On 16 November 2019, the PEACE Centre of Evangelism hosted their graduation service at Wednesfield Seventh-day Adventist church, recognising the achievements of the 21 students who enrolled on this year's programme. Family and friends came from near and far in support, with scarcely an empty chair to be seen across the entire congregation.
PEACE stands for 'Practical Evangelism & Adventist Christian Education', a programme founded by the North England Conference (NEC) Administration in 2010. The 4-month curriculum includes a range of topics such as digital discipleship, Daniel & Revelation, personal evangelism, and practical health, and much more. Guest instructors on the programme are both local and from overseas and include pastors, elders, teachers, evangelists and Bible workers. To name a few, Pastors Justin Kim (GC Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Assistant Director) taught the Sanctuary and Leadership, and Raafat Kamal (TED President) taught the structure of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Alan Hush (NEC Executive Secretary) taught ethics and Stephen Bohr (President of 'Secrets Unsealed') taught on prophecy and shared the keynote message at the graduation as well as in the main Sabbath service earlier that day.
The evening began with addresses to the students by Administrative Tutor Elder André Crawford and Outreach Co-ordinator Elder Sam Walters, both of whom are new to the PEACE team this year. The importance of training for the efficient sharing of the gospel was emphasised. In the same way that training equips workers for jobs of various professions, training is necessary for the equipping of God’s people for effective work in ministry. E. G. White noted the additional significance of training young people when she wrote:
‘With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world!’ (Education, p271).
The 2019 PEACE graduates are as follows: Selina Heinemann, Jehann Importante, Denise Peneranda, Natalie Jeffers, Lydia Dahlke, Yasmin Davis, Emma Davis, Tasha-Gae Wilson, Takudzwa Biston, Ethan Mpozembizi, Maximilian Schafer, Douglas Gausi, Ricky Morgan, Tomislav Krizanovic, Patrick Sarrias, Kristopher Reid, Craig Ellison, Sofia Nelles, Alexander Mueller, Zdenek Soviš and Marcela Sovišova.
17 of the 21 graduates were present while video messages from absentees were shared with the congregation. One by one, the favourite Bible passage of each student was read as they went forward to receive their certificate and PEACE jacket. Following this, valedictory speeches were given. One graduate likened the end of PEACE to ‘one road splitting into 21’ but all having the same destination: their convergence at the heavenly streets of gold.
Pastors Richard Jackson, Alan Hush, Michael Simpson and Adam Ramdin from the PEACE Board of Administration also shared words of encouragement, affirming that God has a plan for each of our lives and challenging us to ask God to help us live according to the purpose He has given us. Musical items from the PEACE graduates and ‘Vibrato’, a string quartet from Worcester SDA Church, were pleasant accompaniments to the service. The evening concluded with a final vote of thanks by the PEACE Director, Elder Craig Gooden. It was an emotional occasion marking the end of the PEACE students’ journey, but as much as the graduation signified an end, it equally marked the beginning of a new phase in their respective ministries.
In the work of spreading the gospel to the world, Ps Richard Jackson (NEC President) stated that ‘there is much for us to do’. Hence, programmes such as PEACE were set up to teach practical skills in how to share the beautiful message of the gospel. The sooner the ‘message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour’ is shared to all the world, the sooner the end will come (Matt 24:14), and the sooner Christ will return to take us to the mansions prepared for us above (John 14:2-3).
This work may not be easy but regardless of the challenges we face, as one graduate said, ‘We are co-workers with the Most High’. Therefore, ‘if God is for us, who can be against us?’ (Romans 8:31).
To find out more information about PEACE and how you can apply, visit: www.peacecentre.co.uk Or call +44 115 960 6312
For further insight into Secrets Unsealed, visit: https://secretsunsealed.org
Photo’s are provided courtesy of Donald McKenzie Photography and Morgan Shoots Photography.