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Gayle Haberkam Tells of Her Thailand Witnessing Experiences

The Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church service on August 25, 2018 began with Rich Sutton welcoming everyone and making a few announcements.

  • The boys are having their purity weekend with the past president of Wildwood as the main speaker.  
  • Pastor Richie Perez is having success with the Spanish work in Dayton. It is possible that the Adventist church building in Dayton might be turned over to the Spanish work if that work is successful.

Samantha (sophomore) played an introit. The congregation had a silent invocation and then sang “Let Your Heart Be Broken”.  Rich Sutton had the main prayer; the congregation responded with “Hear Our Prayer, O Lord”.


Yuli (junior) then called for the offering.  John and Daryll Ellis then collected the morning offerings; the loose offering went to the Georgia-Cumberland Conference ministries.  The congregation sang the doxology, and Elyjah prayed for the offering. 


Rebecca Nowdeshya told the children a story.  Rich Sutton hen read Hebrews 9:12-14 “12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us]. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

Samantha (junior) sang “Here I Am”, accompanying herself on the guitar and assisted by Leilani (junior).  Before Gayle Haberkam gave her message, Rich Sutton called at the staff members who had mission experience to the platform and revealed the extent of the mission experience they had. Gayle Haberkam discussed the topic “Saved to Serve”. Rich Sutton had the closing prayer.

It should be noted that the church sound system was not working well. It is possible that an electrical outage and storm a few days ago harmed the system.

Personnel Other Than Students:

Daryll Ellis – son of John Ellis / works at nearby Majestic Stone Company

Gayle Haberkam – retired nurse actively witnessing in the western mountains of Thailand

John Ellis – retired mechanic and former staff member living near Laurelbrook / local church deacon

Rich Sutton – Laurelbrook president


Following are some notes on the sermon by Gayle Haberkam:


  1. We are made in the image of God to serve Him in every phase of your life.
  2. Gayle is a retired operating room nurse.
  3. Gayle serves in the mountains of Thailand at a school near the border with Myanmar (Burma). The Myanmar military would come over the border.
  4. Psalm 118:17 “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.”
  5. Every experience brings her closer to the Lord.
  6. Most people in the mountains don’t know God or heard the name of Jesus. We need to dedicate our efforts to take the gospel to these people.
  7. One lady had a child out of wedlock when she was young and has been shamed ever since. The gospel brought hope to her heart.
  8. The area she is in grows a lot of opium, a challenge to her gospel work.
  9. They help children who want to go to an Adventist school.
  10. When she first moved to the area, she lived in a bamboo house. They prayed for a house and a clinic. God answered their prayers with a beautiful building that serves both as a house and a clinic building. They have filtered water.
  11. They have treated people from 89 villages.  Complaints include thinking various body organs moving or falling out.
  12. Poor nutrition, poor hygiene, and poor water often cause the complaints.
  13. She is the only medical person in the area.  She prays with her patients, and those people get well.
  14. Machetes are often the cause of many injuries.
  15. One woman severely burned her hand – treated by coconut oil.
  16. The Lord can change the most powerful and hardened people.
  17. People needed their teeth pulled, an area in which she had no knowledge. An Alaska dentist gave her dental equipment, answered her questions, and came and worked with her for a week.
  18. One lady had fallen and broke a main tooth.
  19. The medical work is a bridge to teaching about Jesus.
  20. One man broke his leg and needed to go to a larger hospital but refused. Instead he took the cast off and wanted to cure his leg the devil’s way. Now he is crippled.
  21. One man was a scorcer who puts curses on people. He came to the clinic with a terrible pain in his jaw. Eventually someone killed him.
  22. Three methods of transportation there – walking, motorbike, truck.
  23. All are used along rutted trails or roads.  Rain makes the roads slippery and very muddy.
  24. When she eats with a family, she doesn’t touch the sauce, which could include mice or grubs.
  25. Angels often kept trucks from sliding over the edge of the mountain road. Trees often block the roads during torrential rains, times when people can hardly walk the roads with their possessive clay areas.
  26. One lady was carried to the truck, suspended from a bamboo pole. She was in a lot of pain.
  27. One time her group was on top of a mountain with a wild elephant. They prayed and turned around and raced off, finally getting the injured person to a place where the person could have medical treatment.
  28. A Thai soccer team became trapped in a flooded cave (you’ve probably heard the story).  People came from all over the world to rescue them – every single boy was rescued, but one Thai navy seal lost his life during the rescue.
  29. Ellen White in Christian Service says we need the courage of heroes and the faith of martyrs to carry on the work.
  30. Her work often helps villagers with necessary supplies. They also hold meetings to teach cleanliness and give people knowledge of Jesus.  They gave out 100 audio Bibles in the local language.
  31. They held evangelistic meetings twice a day for a week, using a newly created sound truck. 50-60 people came to the meetings.  16 people were baptized. Many more became interested in joining the church.

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