To be read on Sabbath, June 26, 2004
The Special Sabbath School Offering will be gathered Sabbath, July 5, 2004
“Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.” 1 Chronicles 29:9. In February 2001, by the grace of the Lord, Brother Branco Cholich received an urgent message from Mr. Diban Das requesting that The People’s Republic Of Bangladesh be visited by the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement. Permission was granted, and almost one year later, in November 2002, a small but faithful group of believers was established. Today, there are eight different groups but, unfortunately, they have no official church, or other meeting place. The People’s Republic of Bangladesh has a total estimated populationof 130 million with an area of 144sq.km. About 80 percent of Bangladeshis are Muslims, making Bangladesh one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. Hinduism is professed by about 13 percent of the population. Bangladesh also has a very small Christian community of about half a million. All religions in Bangladesh tend to be accomodating to other faiths and beliefs and Bangladesh is known for its lack of communal strife. Although the Reform Movement is just a very small percentage of the Christian community, many who come in contact with our message are thrilled to hear it. One elderly brother who had been in the Adventist Church for over 30 years, on hearing about the Reform, wanted to join us immediately. Sadly, other families who have come over from the Adventist Church have then been dismissed from their Adventist schools and driven out of their homes. A different approach has been taken by the Reform Movement towards those in the Muslim and Hindu faiths. Special classes have been successfully set up to introduce and establish faith and confidence in the Bible and other Adventist truths.
There are many enormous challenges facing all the pioneer Reform workers in Bangladesh. The believers and missionaries are only a few and Bangladesh has a huge population. With the Lord’s help, all should know about this saving message.
Furthermore, we would like to purchase land and build houses of worship. The work is still in its very early stages and so we urgently need the support and cooperation of our dear brothers and sisters around the world. “All that we do is to be done willingly. We are to bring our offerings with joy and gratitude, saying as we present them, Of Thine own we freely give Thee. The most costly service we can render is but meager compared to the gift of God to our world. Christ is a gift every day. God gave Him to the world, and He graciously takes the gifts entrusted to His human agents for the advancement of His work in the world. Thus we show that we recognize and acknowledge that every thing belongs to God, absolutely and entirely.– MS 124, 1898.
The offering from the heart that loves, God delights to honor, giving it highest efficiency in service for Him. If we have given our hearts to Jesus, we also shall bring our gifts to Him. Our gold and silver, our most precious earthly possessions, our highest mental and spiritual endowments, will be freely devoted to Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us.–DA 65.” – Counsels on Stewardship, p.198.
Secretary of Bangladesh’s Field