The Little Pastors

MINDANAO, Philippines - Mike Cordes sits on a riverbank, taking in the sounds of the jungle: insect wings buzz, the river murmurs under a carpet of water lilies, a Kingfisher chirps nearby. He is listening for the rumble of motorcycle engines which will herald the arrival of his medical missions trainees. The trainees that are arriving live in a remote village and have faced an arduous 2-day journey to attend training: traveling on foot and via motorcycles (when possible). Towards the end of their expedition, the plan was for Cordes to meet them here and guide them the rest of the way.

“Here in the mountains of Mindanao,” says Cordes, “there are communist rebel forces. Because of civil unrest and cultural changes, we have also seen much division within the tribal groups.”

“As I was sitting by the river,” he remembers, “I could see, about 40 meters ahead, a person watching me.”

Cordes is a part of GoBeDo Missions, an organization committed to enabling and training local Philippine missionaries in the Bible, agriculture, education and medicine and then sending them into remote mountain villages where people are in need. This holistic approach yields positive results in countries, like the Philippines, that fall within the 10/40 window (the areas between 10 and 40 degrees north latitude). This area of the globe has the highest level of socioeconomic challenges and the least access to the Christian message.

The odds were quite high that this unknown observer was not a believer. Cordes was faced with a choice: greet the individual or run. “My first line of defense was to pray and claim a promise. Knowing that every person is a candidate for heaven, God gave me the strength to move forward to greet this individual despite not knowing their intentions.”

To Cordes’ elated surprise, he found the person to be a teenage boy with a mental handicap. “As an American, I could not speak his language so I was thankful I had one of the solar players by MegaVoice in my backpack,” Cordes says. “It created a way for me to connect with this child.”

MegaVoice solar players are solar powered audio Bible, recorder, and FM radio. The MegaVoice Audio Cloud is a searchable database of thousands of Scripture audio files in thousands of languages for use on MegaVoice solar powered audio players.

The story of Mike Cordes is not an isolated incident. “Many missionaries have been inspired to trek into remote mountain villages,” says Cordes, and they are using MegaVoice players (lovingly referred to as ‘Little Pastors’ by the locals) as a tool to connect in friendship. In a historically animistic culture, “many chieftains are now hearing messages of hope that can only come in knowing our Savior Jesus Christ.”

“That day, laughing and praying with this boy made me realize more than ever,” remembers Cordes, “that God is the only real connecting link that can heal us as broken people.”

Learn more about GoBeDo Missions and “little pastors” here.

 How many people groups have been reached by the gospel? (source: Joshua Project)


Witnessing 101

Short stories to inspire you.

The Book that Touches Lives

 by Daniel Wa-Kangana

LUANDA, Angola. In 2014, I translated a compact version of 200 pages of the book Planet in Rebellion (The Great Controversy) to Portuguese, with the title, Planeta em Rebelião. We shipped 105,000 of these books to Luanda, Angola. The sale of the book is going amazingly well, despite initial problems we encountered!

 Some greatly successful distribution events took place when individuals sponsored 10, 20, or 40 boxes of books! We took these boxes directly to the gathering events, usually funerals. 

One SDA Police General bought 22 boxes (there are 48 books in each box) and distributed them at two Luanda Jails and at the National Police Command Headquarters to his fellow Police Chiefs. One of the Generals who read the book, said: “I had never read a book with such deeply profound impact.” Several worldly people have become SDAs as a result of reading the book.

At least two of these converts attend my local church and are already buying boxes of the books to give away. One such convert, Mrs. Rita, gave her testimony twice in the Talatona Metropolitan SDA Church. Her story is as follows:

Mrs. Rita saw the book in her mother’s bathroom. On three occasions, she felt compelled to take the book and read it, but she resisted the inner voice. The next time she was visiting her mother, Mrs. Rita again saw the same book in the same place. This time, she could not resist her curiosity, but took the book and began reading. She couldn’t put it down. She read it through three times! When she began reading it for the fourth time, she had already decided that she was ready to become a member of the church that had been inspired to write a book with such profound, prophetic truths. She began looking for the nearest SDA Church and the person who was selling the books. While at an SDA Women’s Meeting, she met my granddaughter who put her in contact with me. That very day, Mrs. Rita was baptized. Before her baptism, she bought one box with 48 books to give away to her loved ones and fellow workers at the Angolan IRS office where she works. 

Mrs. Rita is not alone. Many have found truth and have been confirmed in their faith by reading this book.

On March 4 and 5 of 2018, another Physician Army General sponsored 21 boxes to be distributed at a funeral of a famous senator. Prayerfully, we ventured to give a book to each person willing to receive one. We ran out of books! Many government branches were present: Police, Navy, Air Force, Army Commanding Generals. Additionally, many high profile politicians from all Angolan parties were present: ministers, secretaries, Governors, the previous Angolan president, and the vice president. It was our greatest joy to see each of them with a Planet in Rebellion book under his arm!

Another similar event took place in September/October of 2018. As an NGO, we are often invited to attend meetings at the Ministry of Social and Family Affairs. At one of these meetings, we gave away five boxes of books. About a month later, the Director of that same Ministry called, asking if we could provide them with more books. They explained that several Ministries were combining forces to fight teen delinquency and wanted to distribute books to them. Our Physician General sponsored 15 boxes. Government salaried High School teachers, high-level cabinet officials, police officers and firefighters worked together to distribute the book, Planeta em Rebelião, to Luanda High School youngsters! It was unbelievable.

 Praise the Lord for the book, Planeta em Rebelião, and the great influence it is having on so many people in Angola!

Fact of the Month:

South Asia has more than four times as many unreached people groups (3,406) as any other region of the world.

- Joshua Project

Words to Live By

 “The strongest argument in favor of the gospel is a loving and lovable Christian.”

- The Ministry of Healing, p. 470

My Healing, the Natural Way

 by Trevor Connell, CRNA

Information is valuable. Sometimes as valuable as money in the bank. And just like we deposit money into a bank account that we can later withdraw, we often receive deposits of information that we can later withdraw when we need to. This is my story and the deposits of information I received which led to healing.

Deposit One.

Years ago, my family and I lived in Houston. One Sabbath afternoon, a former Methodist minister spoke at our church about his healing from colon cancer. The minister explained how he had watched his own mother die from colon cancer despite the chemo, radiation and surgery. Worst of all, he said, was watching her suffer before she died. So when he developed colon cancer, he chose to use nutrition as his medicine. And guess what? He was cured. 

Deposit Two.

We were at a different church in the same city when one of our health leaders introduced us to the Gerson Therapy, a treatment that has been used to combat many types and stages of cancer. The goal of the treatment is to build up the immune system and allow the body to get rid of disease through the body’s God-given mechanisms. Fascinating. Unfortunately, one has to travel to Mexico for treatment as it is not allowed in the USA.

Deposit Three.

Working in the operating room day in and day out as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, one of the procedures I am often involved with is the prostatectomy (removal of the prostate, usually due to cancer). After seeing my first or second of many such operations, I promised myself to NEVER ever have that procedure due to its associated blood loss, nerve damage, incontinence, and other potential problems.

Withdrawal Time.

I never expected to hear the word “cancer” associated with my name. Not after carefully following the Health Message and all the things we believe as SDAs. But following a simple doctor’s visit, a PSA test and a prostate biopsy, my diagnosis was confirmed: cancer. The year: 2016. Shocking as the news was, it didn’t take much to start withdrawing from my information depository. No chemo, radiation or surgery for me. I knew that surgery does not remove cancer cells from the body. Those cells are still there, circulating around, looking for a new organ in which to set up shop.

There are two things I know for sure: 1. Cancer doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it without a cause, and 2. Disease in the body is due to a failure of the immune system, and there are many reasons why this failure can occur. Therefore, we (my wife and I) chose the Gerson Therapy, to address the immune system failure and to undertake the journey back to health.

Like everything, the Gerson Therapy has its detractors. But after researching the therapy, we decided this was the approach we would take. After all, it has worked for many over the last sixty-plus years, so why not me too?

It would be too long of an account to give details of the therapy here, but it is an intense program that (depending on the cancer, the location, the stage) requires an all-out assault on the disease which could last anywhere from a few months to more than two years. During that time, the body is healing itself, getting rid of toxins, strengthening the immune system, restoring the functions of enzyme systems, etc. There are dietary changes, detoxification regimens, supplements (not medications) to restore depleted enzymes, hourly fresh juices, and more. Labs and tests are drawn at certain intervals to check the healing progress.

The program is not without cost but one has to decide: drugs or food. Consuming purely organic food puts a greater strain on one’s food bill. We developed the philosophy of “buy food or buy medicine.”

It is a difficult choice to be confronted with. When faced with a major medical question, most people do what they think is best without any knowledge of options or alternatives to modern medicine; most have a host of family, friends, and doctors telling them what they should do; most are so stunned by certain diagnoses they cannot think straight. 

It has been my privilege and blessing to be able to say that God answered the prayers sent up in my behalf (after all, there’s no healing in broccoli or any juice. The healing is from God). The Gerson program accomplished other health goals I had desired—like losing some weight. My energy level is so much higher! And ultimately, I am healed of cancer.

One of the reasons I share this testimony is because we as SDAs have a major health message but we’re still afflicted with all the diseases of Egypt. Why is this? Also, it seems that many (if not most) people don’t know of, or are not interested in, the ‘alternative’ approaches to treating disease.

I am a witness, and will tell it everywhere I go. I believe our general approach to health and healing would be altered if we accepted this statement from Ellen White: “Drugs never cure disease; they only change its form and location. . . . When drugs are introduced into the system, for a time they seem to have a beneficial effect. A change may take place, but the disease is not cured. It will manifest itself in some other form. . . . The disease which the drug was given to cure may disappear, but only to reappear in a new form, such as skin diseases, ulcers, painful, diseased joints, and sometimes in a more dangerous and deadly form. . . . Nature keeps struggling, and the patient suffers with different ailments, until there is a sudden breaking down in her efforts, and death follows” (Healthful Living 243).

My hope is that very many will avail themselves (in faith) of the healing God wants to give us and which He has already made available.




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