My Ministry: From pop-up bookstore to baptism

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In April 2021 Yoka was simply out for the day visiting Parabanks Shopping Centre, South Australia, when she came across experienced LE Rita Pinzone and the Faith Adventist team at their pop-up bookstore. She stood back and observed what the pop-up was all about and was soon approached by one of the friendly crew, Shane.

Yoka loved Jesus and had been searching for a church that read the Scriptures. She’d recently attended the Uniting and Lutheran churches, but was looking for a local church to fellowship where she felt comfortable—and that taught the Bible.

Yoka received a couple of free books to read at the pop-up and enjoyed her interaction with Shane who invited her to his church. She found the team so genuinely friendly that it wasn’t long before she found herself visiting Faith Adventist Centre (Mawson Lakes) for the very first time. 

There, Yoka met more people who immediately made her feel at home in a relaxed community environment without the noise she had encountered elsewhere. She was particularly drawn to the open and interactive Foundations Bible class that stuck solely to the Bible and paced itself according to the needs of the participants rather than those of the teacher. 

Soon, Yoka was staying for lunch, making new friends and feeling a part of the group. She particularly enjoyed learning about the central issues in the great controversy between Christ and Satan along with other Bible teaching that helped make sense of current and last-day events. Lolita, one of the teachers and a local Bible worker, was one of those to befriend Yoka—faithfully visiting and helping her personally while also gradually unpacking and reaffirming the new Bible truths she was learning. 

Yoka has become one of the most evangelistic people at Faith Adventist family, bringing several of her neighbours, family, friends and new acquaintances over the past two years, some of whom have become regular attendees themselves. This has included special events, such as Pastor Gary Webster’s Countdown series in August 2023 and volunteering at some of the pop-up bookstores.

Yoka became a valued LE customer and after reading Love Under Fire (The Great Controversy condensed) by Ellen White, she fell in love with the book and ordered several more from Rita to share with her family and friends. She also loved the book Hope for Troubled Times by Pastor Mark Finley and actively shares that book with whoever she can.

After continued Bible studies with her Foundations class, as well as at home with Lolita and Pastor Hugh Heenan, Yoka was baptised on December 16 at Faith Adventist’s sister church venue, Trinity Gardens, with family coming from interstate along with her two local musician brothers, Jack and Jim, who provided provided special musical accompaniment for the occasion.

Her brother Jack, in particular, was thrilled to see her baptised at Trinity Gardens, where as a Bible-believing Christian, he had sent his children to school and had been the school cleaner! Yoka’s daughter Kelly, whose husband is Jewish, gave sympathetic understanding of her mother’s decision to worship on Sabbath and attended the baptism from Melbourne.

Yoka is so very happy to be part of the Faith Adventist Centre and South Australian Adventist church family and wants everyone to know the Bible is true and Jesus is coming soon!

Hugh Heenan/Grapevine/Stories of Faith

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