Alberta Adventist News

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Our Foundation Rock for Education MARCH 2021 EDITION

What Are Your Priorities? Prayer and Fasting: Mind, Spirit, and Body Iran Refugees: From Torture to Home in Lacombe Keep Your Eyes on the Rock


Iran Refugees:


From Torture to Home in Lacombe


his is the story of the Mokry family and the Connect Sabbath School Class of College Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church and how they were an answer to each other's prayers.

Alberta Adventist News is a print and digital media publication of the Alberta Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Communication Director/Editor Eric Ollila; Co-Editors Communication unless otherwise noted. Submission Guidelines:; Submissions:

ELECTED OFFICIALS: President Gary Hodder; Secretary/VP for Administration Wayne Williams; Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer Keith Richter; Board Members/EXCOM: Gary Hodder—c Hetland, Curtis Letniak, Proscovia Nabafu, Tyler Rosengren, Melanie Semchuk, Deborah Silva, Middin Galve-Sumiller, Sheldon Trenchuk, Griffin Webster, Jennifer Williams. Departmental Direct Clausen; Human Resources Officer Jennifer Williams; Education Superintendent Ronda Ziakris; Planned Giving & Trust Services/Philanthropy Director Lynn Mc Dowell; Foothills Camp D Project Development Director Llew Werner. ALBERTA CONFERENCE OF THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH: Address: 5816 Highway 2A, Lacombe, AB, T4L2G5. Office Hours: Mond MEDIA Twitter: ABAdventist, Facebook: ABAdventist, Instagram: ABAdventist, LinkedIn: ABAdventist, Website:

MARCH 2021 EDITION 04 Message from the President 06 From the Editor 10 Devotionals


22 Department News 28 Keep Your Eyes on the Rock 30 Education News 42 Church News 50 Announcements


51 In Memory 53 Means & Meaning

14 To be like Jesus, Part IV: Prayer and Fasting: Mind, Spirit, and Body Prayer and fasting are not practices by which our denying of ourselves and even enduring pain will make our prayers more acceptable to God. In reality, they are a reminder of the close link between the spiritual and physical realities of the human condition.

26 Help! I Am Living with a Gen- Zer… and They Are Driving Me Crazy! Pastor Lyle explores the characteristics of Gen Z. Get some fresh insights on how to deal with your Gen Z teenager.

Ollila; Co-Editors Nanette Quines & John Simon; Graphic Design Mishell Raedeke/; Photo attribution: Alberta Adventist

M: Gary Hodder—chair, Wayne Williams, Keith Richter, Benjamin Arias, Miguel Brown, Isaac Darko, Massiel Davila-Ferrer, Bruce Fillier, Rayette artmental Directors/Ministerial & Evangelism Director George Ali; Sabbath School, Children's and Personal Ministries Director Olaf ; Foothills Camp Director Troy McQueen; Youth Director Lyle Notice; Communication/IT/Media Director Eric Ollila; Risk Management/ ffice Hours: Monday-Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone: (403) 342-5044, Fax: (403) 775-4482 Email: info@ albertaadventist. ca SOCIAL


The Rise and Fa T

he story of King sonality. He was considerate Saul begins with the and sensitive to the feelings people of Israel's of his parents. "When they rejection of the prophet came to the land of Zuph, Samuel's sons becoming Saul said to his servant who the new leaders or judges was with him, ‘Come, and of Israel following Samulet us return, lest my father el's death. Israel decides ceases to be concerned about they want a king like the the donkeys and become nations around them have. anxious for us’" (v. 5). God's choice for a new Saul was not only respectking is a young man by the ful of his parents but of the name of Saul. This is an excommands of God as well. cellent choice for several rea- He was sent by his father on sons. "Now there was a man an errand to find missing of Benjamin whose name donkeys. He sought out the was Kish the son of Abiel… a prophet Samuel to get his mighty man of valor. And he counsel. A little later, Saul had a son whose name was was granted the blessing of Saul, a choice and handsome the Holy Spirit and became man, and there was not a one of the prophets himself. more handsome person than Perhaps the most importhe among the sons of Israel; ant quality Saul possessed from his shoulders and up was humility. He was not he was taller than any of the conceited or self-important. people" (1 Samuel 9:1–2). When Samuel chose him to From this reference, we be the new king of Israel, can see Saul has a great "Saul answered and said, ‘Am pedigree; he was from a I not a Benjamite, of the great family. Saul was also smallest of the tribes of Isragifted with natural attracel, and my family the least of tiveness, so people wanted all the families of the tribe of to be around him. He was Benjamin? Why then do you healthy and without any speak to me in this way?’" (v. bodily defect. He possessed 21). He considered himself of the appearance of a leadno importance and woner, as he was both tall and dered why he was chosen. commanding in stature. On the day when Samuel Saul had an admirable per- announced Saul as the new


Alberta Adventist News

MARCH 2021

What began with so much potential concludes with a sad ending. King Saul goes from humble to proud, from patient to impatient, and then from selfless to jealous." king, "he brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its families, and the Matrite family was taken. And Saul, the son of Kish, was taken; but he could not be found when they looked for him. Therefore they inquired further of the LORD, ‘Has the man come here yet?’ So the Lord said, ‘Behold, he is hiding himself by the baggage’" (10:21–22). Saul's reign begins in a promising way. He follows God's counsel and the advice of Samuel. God grants him success in his battles against the Ammonites and victory over the Philistines. However, sometime afterward, pride and self-importance begin to

Fall of King Saul ignoring God's direct instructions concerning the punishment of Agag. Saul keeps him alive and keeps the best livestock as well (see 15:7–11). From then on, the decline of King Saul is rapid. Because of his jealousy of David, he tries to kill him with his spear. When this is unsuccessful, he pursues him throughout the kingdom of Israel. He kills the priests of God because they offer assistance to David. Finally, he visits the witch at Endor to get advice. What began with so much potential concludes with a sad ending. King Saul goes from humble to proud, patient to impatient, and selfless to jealous. This serves as a reminder to always give God the proper place in our lives. He is the one from whom all blessings flow, and it is our place to acknowledge and give worship to the true King over our lives. The first king of Israel, Saul (reigned ca. 1020-1000 B.C.) was a man of valor who brought the virtues of modesty and generosity to his office. Immortalized in this post stamp illustration.

replace his humility, and his personality begins to change. The beginning of Saul's descent takes place as he becomes impatient with Samuel's delay in offering

sacrifices to God. Saul decides to take upon himself the role of priest and offers the sacrifices himself, clearly violating God's directions (see 13:13). This is followed up by

Gary Hodder

President Alberta Conference

MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News



What Are Your Priorities?

The Biblical account of Jesus and the lawyer depicts the most concise summary of the entire Bible. In terms of humankind's duty to the Creator and fellow brothers and sisters, it is the distilled essence of what it means to be a Christian.


f you're looking for a philosophy of life and how to order your priorities, look no further. It is all summarized in this one passage:“‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And He [Jesus] said to him [the lawyer], ‘“YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.” This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF.” On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets’” (Matthew 22:36–40, NASB). This passage has stood out lately because I have been going through a reassessment of my life priorities—an audit, you might say, of where I stand with God and man (and woman). Moreover, like any assessment or


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audit, one inevitably starts by asking probing and uncomfortable questions, some of which include:

1. God 2. Others 3. Self

Put yourself last and always put others before yourself. For the most part, that is how I’ve tried to live. The problem is it is not God’s order. Consequently, I have felt like I was frequently running behind during a considerable portion of my life. Through high school What kind of priorities and my early college days, I would be best for my life? always put others first in As I’m sure most of you the form of work and job. I can relate, the importance did my job. I worked late, of putting God first and sometimes even past the foremost in one’s life is hours I had set aside to study. pretty straightforward (see vs. Why? So I could be 37–38). The second command “responsible.” So I could put here is equally clear (see v. 39). others first and myself last. I didn't realize that mixing After all, it was others that up the order of the last needed some job done. I two priorities could create placed my job (i.e., homework, dysfunction in one's life. rest or exercise, eating I learned, growing healthfully, spending time up, my priorities should with family) in last place. be in this order: As I have reflected on the

• What have been the priorities of my life? • Are they the best priorities I can have? • What does God have to say about them? • In what order should they be?

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As I have reflected on the Two Great Commandments, I realized I’ve been living my life and ministry out of harmony with God’s order. You see, I’ve been trying to put God first. That has never been a question. However, I’ve been attempting to put others second: others’ wishes; others’ desires; others’ demands and requests; and even others’ projects and dreams. Two Great Commandments, with one close relative, I I realized I’ve been living would tell him I needed to my life and ministry out of take some time from work for harmony with God’s order. planning and study. He said, You see, I’ve been trying to “Well, that’s not my problem. put God first. That has never You do that after your shift been a question. However, I’ve tonight. You should be doing been attempting to put others that at home after work ends.” second: others’ wishes; others’ What I’ve discovered in desires; others’ demands this passage is there are and requests; and even two orders depicted in the others’ projects and dreams. two commands. The first Others close to me would order is what I will call reinforce this. I would the “literary order” or the say to my family, “I need passage’s “structural order.” to take time to study.” That order goes like this: “Well, yes, but you can do that after your job. You need to work, Eric.” Or, when I worked

1. Love God 2. Love others as yourself 3. Love self However, the literary structure is not the same as what I will call the “functional structure.” The literary structure of how the passage is laid out goes 1, 2, 3, as listed above. The functional structure, the structure of how we should arrange these three priorities operationally in our lives, is 1, 3, 2. In other words: 1. 2. 3.

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Love God Love yourself Love others as yourself

Alberta Adventist News



You cannot do any of those things without putting priorities in the proper order: God, yourself, others. And in marriage, this priority takes on a new meaning when you consider marriage makes a man and a woman, in essence, one. 3. Can you devote time to spend with God if you have first committed all your time to meet employer, home, or social obligations or demands? 4. Can you devote time to personal growth and development if you have first committed all your time to meet others’ obligations or demands? Is it possible to learn and develop new skills if you don’t carve out time regularly to focus on and practice them? 5. Can you exercise and develop your fitness if you fill every spare moment with meeting other's demands and sitting at a desk?

It is simple but profound. It is subtle in the shift but radical in results. Even the airline industry has it figured out when it comes to priority ranking. The instructions they give you of what to do in case the oxygen masks deploy are: 1. Put your oxygen mask on first 2. Then help others secure theirs In the end, the difference may not seem to be such a big one, but without having this priority order in place, the difference will be enormous. Consider the following questions that highlight the point: 1. Can you teach others something you don't understand? NOTE: What is the order that is required? You must first understand, then you can help others understand. 2. Can you save and invest money for your future if you have first spent it all to satisfy others’ claims placed upon your finances (even if you agreed to them)? 8

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The answers should be obvious: “No.” You cannot do any of those things without putting priorities in the proper order: God, yourself, others. And in marriage, this priority takes on a new meaning when you consider marriage

MARCH 2021

makes a man and a woman, in essence, one. Individuals who place their ministry, work, job, friends, associates, or other obligations ahead of God (first), their personal and marital responsibilities (second), or others (third) have the order mixed up. Only after we have developed the consistent habit and character trait of loving God first, loving ourselves and spouses second, and then loving others as ourselves will we ever be able to fulfill God’s command to us. Then, and only then, will we be equipped to make the ultimate sacrifice, should God call us, of laying down our lives for the sake of others like Jesus did, because only then would it truly be a sacrifice.

Eric Ollila

Communication/IT/Media Director Alberta Conference

Alberta Conference Women’s Ministries Virtual Retreat

Women in

“...if you go with me I will go, but if you don’t go with me I won’t go.” Judges 4:8

Join us as Massiel Davila-Ferrer takes us on a journey with God. Saturday April 10, 2021 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM MST (Mountain Standard Time) Livestream/Facebook Live Retreat info and links:



Life for


bout nine years ago, on a road trip to California with a bus full of other musicians, I discovered I enjoy listening to a good story. It was not too long after this discovery that I came across a CBC radio program called “The Vinyl Café” by the late Stuart McLean. On my frequently long drives alone or with family, I would tune into “The Vinyl Café” for another captivating story that always arrested my attention right up until the very last word. These stories were so interesting and funny, making listening to them such a joy. However, these stories were just entertainment for the most part; very rarely did I learn anything new by listening to them. As a musician, I enjoy listening to music while I drive, but there are just those moments when I’d much rather listen to a good story — one that will seize my attention and not only entertain; a story that will teach me something new; a narrative that will lead my mind into the thought of journeying, not just to my temporal destination, but more so to my eternal destination; an account that will

By David Benjamin

Pastor Peace River/ Fairview/Morning Star

encourage hope in a world where there seems to be little hope. I have found no story does this as adeptly as do the stories found in the most widely read book of all time: the Bible. In Romans 15:4, the apostle Paul said, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (ESV). Our world needs encouragement that will lead to hope, yet many seek hope outside the biblical narrative, only to find a greater sense of hopelessness. Let us ensure our lives are reflective of the fact that these instructions for life are taken to heart and used to bring hope to a seemingly hopeless world. Without this story, there is a hopeless end, but this story communicates endless hope. Let us share it with the world.

As a musician, I enjoy listening to music while I drive, but there are just those moments when I’d much rather listen to a good story. One that will seize my attention, more than just entertainment, but rather a story that will teach me something new. 10

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MARCH 2021


Integrated Microsoft 365 and Zoom licenses Did you know that the Alberta Conference offers free are available for a special Microsoft 365 E1 licenses for all church officers? discount for all Alberta Conference Churches. If you serve your church in any of the officially recognized areas such as church board, elder, deacon, deaconess, clerk, treasurer, Sabbath School, personal ministries, pathfinders, adventurers, master guides, worship, Contact us today for more music, audio/visual, IT/technology, communications, hospitality, or other information and pricing: officially recognized capacities in your local church, then you qualify.

For more information email Certain limits and exceptions apply. Microsoft E1 Licenses are web-based only Microsoft E3 and E5 licenses are available upon request. Charges will apply.

ZOOM + OFFICE 365 Integrated Microsoft 365 and Zoom licenses are available for a special discount for all Alberta Conference Churches. Contact us today for more information and pricing:

MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News



What’s in It for Me? “At this, the guardian-redeemer said, ‘Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it.”


Ruth 4:6

ave you ever lost an opportunity because you were trying your best to protect yourself? I don't know about you, but I have missed many chances for the sake of self-preservation. I regret some of these instances, and others I thank God He stepped in to save me from disaster. To grow as Christ’s disciples, we need to distinguish when and how we succumb to self-preservation. The story of Ruth makes it clear that Boaz was not the first kinsman-redeemer. He did the right thing to defer this opportunity to redeem Elimelech’s estate to the rightful man. However, the unnamed “guardian-redeemer” had an excuse for why he could not fulfill his role. The Targum version gives a more palatable insight on this problematic scenario: “And the kinsman said, ‘on this ground I cannot redeem it, because I

have a wife already; and I have bothered by the fact that his no desire to take another, lest firstborn with Ruth would there should be contention in belong to Elimelek's lineage or my house, and I should become the descendants would share his a corrupter of my inheritance. inheritance. This is an excellent Do thou redeem it, for thou hast example of what Paul describes no wife; for I cannot redeem it.’” as Jesus’ calling for each of us: The unnamed man’s response “You, my brothers and sisters, seems reasonable: he wanted were called to be free. But do not to maintain the safety of his use your freedom to indulge the family. Unfortunately, this flesh; rather, serve one another stance was contrary to the law humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13). of Moses. “If brothers are living John Maxwell, author of together and one of them dies The 21 Irrefutable Laws of without a son, his widow must Leadership, writes, “The life of not marry outside the family. a leader can look glamorous Her husband’s brother shall take to people on the outside. But her and marry her and fulfill the reality is that leadership the duty of a brother-in-law to requires sacrifice.” When stress her” (Deuteronomy 25:5). escalates, we often revert to This man’s eagerness to purself-preservation; however, chase the land in Ruth 4:4 was in Christ’s restoring power calls us stark contrast to his immediate to live above our instincts and disinterest when he realized the feelings. As we strive against risk to his estate. Boaz, however, our natural inclinations, the is shown to have both respected benefits and blessings reach far and loved Ruth. He was not past us into the lives of many.

Tsholo Sebetlela

Pastor/Chaplain — Maskwacis


Alberta Adventist News

MARCH 2021


Teierle Family - Online Education Program


How did you hear about PACeS? We became aware of PACeS through word of mouth. The first person to describe PACeS to us was Ronda Ziakris, while she was teaching for PACeS. When I was considering enrolling our daughter, Arina Koen, a fellow church member and friend, whose children were enrolled, cordially invited me to her home to see the program in operation. Both Ronda and Arina spoke enthusiastically of the PACeS program. How long has your family been with PACeS? We have been a part of PACeS for three years. Tell me a little about your family. Our roots in Adventist education go back to first grade. Sheldon and I first got to know each other in first grade at Red Deer Adventist Academy (now Southside Christian

School). Who knew, years later, we would marry, or Dan Self, our former teacher and the principal, would honor us by conducting the wedding ceremony? Currently, we own and operate an automotive repair shop in Red Deer. I majored in music, so our passion is to serve people through automobiles and music. We have been blessed with two delightful children who enjoy school, playtime, music (cello, piano, and violin), and occasionally help at the shop. A highlight of their week is attending Epic Church and kids’ prayer meeting. In what grades are your children? Fourth and first grades Why is PACeS the best choice for your family? I will mention three main reasons why PACeS is the best choice for our family: First, the curriculum, assignments, and books are provided.

The kids are kept up to date in the Alberta curriculum. Second, our time is more flexible. Our ability to travel is open as our school comes with us. The kids are not required to be in “class” six-to-seven hours per day and can be more flexible with activities such as music or swimming lessons. Third, by enrolling in PACeS, our children receive a Christ-centred Adventist education. Online, they enjoy seeing their teachers and classmates. The students are encouraged to practice critical thinking skills, understand the principles of learning in each subject area, and both see and seek the spiritual connections between the Creator and the content areas. PACeS provides the opportunity to have an ideal balance of school, home, and church — a delightful blend!





Discipleship and Biblical Spirituality

In this five-part series, we will be exploring the meaning and method of discipleship in ancient times and ask ourselves how we might live better lives as modern disciple

Prayer and Fasting: Mind, Spirit, and Body


ne of the things that has surprised, amused, and sometimes saddened me as I study the Hebrew roots of Christianity is how Christianity seems to have gone out of its way to disassociate itself from anything resembling its Jewish roots — the same roots from which Jesus drew upon traditions, discourses, and


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worldviews to convey His message of hope. Sometimes, the differences are just plain funny, and other times they are subconsciously indicative of substantial divergences in our interpretation of Scripture and the world around us. For instance, whereas the Bible does not command the covering of the head during prayer and worship, the

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practice developed slowly in Judaism as the rabbis considered the high priest's wearing of a turban when he came before the Lord as an excellent example of reverence for God's people. Consequently, today's observant Jewish men wear a kippah or yarmulke to remind them of the sacredness of time spent in prayer and that the Lord is


ality in the 21st Century

cipleship and biblical spirituality n disciples of Jesus. By Olaf Clausen

Sabbath School, Children’s, and Personal Ministries Director

For instance, whereas the Bible does not command the covering of the head during prayer and worship, the practice developed slowly in Judaism as the rabbis interpreted the high priest's wearing of a turban when he came before the Lord as an excellent example of reverence for God's people."

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always over and before them. Surprisingly, with regards to head covering, Christians came to precisely the opposite conclusion. When we enter prayer and worship, we remove our head coverings out of reverence to the sanctuary and in obedience to Paul's instructions in 1 Corinthians 11:3–16 for women to cover their heads and men to uncover their heads. Sometimes, though, I wonder if we really understand the contextual gist of Paul's meaning in this passage. Could it be that he was speaking more to social practices that demeaned women (uncovering or shaving the head to bring shame) and less to corporate worship practices? This, my friends, is why it is so essential to understand the ancient contexts in which our Scriptures were written so we can fully understand the author's intent. Nevertheless, 16

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It is very instructive that whereas Christians pray before the meal that God will add His blessing to the food and remove from it any unholy taint, Jews bless God and not the food, and they do so after the meal!" there is nothing inherently wrong with traditions, old and new, if they help us derive greater meaning from our spiritual practices and draw us closer to God. Similarly, it has become the Christian tradition to pray before meals so that God might bless and/or, in some Christians’ minds, purify the food. This is all well and good, as the food is a blessing from God, and we should thank Him for it. It is very instructive that whereas Christians pray before the meal so that God will add His blessing to the food and remove from it any unholy taint, Jews bless God and not the food, and

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they do so after the meal. Herein lies a very subtle and fascinating nuance that I think can be instructive for Christians. Jews bless God and not the food because they believe everything He has made for food is already pure and good, very good (notice the Genesis allusion here), and He is blessed to provide it to us. Therefore, there is no need to ask for it to be purified because it was created to be eaten and thus blessed by God. However, lest we think rabbinic worldview is dry and unpragmatic, some rabbis will tell you that the reason Jews pray after the meal is, when you’re hungry, it's too tempting

to rush through the prayer of thanksgiving so that you can get down to eating. Given my appetite, I think that might be good advice (parents of young children take note: there might be something here for you, too). Nevertheless, the Bible gives examples of prayer both before and after eating. Isn’t it wonderful how God provides us with the latitude to worship Him in a multitude of ways? Now, of course, we Adventists could debate the nuanced issues of environmental toxins or the healthfulness of vegetarianism, but here is a significant point concerning worldview: For the Jew, the things of this world that God declared good should be taken with joy and gratitude and even celebrated. Sometimes, I fear we Christians can become so fixated on the heavenly that we forget the blessings of the here and now —of the things God created for us to enjoy and the genuine and present hardships of our friends and neighbors. Some Christians are in danger of becoming so ascetic in their shunning of the good things God has made that they may even call them evil (including their neighbors). And worse yet, they are so heavenly-minded that they promise to pray for the needy when immediate action would be far more helpful (was it this kind of praying Jesus had in mind in Matthew 25:37 when He said, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you”?). In part, I think this tendency to imbalanced

heavenly-mindedness stems from the early formation of Western Christianity, which drank deeply at the well of Greek philosophy. Doing so syncretized Gnostic and Hellenistic worldviews, which taught that all things heavenly are good and all things earthly are evil. Friends, in so many ways, this is an affront to Genesis itself. Do we not hope for an earth made new? Were we not created in the garden to live and act in the physical realm? Should not our prayers embody not only words but also deeds? Certainly, this syncretism with Hellenistic philosophy had little to do with the Hebraic perspective from which Jesus taught. Additionally, James declared, "If one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead" (James 2:16–17, NIV). You may ask, “What does this have to do with prayer and fasting?” Foremost, we must keep in mind that prayer and fasting are not ascetic practices by which our denying of ourselves and even enduring pain will make our prayers more acceptable to God (see Matthew 6:16–18). In reality, they are a reminder of the close link between the spiritual and physical realities of the human condition, which can seem so disconnected from one another; they are a reminder that in true religion, the mental, spiritual, and physical

cannot be separated without doing an injustice to God, yourself, and your neighbor. If you truly believe something in the Hebrew mind and language, you have no choice but to act on it. True religion is an acted religion and not just pious words. As we read in the Lord's Prayer, true Hebrew prayer is structured around these dynamics: acknowledging God's greatness, confessing our sins, appealing to His promises (especially the establishment of His kingdom), making petitions (for ourselves and others), and most importantly, being genuinely thankful for what He has given us through the world and others. Join me next time for Part 5, the final part of our exploration of biblical discipleship, entitled Fellowship and Service: Shaliachs for the Mashiach. Pr. Olaf Clausen, MA is the Alberta Conference Director of Sabbath School, Children’s, and Personal Ministries. He is a specialist in Judeo-Christianity for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada and North American Division Jewish Ministries.

Olaf Clausen

Sabbath School, Children’s, and Personal Ministries Director

MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News



I am called "Iman," which, in Persian, means "faith." Now I am called Safa Mokry, and this is my family’s story.


Alberta Adventist News

MARCH 2021

Iran Refugees: From Torture to Home in Lacombe


was born in a very religious Muslim family in the northwestern part of Iran. I always read the Quran, searching for God, wanting a connection with Him, but I never felt God’s presence or peace in my life. In 1995, I graduated with an associate’s degree in mathematical physics and began to teach mathematics in Bukan. While there, I married Esther, and we had two sons, Diyar and Zhiar. Life was good — except I still did not have the peace for which I was searching. While in Bukan, I met a Christian who saw I was thirsting to know more about God, so he arranged for his friends to study with me. When I accepted Jesus as my Savior, I experienced peace, but when my wife found out I was a new Christian, she said, “You changed. I’m leaving!” As she packed, I went to another room and, with tears, prayed, “God, after searching for so long, I cannot lose you now! If I must choose between you and my wife, I choose You. I leave this situation in Your hands.” My wife was asleep on the

In 2019, the Connect Sabbath School Class from College Heights Seventhday Adventist Church, met to discuss how we could be more intentional with service projects. One of our class members, Flora, suggested sponsoring a refugee family. sofa when I returned. Putting my hand on her, I prayed. She suddenly woke up and said, “I had a dream. You spoke a name I’ve never heard before… Holy something.” “The Holy Spirit,” I asked. “Yes! That was it,” she replied. I explained about the Holy Spirit, Christianity, and how

Jesus lived and died for us. We spoke for hours, following which she sobbed, “I believe in Jesus Christ.” After Bible studies, my family and I were baptized, and after more training, I was chosen to be a pastor. I worked as a math teacher, but my spare time was spent volunteering and teaching people about God. I was happy to share the gospel's good news, even though it was difficult and dangerous in Iran. I was arrested many times; the last time, I was tortured for 20 days and had to stand trial. I was sentenced to death but released on bail due to the Iranian New Year. On March 27, 2014, my family and I escaped across the border of Iran and illegally entered Iraq during the holidays. Eventually, we made our way to Turkey and registered as refugees. In Turkey, we were blessed to meet Pastor Shahbaz Bakhshnia of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, where we studied the 28 fundamental beliefs. All four members of our family were baptized again, and my new church asked me to lead Bible studies for Iranians. I MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News



The Mokry family upon arriving in Canada at the Calgary Airport.

taught people around the world by internet and television broadcasts on Omid TV. We were later relocated to Karaman, where we found a small Christian group with whom I led Bible studies. Before long, that group grew much larger, and we established a church there. As refugees, we did not carry passports from any country — a dangerous situation, especially since I was publicly preaching about Jesus Christ in a Muslim country. Our children’s future was our biggest concern. Diyar (now 21) would like to be a physician, and Zhiyar (now 17) has an interest in music. We prayed for a home where our sons would be allowed to study and nurture their abilities and we could faithfully serve God in freedom. After six long years, God opened the doors for us to 20

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come to Canada. We are located in Lacombe, having been sponsored by the Connect Sabbath School Class of the College Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church. We are incredibly grateful for the generosity and support of so many people who have followed the leading of the Holy Spirit to become the answer to our prayers. What follows is their story, told from their perspective: We, the Connect Class at the College Heights Seventh- day Adventist Church, had been studying Acts for four years. That journey enabled us to discover how the Spirit led the early church as they learned how to be the church. It has been amazing to see how the Spirit still leads His church. In November 2019, we met to discuss how we could be more intentional with service

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projects. One of our class members, Flora, suggested sponsoring a refugee family. Many years earlier, her family had arrived in Canada as refugees from Turkey, so she knew the challenges and rewards firsthand. We watched as the Spirit opened doors to make this dream a reality. Flora contacted the Seventhday Adventist Church in Istanbul to see if their pastor knew of a family that needed sponsorship. He did. Our leader, Dr. Boyd, learned his sonin-law's parents had recently returned from the Middle East, and they were able to validate this pastor’s information. After consulting with other organizations that had experience with sponsoring refugees, the Lacombe First

(L to R): Diyar, Esther, Zhiyar and Safa Mokry in their residence in Iran.

Baptist Church offered to assist us with the application process and be our agent to receive, receipt, and disburse our funds. After several meetings, our class decided to sponsor the Mokry family if we could raise at least half of the necessary funds in our small group. A very affirming indicator that the Spirit was leading was when we counted the anonymous pledges. We had precisely half the funds needed to sponsor this family for a year. How thrilled we were! We excitedly shared our dream with friends and the rest of our church family and soon had raised all the remaining funds. God also led us to a former refugee in Red Deer who spoke Persian. She graciously offered to translate and help with the application/settling

process. Their paperwork was quickly processed. Soon, the Mokrys were permitted to get the necessary medical examinations, which they passed, and issued the necessary documents that enabled them to travel to Canada and begin their new life. And then… the coronavirus pandemic hit, and all travel to Canada was halted. We continued to pray they would be kept safe until travel could begin again. When foreign travel to Canada did resume, we received word they would be arriving in a few weeks. November 10, 2020, came with a snowstorm and slippery roads, but that did not deter the team that made their way to the Calgary airport. Thankfully, they had a safe trip, and the Mokry family successfully arrived. Generous donations enabled us to have a completely furnished and

equipped townhouse ready for them to call home. How thrilled and thankful we all are! The Connect Class members are humbled to have watched the Spirit continue to lead in so many ways, making our dream become the answer to their prayers. For us, it is a story that could be added to Acts. The Mokrys’ prayers for a country to call home, where their children can be educated and faithfully serve God in freedom, have been answered.

Warren Kay

Communications Leader — College Heights Seventh-day Adventist Church Connect Class Facilitator

MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News



NEWS Stephanie Ferguson and Dorothy Falesau preparing the basket for delivery.

Fill-A-Fridge Program E

very year, the Alberta Conference office employees choose a project or two to support at Christmas time. Even though we couldn’t have our annual holiday gathering this past year, we still wanted to give to our local community. The Alberta Conference generously continued its tradition to match the monetary donations given by the office employees. We chose to give to the Fill-A-Fridge program, run by Lacombe & District FCSS. This is the third time we have supported this program in the past five years. In addition to the monetary gifts, we also like to provide an option to give in a physically tangible way. This year, we followed an idea brought to the office by Dorothy Falesau. She found a reverse advent calendar that


Alberta Adventist News

MARCH 2021

listed a food item for each day in December before Christmas. The idea is that instead of revealing a gift for yourself, you set aside a box of cereal, can of soup, pasta, etc. each day. Then you will have a food hamper that can be delivered to your local food bank for Christmas Eve or handed over directly if you know a family that would benefit from it. I still fondly remember how I felt as a child when a church member brought a couple boxes of groceries to my family one winter. My gratitude extends to them to this day. However, as a child, I was just excited about the hot chocolate mix and marshmallows! — Submitted by Stephanie Ferguson, Accountant - Accounts Payable, Alberta Conference


Kim Harrington Recognized as Teacher of the Month by Local Radio Station


im Harrington, of Mamawi Atosketan Native School (MANS), was recognized as Teacher of the Month (December 2020) by local radio station 105.5 FM for her outstanding efforts to help her students in and out of the classroom. A math specialist, Kim has also taught high school English, art, and cosmetology classes at MANS. However, while her varied and hectic teaching schedule takes up a significant amount of her time, she still goes out of her way to help numerous students and their families outside usual school hours. Even after they graduate, Kim maintains a connection with her students. For example, when it came to her attention that the family member of an alumnus needed some help, she stepped up. A mother with five kids had to move just before

MANS Junior and Senior High School teacher Kim Herrington got an unexpected Christmas gift: She was named 105.5 FM’s Teacher of the Month for December 2020. “To the world, you may be just a teacher,” read Kim’s certificate from the Red Deer radio station, “but to your students, you are a hero.”

Christmas. Circumstances were such that they had no possessions except their clothes. To this mother in need, Kim was a trusted connection. By word of mouth, Kim organized a drive to help the family. The Christmas decorations in her living room took a back seat to piles of towels, linens, kitchen appliances, and beds as many friends and acquaintances responded to Kim’s request for essential items. One father of three sons, considering the age of the boys in the displaced family, contributed a basketball for the athletic teenagers. Kim’s efforts triggered the nomination to 105.5 FM as Teacher of the Month. She received an award certificate and two-for-one Family Pizza gift card, and her glowing nomination letter was read on air. “You go above and beyond for your students,” the letter

began. “Most are struggling on the reserve or are in single-parent homes. You do so much for everyone and deserve some appreciation.” In response to all the fanfare, Kim says, “I guess I don't love being in the spotlight. I like to do things quietly behind the scenes. My list of friends that helped out is vast. I could not have done it without them. “Every teacher at Mamawi deserves an award like this,” Kim went on to explain. “Whether it’s giving our lunches or bringing extra fruit so kids can have more for breakfast, everyone on this campus goes above and beyond for our students.” If one thing is certain, it’s that MANS is a special place. It’s not just the students and staff who feel a sense of community and connection with the school; families have that connection, too.

—Myken McDowell is a master printmaker and communications specialist living in Edmonton, AB. MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News



This page (L to R): Winston Shipowick packaging desserts; Elsie Shipowick on the assembly line; Leeanne Tyerman putting it all together for Darby to hand through the window. Opposite page (T to B): David Auguste labeling spaghetti and sauce; Darby Nielsen (Outreach Coordinator) and Attaleen Werner (Director), preparing hot chocolate; Louise Wilson adding the salads.

New Year, New Vision It's a new year; it's a new opportunity; it's a new day; and for all these realities, we praise the Lord!


e press on. We move forward by the power of the Spirit of the Living God. Our hope is in Him. Our dependence is upon Him. Our lives and well-being are in His care. Our future is determined. Our hope is secure in Christ, come what may. Is that your outlook? Are we in agreement? Shall we speak out and declare the promise of our faithful Father in heaven? Yes, and AMEN! The Red Deer Soup Kitchen continues to minister and serve a needy population. We are delighted to share the progress and impact we are continuing to make in our downtown ministry. We have asked for help, and help has been given. We appreciate every offering of time, finances, food, and


Alberta Adventist News

MARCH 2021

service that has been donated over this past year of great challenges and desperate need. God’s economy does not fail. When we determine to serve others, the rewards are tremendous, and we are rejoicing in God's faithfulness. As a board, we are faced with the challenge of how to increase our efficiency and the use of our space, time, and resources. Our current facility is limited since it has kitchen equipment on the upper floor, while our serving space is on the ground level. We are considering the installation of a built-in dumbwaiter to allow for the safer transfer of food from the upper to the lower levels. The seventeen steps in the stairway are an ever-present safety issue when carrying large

pots of soup and various food trays. This is a risk for any age and an unacceptable one for our many senior volunteers and must be addressed. Other options may exist. We could sell this building and relocate if we could find and afford something suitable, considering both finances and accessibility. We are praying much about this matter and seeking the Lord’s wisdom and guidance. We are also asking for input from a multitude of wise counselors. Perhaps you are one of them. Check it out. Give us a call. Come and see. Help us in our efforts to be wise stewards of all that God avails us. —Submitted by Jane Holmes,  Board and Fundraising Committee Member


Alberta Conference Office — Spirit Week


o shake off the COVID-19 blues, the Alberta Conference office employees decided to put together an Office Spirit Week, which included Sports Jerseys or T-shirts Day, Crazy Hat Day, Wear Red Day, and Casual Jean Day. We put a twist to our week, making it fun and enjoyable to come to work or join online through our virtual office, thus following Solomon's wise words: "A happy heart makes a cheerful countenance… The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and a good report makes the bones healthy" (Proverbs 15:13, 30, NKJV) Keep smiling! — Submitted by Mildred Weiss

Clock wise: Crazy Hat Day at the Alberta Conference; Keith Richter wearing RED at the Alberta Conference Spirit Week; Stephanie, Mildred and Nanette on Jeans Day at the Alberta Conference office. MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News



By Dr. Lyle Notice


Youth Director

hear this cry and plea for help from parents just about every week. Their teenager is causing them to question if becoming a parent was the right decision for them. Some parents are asking about their very existence and that of their children. I know I am being humorous, but to be truthful, many parents are questioning their children. Who are they? What is going on with them? Is there something wrong? What can we do? Out of fairness, let’s ask, “Who are the GenerationZers, and why do they appear to be so different?”


Alberta Adventist News

• Gen-Zers make up the newest and youngest generation within the global society. They were born during the years 1995–2012. The youngest would be nine years old, and the oldest would be twentysix. They are considered to be the largest generation

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I Am Living with a Gen- Zer… and They Are Driving Me Crazy! raised by the internet and social media. They are the internet generation. They are digital natives that enjoy multitasking across various screens and social media platforms. They are an interesting generation that is considered post-Christian, less religious, successoriented, technologydriven, and known to embrace different views on sexuality. • Six major areas make up the characterization of Generation Z:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Technology Worldview Identity Parents Security Diversity

• Without going too much in depth, they love technology and can’t live without it. • They have a very pluralistic worldview. • Sexual identity is fluid and not fixed. • They love their parents, but family values may not be as important as they were in previous generations. Furthermore, they need and crave financial security. They prefer diversity over ethnocentric spaces. However, they are quickly becoming the misunderstood generation by Christian parents. I think it stems from the fact they may be less

religious and Christocentric in their thinking. Their values are much different from that of their parents, the Baby Boomer generation, and this tends to cause friction and confrontation. Although they may be misunderstood, for whatever it's worth, they want to change the world and make a difference in society. I do believe this will be the generation that holds us accountable. Suppose you're wondering how to deal with your Gen Z teenager. Here is what you can do: • • • •

Create COMMUNITY Create CONNECTION Use COMPASSION Foster a sense of safety and security

One of the biggest things you can do is give the

Gen- Zers in your household a safe place for them to ask questions, express ideas, share doubts, and have the freedom to express themselves at home. Show them the love of Christ without a judgemental spirit. Handle with care because I believe that’s what Jesus would do with precious children. If you’re struggling with your child, don’t pull your hair out yet. Be patient, give it time, and love them unconditionally.

Dr. Lyle Notice

Youth Director Alberta Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventist

MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News



Keep Your Eyes T

"Keep going, but don't look down. Look straight ahead

he event was the Alberta Conference ninth grade Outdoor Education trip near Nordegg. At the time, I was teaching ninth grade, so I found myself privileged to be attending this annual event alongside my students who were thrilled about tenting, sleeping on the ground, outhouses, and feasting on Ichiban noodles for three days. I, on the other hand… well, let's just say I must have really loved my students because the accommodations and meal plan weren't exactly my idea of luxury. However, I was excited to be there and share in the experiences that this event afforded. Along with numerous


Alberta Adventist News

other daily activities, rock rappelling was a popular activity in which all the program attendees were encouraged to participate, including teachers. Not wanting to show my age or fear and being driven by proving to my students I could keep up with them, I agreed to rappel. “Rappelling is the most dangerous — and frightening — part of climbing… Rappelling uses friction for a controlled descent. The most common way to rappel is to thread the rope through a specialized belay/rappel device attached to your harness with a locking carabiner.” Did I mention I really loved my students?

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To make a long story short, it came to my turn to step over the edge of a rock cliff, my life depending on a rope tied with one knot to a tree. The first mistake I made was to look down to see how far the ground was below me. Panic set in. I felt I couldn’t let myself go down even one inch further, but I was already on the rock face, so I couldn't go back up either. My students were at the top, cheering me on, shouting words of encouragement. Through the noise of the applause, one voice seemed to rise above the others: “Keep going, but don't look down. Look straight ahead and keep your eyes on the rock in front of you!”

“Rappelling is the most dangerous — and frightening — part of climbing… Rappelling uses friction for a controlled descent. The most common way to rappel is to thread the rope through a specialized belay/rappel device attached to your harness with a locking carabiner.”

yes on the Rock ahead and keep your eyes on the rock in front of you!" As those words played in my mind, I slowly inched my way down the rock face. One hand over the other, one breath at a time, keeping my eyes forward and on the rock. Never have I been so relieved to feel my feet touch the soil. I had kept my eyes on the rock and made it safely to land. The thunderous cheers from above made me feel like I had just won an Oscar for rappelling. I definitely felt like I had earned a medal! “Look straight ahead and keep your eyes on the rock.” As a society, the times in which we are living are challenging. We are facing fears and unknowns.

Educators, students, and parents are having to navigate a “new normal”: daily health checklists, temperature taking, school cohorts, mask-wearing, the list goes on. However, through the difficulties, we have the promise of a Rock — a Rock to which we can cling;. a Rock on which to focus; a Rock that will help us land on solid ground. Thank you to the teachers and principals who daily demonstrate courage and resilience by loving each student in their care. Thank you to the students who are being so brave to keep going in a dysregulated world. And thank you to the

parents who daily entrust us with their most precious commodity: their children. Together, we will keep our eyes on the Rock and cheering each other on. We will come out stronger for having gone through the experience together. “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just” (Deuteronomy 32:4).

Ronda Ziakris Director/Education

MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News



So Much Good Our schools continue to offer fun and exciting learning opportunities, in spite of these challenging times. We invite you to become part of our story.

Playground Miracle at Higher Ground Christian School.

South Side Christian School — Pottery Classes

Sylvan Meadows Adventist School clearing the rink.

Coralwood Adventist Academy Playing with fire in our Science Lab!

Mamawi Atosketan Native School (MANS) - Students harvest over 500 pounds of potatoes from MANS' first crop in their new school garden.


Alberta Adventist News

MARCH 2021

Prairie Adventist Christian e-School (PACeS) - Readimals.

EDUCATION NEWS Woodlands Adventist School - Building a Fort.


Peace Hills Adventist School Ice Rink-Snow Fort Fun.

Chinook Winds Adventist Academy Grade 1 Students.

College Heights Christian School - Outdoor Classroom Firepit.

MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News



Coralwood COURAGE


efore we began this bizarre school year, we knew we needed something extra, so we chose "COURAGE!" as our theme. We have humbly witnessed this courage manifest itself in parents, staff, and students alike. We’ve had to pivot to ensure the quality of care and exemplary instruction we would have provided in a typical school year was up to par in this new, distanced, super-sterilized environment. Parents have had to adjust where they pick up and drop off their children. The staff has had to modify scheduling to accommodate cohorts. Students have expertly adapted to the latest protocols and procedures. However, the real testimony


Alberta Adventist News

lies not in the way we are surviving but how we are thriving. We have altered how we do fundraisers, provide community programming, and even foster connections. This school year, we’ve been able to raise over $3,000 through three successful fundraisers. Our students, staff, and school community played a large part in the success of these endeavors. Although the ways we minister to the community have been radically altered, we have still been

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able to find ways to contribute to our neighborhood through service. Our elementary students were very active before the Christmas break, making the holiday a little brighter for several individuals. Kindergarteners and the upper elementary grades created cards for care homes and incarcerated mothers, while the second-and-third-grade class participated in a reverse Christmas calendar, which brought in over 300 food items for the local food bank. All Alberta


Care Packages From WAS Students

"And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, in as much as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’" Matthew 25:40


he students at Woodlands Adventist School (WAS), had the opportunity to share the love of Jesus in a tangible way this past Christmas. Inspired by teachers and staff, students and their families collected toiletries, winter gear, and non-perishable food items to share with persons in need. In all, the school community collected and couriered seventy care packages to the Red Deer Soup Kitchen for distribution. The items were received with gratitude and greatly appreciated. One student at Woodlands reports, “It was fun to work together to do something good for people.” Let’s pray God will continue to give us excellent ideas for spreading His love to others. — Submitted by Nadine Sebetlela

junior high and high school students were sent home for five weeks of online learning, so we had to say goodbye to them earlier than expected. However, our staff still found ways to connect with each student, including dropping off a little Christmas cheer to let them know we missed them and were thinking of them. We have all since returned to our beloved school building and seeing each other face to face. We continue to look forward to God’s blessings and growth as He gives us the courage to face each new day. To register for the 2021-2022 school year, visit our website: — Leidamae Muse, Principal (Coralwood Adventist Academy)

Care packages assembled by WAS students. Photos by WAS Staff.

MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News


EDUCATION NEWS Shows Lynae Kiers, sixth-grade teacher, with students.

Oblivious Kindness


Cassandra ou know you are in a good As I entered the sixthKay place when kindness is grade classroom, excitement receiving exhibited in so many ways. and joy greeted me warmly. her lost cell Kindness is evident in the hallways, Mrs. Kiers was teaching phone. classrooms, and office of our school. the students how to make It continues to spread through the a mini toque, and I found gymnasium, playground, kitchen, Cassi full of smiles. I asked parking lot, and even online. It comes if she recognized this cell from our teachers, support staff, phone, and with a surprised students, and parents. Kindness is and pleasant look, she said, thought up, spontaneous, intentional, “Why, yes!" She didn't even and even occasionally “oblivious.” know she had lost it. Cassi “Oblivious” kindness was was completely oblivious to expressed through a little story the kindness, although she of a lost cell phone. A young ECS was very grateful for it. student brought in a lost phone she Have you ever wondered found in the parking lot. I took a how much “oblivious kindness” picture of it. I was in the middle of is being bestowed upon us drafting an email to our parents and each and every day? Do we students when the phone buzzed go through our days grinding on the surface of my desk. I opened through the challenges and it and scanned the notification pitfalls, not even aware of the feed on the locked screen. It was kindness extended to us? Issabella Rodas, an email addressed to “CASSI.” This story reminds me of the ECS student who found and It was in all caps, and I could just how much God loves us as brought in the hear the excitement in these kids’ He has bestowed upon us cell phone. voices — even in their emails to kindness beyond all measure, each other. I also knew right away and we are “oblivious” to it must belong to our Cassi, a sixth grader so much of it. — Submitted by Steven Gabrys who is just full of boundless energy and joy. Principal, College Heights Christian School


Alberta Adventist News

MARCH 2021

Educating for


in Red Deer

Registration is now open!



Our Journey at South Side Christian School


am incredibly proud and honored to say I am a product of Adventist Education. I know it was challenging but yet a mission for my mother, a single parent, to ensure my brothers and I had the opportunity to be nurtured and educated in a spiritual environment. During my short time at South Side Christian School, I see that same dedication from both parents and Church members to ensure that Adventist Education is being offered here in Red Deer. I think it is essential for us to reflect on God's goodness and hear three of our student's stories:

Maddy, Cristciel, Elena, and Arden: Grade 7-9 Class Party

Daysha, Diego, Ethan— Online Learning


Alberta Adventist News

MARCH 2021

Hi, I’m Cristciel. I am 15 years old, and I’m in Grade 9. This is my story about attending South Side Christian School. I’ve been at this school since I was in grade one when there were less than 20 people in the entire school. But a lot has changed since then, like the teachers, classrooms, and new students too. I still remember most of the teachers that have taught me through the years. Mrs. Geates told our grade two class stories from books. Ms. Rusk taught us things by song, and Mr. Densmore, who would show us how to enjoy ourselves at school. You could always learn something new with the different teachers. The school has grown to a decent size, big enough for everyone but small enough not to get lost. We never had a S.T.E.A.M lab until 2019. Thanks to the teachers and donations, we now have an excellent S.T.E.A.M lab where I can get hands-on learning! South Side Christian School isn’t like any other school. There is a giant field to play soccer in, a forest big enough to build teepees in, but a small enough school to know all the teachers and students. The school also lets us have Christmas plays, auctions, and family potlucks around the fire pit. I love my school! —Cristciel Knight, Grade 9


Hi! My name is Elena, and I'm in grade 8. I've been at South Side for a total of 2 years. It's been a great two years. I was homeschooled before my parents put me in this school. SSCS seemed to be the best fitting because it didn’t have as many people as in bigger schools. I think my parents were a little bit worried about sending me to a big school right after homeschooling me for so many years because it would be a bit overwhelming. Yes, this school was an excellent fit for that! It didn't overwhelm me too much, and it got me to recognize how a school should feel like! If you have kids who are homeschooled and want to send them to school but don’t want to overwhelm them, South Side is a great option. My first year at South Side is one to remember, as it was enjoyable and exciting. All the teachers were super kind and patient. They were all good at getting the students involved in the activities. My classmates were all very kind and funny. The students are all so good at making sure nobody gets left out. The school feels like a big family and is very warm and welcoming even during these challenging times because of COVID-19. South Side helped me get closer to God and truly understand what it means to be a Christian. This year (which is my second year here at South Side) has been somewhat different due to COVID-19, but everyone is still trying their hardest to make the environment a safe and happy place to be in, which makes me thrilled to know!! This year I feel like my learning experience for specific subjects such as science and math have significantly increased! I’m so happy to be able to say that I go to South Side. There have been a couple of new students

this year, and we even have a fabulous new teacher, Miss Heroux, in our class! This year has been very productive for me and, at the same time, fun and pleasant!  — Elena Vasquez, Grade 8

Natalia: Leaf Painting

Rachella— S.T.E.A.M. lab fun

MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News



Hello, my name is Arden, and I have attended South Side Christian School for eight years. I am currently in grade 7, which means I have been here since kindergarten. I am 12 years old and have had three different excellent homeroom teachers. I love the school because we have lots of cool annual activities like spirit week, Christmas plays, outdoor school, sports day, and many other fun things like camps and Micro-School gatherings. My journey at my school has been pretty interesting. My first three years here were delightful. I had a lovely teacher named Miss Geates. She was very good at her job, and we did lots of great activities. My favorite part of the day is when I would be allowed to go up into the loft at the back of the classroom. Mrs. Geates was an amusing person to be with and was always pretty proud whenever we accomplished something. I learned to read and write from Mrs. Geates' classroom. After that, I spent my next three years from grade 3 to grade 6 in Mr. Densmore's class. It was entertaining! We did cool experiments like making rubber band cars and hot air balloons. I also met a lot of friends and still am friends to this day even though we go to different schools. While I was in Mr. Densmore's class, my favorite thing was when the year would end, and we would have a party. That would always be the highlight of the school year to me, and we would have a big potluck, play video games on giant cushions, and have neat and fun

activities with the whole class. Like Mrs. Geates, Mr. Densmore was an amusing person and loved the outdoors. He would show us pictures of him on the water or when he would go mountain biking and show us footage from his go pro. This year I have a new teacher, Miss Heroux. It has been a pretty great year, even though it’s only been five months. We did some cool things like Best Dressed day, Superhero day and dressed up like totally different people. We also have this point system that gets us prizes. Just recently we gained enough to have a party where we watched a movie and wore pajamas. Miss Heroux is also a wonderful and fun person. We always like to hear stories about her life. She is a fantastic person! We would also make lots of inside jokes that make us laugh. But to me, the best thing about the school is that it brings us closer to God. We can learn from various stories in the Bible. The teachers make us eager to learn more about the book. Every Thursday, we have an assembly, and the youth pastor, Pastor Moises Ruiz, tells us a story and connects it to the Bible to give an inspiring message. Whenever I walk into the school, it's not just a school. It's home to me. We can’t do that without tremendous support from our local church. The mission of our school is to inspire faith, develop wisdom, and equip us for service. My teachers and church have blessed me with this experience. That's why I recommend South Side Christian School to everyone! — Arden Sending, Grade 7

What a fantastic job the teachers before and during my time at South Side Christian School have done with the privilege of working with God's children! I am honored to be a teacher in that same Adventist system I attended as a little girl. Let’s never forget how important our school is to our students. — Submitted by Mrs. Martha Boehner, Head Teacher, South Side Christian School


Alberta Adventist News

MARCH 2021

Alberta Conference Virtual Camp Meeting 2021

July 9-17


(L to R): Grade 5 Students; Pajama Day; Grade 6 Girls; Grade 11 Students; Grade 6 sorting through monthly food drive called Foodbank Fridays.

Miracles at Chinook Winds Adventist Academy


ave you ever been stuck? I mean really stuck — to the point you knew it would take a miracle? Well, we sure were stuck here at CWAA on two separate occasions this 2020-2021 school year, until we “tried” God by praying to Him for guidance in the situation. Before I share further, I'm sure all of you know well that Adventist education comes with a steep price tag, and for those of you who have already put your children through, you get it. However, by and large, the majority of parents with whom I

have spoken over the years never regret, despite all the money, having sent their children to receive a Christian education. As the chaplain of this beautiful school, I want to tell you ministry continues to happen here. Yes, God’s Holy Spirit is here, and our frontline workers, our teachers, are also pastors, so to speak. Thank you, teachers, for your commitment. Many times, I have walked the hallways and seen and heard our

teachers sharing stories, using assignments to teach life lessons, and above all, sharing the love of Jesus with our students and children of families that have no Christian affiliation. Please keep praying for our schools here in Alberta and the many students currently engaged in Bible studies. For now, let me get back to getting unstuck—God’s way. In John 15:7, we read, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” We often ask for selfish things,

Today I received a call from a church member who was impressed over the past two weeks to call and ask if there was a financial need at Chinook Winds. He told me that God was good to him during this economic downturn and he felt moved to reach out to our school. This family made a significant financial donation that will allow three more students to continue their education at CWAA in the 2021-2022 School Year. 40

Alberta Adventist News

MARCH 2021


but on two separate occasions, we at CWAA sincerely needed God to come through to help several families. With what, you ask? Money, and lots of it. I will allow our principal, Mr. Bruce Fillier, to share the following stories in his own words: Back in the fall, our business manager, Millicente Adede, and I were in prayer, seeking answers for God's will to be done regarding students' unmatched financial needs at Chinook Winds Adventist Academy. We had consultations with our chaplain, Pastor Antunes, and he was able to locate some resources to meet a few of those in need. A short while later, though, several families advised that they were experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic and other life challenges and were worried about how that would affect their children’s stay at CWAA. As a staff, we prayed, and with one family, we also prayed, asking God to open the door to resolving this money problem. About an hour later, we had

an unscheduled visit from an individual who shared that God had been good to their family this year and had blessed them financially. As a result of that visit, this individual and his wife gave a distinct, substantial financial gift to be used where the need was greatest. Praise God! “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24, NKJV). God does indeed hear and answer our prayers, and miracles still happen as our petitions are brought before the Almighty. Over the last month, Mr. Fillier was discussing with me a few letters that needed to be sent out to families that had not been able to cover bills over the past two years. As you can well imagine, a lot of money was being owed, but the thought about sending those letters was making us feel terrible. “Lord, what do we do?” Well, we prayed again, “Please Lord, these are your families and

your children. Open the door, Lord,” and open it He did. Mr. Fillier wrote this: Today I received a call from a church member who was impressed over the past two weeks to call and ask if there was a financial need at Chinook Winds. He told me that God was good to him during this economic downturn and he felt moved to reach out to our school. This family made a significant financial donation that will allow three more students to continue their education at CWAA in the 2021-2022 School Year. Some may say it’s a coincidence, but to those of us who follow this all-powerful, all-knowing, loving God, we know full well He is still in the business of working miracles. Amen! Let us pray in faith and always remember that "for with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37).  — Submitted by Pastor Paul Antunes, Chaplain, Chinook Winds Adventist Academy

MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News



A great time together in Zoom; Chubby Elves activity.

Pathfinder Year Kick Off T his year, in our Mountaineers Pathfinder club, we have 36 members and ten staff. Restrictions have meant our meetings have been online through Zoom. While it is not the same as is meeting in person, this has given us the opportunity to connect with some of our previous members who have moved far away, like the Dunns and Camile in Brazil. Our Pathfinder year kicked off with an in-person Induction Ceremony. We had to limit this event to only inductees and their parents. Pastor Honey Todd had some words of encouragement for our new inductees and prayed for them and their families. The parents were able to scarf the new members. Our great instructors from the Friends class, Yenny and Jaime, were also present to welcome the members. After the ceremony, we enjoyed a bonfire and ate lunch around the fire. Not all our inductees were able to attend in person, so we had an online ceremony as well. We received a


Alberta Adventist News

MARCH 2021

special video greeting from Pastor Armando Miranda, Jr. (NAD Pathfinder Director) in our online induction. Pastor Honey prayed for our new Pathfinder year. Between the two ceremonies, we welcomed ten new members to the Mountaineers Pathfinder Club. December is a great month to have fun and celebrate together. Our Pathfinder Club had a great time during our virtual Christmas party. In advance of the event, we delivered a Christmas party gift bag to our staff and Pathfinder members. The Christmas bag included a mug, hot chocolate, cookies, a candy cane, Christmas ornament, and Sharpie. Our activities included chubby elf Christmas caroling, making your own Christmas ornament, emoji Christmas song guessing game, Christmas Trivia Kahoot, and more. We had a great time together. — Submitted by Melissa Ohlmann, Mountainview Pathfinder Director


Communion Service N

orthwinds and Mountain View gathered together via Zoom on October 31, 2020, to focus on our amazing Lord and Savior. Families had washed each other's feet at home and contemplated the disciples’ perspective that the person kneeling in front of them was the Creator God of the universe. Very humbling!

Mountaineers Adventure Club Update


ountaineers Adventurers is off and running! This year, Adventurers have met online via Zoom and enjoyed songs, worships, crafts, and learning things in their various classes. They had their Induction Service at Bowness Park with Honey Todd and Cherie Wilson welcoming Aiyla and Lisette, both from the Northwinds Seventh-day Adventist Church, into the Mountaineers Adventurers Club. The Adventurers celebrated Christmas together with a party via Zoom. They celebrated by singing Christmas carols, listening to a story by Mr. Carlos, and playing a Kahoot! game. Congratulations to Melissa, who won the game. Luciana and Luana came in right behind her. Adventurers shared a favorite gift they had given to someone and a favorite Christmas tradition. The favorite Christmas traditions included opening presents at midnight on Christmas, sleeping under the Christmas tree, and having waffles for Christmas lunch. The Adventurers wished all their church families a very merry Christmas and happy New Year! —  Submitted by Cherié Wilson, Adventurers Director

The emblems of unleavened bread and grape juice, representing the body and blood of Jesus in His substitutionary death, are anchor points that remind us God knows all that is coming and has already put in place all that is needed to eradicate sin and death. I am sure we look forward to the time when we will gather together in person to celebrate this special service, just as Jesus looks forward to the time when He will be with us in person at the table, celebrating the end of sin and death.— Submitted by Pastor Honey Todd

MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News



A Drive-by Farewell to Amos Kamande and Family


he unmapped events of 2020 have made all of us think of ways to cautiously navigate a new set of social protocols as we find new ways of celebrating meaningful moments to gather as a church family. We are all aware that our weekly church activities and programs have become a virtual affair for many of us due to COVID-19. However, despite all the challenges we face during these difficult times, we recognize our members' immeasurable value at Edmonton Central Seventh-day Adventist Church. Regardless of the cold temperature of 13°F on October 18, 2020, a group of church members got together and coordinated a drive-by farewell celebration for the Kamande family as they prepare to relocate to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The procession of vehicles lined up from a specific location. Members huddled together for instructions on how to personalize goodbye massages. Some members brought colorful, handmade signs, expressing their appreciation and well wishes to the family by displaying them in their vehicles. Others


Alberta Adventist News

MARCH 2021

expressed their sadness about losing them. As we drove through the streets and avenues to Amos' home, my inner thoughts reflected on the distance. We will have to maintain that, even as we say goodbye to those loved ones, our physical and social connections are suspended for now. However, we need each other in these times more than ever before. I want to thank Amos' family for the memories we have created and shared with them through those years: You and your family have played a significant role in supporting our church, ministering in many departments. On behalf of all Edmonton Church members, may God continue to bless and prosper you as you move to your new home. Finally, thanks to all those who made this event possible, especially our senior members who planned and organized this event. You endured the cold weather to make this event possible. Thank you for your dedication and support! It is, indeed, excellent planning. — Submitted by Ina Martin, Edmonton Central Seventh-day Adventist Church

Barb stand accep

Barb and f


Red Deer Church Welcomes 11 Precious Souls T he Red Deer Seventh-day Adventist Church is blessed to have several baptism candidates amid the current coronavirus pandemic. In 2020, the church warmly welcomed 11 precious souls in the community of faith — the body of believers. Amen!

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God" (2 Corinthians 5:17, 18, KJV). The pandemic lockdown opened plenty of time to dig deeper into the Scriptures,

seize the moment, focus on the Word, and study how we may become alive as a new creation in Christ. To be born again is the ultimate thing a person can do, and the most prestigious membership one can join is in the body of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 12:27). “Being baptized into His body is being joined to His church, for the church is the body of Christ” (Ellen G. White, Baptism: Its Significance, p. 3). Through isolation and troublesome times, we trust that Christ's work continues, there will be more baptisms to come, and, by His grace,

we will faithfully live through whatever global challenges may hit us moving forward. Let’s welcome them together as a church family: • Aunor Robles • Matthew Hay • Ma. Socorro Hay • Nathaniel Naphtali Antonio • Katty Antonio • Selemiah Precious Antonio • Shekinah Princess Antonio • Ejhisen Eros Tabilisma • Barbara Jahnigen Afram • John Thomas Joseph Hutlet • Kenneth Eugene Davidson — Submitted by Joy Salavante, Communications Leader, Red Deer Seventh- day Adventist Church

Eros Tabilisma baptized by Pastor Romy Daquila, while Blessy Napod and Dennis Mamon offered the consecration song.

Barbie, with Pastor Rudy Alvir, standing for her faith and accepting Jesus as her Savior.

Nathaniel and Katty, with their kids after baptism. Aunor baptized by Pastor Romy Daquila on January 11, 2020.

Barbie Afram, with her brother and friends after baptism.

Aunor Robles presented to church family.

MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News



Parkdale Church Baptisms L

ast August, in Barrier Lake, Alberta, eight precious souls accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and were baptized. Members from the Calgary Parkdale Seventh-day Adventist Church rejoiced as they witnessed this public declaration of their devotion and commitment to Christ. This momentous occasion resulted from the 100 Days of Prayer evangelism series culmination, led by lay leaders, church members, and the youth. In the months before this baptism, the young individuals' parents expressed their interest in preparing their children for baptism during conversations with Pastor Jinwook Lee. Pastor Jinwook Lee, alongside several elders from Parkdale Church, held virtual Bible studies with the following individuals: Rojh Ballecer, Eshton Mapatac, Marcus Valdez, Jerson Segundo Jr., Ron Magnaye, Maxine Valdez, Anya Liwanag, and Kiera Liwanag. These sessions prepared the baptismal candidates through teachings of the 28 Fundamental Beliefs and answered their practical questions about what having a relationship with Jesus really means. Although the pandemic has posed many difficulties for worship, the Holy Spirit has opened up opportunities for the church to be united in evangelism. Some testimonies from the baptismal candidates:

“One important thing I’ve learned is that you always have God to back you up.” — Marcus Valdez “I am thankful for my church, my family, and my friends, and I am thankful that God gave me them.” — Kiera Liwanag “I am happy to accept Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour.” — Ron Magnaye — Submitted by: Chloe Megan Diwa


Alberta Adventist News

MARCH 2021

CHURCH NEWS The baptismal candidates receiving the word of God.

To God Be the Glory — Okotoks Company Organized as a Church


Baptized by Pastor Jinwook Lee (Clock wise): Rojh Ballecer; Anya Liwanag and Jerson Segundo Jr. Photos by Derique Ballecer

he Okotoks Company was organized into a full-fledged church on November 28, 2020. The members were very excited, although the event needed to be held on Zoom. The Conference was well represented. Pastor Jinwook Lee, the Okotoks Seventh-day Adventist Church pastor, welcomed everyone and opened the event with prayer. Lots of praises were sung during the program. Keith Richter rendered the Scripture reading, followed by Pastor Anthony Kern, who offered the pastoral prayer. Pastor Gary Hodder preached a thought-provoking sermon and reviewed the fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Pastor George Ali talked about the threemember nucleus, followed by accepting the 67 members of the newly formed church. Pastor Don Corkum gave the dedicatory prayer, followed by the congregation singing the hymn “To God Be the Glory.” The event ended with the benediction given by Pastor Romy Daquila. The Okotoks Seventh-day Adventist Church members will remember this precious day for a very long time. — Submitted by Ria Schurig, Communication Leader, Okotoks Seventh-day Adventist Church MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News



London Quines calling for tithes and offering.

Violin trio (L to R) Katelynn Thanaki, Rhea Mullapudi, Krystalynn Thanaki.

Chloe Quines and Danielle Rondael welcoming everyone to worship.

Children Praise Team led by Jaeden Muthiah and Praveeksha Manukonda.

Out of the Mouth of Babes…

“And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes. Have you never read, “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise”?’”


(Matthew 21:16, NKJV)

he Sabbath of November 7, 2020, was a happy one for the Red Deer Seventh-day Adventist Church as our children led the entire service with enthusiasm. From the welcome to preaching the Word, children rose to the challenge. It was so inspiring! Members and visitors alike confirmed God’s gifts to these children. The presence of the Holy Spirit was felt powerfully in the congregation. Chloe Quines and Danielle Rondael sweetly and confidently welcomed the congregation to worship. Jaeden Muthiah and Ayden Polishuk led together in a segment called “Kingdom Building,” followed by Joash Muthiah's prayer. London Quines invited the congregation


Alberta Adventist News

to faithfully consider giving The message was delivered by their tithes and offerings to the Ayden Polishuk, who had just Lord, followed by a blessing. The turned 11 years old and looked offertory was a beautiful violin forward to this day with great rendition of “When He Cometh” anticipation. He spoke with by Katelynn and Krystalynn passion and conviction about Thanaki and Rhea Mullapudi. a topic dear to his heart: living What a blessing to see Pratishta boldly for Jesus. He titled his and Praveeksha Manukonda sermon “The Faceoff with the share the children's story on the Prophets” and vividly described prophet Elijah's life so creatively! Elijah's boldness at Mount CarJaeden Muthiah and Praveek- mel. In conclusion, Ayden chalsha Manukonda enthusiastically lenged everyone to practice holy led the praise team, along with boldness in their everyday lives. their skilled band. Everyone The service ended with a joined their innocent voices in powerful and dynamic action praise to our Creator. Xander song, "Be Bold, Be Strong, for Rondael read 2 Timothy 1:6–7, the Lord Your God Is with You!” leading to song meditation I strongly believe the children rendered by a talented quarhave an essential part in God's tet called “Sending”: Arden, story of salvation. If we “train Bryan, Chyrine, and Djecelle. up a child in the way he should

MARCH 2021


Jr. Pastor Ayden Polishuk preaching the Word!

Quartet (L to R) Bryan, Chyrene, Djecell & Arden Sending.

At Red Deer Seventh-day Adventist church, we believe in discipling our children to be leaders for Jesus and are planning to train children to preach the Word and be laborers with Jesus, preparing the world for His soon return. What a privilege we all have!

go" (Proverbs 22:6), God can make their willing hearts a fountain of praise that will bring others to Jesus! “Let us not get tired of doing good, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). God is busy at work raising young spiritual warriors in our midst and pouring out His Spirit on our young people. At Red Deer Seventh-day Adventist Church, we believe in discipling our children to be leaders for Jesus and are planning to train children to preach the Word and be laborers with Jesus, preparing the world for His soon return. What a privilege we all have! For the full worship experience of our children’s service, you can go to this link: thefaceoffwiththeprophets —Submitted by Lucia Polishuk, Red Deer Seventh- day Adventist Church

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MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News


ANNOUNCEMENTS New Birth and Baby Shower


e join Kris and Lizi Vassilev in welcoming Baby Anika, born December 3, 2020, weighing in at seven pounds, three ounces, and measuring in at nineteen inches long. Congratulations, Kris and Lizi! Anika is beautiful!

Paz with great-grandchildren (L-R) Noah, Levi, Maxwell, and Natalie.

Happy Birthday, Paz!


az Espanto Adante was born in Baao, Camarines Sur, about 432 kilometers, driving distance from Manila, Philippines. Paz was born on February 26, 1928, and is the only child of Priscila and Marcelo Espanto. At a very young age, she learned how to earn a living doing various chores to help her mom. She married Mike Adante when she was 20 years old. The newlywed moved to Manila when Mike found a job at Philippine Publishing House. Mike and Paz are blessed with four children: Adeline, Jocelyn, Mike Jr., and Evelyn. All her children went to Adventist Christian School. Paz used her talent as a dressmaker and worked at home while being a full-time mom. In 1970, Mike immigrated to Canada; a year later, Paz joined him. Mike worked as an accountant at Sherwood Park Nursing Home (now Sherwood


Alberta Adventist News

Care), and Paz worked in the kitchen as a cook. She was sent to Andrews University and was later appointed to manage the kitchen and the residents' dietary needs. She walks her two dogs for her exercise and sometimes walks 4 kilometers a day in the summer and 2 kilometers in the winter. She also plays golf once in a while. She still drives her car but avoids going at night. Paz is an active member of Edmonton Filipino Seventh-day Adventist Church. She joined mission trips to the Philippines, supports the Edmonton Filipino Women's Ministry, and attends the annual Alberta Conference Women's Ministries Retreat in Red Deer. Paz went to the North American Division Women’s Ministries Convention in Orlando in June 2019. Paz has five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren —Submitted by Adeline Adante Barboza

MARCH 2021

Events over Zoom are happening for us these days, and a baby shower is no exception. We were delighted to share a shower of gifts, games, and fun with Kris, Lizi, and Anika on Sunday afternoon, December 20. Lizi’s parents were present from Bulgaria to add to the celebration. Thank you, Pastor Honey and Desi, for organizing games and coordinating the event. —Submitted by Phyllis Corkum

IN MEMORY Gideon Napod

March 9, 1953 – December 9, 2020


ideon was born to Salvador and Elisea Napod on March 9, 1953, in Silang Cavite, Philippines. He was the eldest of six children. Gideon started elementary at Philippine Union College (now the Adventist University of the Philippines) until fifth grade. The family moved to the Bicol region when his father was called to work for the Southern Luzon Mission of Seventh-day Adventists in 1965. Gideon graduated from Legaspi Seventh-day Adventist Elementary school in 1966. He went to Naga View Academy, where he finished high school in 1970. Gideon started college in PUC but shifted his studies to radiology in one of the schools in Manila, Philippines. He finished with a degree in radiological technology.

Gideon worked for the Overseas Employment Development Board in Manila for a short period. He got an opportunity to work abroad in Saudi Arabia as a radiology technician for King Khalid Hospital from 1982 to 1989. While in Saudi Arabia, he met Tess, with whom he shared three wonderful children, Don Carlo, Dean Marco, and April. Although their relationship did not last, they stayed friends and raised their three beautiful children. Gideon met Blessy in 1996. They got married on January 25, 1998. They were blessed with a daughter named Hersea. They lived in San

Pablo City, Laguna, Philippines. Blessy moved to Red Deer, Alberta, in 2003. Gideon and Hersea followed four years later. It was a happy time for the family because Gideon's two sisters and youngest brother all lived in the same city with their families. Family gatherings were Gideon’s favorites, especially sundown worships or just sharing food in somebody's house. He and all the family tremendously enjoyed family outings, vacations to the mountains, and houseboating. His legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of everyone with whom he interacted. Gideon was a comedian. It was never a dull moment when he was around. Gideon was predeceased by his father, Salvador, sister, Elsa, and brother, Samuel. He is survived by his loving wife, Blessy, daughters, Hersea and April, sons, Don Carlo and Dean Marco, and mother, Elisea, who is 91 years old; sisters, Dory (Ron) Quines, Medilyn (Rod) Caponpon, and Wilma (Levie) Sulit; nephews, Ritchie (Nanette), Michael (Emmylou), Bryan (Ivy), Franz (Linda), John, James, Peter, and Brandon; nieces, Christine ( Jericho) and Sheryl; and sister-inlaw, Shirley and Tess. Life will never be the same without Gideon, but the great reunion is coming when Jesus returns! — Submitted by Dory Quines

Raymond Triebwasser August 30, 1921 – February 16, 2021


e, the family of Raymond Triebwasser (1921–2021), will forever miss our dear father, grandfather, uncle, and friend. He passed away very peacefully on February 16, 2021, in Medicine Hat, Alberta. He was born in Beiseker, Alberta, on August 30, 1921, the son of William and Lydia Triebwasser and the last living member of this family at 99 years old. Raymond loved the farm on which he was raised, but he loved family and friends more. Being an industrious and diligent worker at common labor in many different areas, he always gave his utmost best for those around him. His word was as good as was his hearty handshake all through his life. Raymond's life and times were found in Beiseker, Calgary, and Lacombe, Alberta, with friends and family all along the way. He was a very kind and friendly man who never wavered from a strong faith in his Master and Creator. Raymond’s parents predeceased him, as did all 13 siblings, his wife Goldie (2014), and his grandson Paul Anthony (2000). He is survived by his daughter, Charlene (Richard) Fortsch; son, Wayne (Karen) Triebwasser; two grandsons, Robert Anthony (Kari) and Jade Triebwasser (Mara); and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and their families.

A small family gathering was held at the Lacombe Cemetery on February 23 at 2:30 p.m. for a final farewell, ever looking forward to carrying on this remarkable legacy rooted in beautiful memories. — Submitted by Charlene Fortsch

MARCH 2021

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K-12 Adventist Education Registration for K-12 Adventist education for the next school year (2021-2022) has been open since February 1, 2021. Check out your school and teachers and register your child! Our Schools


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Pressed Down & Shaken Together MANS 2020 Appeal for Student Aid Yields Surprises


here’s no question that these are unprecedented times for all of us. A year ago when COVID sent many of us home to work remotely, I thought I’d be back at my desk by September. Instead, news casts feature reports of a bad economy and new COVID variants. Perhaps I can be forgiven, then, for my surprise at the response of Alberta Adventists to the call to help MANS keep all its students and continue accepting new ones as they flock in

BY LYNN McDOWELL unprecedented numbers to MANS after September 30. Almost $45,000 was raised by the November-December appeal, which was matched by two generous donors — two angels, in my opinion —f or a total of nearly $90,000. But that’s not the end of the story. The Third Angel A third donor who received the appeal letter was troubled by the lack of education funding for several students (for various government policy reasons). After the MANS

Eileen Firingstoney Grade 11

appeal accounting was done, the concerned donor came forward with more questions.

We may feel pressed down and collectively shaken by our times, but God has turned the “pressing” and “shaking” we feel into something amazing: People who didn’t know Adventists before the Bridge Campaign to build a high school came forward in response to the 2020 Appeal. They helped in significant ways because of the caring spirit they see modeled by the Church at MANS. MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News



MANS Appeal 2020

With His blessing poured out as in receive the gifts of many extraord Lastnames


In February, after considering 1. all that has been accomplished at MANS; 2. constituency support; 3. the Conference’s prudent management; and 4. the Church’s acceptance of students despite the government’s position, this third, concerned donor gave enough to cover the 2020-2021 academic year deficit that COVID and government policy had created. What can we say to such generosity? “Thank you” is a start. Thank you to all who looked beyond the discouraging newscasts and responded. Thank you to all who see the promise in students like Eileen Firingstoney and hear, “What you’ve done for them, you’ve done to Me.” 54

Alberta Adventist News

Shortly after the MANS 2020 Appeal in which Eileen Firingstoney’s story appeared (see Dec. 2020 AAN), Eileen was featured along with two other MANS welders in the Winter 2020- 2021 issue of WELD, the official magazine of the CWB Group, the organization that certifies all of Canada’s structural welders.

Lynn McDowell, JD, CSPG

Director of Planned Giving | Philanthropy Alberta Conference (403) 342-5044, ext. 233

MARCH 2021

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Anonymous Anonymous Adams Gordon and Joan Affum Ekua Allison Stan and Janice Ambrose Arlene Arndt Arthur and Arlene Bader Belinda Bell Candace Bissell Ronald and Anne Boakye-Yiadom Casey and Amoa Boakye-Yiadom Noah and Gifty Bodnaruk Dave and Darlene Boller Trevor and Tracey Bourdeau Guy and Marie Boyd Bruce and Loma Bramble Ian and Lauren Braun Dennis and Dianne Brown Sharron and Glen Brown Amaryllis Brown Hilda Brown Glen and Sharron Cherepuschak Ken and Fay Chernipeski Randy and Maureen Chimwaso Shenda Chin Desiree Chipeur Dr. Gerald and Barbara Chipeur Ed and Wanda Cocjin Nancy Cooper Des and Trudy Cooper Mervin Crabbe Ruth Creary Everald Dawkins Elroy and Alemensh Diaz Violie Dooks Lori Down Alison Dreger Kelly and Jim Dubuc Marjorie Duffy Thelma Ellison Ralph and Sharon Ferreira Jomar Fink Gerry and Doreene Fitch J D Victor and Gem Fowler Allen and Airlie Friesen Sandra Ganson Mindi Geates Mildred and Glenn Gerow Earl Gittens Dex Glatt Gary and Patsy Glover Mark and Corene


2020 Donors

out as in Malachi 3:10 — pressed down and shaken together — we extraordinary people with humble gratitude.

52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97.

Goulet Bonnie and Gerald Gover Leanne Greenslade William and Daphne Gustavsen Verne and Becky Hayter Sparkle Heintz Marlene Horaska Olga Howlett Michael and Kelly Huff Ann Hussell Gordon and Marieann Hymanyk Roy and Lois Kandt Randy and Marty Kapiniak Greg Kay Zelma Kay Warren and Cheryl Kim Keumhee and Jonghun Kinch Sharon Kitler Ively Knox Judy and Ed Koester Eric and Rebecca Komor Helga Lachance Terry and Colleen Lachance Clayton Lakusta Marion Lakusta Diana and Lawrence Latoski David and Marilyn Leavitt Bernice and Keith Letniak Ronald and Connie Leung Henry and Karen Leung John LeVos Ernest and Carey Lewis Delano and Dadria Litke Barry and Darlene Litke Reginald and Margaret Luceno Lyneth and Billy Macoy Felicinta Mageto Nicholas Shem and Amanda Markosky Wendy Marshall Dwight Martin Ina and Basil Masson Andrew and Charlene McCann Ed McLeod Alexander McPherson Ken and Roxanne Medavarapu Sudha Mejia Ruth Alicia

98. 99. 100. 101. 102. 103. 104. 105. 106. 107. 108. 109. 110. 111. 112. 113. 114. 115. 116. 117. 118. 119. 120. 121. 122. 123. 124. 125. 126. 127. 128. 129. 130. 131. 132. 133. 134. 135. 136. 137. 138. 139. 140. 141. 142. 143. 144. 145.

Merritt Terry and Linda Mills James and Annette Mullings Melanie Murphy Shannon Mykietyshyn Maria Navarro Ronniel and Cinderella Nickel Jenny Orzame Melma Page Mavis Palinka Bob and Lisa Park Jason Paul Lynn and Fred Peer Sherry and Ami Piersanti William Poni Florence Ptarmigan Foundation Quines Ritchie and Nanette Rajah Candi and Eric Ramsay James and Cheryl Rebsomen Jean-Marc and Sonja Reimche Alma c/o Marty Richardson Carol Richter Steven Richter Keith and Lorraine Riffin Ruth Roflo Rowena Rosenberger Peter and Kathryn Ruiz Margarita Ruiz Katelyn and Moises Samuels Keith and Mishka Samuels Hopston Sanchez Andre Sandboe Gordon and Kristine Saruk Iris Saruk Elvin and Grace Fedak Sayler Candace Schafer Dave and Shirley Schafer Wayne and Pamela Schafer Stephanie and Todd Schafer Curt and Eli Schafer Richard Schmidt Brian and Gerrie Schmidt Lovella Schulze Edwin and Maija Shoop Phyllis Sibanda Sophie and Paul Sibanda Margaret and Alex Sibanda Belinda

146. 147. 148. 149. 150. 151. 152. 153. 154. 155. 156. 157. 158. 159. 160. 161. 162. 163. 164. 165. 166. 167. 168. 169. 170. 171. 172. 173. 174. 175. 176. 177. 178. 179. 180. 181. 182. 183. 184. 185. 186. 187. 188. 189. 190. 191. 192.

Simanton Gordon and Linda Smith Howard and Carrol Smith Patricia Sorokan Lorraine Stanway John Stearns Elvina and Melvin Steinke Wentland Gladys Subigca Vivien Symanczyk Renee Taylor Rhett and Lalitha Tetz James and Shirley Thomas Tamara Thomas June Thompson Vivian Thorarinson Christina Thorarinson Larus, Eugene, John, and Deborah TNT Global Accounting Corp. Trutwein Georgia Tym Elizabeth Tym Van Abs Esther Van Der Gaast Calvin and Lindsay Van Rensburg Brent and Tamara Van Schaik Tillie Van Scheik Joyce Vassilev Galina Vehlow Evelyn Waller Jack Waller Christina Watkins Paul Weidell Larry and Marla Welch May White David Whitehead Gerald and Virginia Whyne-Thomas Othelia Whyte Tashawna Wiebe Ken and Vera Wile Blake Wilkins Roger and Marie Willing Robert and Sandra Wilson Helen Louise Wilson Tracey Wilton Dwayne and Rosalin - Easy Save Appliances Wilton Larry and Gail Windels Jerry and Jeannie Wortman Frederik and Margaret Zazelenchuk Sandra Ziegenhagel Gary and Wauneita

MARCH 2021

Alberta Adventist News




Through the turmoil of a pandemic, with God as our Guide, Adventist Education in Alberta remains solid as a rock.

The Rock, His work is perfect... Deuteronomy 32:4