Early Beginnings of New Life Mission, South Dakota
New Life Mission, South Dakota all started with a group of wonderfully committed Seventh-day Adventist people, a desire to win souls for Jesus, and a bunch of boxes of Great Controversy books. Here in South Dakota we have a wonderful small group of dedicated people wishing to share the love of Jesus with the world. We were not quite sure how God was going to leading us to be able to reach others for Christ but He had a great plan and manifested Himself mightily in the work He has called each of us to do; it is just amazing how He has opened the doors!
My husband and I have always been called to share Jesus in whatever community we have lived in over the years, which often seems to be the reason why God has allowed us the opportunity of moving so often, despite not always desiring to at the time. When we moved here to South Dakota we brought along a great number of boxes of Great Controversy books left over from work we had done in the past when we lived in Nebraska. We wanted to find a way to spread these in our new community in which we live but we were not yet sure how we should go about it. We thought of different possibilities such as bringing them door to door, which seemed only mildly successful, or mailing out cards offering the book, but these would not reach the people in prison. So we thought and prayed some more about it and searched for another method that we could use to reach many souls for Christ.
At one point our group mentioned the possibility of doing an ad in the newspaper offering the Great Controversy but none of us had any experience in designing newspaper ads and it would be difficult to hire just anyone to do such a great and important work without having a passion and love for winning souls. Then God opened up the way when He brought Patti and Rodney Heinrich into the picture. We met them for the first time when they came to visit their relatives here in South Dakota and we learned about their ministry in Oklahoma. It was a wonderful blessing to talk with Patti and find out about a young man who was excellent at graphic design, working with them in their ministry. We were thrilled when she said to email her whenever we were ready for an ad and he would be happy to design it for us!
A few months later I had the privilege of getting in touch with New Life Missions and they were gracious enough to share their talent with us in designing an ad for our local newspaper advertising the free Great Controversy books. Our very first ad went into the newspaper Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016. We never would have dreamed that this small humble beginning would turn out to be a way to spread this book like the leaves of autumn!
From our humble beginning with just one newspaper ad and 5 responses requesting the book, the ministry has spread so rapidly that we are in total awe on how God has worked on the plan of multiplication while we worked on the plan of addition! After our newspaper ad in South Dakota, my parent’s church in Nebraska decided to put the ad into the largest newspaper in the state, which would cover the whole state along with the outskirts of a few other states in select areas. That newspaper ad alone brought in almost 80 individuals asking to receive the Great Controversy; we were so amazed on how God was leading!
After the ad in Nebraska was ran, Patti from New Life Mission decided to showcase this work in their newsletter to encourage others to share the Last Message of Mercy with the world! We were shocked by the amount of responses they received. People from all over the U.S. were calling and writing New Life Mission desiring to also put newspaper ads into their papers in various locations.
When we first began we knew we needed to give the public the opportunity to reach us with the most possible avenues that we could, so we created an email address as well as a postal address for people to contact us through. In addition, to make sure people would be able to call us without paying a fee, New Life Mission allowed us to use their toll free number to accomplish this work.
When the work became too great for Patti, because of the wonderful success God was blessing us with, she reached out to us to see if we could get a toll free phone to start taking in all these calls. We were very unsure how to do this but I made some calls and found a cell phone company willing to allow us to get a toll free cell phone. Praise the Lord; we now even have approval for phone calls to come in via Canada as well as anywhere in the U.S. which opened the doors to still more people wishing to do this work!
Even though our ministry is small, consisting of just our little church group, it has grown by leaps and bounds. It is just amazing how God has put the burden for souls on each member of our group. Everyone is willing to give their helpful hands in doing this work, which would never be possible with just one or two individuals. All our time is given to the Lord; no one is paid for this work. Actually quite the opposite, everyone is sacrificing of their means to help pay for the expense of the postage and toll free number, as well as to purchase additional items and books that are needed. Because of the work that we have been doing in connection with Patti, she suggested that we join with them and become New Life Mission, South Dakota. We were thrilled to join such an awesome ministry to share God’s love with the world!
We are currently working in every part of the process with these ads and mailings. We are calling newspapers to negotiate prices and setting up ads with individual groups wishing to place ads in their local papers. New Life Mission, Oklahoma is also negotiating with newspapers and helping us to understand the nature of such negotiating. We keep our brethren in Oklahoma on their toes because they are designing the specific dimensions for each ad. From there we arrange payment with the church sponsoring the ad and get it scheduled and placed into the newspaper. Then once the ad is placed, we answer phone calls, respond to emails, and send out regular postal mailings for those requesting the Great Controversy. We also enter all the names into a spread sheet and prepare the books for mailing. Adding a personal touch to each envelope, with a hand written card thanking the people for their interest and offering free bible studies, we decided was a great way to reach people’s hearts and let them know we care.
We have had such amazing and wonderful stories from people who contact us telling about how God has led them to see our ad! We have had pastors from churches request books, many individuals residing in prison, and of course those from every walk of life. We are amazed how God is spreading this work to more and more individuals throughout the U.S. and we are happy to be called to spread the Word to every kindred, tongue and people. The newspaper work is just one way to reach souls for Christ’s kingdom and because it seems to be an underutilized way we decided to give it a try following the counsel given:
"It is necessary that wise plans should be laid to secure the privilege of inserting articles into the secular papers; for this will be a means of awakening souls to see the truth." Evangelism p. 129
We encourage everyone reading this to jump in and pray about putting an ad into your local paper! Also please pray for the work being done here in South Dakota and the work that others are doing around the world to hasten the Lord’s return! Please contact us if you are interested in putting a Great Controversy ad into your local paper and we will be happy to help you get out this last message of mercy to the world!