The Accidental Pioneer
But the members aren’t just growing in their relationship with God. They’re sharing their discoveries about Him with others.
Pastor Everette Samuel never intended to become a Global Mission pioneer. Her journey began in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy crept up the eastern coast of the United States and pounded New York City. The Far Rockaway neighborhood in Queens Borough was hit especially hard, and Everette was one of hundreds of volunteers who responded to the plea for help.
When Everette arrived in Far Rockaway, she had no idea that she would still be involved in ministry there today. “As I helped meet the people’s physical needs,” she says, “I realized that they were crying out for emotional and spiritual food as well. They needed to be with others, just to talk. To know they weren’t alone.”
Everette invited her new friends to join a small group to study the Bible and share their experiences. Soon a group was meeting every week at the Far Rockaway Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church!
Before the group formed, two of the members had lived in the same building for years but hadn’t known each other. “The group has brought people together as a community,” says Everette. “A multiethnic community that really wants to be together. That’s so beautiful to me!”
The people who joined Everette’s group didn’t consider themselves devout Christians. “Some of them told me that they had a concept of God but that they didn’t know Him,” says Everette. “Some said they had a Bible but had never read it.” But that is changing now.
Everette has watched her friends grow spiritually. In fact, recently she went through a struggle, and they texted her some of the same encouraging Bible texts that she had once sent them!
But the members aren’t just growing in their relationship with God. They’re sharing their discoveries about Him with others. They bring their friends and family members to their meetings. And they participate in events that minister to the physical and spiritual needs of their community, such as health fairs.
“Ellen White wrote about the importance of ministering to the needs of those who live in the cities,” says Everette. “She shares how Jesus met people’s needs and then bid them to follow Him. Meeting needs is how we’re going to reach people for Jesus. I want to follow His example.
“Please pray for my ministry and for all who attend my meetings. Pray that each one of them and their families will be saved and that they will continue to grow in their love for Jesus.”