the Glory!!!"

Beavercreek Church Holds Prayer Service at City Hall Parking Lot
with information from Helene Riggs, Beavercreek Church Communication Reporter
2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Beavercreek, Ohio residents are no strangers to the negligence and wrongful death of an African-American citizen at the hands of law enforcement officers tasked to serve and protect their community. On August 5, 2014, a 22-year-old black man named John Crawford III was shot and killed by a police officer in a Walmart store. Officers were dispatched to the store based upon a statement from another shopper given to the 911 operator; the shopper later recanted his statement. The shooting was captured on surveillance video.

News of the recent tragic and senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many other black lives have consumed our nation, spawning anguish and pain, as well as the push for justice and change.

As Delthony Gordon, pastor of the Beavercreek Adventist church, watched the growing unrest after the tragic demise of George Floyd spread across the nation, he wondered what his small congregation could do to offer support for positive change and encouragement for all immediately affected by recent events. Two church members, unbeknownst to them, confirmed Gordon's thoughts: “People are negatively capitalizing on the pain that others are feeling. What can we do to help?   How can we take the focus from earthly things and turn it towards God?  What should we do?  How about prayer in a public place?”  

Since Gordon regularly works closely with community leaders in Beavercreek, organizing a special prayer service in the parking lot of Beavercreek City Hall, was not a difficult undertaking. Plans for the program came together quickly, and on Friday, June 5 at 7:00 PM, over forty (40) individuals, mostly church members, joined Gordon to share a scriptural meditation, hymns, and prayers.  During the service, prayers were offered for the Beavercreek community leaders, Health Care workers, and businesses. A special prayer was offered for the families of Floyd, Arbery, Taylor and others whose needless deaths sparked a cry for justice amidst heightened racial tension.  Prayer was also offered for the city’s schools, and the leaders of our state and government.

Among those present were Community Liaison Officer Mark Brown of the Beavercreek Police Department and Superintendent of Beavercreek City Schools, Paul Otten. According to Gordon, law enforcement and community leaders "still feel the effects from six years ago."

“We need to be a little ray of sunshine to brighten the corner where we are. It may be just a little flicker of light, but it’s a light. That’s our purpose of being here--we want to pray,” Gordon said at the parking lot service.  “May God grant His healing and blessing to all.”

You Can Never Go Back
By Michael Stough II, Pastor Delaware, New Carlisle, Springfield First District
It was July 5, 1997 and for those in the United States it was the second day of the Fourth of July weekend. For those of us living in Cambodia, fireworks were really flying as the 1997 Cambodian Coup got underway. For the next several months fighting between forces loyal to co-premier Norodom Ranariddh and his FUNCINPEC party and the Cambodian People’s Party led by now prime minister Hun Sen pushed their way to the Cambodian-Thai border in the northwest of the country. In the capital, Phnom Penh, tank battles left their scars upon the city. A mission group from Collegedale, Tennessee, along with Cambodian Mission personnel were hunkered down in the stairwell of the Mission office, listening to shells and bullets whiz around. As communications were cut off, a shortwave radio tuned to Voice of America told of events and a recently acquired satellite cellphone allowed our group in eastern Cambodia to get instructions from the American Embassy. Soon after, we were in Thailand and after some heart wrenching prayer, our family made the decision to come back to the United States.

Fast forward about five years, and a visit back to Cambodia revealed how in my mind, things were frozen in 1997. Several more years and pastoring in neighboring Thailand, the changes were even greater from 1997. No longer like living in the Wild West, malls and international fast food companies dotted the country. A once peaceful visit to the temple complex at Angkor, free of entrance fees and a freedom to explore, was replaced by the chaos of thousands of people guided along marked paths and barred by restrictive signs. Although many things were the same, much had changed, and I realized I could never go back to what was in 1997.

I’ve already written about how there is a new normal, and as our buildings reopen, we are finding ourselves in a different world then when we last stepped foot into them several months ago. With social distancing and masks, I know I’ve heard many lamenting how they want to get back to a normal which no longer exists. But I want us to think in of the bigger picture today. 

Somewhere about six thousand years ago, this earth was created. Before that the whole universe stood in perfection. Not one iota of sin existed. That all changed when Lucifer allowed sin to enter his mind. From that point forward, the universe has never been the same. Even if Lucifer had repented, even if Adam and Eve would never have sinned, there was no going back to the perfection which existed. Even when the universe is made perfect in righteousness again, the effects of sin will still be seen in the angels which fell and the scores of people who are lost, and most strikingly, our beloved Jesus bears the scars of the battle with sin for eternity.

Another thing we are seeing is not all church buildings are opening right away. Some have decided to phase things. Fellowship meals and children’s programs are still on hold. Again, is God any different in what happens after the Second Coming? Revelation tells us, that no matter how much we all may want to get on with eternity, there is a delay in the recreation of this world as we take 1000 years to complete the great antitypical Day of Atonement. Then God will speak, sin will be eradicated, the earth will be made new, and the New Jerusalem, God’s capital, will be here on this earth.

Certainly, things will be different than what Genesis pictures the earth looked like way back in the beginning. But there is no going back to what existed before sin entered the universe. God will not wave some magic wand and take the universe back in time to when things were in complete perfection. Things have changed, the universe has changed, and although our Father restores, let us take comfort in the knowledge He is still leading today, that in the events and changes which are happening even as I write, He can be trusted. I may not know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.
Demise of Oak Tree Raises the Question of "What If?"
By Michael Stough II, Pastor Delaware, New Carlisle, Springfield First
Over the past couple of weeks, strong thunderstorm cells have been rolling through Ohio. On Thursday, June 4, God reminded all of us at Springfield First just how true the words of Psalm 91 really are, especially in the light of the times we are living in now.

As Emily, my youngest daughter, our Shih Tzu, Moses, and I took a walk, a cell moved north of our neighborhood, pelting us with a few raindrops as it menacingly moved by.

Soon after getting home my phone was ringing. Howard Collingsworth, one of Springfield First’s deacons, was on the other end. He had been clearing brush and limbs from the west side of the church property when the storm which had only skirted us, had thundered down upon Howard while he worked. 
Gathering his tools, he had gotten to his truck to wait out the storm. As it passed, the strong winds blew over what appeared to be a sturdy oak tree. Its heavy weight crushed the old playground equipment which lay below. 

As I surveyed the damage with Howard, he mentioned how instead of working in the areas by the oak tree, he had felt impressed to work along towards the south. Together we prayed a prayer of thanksgiving for God watching over him and keeping him away from a story with a much different ending.

And that story really could have ended so many different ways, Wilbur Jackson, another member at Springfield First, who was with Howard earlier to more clearly mark boundary property pins, wrote how important it was that he “…decided I couldn’t continue to dwell on the if’s and instead praised my God for His protection.  He had it all under control.”  Grateful because he “serves a God who works good” no matter what our decisions may be.

I will end with his words.

Dashers Travel Over 6.5 Times Around Ohio's Buckeye Trail
by Joel Greve, Centerville Youth/Young Adult Pastor
After the first 13 days of the 40-Day Dash, 141 people have traveled 5,024.26 miles; this averages about 35.6 total miles per person. If we assume that this average would continue throughout the other 123 people, then those who did not submit their reporting forms would have walked/run an additional 4,378.8 miles, which totals 9,403.06 miles.

What does this mean? To date, our group has waked/run/cycled 6.5 times around Ohio and the Buckeye Trail!
Have You Registered for Family Camp Yet?
Join us for Family Camp this summer! We are offering two full weeks:

June 28 - July 5, 2020 and
July 5 - July 12, 2020

Our team will provide a safe, clean and healthy environment for you and your family. Enjoy all the activities Camp Mohaven has to offer! Cabins are filling up quickly, so confirm your family space soon.

Photo of the Week
"Pastor William Rodriguez has been doing a daily devotional titled, “Saved to Be Holy," shared Cynthia Ferguson, a ministry leader at the Massillon Connection church plant. A recent devotional by Rodriguez was entitled, "Good Deeds Promote Good Health.""

Ferguson and her team crafted a poem as part of a photo booklet, which was representative of their participation in the Ohio Conference COVID-19 Action Plan, # MinistryDoesNotStop at Massillon Connections. This participation included activities for the youngest members (shown above), and their own hashtag of # YoungMinistryDoesNotStop .

"Ministry flourished as we SHELTERED IN PLACE, n eeds were made known, distant friends we did make. Nursing home gifts were packaged and shared; “Thank You’s” were given to staff for their care. 

Gifts, however nice, could not compare… With the GIFT of JESUS, for those who were there. 

As our lives were changed, ministry changed, too; cooking classes by phone. A weekly seminar, Healthy U. Retirement gifts for some birthday dinners for OTHERS, the first Sunday reserved for Massillon Connections Band of Brothers; All deliveries were made by FRIENDS up to the task In all kinds of face coverings and colorful masks 

But MASKS weren’t reserved for delivering ends, but were made and shared with frontline friends. To Aultman Hospital, 100 were dropped, hands were at work #Ministrydoesnotstop sometimes HEROES r emain unsung, generational blessings as we grow the church YOUNG. 

We have JESUS To thank, and our PASTORS a s well; Their INVESTMENTS deep, they made our hearts swell! Porch visits, conference calls, Youtube, and Zoom; Technology connections felt like ministry In one room! No matter the situation… No matter the scope, Thanks Pastor William, Pastor Ken, And JESUS… Our Ray of Hope! All members, DISCIPLES, they pulled out the stops; Thanks for the lead Ohio Conference #MinistryDoesNotStop. "
Verse of the Week
Inspirational Quote of the Week
Read the Current Issue of Mission Ohio in the Columbia Union Visitor
Highlights of this issue include new Ohio Conference president, Bob Cundiff and his wife Tanique; Ohio Conference students excel in the third annual Geography Challenge and Art Auction.

Read these articles and more in the current issue of Mission Ohio in Visitor magazine.
Editors Note: There will be no Faithpoints next week, June 18, 2020
Heidi A. Shoemaker, Communication Director
Ohio Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
1251 E Dorothy Ln, Dayton, OH 45419