News Flash: Burkina Faso

by Meiring Pretorius  |  June 1, 2018

“At least 35 people have died and 90 more were injured after a series of attacks in Burkina Faso, believed to have been conducted by Islamic extremists. Seven soldiers were killed in the country’s capital Ouagadougou after gunmen open fired on the French Embassy and army headquarters. Eight of the militants were killed during the attacks in the former French colony and several other people were wounded among the security forces.”

As I am reading and reflecting on this news flash, memories and feelings flash back into my mind. I can still hear the blast of the car bomb. I can still feel the shake of the church building. I can still see the panic on the faces in front of me. I can still hear the gunshots fired in the street around the corner of the Adventist Mission in Burkina Faso. “What is happening?” my mind screamed. I had never been in a situation like this before!

It was Friday morning, March 3. My plane landed in Burkina Faso the previous afternoon. Light Bearers Ministry sent me to the …
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Meiring Pretorius Light Bearers Field Representative

Sour Wine

by Risë Rafferty, RDN  |  May 30, 2018

In the year following her CHIP attendance, Angie lost over 100 pounds. Recently, Angie shared her story with the current CHIP class. Gasps were heard around the room as she told of her weight loss journey. She was flooded with questions like, “What do you eat?” Do you ever eat…?” Was she able to include greatly beloved foods in her weight loss journey? Inherent in their questions was the hope that perhaps there is a way to achieve health goals while still enjoying food.

Food is more than nutrition, more than building blocks that support bodily functions, more than a source of fuel with which we produce energy. It is information that the digestive system processes and relays to the nervous system and brain. Food can make us feel good or bad, and it accomplishes this in various ways.

The foods we typically have great difficulty relinquishing are more than likely the foods we use to feel calm, give ourselves a lift, or provide a sense of reward and heightened pleasure. We know that food is capable of lighting up …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN Health Educator
Light Bearers

Climbing and Hiding

by David Asscherick  |  May 28, 2018

Lately, I’ve been taking my teenage sons, Landon and Jabel, to the climbing gym. I was introduced to rock climbing by two close friends, a young couple named Tim and Tanya, when I was a teenager. On my first day, I had to be essentially rescued by Tanya from the top of an 80-foot granite spire. It was an inauspicious start to what would become a lifelong passion.

What many cannot grasp, though, is that climbing isn’t actually very dangerous. So long as one is skilled in the techniques of rope management, anchor building, and risk management, rock climbing becomes almost pedestrian in terms of danger, as any experienced climber will attest. In fact, in many cities, being a pedestrian would be more hazardous than climbing with proper equipment and technique.

Is there danger? A little, but it can be minimized by responsible behavior and a basic awareness of one’s situation and surroundings.

This is why I’m teaching my sons and have been for years. I want them to know how to face not just a steep cliff but life’s …
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David Asscherick Speaker
Light Bearers

A Feast In July

by Ty Gibson  |  May 4, 2018

Light Bearers Convocation is right around the corner, July 3-7. If you’ve never attended, you’re missing out. “Convocation” is a big, old word. We don’t necessarily like big words, but we do like old words with big meaning. This word basically means, A called assembly for a purpose. The purpose of our convocation is to spend some concentrated time in the Word of God. It’s an annual event best characterized as a spiritual feast, and you are hereby invited to the table. This year, seven on-fire preachers will delve into a segment of Scripture that is rarely considered.

Twelve books, twelve men, one message of hope written over a 400-year period. The Minor Prophets cover the history of Israel from pre-exile in Babylon to the return to Jerusalem (about 800 BC to 400 BC). With the exception of Jonah, Nahum, and Obadiah, these prophets spoke to the tribes of Israel. They brought God’s people messages of judgment, hope, and salvation.

The Minor Prophets spoke not only for God, but of God. Glimpses of Calvary, promises of salvation, and proclamations of …
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Ty Gibson Co-Director
Light Bearers

The CHIP Highway

by Risë Rafferty, RDN  |  May 2, 2018

Carl had the typical cardio metabolic syndrome profile: diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides. He approached me after a week into the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) that I was leading at the Adventist Health Medical Center. “I am not going to change the way I eat,” he said. “I have eaten beef and chicken every day of my life. I rarely eat vegetables. I don’t cook and I’m not going to start. This program isn’t going to work for me.”

I assured Carl there was no pressure to stay in the program. He could drop out at any time, but I encouraged him to keep coming. Maybe there would be something worthwhile? We also enjoyed having him in the group.

A couple weeks passed, and I noticed Carl was contributing more and more to the discussions. His attitude had clearly changed. He was interacting with other participants. He began including some fruits and vegetables into his diet. One evening he told the group about the chili and minestrone soup he made and shared the recipes with everyone. …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN Health Educator
Light Bearers

Rescued in Christ—Part 2

by James Rafferty  |  April 30, 2018

Has Jesus given eternal life to every person?  What we can say with biblical clarity is that the life and death of Jesus purchased temporal life for everyone. This is Paul’s argument to the Athenians in Acts chapter 17:

“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring” (Acts 17:24-28, KJV).

…it’s only through Christ …
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James Rafferty Co-Director
Light Bearers

A Channel of Light

by James Rafferty  |  April 6, 2018

As I moved through our publishing house today, checking the inventory, I felt a sense of urgency to get literature out the door. Things are changing. The world is changing. The ability to send gospel-filled containers around the world is changing.

Great changes often happen quickly and without notice. In Christ’s time, John was preaching in the wilderness, pointing people to Jesus. The next thing we know, he’s being persecuted by civil authority for opposing immoral lifestyles. Does that sound familiar?

Today, we in America still have a good amount of freedom compared to some other nations where gospel literature is forbidden. We can still be like John, who bore “witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” (John 1:7-8).

That’s what we’ve always believed about Light Bearers. We are a channel of light. Or, as John says, we are not the Light but we bear witness of that …
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James Rafferty Co-Director
Light Bearers

Detoxing the Lifestyle

by Risë Rafferty, RDN  |  April 4, 2018

A 24-year-old male teacher began to have deviant thoughts of doing harm to his students. He sought professional help and complained of depression, insomnia, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and anxiety along with the thoughts of inflicting harm. The counselor referred him to a psychologist. Thinking that perhaps he was possessed, he also sought help from a religious leader. After intensive therapy, the psychologist referred him to a physician who prescribed medication. However, the young man’s experience only worsened. He left work on “sick leave.” Side effects from the medication included weight gain, persistent nightmares, fatigue, and intractable constipation. With no family history of mental health problems, the patient was devastated to hear he had a chronic mental illness, requiring he take medication for life. His thoughts took on a suicidal nature.

The young man was then referred to a physician trained in environmental medicine, a branch of medicine that studies environmental inputs and the individual’s responses to them. Testing revealed high levels of mercury. It was disclosed that he’d been eating one to two cans of tuna daily for the past three …
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Risë Rafferty, RDN Health Educator
Light Bearers

The Foolishness of the Cross

by Fred Bischoff  |  April 3, 2018

Jesus’ words, “The flesh profits nothing” (John 6:63), explain the mess the world is in. Except for the human Jesus, we each are born “of the will of the flesh” (John 1:13). This is human nature left to its sinful condition. It gives to us only a life “under the law”—on the law’s bad side, out of touch with God’s love. From that inheritance we have nothing but “guilt and the sentence of death” (Ellen White, Letter 68, 1899, par. 15).

But good does exist, and in the midst of the mess we find grace, even in those who don’t officially know God. How can this be, except that God’s Son was “made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law” (Galatians 4:4-5)? “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us… full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). He was one of us, but He connected in Himself God and the sinful race (John 1:51). “And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ …
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Fred Bischoff Adventist Pioneer Library
Light Bearers

Land of Fire and Warm Hearts

by Ty Gibson  |  March 2, 2018

One of the best experiences I’ve ever had as an evangelist was in Malawi. I preached from a wooden platform constructed of an odd mixture of wood, sheet metal, bricks, and colorful cloth. Speakers were hung in trees. There were a few chairs, but most of the thousands of people in attendance stood or sat on the ground. Their faces—wide eyes, looking with intense interest—are forever imprinted on my memory.

After my first two nights of preaching, a group of brothers pulled me aside to share something with me. Their demeanor indicated that they were nervous and had something of a sensitive nature to say. I could never have guessed what they were going to tell me. “Pastor,” their chosen spokesperson said with humility and respect, “is it possible when you are preaching that you could sometimes jump, and also shout?” Caught off guard a little (or a lot), I fumbled in my response.

“Jump? You mean… like… jump… like… up off the platform?”

“Yes,” they instructed. “Just bend your knees and then push upward. The people will like it …
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Ty Gibson Co-Director
Light Bearers