Standing at the pulpit, in the middle of my sermon, I saw him run through the church door. “Quick, a tree has fallen on a man from a neighboring village breaking his legs and injuring his abdomen. Please bring the plane and take him to the hospital,” he said.
I turned the pulpit over to the head elder and headed for the runway. Our plane wasn’t very big, only a two-seater. Other mission pilots told me it definitely wouldn’t work as a mission plane, but it was all I had.
God asked Moses what he had in his hand. All he had was a rod, but God used that rod to liberate his people. An important principle in successful work is to use what you have. The patient didn’t care how small the plane was. The alternative was a two day trip, partly hand-carried in a hammock, then in a canoe.
Over the next 4 years I flew that small plane 4000 hours, saving lives, building schools, placing and supporting Bible workers and building churches. Today, that small plane is a small part of a fleet of aircraft that are saving lives and supporting mission work all over the world. Between them all, they fly about 5,000 hours a year. God will multiply that which is placed in His service no matter how small it is.
A second important principle is to move as soon as God opens the door of opportunity. “The slightest inclination in the balance…should determine the matter at once.” GW 133. The sooner you respond to an open door, the easier and greater the result. If you are awake and praying for God to show you the way, He will. It may come at an unexpected time or in an unexpected way, but if you sleep, you could miss it. Some opportunities never come back again. Even if they do, the second time will be more difficult than the first, so why wait? Pray that God will keep you awake and alert enough to seize it the first time.
Finally, a third principle is to put all you are and have into the work God calls you to do. Do not hold back. He that sows liberally shall reap liberally. You cannot out give God. By working for God you will learn the vital lesson of dependence on Divine provision which is vital to our salvation. And “they that turn many to righteousness (shall shine) as the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3.
Don’t allow anything else to distract you. Work for time and eternity. We don’t know when, but very soon the door of probation will close for God’s people. I don’t even want to imagine being left outside when “the door is closed to those who would not enter.” LDE 182. But that is about to happen to a large number.
Let not the lament be heard, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jer. 8:20. Rather, we hope to hear these sweet words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy thy Lord.” Matt 25:23.
From the Frontlines, Uncle David
Frontlines Mission News
“The Spring of Health”
Lifestyle Center, Serbia
Have you asked yourself, “Where do I really belong? Is where I live really my home?” My husband and I were born in Yugoslavia. In 1991, war between the two republics resulted in Yugoslavia’s ruin. My husband lived in Serbia and I lived in Croatia, two countries that were at war. Looking for a better future we both migrated to the United States, where we met.
In America, we found a new home, new opportunities, and new hope for a better future. After our daughter was born, we applied to the Medical Missionary Training program in Uchee Pines Institute in Alabama and got accepted. My husband became a Lifestyle Counselor and later a staff volunteer. There, we felt like we could raise our two children in a safe and supporting environment in which we belonged.
In 2012 uncle David invited us to start medical missionary work in Croatia and Serbia. The thought was a scary one. Our children were still small, our son was only 10 months old, but the Lord made it clear that He needed us there. For the last four years we have been holding lectures, teaching people correct lifestyle choices to improve their health and in some cases treat diseases, as well as translating and publishing numerous books with health and spiritual topics.
Two years ago, the Lord opened the way to purchase a property in Serbia in nature with an existing house, orchard and land for a home-based lifestyle center. Even though we still cannot work at full capacity, we were able to help a pediatrician, who was struggling with excess weight and atherosclerosis. He had very good results after only 10 days in the program and he kept losing the weight continuing the program at home. In 40 days, his cholesterol dropped from 308 to 125, CRP from 5.8 to 1.2 and his weight from 239 lbs to 214 lbs!
We also helped an 85 year old lady who had open wounds in her leg for the last 15 years and was scheduled for amputation. The Lord blessed, and after 30 days, the wounds on her leg, were closing nicely. There isn’t much help for the elderly in Serbia. When one calls for an ambulance they ask for your age, and if you are over 80, they don’t want to pick you up to take you to the hospital. The needs are great in all of former Yugoslavia and we are the only lifestyle center of this type in the six countries of about 20 million people.
Now we know that this earthly home is where the Lord wants us to be. His biggest desire is for all of His children to be safe in an eternal home with Him. We still have to travel some distance to get there and the best road to take is by helping others learn of His love and care by providing for their needs. The Lord has a great work for us still to do, but we need your prayers and your support to make this happen.
Our Ministry needs are:
– Housing for volunteers and missionaries, equipment and furniture for the center, greenhouse, additional land for farming and housing, printing and publishing books, media (studio & equipment), new fence around the property, paving of the road to the center and a vehicle.
San Marcos was the first SDA educational institution and 2nd church in Bolivia established in 1922. This September 9th will be our 95th year anniversary. Our school is a kindergarten-12th grade boarding school. We had 30 students in 2011-2013, then 60 and this year we have 80 students! We’re super busy. Summer music school is when we are full! In 2013-14 we had about 60 students, then 80, but the last two years we’ve had over 100! Most students are from the local villages, but with dormitories we really need a dean, someone that can be a mother to them without the burden of having to teach classes.
Thanks to two large donations, we have a water-well down in the pampas on our own private property, but we still need to have the water piped to the school and a holding tank.
After 4 years, the bakery project is going kind of like we’d dreamed of. We began baking in the “anticuado” (Old Fashion) kitchen with a tiny 4 tray oven and delivering with a cart. Now we have a 32 tray brick oven, built by hand, and thanks to a donation, we deliver to 25 “tiendas” (shops/stores) on a motor tri-cycle with a cargo box. We also have the potential to sell to specialty “health food” stores in the city. We can’t keep up with the demand as people want San Marcos bread! We mix about 1500 lbs (700 kgs) of flour a week. We need a commercial mixer, divider/rounder, and 3-phase power.
OUR NEEDS: For the School
1. We need dedicated SDA teachers (not all our teachers are)
2. Dean (like a mother) for the dormitories
3. Kitchen helpers and builders
4. Water pipes to connect the school $16,000
For the Bakery
1. Commercial Mixer $16,000
2. Convection Oven $25,000
3. Divider/Rounder $25,000
4. 3-Phase Power $50,000
5. Sheet pans, racks, more “metro racks”– shelving, tables, etc. $15,000
Our names are Brandtley and Jenyve Greenlaw. For the salvation of souls, we became full-time volunteers for GMI in 2017. We saw the last day events of prophecy developing so fast before our eyes that it was impossible to ignore getting involved. There isn’t much time left to witness and very soon the door of probation will be closed never to open again.
We decided to sell all that could be sold, gave notice on our rental, and joined the team. It took longer than we thought, but God kept bringing people to buy our used furniture, appliances and stuff and God provided opportunities to witness to the people we met during the sales.
We are now part of the team in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Jenyve is head of the school, teaching the children of the volunteer missionary families, and Brandtley is making flights to pick up patients, bringing them to the hospital for treatment as well as flying volunteers and supplies to the school in Guyaramerin and the children’s home in Rurrenebaque. We assist in the outreach programs with the other volunteers and Brandtley also helps run the music recording studio at Red ADVenir capturing various artists’ music to be used for video recordings and plays during the monthly live broadcast.
A while ago there was a premature baby on oxygen with an IV that needed to be transported to a better facility for extended care. There wasn’t enough fuel in the plane to make the flight without going to the local airport for fuel. That would cause about a 4 hour delay waiting for the clouds to lift, refueling, filing a flight plan, and going through narcotics for inspection. These delays might put the baby at further risk. But, there just happened to be enough fuel in gas cans at our base in Red ADVenir to go directly there. Praise the Lord.
Brandtley was asked to fly bee hives 500 miles north to the school in Guyaramerin so they can learn how to work with bees and grow the hives. That’s not a normal request. Can you imagine what might happen if the bees got out of their hives while we were flying? This could be a very painful flight if not done right. Who could we ask for help? God can do anything, so, we prayed that the bees would be calm and there would be no stinging. And guess what? God answered our prayer, but not without first testing our faith. During the flight over 200 bees got out and were flying inside the cabin! They were going everywhere trying to get out. They were landing on our heads, arms, faces and of course crawling on the airplane windows, but none of them stung! They were our friends in flight!
There are many other stories to tell of how God has answered our prayers as He is teaching us to trust Him. Through restricted freedoms and persecution, we will need to have developed an unwavering trust in God like a child trusting his father or mother. We are happier serving God as missionary volunteers than pursuing worldly careers. It is easier work, a lighter load, than the pressure of the working world. Jesus words are true when He said, “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” Matthew 11:30.
We are currently in Tennessee, waiting to fly a mission plane down to Bolivia. We brought an engine up from Guyana to be fixed and we will take it back when it’s ready. Our time here is spent working on the plane, ordering parts, and Brandtley is studying for the first written exam to become a Certified Flight Instructor. One of his goals is to be able to help train more mission pilots.
Our focus is to serve and assist in the work of reaching lost souls for Christ. Whatever we can do to help in any area, we will do. We’ve discovered that God supplies the talent we don’t have. If we are willing to go and work in any area, God will provide what we need. We’ve learned to work with God rather than think we are going to do something and get help from Him.