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The International Paper for Seventh-day Adventists

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Seeing the Lamb at the Center of Revelation

8 The Great Task Before Us 30 Passing the Bar 43 Changed Lives Change the World

North American Division | n a d

July 2016 C O V E R


30 Passing the Bar




By Gerald A. Klingbeil

The book of Revelation is the focus of a unique approach to outreach.

By Joice Manurung

The Adventist challenge: Faithfulness to God, or career.

3  2 Coming of Age: The Gift that Kept

8 The Great Task Before Us W O R L D







on Giving

By Ted N. C. Wilson

Jesus broke many barriers to reach as many as possible.

20 Locked Up?

By Dwain N. Esmond

To appreciate Ellen White, you have to read Ellen White.


By Lael Caesar

Freedom in Christ is more than a concept.




 The Church, the Mission, the Youth



By Kimberly Luste Maran


Pathway to Health LA Transforms Lives Medical and dental care, and more, no strings attached

By Pako Mokgwane

Age should not be a barrier when it comes to building Christ’s kingdom.




3 News Briefs 6 News Feature 10 A One-Day Church 11 NAD News 14 NAD Update 17 NAD Perspective 18 NAD Letters

19 W O R L D H E A L T H Osteoporosis: A Woman’s Disease Only?

43 B I B L E S T U D Y Changed Lives Change the World

42 B





Creation and the Spirit of God Available in 10 languages online The Adventist World® (ISSN 1557-5519), one of the Adventist Review® family of publications, is printed monthly by the Pacific Press® Publishing Association. Copyright © 2016. Send address changes to your local conference membership clerk. Contact information should be available through your local church. PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. Vol. 11, No. 7, July 2016.


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Water From the Rock


Adventist Church Tops

19 Million Members

Growth comes amid comprehensive membership audit.



By Andrew McChesney


Colonial records indicate that nearly 500 people gathered on the hill above Brookfield to listen to the dramatic, soul-stirring evangelist—no doubt to the chagrin of many of the settled pastors in all the steepled meetinghouses in neighboring villages. Whitefield, like the Wesley brothers, John and Charles, with whom he labored for decades, used decidedly unorthodox methods to share the gospel of Jesus: preaching in fields; proclaiming to farmers; once even speaking to a crowd of more than 30,000 on Boston Common—with no amplification—when the entire population of Boston numbered just half that (15,000). In the twentieth century, pioneering evangelists such as Billy Graham turned to stadium events also televised to national audiences. Thousands, including me, were stirred to give their hearts to Jesus. Adventist evangelists like Mark Finley and Alejandro Bullo´n have likewise preached to tens of thousands in venues that look nothing like traditional churches. Each of these successful innovators for the gospel at times faced withering criticism from those who believed that their unconventional methods were incompatible with the message they were preaching. And yet the gospel still triumphs, speaking to new audiences in new ways and with undiminished power. As you read this month’s cover feature, “Arnion: Seeing the Lamb at the Center of Revelation,” pray for a heart open to support new methods, new approaches, and new “evangelists” as they share the “old, old story” in dramatically fresh and exciting ways.



s a young pastor in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, I would sometimes stop by a large and lovely hill on the edge of one of the picturesque New England villages in my sprawling pastoral district. Yes, I had my eye on the property in the wild hope that it might one day come available as a building site for two congregations we were then merging. But more important to me was the massive granite boulder on one edge of the hilltop that bore this weathered historical marker: George Whitefield Early Methodist Evangelist Preached from this rock October 16, 1740 On his first tour of America

Believers being baptized at a mass baptism of 1,000 in Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán in March 2015.


he Seventh-day Adventist Church’s official membership has topped 19 million for the first time, and the number of local churches has doubled worldwide to more than 80,000 in just two decades, according to newly released figures. The Adventist Church had 19,126,447 members as of December 31, 2015, a net increase of 647,144 people, or 3.5 percent, from the previous year, the church’s Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research said. In another statistical milestone, the church has 81,551 local churches plus 69,909 companies, it said. “The 2,741 new churches organized in 2015 are the most in any year in our history, surpassing the 2,446 in 2014, which was the previous record year for new local churches,” said David Trim, director of the Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research. “We passed 40,000 churches only in 1995.” The growth comes even as the church, founded in 1863 with only 3,500 members, undergoes a comprehensive membership audit to ensure that reported statistics reflect the reality on the ground. “Praise God for the wonderful growth,” said Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the Adventist world church. “It tells me that even with the appropriate and careful auditing of membership records worldwide that Secretariat has initiated in the last few years, God’s Word is going forward in a marvelous way through the power of the Holy Spirit, and God’s work is expanding.” Continued on next page

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WORLD REPORT G. T. Ng, executive secretary of the Adventist world church, whose Secretariat office initiated the audit, echoed Wilson’s joy about the figures showing church growth. “The rapid church growth is a testament to the promise in 2 Chronicles 20:20: ‘Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper,’ ” he said. “The church has prospered because we have been faithfully following God’s instructions in Matthew 24:14 to evangelize the world.” The Adventist Church, which is organized into 13 world divisions and two attached fields, saw its fastest growth last year in the West-Central Africa Division, where membership rose 7.6 percent to 683,318 people. The two divisions with the most net accessions were the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division and the South American Division. In Africa, Zambia saw its membership pass 1 million in 2015, while evangelistic meetings in Zimbabwe led to 30,000 baptisms in May 2015. Part of the South American Division’s growth, meanwhile, came from a program to reclaim former members. Adventist Review reported in April 2015 that 15 percent of South American baptisms were of former members. But the engine—the lifeblood—of church growth is the opening of new churches, said Gary Krause, who oversees church planting as director of the Office of Adventist Mission. He said he was heartened to see that last year a new church was established every 3.2 hours, in addition to many more groups and companies. “I encourage every church not only to focus on growing their existing church, but to pray and plan on ways to start new groups of believers,” Krause said. n


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Homer Trecartin Rick McEdward, right, riding in a crowded train car on a 2016 trip to India. P H O T O :



By Andrew McChesney

Rick McEdward

Elected MENA President

McEdward returns to home of his youth.


ick McEdward, the new president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Middle East and North Africa Union (MENA), remembers that as a teen he watched, fascinated, as streams of people disembarked from ships in the Saudi port of Jeddah for the annual hajj. More recently McEdward felt a sense of awe as he walked the bustling streets of Istanbul, Turkey, and as he stood high on a hill above Middle East University, gazing at the sprawling metropolis of Beirut, Lebanon. A single dilemma filled his thoughts: How could each of those people be reached with the love of Jesus? “We have a burden to be a light that shares light. How are we going to be a light?” McEdward said. “We all need to know the glory and love of God in our lives, and I would love to see that displayed in a wonderful way here.” The question became even more personal for McEdward after he was elected in April as president of the Middle East and North Africa Union,

a region that has a half billion people and is one of the most difficult places in the world to share the gospel. World church leaders elected McEdward to swap positions with Homer Trecartin, who asked to return to the United States for health and family reasons. Trecartin and his wife, Barbara, served from the union’s headquarters located beside Middle East University for the past four years. McEdward, a longtime church planter, most recently served as director of the Adventist world church’s Global Mission Centers for World Religions and associate director of the Office of Adventist Mission. He is married to Marcia McEdward, the General Conference nurse, and they have two young adult children. “We are so grateful to Homer and Barbara for their incredible spiritual, administrative, and mission contribution to the work in the MENA area of the world,” said Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the Adventist world

church. “We praise God for the advances made and that continue to be made,” Wilson said. “We are grateful that Rick and Marcia have accepted this new and important assignment.” For McEdward, moving to the Middle East is like returning to the home of his youth, a place filled with warm memories of kind people and a newfound relationship with Jesus. McEdward, 50, grew up in an Adventist family in Seattle, Washington. But at the age of 12, he moved with his family to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where his father landed a job as an X-ray technician at a large military hospital. As far as the family knew, they were the only Adventists in the city. The house that McEdward would call home for the next five years stood on the sandy shores of the Red Sea, where he would see large ships offload Muslims on the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. On the shore of the Red Sea he developed a personal relationship with Jesus. “Part of that was witnessing the generosity of our neighbors who were not from a Christian background,” he said. “They were so loving and so kind to us Americans. That pointed me toward my own selfishness and led me to ask the Lord to deal with it.” McEdward received his undergraduate degree from Walla Walla College in 1990 and his Master in Divinity from Andrews University three years later. He completed a doctorate in missiology from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2012. Looking ahead, Trecartin, 60, said Marcia McEdward could play an essential role in the region and urged Rick McEdward to take her along on trips. “Let her understand what you are doing, and she will minister to people you can’t minister to,” he said. n

By Andrew McChesney

Funeral Home

Leads People to Jesus in Seoul Sahmyook Medical Center baptizes more than 140 people a year.


outh Korean physician Sungsik Ha didn’t believe in God, even though he had worked for three decades at the Seventh-day Adventist hospital in Seoul. Then one of his in-laws died, and Ha listened to a hospital chaplain lead the funeral service in the hospital’s gleaming marble funeral home. He was deeply moved to hear the chaplain speak about the promise of Jesus’ second coming and the hope of resurrection. A short time later Ha’s other in-law died, and he again attended a chaplain-led funeral. His heart was touched again by the message of hope. Ha began to read the Bible and, several months later, was baptized into the Adventist Church. “I worked my whole life as a medical doctor here,” Ha, a stocky man with a kind smile, said in an interview at the Sahmyook Medical CenterSeoul Adventist Hospital, where he now serves as chief medical officer. “The hospital had kind of an irresistible attraction on me,” he said. “I gradually became an Adventist.” Serving as Jesus’ healing hands— and introducing people to the Savior—has been the mission of the Sahmyook Medical Center, or SYMC, since its origins as a simple cottage clinic established by the first Adventist medical missionary to Korea, Dr. Riley Russell, in 1908.

Today the 426-bed general hospital has a staff of more than 800 people who treat a half million patients a year. The hospital also operates a 120-bed nursing home and the funeral home, a luxurious, two-story facility with private apartments where families stay for three days at a time as they mourn the loss of loved ones. Many families also hear an encouraging message of hope from a hospital chaplain. To understand how the funeral home works requires an understanding of the Korean National Health Insurance System, which was created in the 1970s. Koreans initially expressed reluctance to subscribe to the insurance plan, prompting the government to set the price at a very low level as it urged people to join. Now nearly every Korean is covered by the insurance plan. The insurance plan may remain inexpensive, but medical reimbursements from the plan are also small, said Ji Yoon Lee, the Adventist hospital’s associate director of planning. So the authorities gave permits to hospitals to operate funeral homes. Koreans tend to spend a lot of money on funeral services, making the funeral home business highly profitable, Lee said. The Adventist hospital is no exception. “It is the funds from the funeral home that keep the consoliContinued on next page

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By Andrew McChesney


Baptizes Dozens


A chaplain speaking during a funeral service at the Sahmyook Medical Center’s funeral home. dated bottom line profitable,” Lee said. The funeral home conducts 20 to 30 funerals a week, with Adventists accounting for 14 percent of the services. Families may invite their own cleric to conduct the funeral, but the hospital’s two ordained Adventist pastors and a junior pastor are also available. “Most of them have no hope after the death of a loved one,” said Yung Han Yoon, the hospital’s chief chaplain. “I share a biblical message of hope as they face death. This is new to them.” After the funeral, the hospital connects the family with the nearest Adventist church. Among the people who have been baptized through the work of the funeral home is a popular Korean movie actor whose heart was touched by his brother’s funeral, Yoon said. The man also was baptized shortly before his death. The hospital also has a vibrant chaplaincy service consisting of the three pastors and a full-time deaconess. The four lead more than 140 people to baptism every year, Lee said. In 2014, when Dr. Ha was baptized, the hospital baptized 174 people. n


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On the front lines is a 42-year-old police officer.


y day Roberto Roberti is a police officer. By night— and every other chance he gets—he browses the most popular Facebook page in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, replying to readers’ comments and questions. His volunteer work on the Portuguese-language Facebook page of the South American Division has resulted in 45 baptisms since last July. Roberti, 42, cuts an imposing figure: tall, muscular, with a determined thrust to his jaw. You wouldn’t want to mess with him on the street, even when he’s off duty in the suburbs of São Paulo, Brazil. But Roberti also has a gentle smile and a deep baritone voice that quickly gain people’s confidence. Crucially, he also knows the intricacies of winning hearts online. His secret? Replying to people’s questions immediately, he said. “People using the Internet want quick answers,” Roberti said. “A growing number of people have been asking questions on Facebook after I started this job. The secret is that I

answer very quickly.” Adventist believers in South America are known within the world church for their innovative use of technology to share the gospel. But Roberti is on the front lines of what he views as a largely untapped gold mine: simply responding to users’ comments on Facebook. He and three fellow volunteers have their work cut out for them. With nearly 1.1 million likes, the Portuguese-language Facebook page of the South American Division is the most followed Facebook page in the Adventist Church. The page focuses mainly on Brazil, while the division also has a Spanish-language page for the other countries in its territory. Nearly 200 people have been baptized through the combined work of Roberti and the other three volunteers since January 2015. Roberti, a police officer for 22 years, said he got involved with Adventist social media shortly after his baptism in 2010 because he wanted to spare other people the fears that he had experienced in reading the

A R / M C C H E S N E Y A N D R E W

Roberto Roberti, police officer and Facebook moderator, in the lobby of Novo Tempo’s headquarters.

Bible for the first time. “I wanted to share the new hope that I had learned in the Adventist Church with others,” he said, speaking on the sidelines of a recent conference of Adventist communications specialists from across South America, held in São Paulo. He says when people leave a message on Facebook, and if they show interest in more information, he offers Bible studies by e-mail. The work can be time-consuming. He writes about 100 messages a day, about half on Facebook and the rest in follow-up inquiries and Bible studies by e-mail. Many of the people who post questions on Facebook are millennials, and they speak in e-mail conversations about being depressed, suicidal, or desperate to escape broken families. Replying quickly is key on Facebook, he said. Roberti, who is married and has three children, wakes up early to check Facebook and a Gmail account that the church uses for social media correspondence. One morning he found that a young woman, Elena, had written on Facebook that she wished to get bap-

tized. Less than two hours after she wrote, he had replied with an invitation to begin preparatory Bible studies by e-mail. About four months later she was baptized. Meanwhile, two other young women saw Elena’s Facebook post and left comments expressing their own interest in baptism. Roberti also invited them to study the Bible. Both are now baptized members of the Adventist Church. Elena is among the three moderators who work with Roberti on the division’s Facebook page. Roberti is training 20 more people to work as moderators, all of whom were baptized after reaching out to the Adventist Church via Facebook. Roberti witnessed a remarkable conversion shortly after he began to work on Facebook that he said confirmed the importance of his work. A married couple living in a city with no Adventist church in Brazil’s southern state of Santa Catarina posted a question about the Bible. Roberti immediately invited them to study the Bible by e-mail.

When the topic reached the seventh-day Sabbath, the couple began pressing their pastor to explain why their church worshipped on Sunday. Soon the church’s other 28 members joined in the discussion, besieging the pastor with Sabbath questions. “He couldn’t answer,” Roberti said. “He eventually left the city. He just abandoned the church.” Roberti then contacted an Adventist pastor who lived near the city. The pastor visited the church and spoke with the members. All 30 members asked to get baptized. Roberti wept when he heard the news. “It was the same as whenever I hear that one of my Bible students wants to get baptized,” he said. “I started crying. It was all by God’s power that this happened.” n This is one of six stories by news editor Andrew McChesney about how Seventh-day Adventists in South America are using technology to spread the gospel. Read the others, and Roberto Roberti’s story about how he was baptized, here:

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This article is adapted from a sermon given by Pastor Wilson on January 30, 2016, in Linthicum Heights, Maryland. Elements of oral style have been retained.—Editors.


hat a blessing and privilege to be part of God’s mission, sharing the good news of Christ’s love and His soon return in these last days of earth’s history! But if we don’t go out of our way to come into contact with people, how will they know? In Luke 15:1, 2 we read, “Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to [Jesus] to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, ‘This Man receives sinners and eats with them.’ ” The rabbis were angry and shared their disgust. “This man associates with sinners and even eats with them.” Throughout history, whenever selfish, self-centered interests take control of the heart, various classes have developed: those who have and those who have not; those who are educated and those who didn’t have those advantages; those who are exclusive and those who have no one to speak for them; saints and sinners. Certainly we are all sinners and need to come to the foot of the cross every day, accepting Christ’s robe of righteousness and His transforming power. We are to humble ourselves every day before the Lord. No one is immune from self-seeking and selfcentered thinking. Cross-cultural Understanding

As mission-minded Seventh-day Adventists, let’s learn through the Holy Spirit’s guidance how to use cross-cultural understanding in proclaiming the three angels’ messages of God’s love and Christ’s soon return. Let’s be more sensitive to differing


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Great Tas Before Us

Being a united, culturally s

cultures and settings, realizing that the Advent message is the same everywhere, but the method of sharing it can vary greatly. Let’s also be sensitive to local settings so that our behavior doesn’t stand in the way of our important work. I remember arriving in Moscow to take up my work in the Euro-Asia Division, whistling down the division office hallway. A church official quietly cautioned me that whistling indicated that you were an uneducated person, and some people believed that whistling summoned evil spirits. For three years I had the hardest time not whistling. But I carefully complied, since that behavior could have hurt my ability to influence God’s work positively. Another lesson I learned in avoiding a misunderstanding was to pray in the proper manner. I was praying one day with my hands behind my back. I was later instructed by the same leader that you always pray with your hands

folded in front of you, otherwise you show disrespect to God. I quickly adapted, since it was not a moral issue. It’s important to humble ourselves and do away with ethnocentric thinking, asking God to help us modify behavior that may inhibit our efforts to lift up Christ. Christocentric thinking must take the place of anything that brings friction and misunderstanding. Let our offices, homes, churches, and interactions be filled with the great themes of the Advent message, with Christ and His righteousness at the center. All our internal and external squabbles and jostling for prominence will sink away when Jesus in His fullness, with all His precious doctrines, ts lifted up. Doctrine and Belief

In all cultures Christ’s teachings and doctrine are core to what we believe and share. Saying that all we need to do is focus on Jesus and not His doctrines

ask By Ted N. C. Wilson

y sensitive church is to accept a superficial manner of belief without the solid substance of Christ’s message. Doctrine and belief emanate from Christ. His fullness and rich breadth of love signifies the enormous field of truth that is Christ. Ellen White observed: “Christ is the center of all true doctrine.”1 Jesus is the rich embodiment of Christ-centered doctrine and belief. Never let anyone suggest that we need to eliminate doctrine to see Christ. Christ and His doctrines go together to produce the Advent message that we proclaim today as a unified, crosscultural church. In various places I see detrimental effects of the emerging church movement pushing its way even into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This movement focuses on experiential understanding, and much less on the cognitive, Bible-based beliefs that we hold dear and that are vital for our close relationship with Christ every day.

Be very aware of this subtle effort to diminish biblical, doctrinal belief thus crippling the Seventh-day Adventist message by neutralizing our distinctive message. Ask for the Holy Spirit’s leading in helping us to work cross-culturally in proclaiming the distinctive three angels’ messages and counteracting mystic and emerging church influences. The Great Task Before Us

The great mission before us as a united, culturally sensitive church is to fully embrace the task God has entrusted to us for these last days. We must never veer away from the truth as it is in Jesus. Everywhere we look, the world seems to be disintegrating. Now is the time to rally in a culturally sensitive way to God’s unique call. You and I are part of the last proclamation of hope for the world, the culmination of Revelation 14. We are not to hesitate in our final proclamation of this Advent message. Ellen White challenged us: “We are not to cringe and beg pardon of the world for telling them the truth: we should scorn concealment. Unfurl your colors to meet the cause of men and angels. Let it be understood that Seventh-day Adventists can make no compromise.”2 The unfortunate fact is that Seventh-day Adventists in various places are succumbing to “political correctness,” pressure, and conformity to unbiblical moral and social changes, in addition to a neutralizing of precious biblical truths. Let’s stand firm on all God’s truths and principles for personal and church life as we crossculturally interact with people, pointing them to the One who brings everything into perspective. The Lord’s coming is soon, and we all must follow Christ’s example, making cross-cultural connections with all who will listen. We must

socialize with them for mission under the leading of the Holy Spirit. We can’t witness by proxy. We can’t give a personal testimony by remote control. We can’t socialize by using a drone. To make an impact, we must come into contact with people. Research shows that personal contact, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, is the greatest single factor in bringing people to Christ and our beliefs centered in Him. We need television, radio, Internet, publications, community services, health outreach, and many other ways to draw attention to truth, but it finally comes down to personal interaction and witness. Seeking the Lost

Christ had a burning desire to see all people saved. He didn’t look with indifference at those who were sinners and outcasts. God asks us to follow His example in seeking the lost, reaching souls with cross-cultural sensitivity and love, and to be active participants in the last proclamation to this world. As we become closer to our Savior, are we taking on His character of love for others? Are we willing to do anything necessary to seek out those who wander away from truth? “Every soul whom Christ has rescued is called to work in His name for the saving of the lost,” wrote Ellen White. “When you turn from those who seem unpromising and unattractive, do you realize that you are neglecting the souls for whom Christ is seeking? . . . Angels pity these wandering ones. Angels weep, while human eyes are dry and hearts are closed to pity. . . . O for more of Christ’s spirit, and for less, far less, of self!”3 Our work is to follow Christ’s example in daily interfacing and proactively seeking those who need to hear of God’s grace and power that will change their lives. Whether by July 2016 | Adventist World - nad




telephone, e-mail, letter, personal contact, public meetings, God wants us to socialize with others as Christ did, carefully and prayerfully pointing people to complete Bible truth and a knowledge of Christ’s plan for their redemption, culminating with His soon Second Coming. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to help us socialize in the right way with the right approach, recognizing that we too are all sinners in need of Christ’s saving power. In the Garden of Gethsemane Christ agonized for you and me. Ellen White described it: “He accepts His baptism of blood, that through Him perishing millions may gain everlasting life. He . . . left the courts of heaven, where all is purity, happiness, and glory, to save the one lost sheep, the one world that has fallen by transgression. And He will not turn from His mission.”4 Christ offers a cross-cultural mission to us today—Total Member Involvement in God’s remnant church, empowered to proclaim the last message of love and warning. Christ went to the cross, died for us, rose for us, is interceding in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary now for us, and will soon return to take us home to heaven. I can’t wait! Let’s prepare for His soon coming, and let’s prepare others by befriending them for mission. n 1 Ellen

G. White, Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1913), p. 453. 2 Ellen G. White, Evangelism (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1946), p. 179. 3 Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1900), pp. 191, 192. 4 Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1898), p. 693.

Ted N. C. Wilson is president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.


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By Carrie Purkeypile

Gessé’s Dream: Building in Oriximiná, Brazil

Left: Gessé Viera Matios and his wife are ecstatic about the new church that will jumpstart evangelistic efforts in this growing community in Brazil. Right: Maranatha crews fully assemble a One-Day Church in one full workday. The church frame is a great solution for many communities who customize the walls and floors according to their own needs. All along the Amazon River in Brazil are thousands of communities best reached by boat. Some are tiny villages; others are small towns or cities. Maranatha teams building in the state of Pará in northern Brazil utilize this expansive waterway to take churches to congregations in need. One riverside town is Oriximiná, a medium-sized town with nice parks, small shops, and two Adventist churches, soon to be three! Gessé Viera Matios has been anxious to grow a new church in the burgeoning community forming on the outskirts of town. Members worked together to find land in the new neighborhoods. They purchased a plot of land just barely inside the city limits. Even though Gessé works downtown, he and his wife purchased the plot of land right next door to the new church. Being able to help grow the church is more important than his daily motorcycle commute. He dreams of being the first one in and the last one out at every church function throughout the week. “We want to provide a good church, a church home for the people here,” he says. The Maranatha crew built the One-Day Church on Sunday, and the following night the church hosted their first evangelistic meeting! The Oriximiná congregation already has plans to brick up the walls and lay a beautiful tile floor. This church will soon be the best and most beautiful destination in the neighborhood. More important, the church already welcomes everyone with open arms. Maranatha Volunteers International, a nonprofit organization, builds Seventh-day Adventist churches and schools in areas of urgent need. P H O T O S :





Adventists in Canada Respond to

Fort McMurray Wildfire T he entire population of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, along with the surrounding areas, were evacuated as a wildfire spread in early May. The fire affected nearly 423,000 hectares (about 1,042,255 acres), and approximately 88,000 people were evacuated. Some people were able to make it to Edmonton; others were forced to take shelter in work camps to the north of Fort McMurray. There have

been no reports of any deaths or injuries in the fire, but authorities stated that fatalities were reported in at least one vehicle accident along the evacuation route. ADRA Canada and the Alberta Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, through Adventist Community Services, offered assistance to the displaced, using a jointly purchased disaster response vehicle that was filled with supplies to be delivered to

Members of the Alberta Conference Adventist Community Services worked with ADRA Canada to help evacuees from the Fort McMurray wildfires in early May 2016. A D R A

those affected by the disaster. ADRA Canada partnered with GlobalMedic and quickly sent hygiene kits containing toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and towels to 2,000 people. By May 9, more than 16 truckloads of supplies had been delivered. The assistance continued throughout the immediate crisis, and during the weeks of recovery. Local Alberta churches provided volunteers. The Edmonton South Seventh-day Adventist Church hosted people in their facility and set up a donation center for toiletries and good-quality used clothing. Local Adventist families also opened their homes to those who were displaced. The Alberta Conference reported on its Web site and Facebook page that it received “confirmation from individuals who were able to drive by the Fort McMurray Seventh-day Adventist Church that it appears to be intact.” Mark Johnson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada, said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with all whose lives are impacted by the fires there. We continue to monitor reports regarding the well-being of our Adventist families in the community.” n —By Sharmilla Reid/ADRA Canada; Troy McQueen, Alberta Conference communication director, contributed to this report


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NAD NEWS Christian Record Services for the Blind Joins the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America ■■ On April 28, 2016, the North American Division of the Seventhday Adventist Church (NAD), in a specially called NAD executive committee meeting, voted to receive governance of Christian Record Services for the Blind. Christian Record, a former Seventh-day Adventist world church institution, is based in Lincoln, Nebraska. The transfer of governance affirms a larger restructuring plan that was implemented in January of this year by action of the Christian Record board of directors. “The North American Division eagerly welcomes Christian Record as the newest member of its ministry family,” said Daniel R. Jackson, NAD president and Christian Record board chair. “We believe God is leading in this decision and are excited to part-

Ernesto enjoys listening to audio books on digital cartridge through the Christian Record Lending Library. J O S H


ner with Christian Record to share Jesus with people who are blind.” The transfer does not affect Christian Record’s goal of reaching people who are blind with free resources and programs. “This decision enables Christian Record to be more intentional in its partnership with local churches in North America, Bermuda, and Micronesia,” said Diane Thurber, Christian Record president. “We believe God has enabled Christian Record to work side by side with local churches to find, befriend, and welcome people who are blind into fellowship, with the goal of leading these precious individuals to the kingdom. We look forward to witnessing the blessings God has in store for this ministry,” she said. “Ultimately, the decision to transfer governance was to broaden the division’s focus on compassion ministries,” said Jackson. “Having Christian Record under this division’s umbrella of service-driven organizations enables us to work in partnership when training and equipping local churches and disabilities ministries leaders. Our hope is that this partnership will encourage NAD churches to join Christian Record’s ministry of compassion to help those who are blind see Jesus.” In addition to restructuring the organization, Christian Record will sell its building and relocate the ministry to a new facility in the coming months. Christian Record continues to provide materials in braille, large print, and audio, Bibles and Bible study guides, Sabbath school lessons, and unique camping experiences through National Camps for Blind Children. n —Jeri Lyn Rogge, Christian Record Services for the Blind, and Daniel Weber, North American Division


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Gayle Tucker F A I T H


Faith for Today’s Gayle Tucker Passes Away ■■ Gayle Tucker, cohost of Lifestyle Magazine, passed away peacefully at home on April 10, 2016, after a brief struggle with pancreatic cancer. Tucker joined Faith for Today in 2004 and worked with her husband, Mike Tucker, to connect the ministry to local congregations through innovative programming and live seminars. In 2007 she began cohosting Lifestyle Magazine, and in 2009 she joined the Faith for Today television team full-time as associate speaker for the ministry. Daniel R. Jackson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, describes the first time he met the Tuckers, about 10 years ago, as most memorable. “There was an almost instant connection with Gayle and Mike that has lasted until this day,” he said. “She was always with Mike, and she had a vision and passion for ministry and for reaching people in relevant ways.” While Tucker was a partner in ministry as Mike’s wife, she also worked as an associate pastor at the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church in Arlington, Texas, for 16 years, serving as pastor of administration, music, and worship, with focus areas in children’s and women’s ministries. Gayle was the first woman to become a credentialed commissioned minister in the Southwestern Union Conference of Seventh-

■■ Making people safe and secure in their neighborhoods is what we aim to do,” said Alyssa, one of the captains with Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit organization that teamed up with Lowe’s Home Improvement to refurbish the Adventist Community Service’s LIFT facility in Denver. Together with Pete, also a captain, Alyssa used a less-busy time, while lunch was being served for more than 40 volunteers, to put down new flooring in one of the center’s rooms. The two-day project in Denver, April 13-15, 2016, involved 120 volunteers, and included four homes of low-income homeowners as well as the ACS community center. Lowe’s donated $84,000 to the Denver rebuild project, and much of the funding went to refurbish the ACS facility, giving it new showers, new flooring, and remodeled classrooms. The effort reinforced the importance of the critical services provided by ACS to the surrounding community, such as a food bank, medical care, and developmental assistance. “It’s all about the community. We’ve learned that you can’t just do one house here, one house there. It’s all a concentrated effort, and it’s about partnerships, the fabric of community. This project is a demonstration of this,” said Graham McDonald, manager of corporate engagement at the national office of Rebuilding Together in Washington, D.C. Among the volunteers was Paul D. Lopez, councilman for the Barnum Neighborhood. Deborah Jackson, ACS LIFT director, recognized the services


Lowe’s and Rebuilding Together Renovate Denver Community Center


day Adventists. Prior to pastoring in Arlington, she spent multiple years as a schoolteacher. Tucker’s background in elementary education was influential in making family relationships an emphasis in her ministry. Gayle and Mike traveled extensively throughout North America as copresenters for From This Day Forward and Love for a Lifetime marriage conferences, and cocreated Mad About Marriage, a seminar project that includes a television series, marriage seminars, and small-group curricula. Tucker also coauthored the books Mad About Marriage, Mantras for Marriage, and Marriage Moments. “Gayle was loyal to God, to Mike, to her family, and to the church,” Jackson added. “She was a gracious, mature Christian who was passionate to let people know that the gospel of Jesus could and should be played out in everyday life and in everyday relationships.” “Gayle Tucker may have been one of the most recognized Adventist female television personalities in our denomination,” said Gordon Pifher, president of Adventist Media Ministries and chair of the Faith for Today executive committee. Members of the Faith for Today team remember Tucker as a gracious, fun, gentle, and wise leader. They celebrate Tucker’s life and say they look forward to seeing her when Jesus returns. “Faith for Today and Lifestyle Magazine will continue to be a strong avenue to reach millions with a practical message of hope and wholeness, but Gayle will be greatly missed,” said Pifher. n —By Casey Tom and Jennifer LaMountain, Faith for Today, and Kimberly Luste Maran, North American Division

Pete and Alyssa, with Rebuilding Together, were two of 120 volunteers who worked to refurbish the ACS LIFT center in Denver. given to her center as crucial, but also as a joint-community affair. Lopez’ personal involvement is seen as an example of “being with the community.” Opened in 1951, ACS has been in continuous operation, serving up to 350 people per week, according to Navanta Antoine-Griffith, administrative assistant and bookkeeper at the Denver center. The center’s staff believes that the newly redone project will bring more clients. “Now our clients will see this facility as beautiful, and they will see that they are valued,” said Jackson. “We will start our workforce development here, install computers, and hold classes about healthy living, exercise, and nutrition, and we hope to become a part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program), through which we can actually qualify people for food stamps.” People who are homeless are also frequent visitors to the ACS center. Jackson said, “We hope that the church will not only help [through] volunteering and prayer, but also in the financial aspect of our work.” n —Rajmund Dabrowski, Rocky Mountain Conference

July 2016 | Adventist World - nad



Tattoo Removal

Helps Erase the Past By Kimberly Luste Maran,

Communication Department, North American Division


ervous energy tinged the atmosphere as a half-dozen patients waited on April 28, 2016, for laser tattoo removal at Your Best Pathway to Health LA megahealth clinic. Jittery small talk ensued as a diverse group sat lined up next to a small office. The tiny room was outfitted with medial equipment, including a powerful laser wielded by Steven Popkow, board-certified

Dr. Steven Popkow uses a laser to remove a tattoo from a man’s hand at the Pathway to Health LA clinic. TA N YA


family-practice physician and laser medicine specialist. Registered nurse Mirjana Popkow, Steven’s wife and clinic assistant, went over paperwork with each patient. Her smile and gentleness put patients at ease as she prepared them for the removal process. “Our hearts are here for helping people, doing good, changing people’s lives. Today was probably one of the most incredible experiences we’ve had,” says Mirjana. She explains that she and Steven have made tattoo removal a life ministry. They’ve treated young and old, men and women, and the entire skin color spectrum, for 20 years. “We’ve offered free treatments to gang members, boys, some 16, some even 13. We’ve helped those who come in shackles and orange suits in the hopes of getting gang tattoos removed,” she says. Nodding, and pausing to include those gathered at the clinic, she adds, “These are the experiences that help keep us going.” Jordan Overby, 25, is one patient who is glad that the Popkows brought their laser treatment to the megaclinic. Finished with his tattoo removal in the early afternoon, he stopped Mirjana and uncovered his bandage for a moment, so his tattoo-free skin could be photographed. Jordan learned about the free health care at the Los Angeles Convention Center from his roommate when


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he woke up that morning. They hurried down, got in line, and received several services. Jordan got his eyes checked, his hair cut, and his tattoo removed. But for Jordan, it was more than getting the ink out. “I moved to Virginia at age 14,” says Jordan. “But I was kind of alone. My parents both battled drug addiction.” His had been a Christian home, but without parental support and care Jordan began to lose his faith in Christ. With his spiritual life disintegrating, Jordan got the tattoo. “I tattooed a crucifix with fire coming from the edges on my left forearm. I did it myself,” he reiterates, “I felt alone, and I didn’t want to believe in God. I was a child and wondered that if Christ was real, why would He let this happen to me?” Jordan was homeless a year later. But Jordan’s life changed dramatically when his high school track coach invited him to move in. Jordan did, spending half his junior year and all his senior year with the coach, until he graduated and went to college. He’s been healing ever since. “I learned forgiveness and discipline, and . . . I’ve got a spiritual strength now that I didn’t imagine I would have.” Living and working with his friends at an artist’s management group, Jordan is working on establishing a career in fashion design, and working on course correction. Part of that was getting rid of the tattoo. “I just wanted to have the tattoo removed and go from there,” he says. “Lately I’ve been righting wrongs. . . . Sin starts in the heart, and it’s been holding me back in life.” Jordan didn’t set out planning to get the tattoo removed. He was told about the service while getting his eyes checked, and thought, This was the

perfect opportunity to right that wrong, to go about my life knowing that I corrected a mistake. Steven Popkow, who has helped thousands of people erase mistakes, understands the need to do so. “I like helping people who want to get rid of the past. The standard approach when I was in med school was to cut them out. That’s kind of the barbaric extent people would go to get rid of tattoos.” Laser treatment is a much easier and faster process. The Popkows treated nearly 100 patients in two days at the megaclinic, doing both nail fungus infection treatment with the laser as well as tattoo removal. For Steven, tattoo removal is “the most dramatic and rewarding. Some-

times a person gets a particular gang insignia, or they get a 666 tattoo removed and it relieves their burden. I just feel good to be part of that transition and be able to help them in some way.” The Popkows have run several outreach ministries from different area churches for many years, but most patients are now treated in their office on a pro bono basis. Patients who are able to pay for treatment help subsidize those who aren’t. “Most patients are amazed that I’m doing it for free,” Steven explains. “When clinics like this come up, I’ll bring it. We pray that the laser keeps working and that we can continue to use it to benefit people who need the services.” n


Jordan Overby shows where his tattoo used to be before it was removed at the LA Mega-clinic. TA N YA



Whether you’re looking for resources for your Pathfinder Club or you need new ideas for family ministries, stewardship or the youth group, AdventSource has you covered.

Contact us today to learn more! 402.486.8800 |

July 2016 | Adventist World - nad




Loma Linda Report

July 2016


Conference inspires 1,000 women to ‘Be the Artist of Your Life’ By Nancy Yuen


group of 9-1-1 operators, teachers, health care providers from their early 20s to experienced workers and retirees were among the diverse group of 1,000 women who attended the Loma Linda University Health Women’s Conference at the Riverside Convention Center. The conference, themed “Be the Artist of Your Life,” offered dozens of break-out sessions, each providing wisdom to help attendees “live it.” Attendee Linda Domeny enjoyed a breakout session led by a specialist in chronic pain. “He shared knowledge he learned while working with more than 100,000 patients, and provided great tips about how to live with chronic pain,” she said. “This event is all about being smart, healthy and confident women,” says Beverly Rigsby, MBA, service line director, OB-GYN women’s services, Loma Linda University Medical Center. “We want every woman to have the power to live a healthy and successful life, and we hope the information and tools provided during the conference will inspire them to be their absolute best.” During conference breakout sessions, experts shared the latest techniques in facial rejuvenation, creative ways to look younger, anti-aging tips for your teeth, how to get the most information from your breast screening, and the art of working with your personality, among many others. “There were so many great topics to choose from,” says Domeny. “I appreciated the opportunity to ask the presenters questions, and I took away information I will share with family and friends, and a highlight of the conference was the complimentary health testing that was avail-

Melissa Kidder, MD, chair of obstetrics and gynecology, Loma Linda University Health, answers questions at the “Ask the OB-GYN” booth during the 2016 Loma Linda University Health Women’s Conference.

able to all attendees.” During the day, creativity abounded as women took brushes to canvas, painting landscapes taught by an artist from the Purple Easel. There was one-on-one time with experts from areas including physical therapy to dentistry, OB-GYN, plastic surgery and self defense. In the morning Dewitt Jones, one of America’s top professional photographers, shared insights he learned during the two decades he worked for National Geographic. “Don’t stop with the first impression, the first photograph,” he urged as he showed several series of images on large screens — from flowers to sunsets to people. “Pausing, being open to the unexpected can take an assignment from good but ordinary, to magnificent.” The conference ended with a powerful message, “The Beauty of Being You,” shared by Jess Weiner.

Weiner shared stories of her childhood, watching TV and searching for someone to identify with. Her personal journey led her to create “Talk to Jess,” a company that collaborates with brands to help them understand and better connect with women, girls and families in their audience. Her keynote message inspired attendees to think of themselves with confidence and pride instead of being defined by others. Trevor Wright, MHA, chief operating officer, Loma Linda University Medical Center, attended the event for the first time and came away impressed with the level of participation from Loma Linda employees, not only the clinical staff handling the screenings but also physicians giving breakouts and the number of volunteers helping make the event run smoothly. “I appreciate everyone’s participation and interest in giving back,” says Wright. “Our physicians and employees are making a difference in the lives of women in our community.”




By Angeline B. David

for Health Ministry


hat happens when more than 4,300 people gather at a convention center? In the secular world, crowds of this size, and much larger, often signal a business or entertainment event. Within the Adventist Church it is not uncommon to have many more assembled together. Think of the evangelistic work being held in stadiums throughout the world, or the quinquennial General Conference session. But what happens when those individuals are there specifically to provide free health care? Volunteers travel from near and far at their own expense, some from other countries. What if their primary aim is simply to selflessly serve the community? What if most of them aren’t even medical professionals? Jets of Light

Ellen G. White wrote: “I was in vision taken to heaven, and the angel said to me, ‘Look!’ I looked to the world as it was in dense darkness. The agony that came over me was indescribable as I saw this darkness. “Again the word came, ‘Look ye.’ And again I looked intensely over the world, and I began to see jets of light like stars dotted all through this darkness; and then I saw another and another added light, and so all through this moral darkness the starlike lights were increasing. And the angel said, ‘These are they that believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and are

obeying the words of Christ. These are the light of the world; and if it were not for these lights, the judgments of God would immediately fall upon the transgressors of God’s law.’ I saw then these little jets of light growing brighter, shining forth from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and lighting the whole world. . . . I saw that the rays of light came directly from Jesus, to form these precious jets of light in the world.”* Give Me a Vision

Nearly seven years ago I was called to my first major leadership role with a supporting ministry of the Seventhday Adventist Church. As I tremblingly embarked on that journey, I pleaded with the Lord to give me a vision for the work. His loving answer led me to the above passage. I was transformed. My insecurities melted. I realized that my responsibility was only to shine what light I had, and help others do the same. It was not to determine the greatness of the light. Since then, this vision has been the impetus of my work and ministry. As I begin my new role as health ministries director for the North American Division, its clarion call persists. Dreams Into Reality

At the recent Your Best Pathway to Health mega-health clinic in Los Angeles, I was struck by the united efforts of more than 4,300 volunteers.

Surgeons, dental hygienists, pastors, barbers, lawyers, homemakers, reporters, teenagers, and many others were united in action. Adventists labored alongside their neighbors and coworkers, who came because they felt compelled to share the burden of this great work. Whatever their talent or training, all had one purpose: to share the love of God by bringing healing, hope, and wholeness to a community in need. Each had their role, all talents were utilized, and a great light shone into hearts that had been darkened with suffering and sin. What happens when those 4,300 volunteers returned home and shared their experiences? How many more lights will begin to burn? How many more will begin to work, in ways both small and large, to ignite their communities with love and manifest good works? How soon will Ellen White’s vision become a reality? We all have a role in health ministry, as was demonstrated in Los Angeles. As we seek for ways to intelligently and graciously answer the call to “let your light so shine before men” (Matt. 5:16), we will find new avenues of mingling with those who are hurting and ministering to their needs. Ultimately we can enable them to grasp hold of the Light of the world. We have been invited. Will we answer? Will you dream with me? Will we shine? n * Ellen G. White, Selected Messages (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1958, 1980), book 1, p. 76.

Angeline B. David,

Dr. P.H., M.H.S., R.D.N., is director of health ministries for the Seventh-day Adventist C Church o n t i ninuNorth e d oAmerica. n next page

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We pray that they will inspire their local churches to preach the gospel and be ready for the coming of Jesus. —Leo Ranzolin, Sr., Estero, Florida Our Young People Matter

NAD Letters Promoting Dialogue

I was so pleased to see the article “Talking Faith, Protecting Freedom” (April 2016). It’s so tempting to live in a bubble, and imagine that people of other faiths don’t matter. I applaud the Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for being involved in conversations with other faith groups. Who knows what will come about as a result of these conversations? But we certainly have to guard against the divisiveness that is affecting so much of our society and the world. Robin Metaxes Chicago, Illinois The Word and the Bible

Ted N. C. Wilson’s article on the muchneeded theme of love and truthfulness (April 2016) invokes the Gospel of John and related writings again and again. But when the article identifies God’s Word with a written document—the Bible—the reader recalls immediately that in John the Word of God is none other than Jesus Christ. Charles Scriven Gilbert, Arizona


As a former youth director for our church, I was touched to see young people pledging to reach the world during a prayer conference in Ontario, California (April 2016). The Adventist Church was led by young people, and they continue to make changes and commit their lives in service for our Lord. We pray that they will inspire their local churches to preach the gospel and be ready for the coming of Jesus. I was inspired as well by the young Brazilian soccer player who is standing for his faith, not compromising with his beliefs on the Sabbath. There’s no doubt that he has chosen his faith, and been admired and touched by soccer commentators. We certainly need more young people with that kind of conviction! Leo Ranzolin, Sr. Estero, Florida Sweet Iran Memories

I just got to page 46 in Adventist World, April 2016, and found a surprise! There was a picture of my husband’s assistant, Morovati, one of the first Muslim converts to Adventism in Iran. We served at the Iran Training School from 1955 to 1958, and there was the new building my husband built with help from the Iranians.

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We were called to Iran to build the school, which my husband did— from the walls to water on the property; to orchards and gardens and the teacher’s home, to the last building shown in the picture, which was to house the school until more buildings could be built. The beautiful property was purchased with Thirteenth Sabbath funds a few years before we arrived in Tehran. We were blessed to have had three wonderful years there learning Farsi, which Earl was able to speak well until the day he died. I was so proud to see that our school was featured. As I read the article I kept wondering if Earl would be mentioned, and when I got to the last paragraph, there it was: M. E. Adams. Thank you for bringing back those wonderful memories. Earl and I will see all our dear Iranian friends again when Christ comes. Marie Adams Chino Valley, Arizona



By Peter N. Landless and Allan R. Handysides


A Woman’s Disease Only?

I am 64 years old and have been faithfully taking my wife for her annual bone mineral density screening tests. She tells me that men are also at risk for osteoporosis. Is this true? I thought this disease affected only women.


e are fearfully and wonderfully made. Although bones may appear to be static and unchanging, there is continual production of new bone and breakdown of old bony tissue. This dynamic process is ongoing and keeps the bones strong and healthy. Osteoporosis occurs when bones become more porous and thinner. The density and quality of bones are reduced, and they become more fragile. Osteoporosis affects not only women but men as well. Individuals at highest risk are Asian and Caucasian women following menopause. Much greater emphasis has been placed on the screening and treatment of women, although there are data to show that men who sustain a hip fracture are two to three times more likely to die within the year following hip fracture than are women. These data have encouraged the consideration of screening tests for men who have an increased risk for osteoporosis. It is important to know your risk of developing osteoporosis. This is especially so for men, in whom it is often missed. Age is the most consistent risk factor; another is a history of bone fractures after the age of 50

years. Certain endocrine disorders and conditions add to the risk of osteoporosis, including low levels of testosterone, as do overactive thyroid and parathyroid glands. Inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease (gluten intolerance) may increase the risk of osteoporosis. Prolonged use of corticosteroids can cause thinning of the bones. An additional risk factor for men occurs during treatment for prostate cancer, which often targets the reduction of androgen (e.g., testosterone) hormones. Regular alcohol use adds to the risk of osteoporosis, as does the use of tobacco. Other markers of increased risk include low body weight and loss of height. This is something we tend to ignore but should not. It is also important to be aware of one’s family history as this in itself may point to increased risk. In this column we often talk about the importance of exercise and staying healthy. Inactivity is an important risk factor in the development of osteoporosis. Whether it is for the health of the brain, the heart, or even the bones, exercise plays an important role in keeping us healthy and well! It has been stated that exercise is the single most important fac-

tor that affects longevity. Maybe we should just do it! Yes, osteoporosis affects both men and women. Men with risk factors should have regular bone mineral density (BMD) and dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scanning. This testing helps to assess risk, as well as the effectiveness of treatment. Additional general preventive measures include taking 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily (green vegetables such as kale and broccoli, low-fat dairy products); 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily; and daily exercise, which includes walking and weight training. Your physician may recommend medications such as bisphosphonates, which slow the breakdown and thinning of the bones. Be sure to discuss your risk with your health-care providers. They will be able to guide your screening and treatment, if needed. n

Peter N. Landless, a board-certified nuclear

cardiologist, is director of the General Conference Health Ministries Department.

Allan R. Handysides, a board-certified gynecolo-

gist, is a former director of the General Conference Health Ministries Department.

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eremiah is in trouble: he’s doing time in Judah’s maximum security facility, a place that is literally a mess, a cistern where he’s sunk into the mud. The Contradiction

Jeremiah always knew he had it coming: it was the Lord’s promise. From the time he called him as a kid the Lord had told him that he’d be in trouble—in trouble with kings, priests, and people without titles. But he would prevail because of the Lord’s promise, “I am with you to deliver you” (Jer. 1:19). So the trouble had come. But what about deliverance? Jerry wasn’t feeling very delivered in the mud and the darkness. Except for one thing, a contradiction about his being locked up: his captors don’t seem to be able to put him far enough away to isolate him. “The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah . . . , while he was still confined in the court of the guard” (Jer. 33:1). It’s worth asking: how come prisoner Jerry is talking with people outside? We’ve arrested Jerry, handcuffed him, booked him, and put him away. He doesn’t have any landline in his cell, and he doesn’t have a cell phone concealed on his person, and we have jammed all the satellite transmissions and scrambled all the signals to make sure people in this high-security place don’t make any more trouble for us or themselves. But Jerry is still in steady contact with Someone outside. It’s a paradox we can’t miss: Jeremiah is freer than the ones who have locked him up. He has means and levels of communication that they seem to have no access to, and that they seem incapable of controlling. The Lord who communicates with Jeremiah is under nobody’s control. He doesn’t depend on unjammed satellite communication. He needs nobody to help Him decipher or break Apple encryption codes. He is communica-


By Lael Caesar

A paradox on freedom and c tion, the Word, and free to move as He chooses: He sweeps into a Philippian jail in rage and storm and breaks up all the manacles and releases all the chains; or He slips so quietly into a Herodian dungeon that Peter continues in unbroken slumber until he is awakened. Sin alone obstructs His communication with us, and hides His face from us (Isa. 59:1, 2). The real issue is not with God’s power to communicate, but with our disposition to listen. And the freedom that truly matters requires more than extraction from a mudhole in ancient Judah. Instead, it is about deliverance from sin’s slavery (Rom. 6:17, 20). Why Jeremiah Is in Jail

You must be wondering, though, why Jeremiah is in jail. He is there

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“because Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, ‘Why do you prophesy, saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I am about to give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will take it’ ” ’ ”(Jer. 32:3). Jerry is in jail for preaching doom and gloom. King Zedekiah, his counselors, and the general citizenry will not believe naysayers’ stories about the end of Jerusalem, the end of their kingdom, and the end of their world. Preaching about the end of the world often enough engenders a rather poor reception from the people who live there. The solution, in Jeremiah’s case, is to imprison him for speaking the truth rather than affirming their lie like prophet Hananiah does (Jer. 28). Jeremiah is remembered as emotionally soft, but when it comes to truth he doesn’t bend. P H O T O :


his name from Pashhur (probably liberation) to Magor-missabib (trouble all around [see Jer. 20:3]). Beyond that, Pashhur would watch impotently as the Lord gave his friends to the sword. And the Lord promised, “I will give over all Judah to the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will carry them away as exiles to Babylon (verse 4). Jerusalem’s wealth, all its produce, all its treasures, would be plundered and taken to Babylon” (verse 5). Word Fulfillment

d captivity The lie they believe is that Jerusalem will not fall to Babylon. It is a most astonishing lie, one that denies the facts before their eyes. The fact that they could believe something so outrageous, and deny something so obvious, should give serious pause to people today who balk at warnings about the end of their world: from “the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah” (Jer. 25:3) to this day that finds Jeremiah in the mud, the prophet has wept and thundered against king, priest, and people for their choice of apostasy over revival and reformation. The price of rejecting their God would be death, the sword, famine, and captivity, he warned (Jer. 15:2). When Pashhur had him beaten and put in stocks for his truth telling, he announced that God had changed

The years have vindicated Jeremiah’s warnings. Nebuchadnezzar has come and come again, each time for further plunder, destruction, and enslavement. Spiritual giants Daniel and friends, no doubt along with other ignoble compromisers whose names we shall never know, were marched away nearly two decades earlier. King Jehoiachin and prophet Ezekiel have lived in exile now for a full decade themselves, following another of Babylon’s devastating raids. Four disastrous reigns have followed Josiah, and this, the fourth, will be the most disastrous of all. Hamstrung by indecision and perverse counsel, Zedekiah sits upon the throne of David facing the truth with his eyes closed. This, his tenth year (Jer. 32:1), will turn to 11 and no more. In the prison of his own cowardice, his fear of his own citizens and advisors, he will summon the prisoner to secret consultation about the course he should follow (Jer. 38:14-18). Who Then Is Free?

Our human capacity to believe and follow a lie can be its own unfathomable mystery, and the vacillating farce of Zedekiah’s person and reign stand witness to that mystery. For it is not for lack of evidence that he and his counselors dismiss Jeremiah as false or insane or, on some other account, dangerous. At the end, when the time

You will know the truth, and the

truthwillmake you free (John 8:32).* comes, the wall is breached, and the words of the prophet come true, Zedekiah still does not find it possible to heed the prophetic counsel. King he may have been, but he has always been bound—bound by his weakness of character, bound by his cowardice, bound by his inability to take a stand for truth. King he may be, but he never finds freedom. They slaughter his sons before his eyes, then gouge out his eyes and drag him to Babylon (Jer. 39:6, 7). Jeremiah the prisoner gets the run of the land: Nebuchadnezzar’s officer tells him, “Look, the whole land is before you; go wherever it seems good and right for you to go” (Jer. 40:4). Jeremiah, it turns out, despite his stocks and dungeons, has always been free. For the truth has always made him free (John 8:32). n * Except as otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Lael Caesar, Adventist

World associate editor, loves freedom in Jesus.

July 2016 | Adventist World - nad




Church, the Mission, Tweeting, posting, the Youth preaching the message



By Pako Mokgwane


rowing up in the village of Serowe, Botswana, taught me the beauty and importance of social relations. Human beings are naturally social. We all exist in community. In this context God gives each of us a mandate: to herald His love and the second advent. Every believer has been apportioned a role to play. Men and women, young and old, lay and clergy have been called to play their personal roles: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations. . . . And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:19, 20, NIV). Clearly, “God did not call His people to make them spectators.”1 Moreover, our involvement is not just for the sake of those to whom we witness. Our labor protects our own souls: “Strength to resist evil is best gained by aggressive service.”2 The Gifts

Every member invited to participate in this aggressive service is enabled to perform their task through their spiritual gifts. What an awesome privilege! God in His grace affords sinners the privilege to labor for the redemption of others in an inimitable way uniquely designed for every individual. The Holy Spirit gives each believer a special endowment and ability to witness (1 Cor. 12:4, 8-10; Eph. 4:7-11). Each believer has at least one spiritual gift, though some possess more. And all are critical to the synergy and concord of the gospel work. No office is more important than the other. The various offices work like the body, with all its harmonized parts and systems. The eye cannot walk; neither can


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bones talk. Each part must do its rightful part, since the various systems need each other. And the metaphor of different parts of the body (eyes, bones, etc.) may be applied just as reasonably to different groups within the church—kids and seniors, juniors, and young adults. For God’s work to be finished, and for all to be saved, all parts must work together with each other. Social Connection

Social circles present a superb opportunity for the space and activity of mission. God, who has invited all of us to serve, equips us all and gives us all the space and ground we need to follow His directives. Relationships are a natural context for carrying out our gospel mission. Social interaction can be digital and/or physical. And though electronic communication may seem like something radically new and different, Julia Roy has observed that “social media is the same today as it was yesterday. It’s just now reached a critical mass; it’s just too hard to ignore. You don’t want to be ‘that guy’ or ‘that brand’ who refuses to adapt to change and loses touch with reality.”3 Not everyone will agree with the claim that social media is not new. Some may want to find out the age of Julia Roy. Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the reality of social media. Rather, we must harness its potential for the supreme cause of evangelism. This means engaging the youth of today with the high-tech savvy that is the natural inheritance of being born in this era characterized by the dynamism of social media. And whereas it has been said

The good news of the kingdom will be preached by CREATIVE Adventist millennials. that youth aged 16-30 constitute the majority of the church membership, the church is well poised, by engaging their talents, to catalyze our mission work as they lay hold of the legacy of preceding generations. The Youth Department has made its own specific application of the General Conference initiative Total Member Involvement, labeling it as Total Youth Involvement. During the General Conference session in San Antonio, Texas, General Conference Secretariat reported that the church loses half the number of believers it baptizes. General Conference secretary G. T. Ng also spoke of an alarming rise in youth attrition. One way to stop this hemorrhage, he said, is to “give young people the keys [to the church].” This initiative of the General Conference responds to the challenge of membership attrition at all levels, particularly among our youth. It challenges the church at all levels to empower its youth by entrusting them with keys of leadership and mission. It allows Adventist youth to understand better that both their heavenly Father and their earthly church family value their service and ministry. It allows them to feel more fully than ever before that they belong to God’s family and own its mission. With such an understanding, it will not be hard to convince them to realize their God-given purpose.


Remnant and Its Mission

The universal church is composed of all who truly believe in Christ, but in the last days, a time of widespread apostasy, a remnant has been called out to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. This remnant announces the arrival of the judgment hour, proclaims salvation through Christ, and heralds the approach of His second advent. This proclamation is symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14; it coincides with the work of judgment in heaven and results in a work of repentance and reform on earth. Every believer is called to have a personal part in this worldwide witness. (Isa. 1:9; 11:11; Jer. 23:3; Dan. 7:9-14; Micah 2:12; 2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Peter 1:16-19; 4:17; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Jude 3, 14; Rev. 12:17; 14:6-12; 18:1-4.)

A Task for All

Saving our church’s youth and fulfilling our church’s mission are not distinct and separate undertakings. Ellen White has spoken of the power of our youth to complete the task God has given us: “With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Savior might be carried to the whole world!”4 We call on our youth to avail themselves for service in that gospel army. Also, we thank God for every local leader, elder, pastor, and member who diligently plays a role in intentionally setting up their local youth for leadership and mission. As we resolved at our recent World Youth Advisory: “The local church must become the primary target of global youth ministry. Our core function is to resource and build up youth ministry in the local church. Youth ministry is effective only when it is a response to local needs, guided by local convictions in the hands of local people.” The answers to those local needs as provided by local churches will demonstrate to local communities all over the world that the good news of salvation in Jesus is the answer that individuals are seeking for their uniquely personal questions. We may tweet or text or post those answers to our contacts, and share them through a million apps in the world of social media. Or we may share by means that existed long before Facebook or WhatsApp. The good news of the kingdom will be preached by creative Adventist millennials and by seasoned baby boomers; on phones, laptops, or tablets; on porches or across fences or across the electronic world; in living rooms or chat rooms, sunrooms and dining rooms; in parks and ball fields, swimming pools and community centers, for a witness to all our loved ones, friends, and neighbors. Then the end will come. n 1

K. Kenaope, Grassroots Mobilization (Berrien Springs, Mich.: Tribute Books, 2008), p. 21. Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1911), p. 105. 3 Julia Roy, in P. R. Scott and J. M. Jacka, Auditing Social Media: A Governance Risk and Guide (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2011), p. 85. 4 Ellen G. White, Education (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1903), p. 271. 2

Pako Mokgwane is an associate director of Youth Ministries for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

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By Gerald A. Klingbeil

See the Lamb in the Center of Revelation

THIN AIR: Many of the scenes from ARNION shot in Bolivia were recorded on the Altiplano at 3,400 meters (c. 11,100 feet) above sea level. P H O T O G R A P H E R :




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C OV E R S T O RY TAKING AIM: Director of photography, Manuel Wildemann, prepares the camera for a scene at the “cementerio de trenes” in Uyuni, Bolivia. South Africa, and Germany) into the mix, and you get an engaging video series that introduces viewers to the center of the Apocalypse—Jesus Christ—and the cosmic conflict between Christ and Satan. The Message

P H O T O G R A P H E R :


magine you are walking in a large forest. Surrounded by huge trees, you try to find your way through the woods. You see a majestic oak tree; then you recognize a massive fir tree standing next to a slim beech tree; a smaller birch tree is right next to an imposing maple tree. As you look around, you notice more and more trees, and they begin to look very similar. In fact, there comes a moment that you don’t see the forest among all the trees anymore. You know where I’m going, don’t you? We all face moments when we miss seeing the big picture by concentrating exclusively on the details. We get sidetracked by the particulars and miss the grand perspective. This very typical human tendency led the team of the Inter-European Media Center (Stimme der Hoffnung) in Alsbach-Hähnlein, Germany, to consider developing a creative approach to the study of the book of Revelation that is relevant for people living in secular cultures. They called it ARNION, Greek for “lamb.” The two faces of the German version of the engaging 10-episode series on Revelation are Judith and Sven Fockner, whose conversationstyle segments in the approximately 30-minute programs present the big P H O T O S



I N T E R - E U R O P E A N



picture of Revelation as you have never seen it before. The Audience

Evangelism can be challenging in those parts of the world where secularism and postmodernism have become the dominant way of looking at life. Whether Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North America, or—increasingly—many of the major urban centers of the world, there is little space for God and the Bible in the public square. The concept of studying the Bible on TV, and, more specifically, the often-challenging book of Revelation, doesn’t excite most people living in these regions. The question How can we reach secular people who have no idea about the Bible and no notion of the prophetic book of Revelation? was high on the agenda of the Inter-European Media Center team as they thought about creative ways of communicating the gospel and the unique prophetic message of Revelation. ARNION was born out of the realization that postmoderns listen to bigpicture narratives, and are intrigued by what is applicable and relevant to their lives. Put some tantalizing video segments shot in various international locations (including Bolivia, M E D I A


One of the key elements of the series is to highlight the personal and existential dimensions of ARNION. Simply put: every episode asks the real question about the relevance of the particular topic from Revelation presented in the episode: What does this address in my personal life? In episode six, for example, the focus is upon the Lamb found in Revelation 5. In the opening scene we see a man struggling through what appears to be a harsh and unforgiving wilderness. Haunting music communicates desolation. Sven Fockner begins the narrative recalling moments in his past when some of his “clever” comments hurt people around him. We all recall how we have hurt people around us—consciously or sometimes unconsciously. If God is the Creator of all, then we become guilty when we damage or hurt His creation, Sven reasons as he looks into the camera. Guilt requires outside help, something we often struggle to accept. As with hurtful comments, we soon realize that guilt cannot be easily remedied. What has been said will always stand. What has been done will always leave an impression and affect other people. Dominoes begin to fall; hurt gets propagated; pain gets duplicated. As Judith and Sven Fockner talk about the throne room scene of Revelation 4, they are interrupted by flashbacks to the opening scene of someone wandering in the wilderness. Then they turn to Revelation 5 and its focus on a scroll that nobody can open. The solemnity and glory of the

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THE DARK SIDE OF PROGRESS: An ARNION cameraman is gets ready for a scene at the abandoned ordnance factory in Hirschhagen, Germany.

throne room scene is replaced by desperation and tears: Who will be able to open the seals that keep the scroll closed? As Judith puts it: John searches for the mighty Lion, and finds a small Lamb. The Lamb is God’s way of dealing with the great rebellion engulfing this planet. The Response

Familiar texts suddenly gain new significance in this interplay of commentary, music, and video sequences that function as visual illustrations. Viewers of the German version of ARNION reacted very positively to the series. “Finally, something that inter-

ests me on Hope Channel,” a 17-yearold told the Hope Channel team. People liked the authenticity and personal nature of the series, as well as the application to real life. Reactions varied from “super, but too short” to “wonderful videography and great illustrations,” even though some felt that the changes from narrative to video sequence were at times distracting. This impression was shared by a number of older viewers, while younger viewers often felt excited and engaged, suggesting that the media has to be tailored to specific audiences if we want to communicate effectively.

Catch the Sequence


eW om an Th eT hro ne Th eL am b Th eB ea st Th eJ ud ge The Pro stit ute The Bri de



on Th










The ARNION project does not start with Revelation 1, but begins the journey into the Apocalypse with the conflict between the dragon and the woman depicted in Revelation 12, right in the center of the book. The focus upon the main protagonists of the biblical book and their roles in the cosmic battle between Christ and Satan underlines the storytelling approach of the project.

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A representative of the German Bible Society that had partnered with the Inter-European Media Center by providing a newly designed German Bible translation reported that the format of the episodes was a great hit. Another viewer wrote this personal note to Sven Fockner: “I am thrilled! . . . I often feel discouraged by many programs offered in our churches; at times I feel provoked; many times just sobered. . . . However, if my church can agree to something like this, if this represents the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I want to stick around.” Simret Mahary, a pastor in Germany, noted that “camera work, production, music, silence, close-ups of the speakers, and the balance between the two narratives felt in tune and just right.” The Collaboration

We live in an interconnected world. Social media, Hollywood, and instant news updates all connect us globally, whether we reside in Buenos Aires, Bangkok, Berlin, Cairo, or Cape Town. While our cultures and languages may vary, we still sense the basic human need to find answers to our deepest questions. Where do I come from? What’s the purpose of my life? and Where am I going? ring true

in most cultures. ARNION is an attempt to address these existential questions and look at them through the lens of the book of Revelation. Right from the beginning it also included a global perspective. Collaboration became an important guide as scripts were written and video locations were selected. Bolivia, South Africa, and Germany represent vastly different regions; and by anchoring the film scenes in different parts of the world, ARNION became a global project. Funding came from different entities and sources, and contextualization to different cultures has been built into the project. The results have been impressive, as demonstrated by the increasing number of language adaptations. However, the film scenes did not aim only at an international audience. The unique mix of engaging background music and stunning videography of each episode functioned as an illustration of the key topic and helped the viewers to connect on an emotional and aesthetic level. In fact, says Sven, “these images function as metaphors,” expressing the basic message of each episode. The Lamb Is the Future

ARNION reminds us that the Lamb must be at the center of everything we do, including also the way we interpret and communicate the message of the book of Revelation. Looking at the big picture of the cosmic conflict between Christ and Satan represents a unique way of connecting God’s view of history to our human need for answers to existential questions. So—with the Lamb. n

Gerald A. Klingbeil is an associate editor of Adventist World.


Interview with

Sven & Judith Fockner Adventist World associate editor Gerald Klingbeil interviewed Judith (JF) and Sven Fockner (SF), the two presenters of the German version of ARNION, to hear about their experiences and lessons learned.

Watching the different episodes in German, I could see your passion as you link existential questions to the big story line of the book of Revelation. Why are you so passionate about this? JF: I am passionate because ARNION shows Christ in a depth that is inspired by His most passionate letter. Our Adventist worldview is transmitted in these short episodes. It also looks professional and contemporary and appeals to a new generation. Everyone who has these deep existential questions about life can use ARNION to explore them.

What reactions have you received from viewers? SF: A lot of people liked the twospeaker configuration, a man and a woman, bringing in different perspectives; maybe a more emotional and a more rational element. The feedback overall was very positive, especially from people on the fringes of Christianity or new to the faith. They appreciated this straightforward approach to make sense of something.

JF: People expressed their gratitude about the series because it was “the first series” they “dared” to watch with their non-Adventist friends or family members with no connection to the church. It has a visual quality and artistic beauty that does not “smell” like missionary material. Yes, I would watch it with practically everyone who is curious about life.

Is there a generational difference in reaction? SF: I think so. When we talked personally with viewers we noticed this. A younger generation will relate to the format easier than an older generation.

Why did you choose to film the video scenes in different locations? SF: First, we came up with mini stories portrayed in images. Then we realized that we needed visually impacting locations. So we talked with our partners in the global Hope Channel network. We ended up going to places where there is a strong Hope Channel presence, such as South America, and shot in Bolivia, and in South Africa. We also shot two episodes in Germany.

Why did you include this international perspective in ARNION? SF: When I came on board with this project, it was already designed this

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D U R É P H O T O G R A P H E R :


READY—AND ACTION: Sven Fockner, one of the presenters of ARNION, prepares To shoot the next scene.

way. The producers wanted to foster global collaboration, considering the financial implications. We could not have done it on our own. We also wanted to reach a broader audience. We set it up in a way that the presenter parts are easy to replicate. We separated them completely from the video clips, which have no dialogue.

Is it possible to produce a series that is truly global? SF: From the beginning we were open and said: “If you need to adapt, do it.” And there have been adaptations. For example, the Brazilian team designed an online game around it. In the United Kingdom they somewhat changed the look and feel. But as far as content is con-

Where is

cerned, I was surprised how little was changed. So it seems that these existential themes resonate with people in different cultures.

What did you learn from the process? SF: There are a number of small things to tweak here and there in the series. But in the overall approach, what has worked is the network thinking. You get together, and you create something together. It’s a model that has proved to be very effective. Something that has not worked that well is the marketing element, letting people know about the project and its qualities. JF: There were three big challenges for me: First, how do you reduce one of the more complex biblical texts to its

What other exciting projects do you see on the horizon of the Inter-European Media Center? SF: I will pick one that is closest to my heart. It’s another TV series: this time not about a biblical book but about spirituality in general, and it’s geared to millennials. It’s called Encounters, and it shows university students in their everyday lives encountering difficult topics, difficult decisions, struggling with them, and what faith can do in these situations. n


The ARNION project is a global initiative. From the outset, producers Wolfgang Schick and Adrian Duré from the Inter-European Media Center partnered with media centers and church entities around the world to fund the project. The video sequences were designed to work across different cultures. The English scripts, music, editable files, trailers, etc., were given to all interested partners, who then translated the scripts and shot the presenter scenes with native speakers. This has allowed church entities with more limited media budgets to produce a series that appears to be uniquely developed for their region. So far, ARNION has aired in the following countries (links are case sensitive):


core message? Second, how can you work together successfully in a team? In teamwork you cannot control everything. I had to learn to let go and trust. And it was worth it. Finally, we had to learn how to communicate calmly and authoritatively. We actually took a crash course from a professional speaker. I learned a lot of new things.

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Germany, Austria, Switzerland: Norway: Brazil: This is a different adaptation in game form. United Kingdom: The following entities are currently working on language-specific versions that should be available soon: Italy Romania Spain North American Division Portugal Inter-American Division

Subtitling for

Team Adventist I

n recent years video has exploded on the Internet. YouTube has 1 billion views per month, and it is estimated that 60 percent of all Internet traffic currently consists of video. Seventh-day Adventist producers around the world are creating dynamic videos with powerful life-changing messages. The digital team at Adventist World and Adventist Review recently started producing short videos, and plans are in place to release as many as seven new videos per week on various digital platforms currently under development. We would love for all our readers, and the online community worldwide, to enjoy these videos. With hundreds of languages in the world, however, how can we communicate to everyone in their own language? Meet Team Adventist, a community of crowd-sourced volunteers who work during their free time to transcribe and translate videos into their own languages. Right now about 200 volunteers work in 45 different languages. But we need thousands more volunteers—tens of thousands, in fact. Are you interested? All you would need is a connection to the Internet. Once you sign in, select a video of your choice and start working on it. Team Adventist is hosted on the Amara platform, an awardwinning subtitle editor that makes it easy to caption and translate videos. Videos are currently hosted by various Adventist ministries. For example, you could select a short video to translate for Adventist World, or you could work on a mission video produced by Adventist Mission. You might find it appealing to translate a video for Hope Sabbath School into your language, or transcribe a video for the new Hope Deaf Channel. Amara is fun and easy to learn. You can start a project, save it, and continue working on it later. We need transcribers, translators, reviewers, and language managers. Join Team Adventist today. Make it your personal ministry. To sign up, go to It’s as easy as that! n


Amara makes video globally accessible. There are 504,000 registered users from 230 countries. Content has been created in 311 different languages. The system supports more than 330 languages. Team Adventist has more than 200 volunteers representing 45 languages

Why I joined

Team Adventist “I want the gospel of Jesus Christ to reach the whole world as fast as possible.”—Alexandra, Germany. “Chinese is my mother tongue. I learned English, and once I translated an Ellen G. White testimony for missionary purposes.”—Liyan, China. “I would like to provide subtitles, so that those who are deaf can enjoy and benefit from our videos, as I benefit from them.”—Donna, United States. “As a French speaker, I yearn to see my countrymen enjoy blessed English materials in French to spread the three angels’ messages in another dimension.” —Mihindou, Gabon. “I believe God granted me the ability to master foreign languages, so I wish to use this talent for His service.” —Leandra, France. “Like translators, who have the privilege of translating sermons and other uplifting messages, I will be able to learn from the Bible and be aware of things happening around the world church as I caption the videos, all the while praying.” —Amyra, Canada. July 2016 | Adventist World - nad




By Joice Manurung



he day finally arrived. Some of us had waited and prayed for two years, eight years, and even 12 years for the opportunity to take Indonesia’s bar exam on a day other than the Sabbath. Now I joined a group of about 20 Seventh-day Adventists in a room at the Adventist Church’s West Indonesia Union Mission headquarters in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, to take the test that, if passed, would make us full-fledged lawyers. Praise God! I thought to myself. We were meeting on a Sunday. For years it seemed unlikely that Adventists would ever be able to take the bar exam in Indonesia. I failed the bar exam on my first attempt in 1999, back when it was administered by the Supreme Court and always scheduled for a weekday. But a 2003 national law reassigned the task of administering the bar exam to the Indonesian Association of Lawyers, known by its Indonesian-language acronym PERADI, and PERADI subsequently scheduled all bar exams for Saturdays. After not passing the bar exam in 1999, I took a break from my legal career to get married and start a family. But in 2008 I decided to return to my career and learned that I could not retake the bar exam because of the Sabbath conflict. I determined to collect the names of fellow Adventists who also wanted to become lawyers so we could petition PERADI to offer the bar exam on another day. My initial efforts didn’t go far. I sent out a flurry of e-mails but heard back from only one person, Markus Setiawan. He said PERADI had turned down his written request to offer the bar exam on another day and as a result put aside his legal ambitions to become a medical missionary. I wasn’t sure what to do next. Several years passed. Ultimately, my fight ended up lasting nine years.



th e

The fight to change Indonesia’s ruling on Sabbath bar exams My Next Major Attempt

In 2011 an Adventist, Apriani Sijabat, contacted me to say that her employer was requiring her to take the bar exam as part of her job. After several meetings we decided to take our dilemma to the Adventist Church’s local director for religious liberty issues, Samuel Simorangkir. Simorangkir was eager to help and, at his suggestion, we set up an organization called the Legal Aid Institute to represent the interests of our Adventist group. The Legal Aid Institute, with assistance from the West Indonesia Union Mission, where Simorangkir works, submitted a written request to PERADI to offer the bar exam on an alternative day. Days passed with no response. I contacted a member of PERADI’s supervisory commission to ask whether our letter had arrived. He confirmed that it had, but said our request was too late. Final preparations for the upcoming bar exam had

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already been made. We were disappointed, but continued to pray and hope. Our group of Adventists who wanted to take the bar exam grew to 25 members. Our next appeal, filed in 2013, was also rejected by PERADI. A Possible Breakthrough

Then a breakthrough appeared in December 2014. A fellow Adventist, Timbang Pangaribuan, told me that he had been lobbying PERADI independently for some time, and had just learned that it was ready to offer the bar exam to Adventists after sunset Saturday. PERADI, however, wanted the Adventists to stay in an isolated location throughout the day to ensure that people who took the bar exam at the regular time would not be able to leak the questions. We met several times with PERADI and its bar exam organizing committee to discuss the details. We were told to wait for the next step: PERADI’s

Surprising News

Above: The West Indonesia Union Mission headquarters in Jakarta was the site of the bar exam. Right: The author (front row, second from right) poses with other Adventists after taking the bar exam.

approval of the relevant decree. The approval never came. PERADI officials abruptly changed their minds and canceled the plan to hold the post-Sabbath bar exam. We were extremely disappointed. We had prayed for so long and had seemed so close to a resolution. I thought about one of my last conversations with PERADI leaders. I had reminded them that we were not seeking to be rubber-stamped as lawyers but to keep God’s law and worship on Sabbath. I had underscored the importance of obeying God’s law. But PERADI leaders did not seem to care about our request. They were busy preparing for a congress to elect a new chair. A month after the congress, PERADI abruptly broke up into three organizations that all claimed to be the legitimate PERADI. The breakup left us confused. We didn’t know which of the three organizations to turn to with our Sabbath request. P H O T O S




I questioned what had happened. Why was it so difficult for us to take the bar exam? What was God’s purpose? As I prayerfully considered the situation, I found an answer in my young son. As he walked into the room one day, I looked at him and realized that I would feel horrible if he decided that he wanted to become a lawyer but I had not done my best to change the day of the bar exam. I understood that I was not fighting just for myself and our group of 25 Adventists but for generations to come. At the same time, it struck me that perhaps God was allowing the bar exam difficulties because He wanted us to realize that we cannot be mediocre lawyers and advocates as we seek to follow the example of Jesus Christ, our lawyer and advocate extraordinaire. How can we enforce the laws of the world if we violate God’s law?

In September 2015 we received the stunning news that Indonesia’s Supreme Court had ruled that all bar organizations—including the three that split from PERADI—could offer the bar exam. With the help of the West Indonesia Union Mission, we applied to the Indonesian Congress of Lawyers, which had broken off from PERADI several years earlier, and received a positive reply. On Sunday, January 24, 2016, the Indonesian Congress of Lawyers offered the bar exam to a group of Adventists and non-Adventists at the headquarters of the West Indonesia Union Mission. The organization even hung a large banner on the wall announcing that the bar exam was being held in collaboration with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Markus Setiawan and Apriani Sijabat were among the 20 Adventists in the room. We bowed our heads in prayer before the beginning of the bar exam. We had worked hard to prepare for this moment. We had studied the law books. We had spent years praying and appealing for the right to observe God’s Sabbath law. Now we were filled with thanksgiving and a desire to glorify God’s name with our test results. Two weeks after the bar exam we learned that every Adventist participant had passed with flying colors. As the psalmist said: “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4). God is real, and religious freedom is alive and well in Indonesia, even if we need to fight for it sometimes. n

Joice Manurung is a lawyer in Jakarta, Indonesia.

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t was the start of my third year at an inner-city high school with all the attending ills—violence, drugs, sexual immorality, etc. My parents knew they had to get me, a wide-eyed 17-year-old with anger-management issues, to a better place. Pine Forge Academy—an Adventist boarding school in the sleepy hills of Pine Forge, Pennsylvania, United States—was the perfect antidote to the inner city. I was happy to finish high school there, having grown tired of the “drama” from my previous school. But little did I know that something else would have a much greater impact on my life than my new school. The Gift

As my father readied our car for the trip to Pine Forge, he gave me a two-volume set of books by Ellen G. White. Regrettably, her writings were too often invoked to address behavior that needed to be quelled; thus the beauty and sweetness of her counsels were lost on me during my early teen years. Nevertheless, I accepted my father’s gift, and off we went. When I finally opened the two volumes of Mind, Character, and Personality, something happened to me. I saw my academy experience as an opportunity to make some positive changes in my life, to start over. And nothing aided me

Coming of


The Gift That Kept on Giving By Dwain N. Esmond


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more in this endeavor than these two books. As a young man coming of age and baptized in city culture, God, through Ellen White, began to put His finger on the difficult things that held me fast. I grew up in a home in which God was cherished, worship was constant, and church life prized. However, I still began to lose my way. I wanted desperately to be a good student. God, through His anointed servant, supplied the tools I needed to become a high achiever. During this time in my life I read this: “As an educating power the Bible is without a rival. Nothing will so impart vigor to all the faculties as requiring students to grasp the stupendous truths of revelation. The mind gradually adapts itself to the subjects upon which it is allowed to dwell. . . . If never required to grapple with difficult problems or put to the stretch to comprehend important truths, it will after a time almost lose the power of growth.”1 No chapter in this amazing two-volume compilation impacted me more than chapter 11 of volume 1, “Bible Study and the Mind.” After reading it I studied the Bible with intention and precision. Ellen White’s writings functioned in my young life just as she said they should: a lesser light leading to the greater light of God’s Word.2 Today I love and cherish both, but I am sure I would not appreciate either as much today had my father not given me these books.

God, through His anointed servant, supplied the tools I needed to become a high achiever. Facing the Challenge

Today the Seventh-day Adventist Church faces a stark reality: the number of members who regularly read the inspired counsels of Ellen White is rapidly declining. This is troubling because it means most members are not experiencing the rich trove of blessing contained in these sacred counsels. But there are other reasons to be alarmed. In a study of more than 8,200 Seventh-day Adventists attending 193 churches throughout North America, researchers Roger L. Dudley and Des Cummings, Jr., reported that “Those who regularly study the writings of Ellen White are also more likely to be stronger Christians in their personal spiritual life and in their witness to their communities than those church members who don’t.”3 What Do We Do Now?

That was in 1982, the year when some of the study’s findings were published in the October issue of Ministry magazine. The intervening years have seen a sharp decline in the number of Seventh-day Adventists who read Ellen White at all, let alone regularly. We are witnessing the advent of a digital/visual generation that reads differently. A recent Pew Research Center study noted that millennials in North America, where the study was based, read more than their over-30 counterparts. “Overall, 88 percent of Americans under 30 read a book in the past year, compared with 79 percent of those age 30 and older. Young adults have caught up to those in their 30s and 40s in e-reading, with 37 percent of adults ages 18-29 reporting that they have read an e-book in the past year.”4 So how might we ignite a love for Ellen White’s writings in twenty-first-century Adventist youth and young adults? Here are two suggestions to start.

1 Remember that truth—eternal truth—is first and foremost relational. Jesus declared He was truth (John 14:6). Truth then, is a Person to be known. Youth consume more information today through a web of connectedness that we call social media. They depend on others to curate and deliver information that is meaningful to their lives. To reach youth today with the writings of Ellen White, they must be curated and calibrated to meet specific needs in their lives. For example, instead of recommending that a teen struggling with belief in God read the chapter “What to Do With Doubt,” in the book Steps to Christ, one might select a specific paragraph and record a short video explaining why this information is relevant. The resulting video might then be sent via text message, along with a note of love and acceptance. This process of assigning meaning—contextualization—is critical to sharing truth with today’s youth. 2 Never underestimate the influence of parents, guardians, and loved ones in sharing truth. It wasn’t lost on me that my father thought my spiritual development important enough to give me a gift that changed my life. I took the books because they came from my father, a man whom I love, respect, and admire. Families are the foundational unit for the dissemination of truth. God works through all—even those who don’t have parents—who are willing to take interest in the salvation of His youth. When a parent, guardian, or loved one highlights an Ellen White passage and says to their young charge, “I read this today, and it really helped me. Would you mind checking it out and letting me know what you think?” What young person would reject such an offer? Today I have the distinct honor of working for one of the great institutions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Ellen. G. White Estate. I doubt seriously that I would be here had my parents not introduced me to her writings at an early age. To the degree that our church can support the Adventist family in its mission to fulfill the educational imperative found in Deuteronomy 6, we will have done God’s remnant church—and our youth—a great service. n 1 Ellen

G. White, Mind, Character, and Personality (Nashville: Southern Pub. Assn., 1977), vol. 1, p. 91. G. White, Selected Messages (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1958, 1980), book 3, p. 30. 3 Roger L. Dudley and Des Cummings, Jr., “Who Reads Ellen White?” Ministry 55, no. 1 (1982): 10-12. 4 Kathryn Zickhur and Lee Rainie, “Younger Americans and Public Libraries,” Pew Research Center, Sept. 10, 2014, 2 Ellen

Dwain N. Esmond, a pastor, author, and editor,

is an associate director of the Ellen G. White Estate. He and his wife, Kemba, have been married for more than 20 years. Their son, Dwain, Jr., is a budding reader of Ellen White’s writings.

July 2016 | Adventist World - nad




Dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants were kept busy throughout the clinic as clients sought sometimes long-overdue dental care.


Adventist World - nad | July 2016

TH LA By Kimberly Luste Maran

Willie Rollins, Afrodyete, and Lee Anne Selleck are three of the 10,000 patients treated during the April 27-29, 2016, Your Best Pathway to Health Los Angeles (YBPHLA) megaclinic at the Los Angeles Convention Center. They came for different reasons, and each received different treatment. But overjoyed with the assistance they received, they also shared a

Megaclinic inspires volunteers


commonality: they were each eager to tell their story. Help on a Personal Level A California native living in Compton, 55-year-old Willie Rollins heard about YBPHLA the Friday before the event from

helps heal patients.

a friend. Willie spent two days at the clinic. “I really love the services here. They helped us mentally, physically, and spiritually,” he says. “I love the hospitality, and how they worked with us in a personal way.”

He described being escorted by cheerful volunteers to each designated area, even to the restroom. Willie, a leader in a nondenominational church that holds services on Saturday, was impressed with the “wonderful smiles” of the medical volunteers. “If I can speak on behalf of the city of Los Angeles as an ambassador, I say, ‘Thank you.’ You really helped our city.” P H O T O G R A P H Y



M U S G R A V E / N A D

On Willie’s first day at the clinic he came to check his physical and mental health and get a new pair of reading glasses. Even though he’d been told the services would be free, he was astonished that he was not only able to get bifocals he needed at no cost to him, but also received a brand-new suit, three new shirts, and a new pair of tennis shoes at the clinic’s clothing area. The mental health zone was the arthritis sufferer’s next stop. “I deal with depression because of some physical pain I have. So I went over, and they really helped, on a personal level,” Willie shares. “They even prayed with me.” Willie adds, “I loved it so much that I decided to come back a second day.” During his second visit, Willie received information on a necessary colonoscopy. He also got his hair cut at the clinic’s barbershop. “You can see how handsome I look today, thanks to Pathway to Health,” he says. Although finished for the day, Willie lingered. He was eager to talk about his experience, and to learn more about


“ also received a brand-new suit, three new shirts, and a new pair of tennis shoes at the clinic’s clothing area.”

Maria came to the clinic three days before it began to see a dentist. She was the first person in line.

Vision checkups were one of the features of Your Pathway to Health LA. Patients not only received free checkups, they were able to choose from hundreds of frames into which new lenses were placed.

the Adventist faith, including what the church believes about Christ’s death and resurrection. After a lengthy conversation, his barber shared the church’s belief about the Sabbath and handed Willie a copy of The Great Controversy. Willie beamed as he bid farewell to his new friends. “To tell the truth, their love won me over,” says Willie. “Their smiles. . . . They literally held my hand as I walked through.” Willie reflects on the two-day experience: “It changed my life. I’m a Christian already, and I’ve dealt with different denominations. For an organization—or organism as I like to call it, because it’s a living thing—to come together like this, as one, well,” he adds with a grin, “I’ve been converted a little bit. I’m thankful for this Seventhday Adventist venture.” Prayer as Thanks

The sounds of dental drills and suction devices were no match for the a cappella performance of “The Prayer” that

rose from one of the dental patients at YBPHLA. Patients and volunteers stopped in their tracks to listen to the dulcet tones. As those gathered in the waiting area clapped at the conclusion of the impromptu performance, the singer finished by saying, “Thank you! This is my way saying thanks; I wanted to give something back to the people here.” Beverly A. Johnson, who goes by the name Afrodyete, has lived in Los Angeles for 37 years. For decades she worked as an actress, singer, and poet. “I thrive on doing creative things, and I’m not afraid of hard work,” she says. “I believe in action first, talk second.” Afrodyete, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, is the second-oldest of five children. The 60-year-old says she came to the clinic because “I need dental work, like a lot of people who showed up here today. And to see what else I can get done.” After a visit to the dental clinic, Afrodyete was also planning for a visit to primary care for an examination and treatment for an ear injury.

Connections AT PATHWAY TO HEALTH LA “There are thousands of people here . . . and sometimes we have no way of knowing why we connect with certain people.” Dolores Hudson, 70, shares those words as the last patients filter through the primary-care zone at Your Best Pathway to Health Los Angeles megaclinic. The joy lighting her smile all but banishes the tiredness etched into her face after two and half days of volunteering. The Hacienda Heights, California, resident is a retired interior designer and business owner. She explains why she initially volunteered for the clinic. “Health is something I’ve been interested in, and I felt that this was something I needed to do.” Hudson’s niece works as a dental hygienist, and after being involved in three of these megaclinics, her niece invited Hudson to what she described as “an experience of a lifetime.” Hudson recalls a special encounter from the day before. “I was taking a respite from a very busy morning and early afternoon,” she says. “I sat down and put my feet up. About five minutes later a

gentleman came and sat behind me.” Hudson greeted the man who said, without preamble, “Well, I think I was told to come and sit here.” Hudson asked if he wanted to “visit” for a while, and the man, Ray, quickly replied in the affirmative. “I just got some bad news that has really disturbed me, and I’m not sure how I’m accepting it,” Ray told Hudson. He explained that he lives out in the valley, and that God told him that he needed to come to Pathway of Health in LA. Hudson asked what he knew about the clinic. The middle-age man replied, “Nothing, but God spoke to me and told me I needed to come here.” Ray did not resist the prompting. He needed new eyeglasses, and he headed for the vision department. Then he was evaluated, and clinic personnel told him that he had to take care of something much more important while he was there. He was brought to primary care for testing and further evaluation. “Three times they gave me the same test,” Ray said. “I’m supposed to be resting, and they’re going

to test me a fourth time.” Troubled, he added, “I’m not sure what to do with the results of this test.” Ray did not disclose what the test was, but he and Hudson chatted about lifestyle, health, eating habits, and all kinds of things. He talked of doing yoga, pilates, and walking, and, still deeply puzzled, said, “I can’t imagine that I could have anything so seriously wrong with me.” Sensing his concern, Hudson asked Ray if he’d like to pray about it. “He said ‘Yes,’ so we did,” relates Hudson. “Then we continued to chitchat. Presently the doctor came for him.” They stood up together. Ray, just before he walked away with the doctor, smiled his thanks to Hudson and said, “I was guided to sit here with you; I think I was meant to talk to you.” “What a connection!” says Hudson. “Here was a man who was troubled. Yet he inspired me; he lifted me. I hope I was able to give him a bit of hope. I will definitely take his name to our church’s prayer list this Sabbath.”

July 2016 | Adventist World - nad



School of Graduate and Professional Studies


of my time

Jonathan Peter, MBA Graduate “It’s so easy to get started at WAU, at any level. The graduate and professional studies programs adapt to your situation. I only took one class per semester. That’s what worked best for me, since I was working full time.” Offering accelerated undergraduate and graduate degree programs including: • Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BS) • Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), available online or in the classroom • Master’s in Public Administration (MA), available online or in the classroom

At Washington Adventist University, we are attentive to your needs… aware of the constraints on your time and budget… and careful to create real-world, collaborative classroom experiences that will help you achieve your goals. Moreover, we are mindful of our Adventist roots and have infused a sense of service, spirituality and vitality into all that we do. WASHINGTON ADVENTIST UNIVERSITY

7600 Flower Avenue | Takoma Park, Maryland 20912 301-891-4092 |

Haircuts and massages were some of the services offered, in addition to free medical, dental, and vision care. Volunteers were often seen praying with patients as well.

“A lady on the bus had a flyer and gave it to me,” Afrodyete said as she explains how she discovered the megaclinic. “At first I wasn’t going to come, but then I saw that you guys were doing crowns. That’s what I need, so I decided to come.” But why did she break out in song? She says, “I’m not of the same faith as you guys, but I get spiritual messages sometimes. I got one that said I should thank these people for what they did . . . in song. . . . And it came to me: ‘The Prayer.’ It’s a beautiful song, and I felt that it was a song that could be shared with people of different backgrounds.” Afrodyete, despite waiting all day and having to come back the next day for dental treatment, is glad she chose to visit YBPHLA. “I appreciate being here and pray that it can continue. People really need the service. And at this point in time I really need this, because,” she added with a chuckle, “I have an event coming up this September at the Ford Amphitheatre, and I don’t need every other tooth missing.” After this experience she prays “that I’ll be a bigger blessing to people in the future.” Passing on the Blessing, in Color

Getting her vision checked was Lee Anne Selleck’s top priority at YBPHLA. A Walter Hoving Home resident and group leader, the 61-year-old diabetic also got blood work done in the primary-care zone. “I needed a new pair of glasses,” says Lee Anne. “In the home we don’t work until we’ve completed our studies. We do fund-raising for the home, but we basically focus on studying and school. [Clinics are] one of the ways we can get our health care.” After all her tests were completed and her new prescription issued, Lee Anne had the opportunity to pick out new frames from the hundreds available. Getting her choice down to two, a lavender-colored square frame and oval

Dentists and dental assistants joined volunteers from throughout North America to participate in the clinic.

red-metal frame, she deliberated for a few minutes, then went with the red. Lee Anne, who arrived as the clinic opened at 7:00 a.m., made her last two stops just after lunchtime. She received lifestyle counseling followed by a visit with a chaplain, who prayed with her. Lee Anne, was guided to the final checkout, where she learned when and where she could pick up her glasses, clutched a gift bag filled with free literature that included Ellen White’s books The Great Controversy and The Ministry of Healing, a Signs of the Times magazine, and an Amazing Facts publication. Lee Anne, who helped several of the 20 women from the home where she lives before she went through the clinic, was one of the last of her group to complete her medical rounds. When she rejoined her group, after exiting to an ovation, the women greeted her cheerfully. “We have quite a few women who’ve had their lives shattered . . . they have to have some kind of ongoing care, so we’ve all come today as a group to make sure everyone gets the care they need,” Lee Anne says. The home’s associate director signed up the residents, or “students,” based on personal needs. July 2016 | Adventist World - nad


She just told us what she’s thinking. Will you?



Lee Anne describes the Walter Hoving Home as a “discipleship for women, completely Bible-based, helping women who are having problems with domestic violence, drugs, and alcohol, or other life-shattering occurrences. . . . It’s somewhere they can give their problems to the Lord.” Lee Anne and the other students take parenting classes and anger management classes, as needed, with daily classroom study and instruction. Deep Bible study is also required. Students usually stay between six months and a year. “You can go back to work, or back to school,” says Lee Anne. “They take care of all your needs until you’re ready to get back into the world again.” Originally from northern California, Lee Anne came to the Los Angeles area for a job. But then, she says, “I got into a bad relationship. That’s why I ended up in the home.” Lee Anne is determined to take her experiences, learn from them, and, in turn, help others. Having taken care of some of her health-care needs is a step in that direction. She says, “It was a long day, but, you know, it’s been a good day. I was offered lunch, water, as I was going through the process. . . . And,” she smiles, “I brought a book with me.” “I was happy to hear that this [clinic] was done by the Seventh-day Adventists,” shares Lee Anne. “I really like them, actually. Every time I’ve run into someone from a Seventh-day Adventist church they’ve been very kind, and I appreciate that. Adventists have helped me at other times through my life.” “Being there [in Hoving Home] and learning, I’m also passing on the blessing. And this experience here [today] will also help me do just that.”

Lee Anne adds, “I’d like to go back to school. I love to watercolor and draw, and I was thinking about getting regular training. I’ve done some, but not enough. I don’t know, I just want to be able to express myself . . . with color.” n Your Best Pathway to Health provides, medical, dental, eye care, surgery, and support services, including radiology, laboratory and pharmacy services, plus preventive medicine and legal services, all free of charge. For more information, visit:

Vision care was a popular feature of the clinic. Eye exams often allowed clients to choose prescription eyeglasses from a variety of frames.

Kimberly Luste Maran is an assistant

director of the North American Division Office of Communication.

Blood tests were used to identify potential problems connected to cholesterol or blood-sugar levels.




Creation What is the meaning of the statement: “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Gen. 1:2)?*

Spirit of God

This is the first time the Spirit of God is mentioned in the Bible, and it is mentioned in the context of creation. It is difficult to know the significance of the statement you quoted because it is not immediately clarified. To understand it we have only the language and its context. I will examine both. 1. The Spirit [Heb. ruakh, “wind,” “breath”] of God: Although some have interpreted the phrase “the Spirit of God” here as “the wind of God” or as “a mighty wind,” there is no valid reason for rejecting the traditional rendering. In the Old Testament the Hebrew phrase always means “the Spirit of God.” In Psalm 104:30 the presence of the Spirit during creation is described in personal terms as “your Spirit,” sent by God to operate in the natural world. The Bible does not say much about the role of the Spirit in the divine act of creation. Psalm 104:30 identifies the Spirit as God’s instrument for creation, and for the renewal and preservation of creation. We also know that “by the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath [ruakh, “wind,” “spirit,” “breath”] of His mouth” (Ps. 33:6; cf. Job 26:13). In this case God creates through the “word” and the “breath/Spirit.” The New Testament identifies the “word” with Christ as the incarnated Word of God (John 1:1-3). Since they are all involved in creation, and creation is a prerogative of God, they are by nature divine. 2. The verb “to hover” (Heb. rakhaph): The verb rakhaph has been translated by some as “to brood,” implying that the world was a kind of cosmic egg being hatched by the Spirit. This was based on ancient mythological ideas. But the verb does not at all mean “to brood.” It could mean “to tremble” (Jer. 23:9) or “to hover” (Deut. 32:11). In Deuteronomy 32:11 it is used to describe the rapid movement of the eagle as it flies to catch its young that are learning to fly. It conveys the idea of rapid and constant back-and-forth movement. Here it indicates that the Spirit is active within creation itself. It is usually stated


and the

Adventist World - nad | July 2016

in Genesis 1 that God is the transcendental Creator, but the active presence of the Spirit within creation speaks also about an immanent God. 3. The Spirit and creation: As we look at the immediate and larger biblical context of our passage, we can safely affirm several things. First, since the Spirit of God in Genesis is the same Spirit revealed in the rest of the Scripture, what is said about Him in other places could be helpful in understanding His role in creation. We know that the Spirit enables people by, among other things, developing their potential for the performance of specific tasks. He is directly involved in creation by preserving and developing its potential. Second, we can also affirm the obvious: namely, that the Spirit was present on the planet before it was organized as a human habitat. So we can safely indicate that the work of the Spirit is related to the work of creation described in what follows in the text. In other words, the Spirit of God is introduced early in the narrative to indicate that His activity is preparative for the work of God during the creation week. Third, God created the raw materials with a potential that only He could preserve and develop (e.g., Gen. 1:11, 24). The potential of creation does not actualize itself, as theistic evolution suggests. The Word actualizes it in accordance with divine intention. With these comments in mind, allow me a suggestion: The presence of the Spirit within creation—His constant activity/motion expressed by the verb “to hover”—is the means by which the potential of finite creation was preserved and will be activated in combination with the creative Word of God. The Word of God and the Spirit of God worked together in a mysterious way to bring our world into existence. n *Texts are from the New International Version.

Angel Manuel Rodríguez is retired, having

served the church as a pastor, professor, and theologian.



N I C O L A S - B E R N A R D


By Mark A. Finley

Changed Lives

Change the World


t’s difficult to overestimate the influence of individuals who are totally committed to Jesus. Lives changed by the power of God transform the world around them. The apostle Paul certainly did! The power of the living Christ transformed him from a persecuting, religious zealot to an apostle of the cross and a gospel-preaching evangelist. In this month’s lesson we will study the amazing power of amazing grace.

been saying to Saul, “It is difficult for you to continually fight against the Spirit’s appeals to your conscience.”

1 What was Saul’s intent as he traveled to Damascus? Read Acts 9:1, 2, carefully and explain his attitude toward Christians.

This is a good example of the Holy Spirit’s leading newly converted believers into contact with Christ’s church for more instruction after their conversion.

Saul, whose name was later changed to Paul, was a fierce persecutor of Christians. He took delight in apprehending and imprisoning as many of Christ’s followers as possible. Today’s lesson reveals that God is relentless in pursuing His lost children, and that His grace can change the hardest hearts.

2 Describe Paul’s conversion in Acts 9:3-6. Are all conversions as dramatic as the apostle Paul’s? Compare Paul’s conversion with Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus in John 3:3-8. Some conversions are dramatic, like the apostle Paul’s. The Holy Spirit works a divine, unexplainable, sudden miracle in their lives. Others are more like Nicodemus’ conversion: The Holy Spirit gently woos them. Gradually they yield to the insistent pleading of the Spirit and surrender their lives to Christ. Whether conversion is sudden or gradual, dramatic or unnoticed, the end result is still the same: a life changed by the power of God.


What lessons can we learn from Jesus’ words to Saul in Acts 9:5: “It is hard for you to kick against the goads”? A goad was a sharp iron rod used to hasten the pace of oxen. The expression “to kick against the goads” may well have been a Greek proverb describing an ox’s discomfort at being constantly prodded. The Holy Spirit may well have


Read Acts 9:6, 11, 12, 15-17. Where did Jesus tell Paul to go immediately after his conversion? Why do you think Paul received that instruction?


What did Paul do after his conversion? How does this apply to our lives as followers of Jesus? Read Acts 9:20. When Jesus changed Paul’s life, Paul longed to share Christ with others. When Christ changes us, we become powerful witnesses of His grace and ambassadors of His love.

6 Explain Paul’s experience in Acts 16:9. Why is this so significant? One consecrated life changed the world. Paul listened to the voice of the Spirit and planted the first Christian churches in Europe. The apostle’s message went to cities throughout Asia and the European continent.

7 Once Paul was converted, he had a new reason for living and a new passion. Read Acts 28:28-31 and describe the passion of Paul’s life. When we are transformed by the grace of God, our greatest desire is to witness to others about His love. We cannot be silent. We live for one main purpose: to share God’s message of eternal life and reveal the clarity of His truth and the beauty of His character to others. The apostle Paul changed his world; and we can change the world around us as well. Let’s allow Christ, through His Holy Spirit, to empower us to be world changers today. n July 2016 | Adventist World - nad


IDEA EXCHANGE I thank you for publishing Adventist World. It is a great magazine that is constantly comforting me. I hardly ever receive Adventist World magazines on schedule, as they take time to reach me. But I am always inspired. Keep up the wonderful work. David Amos Banda Malawi Something for Kids?

Letters Joy

The January issue of Adventist World has given me back so much joy and power. A wonderful edition! God bless you and your ministry! It is a great blessing to put Christ in the center. He belongs there! Sylvia Renz Alsbach-Hähnlein, Germany Obedience Is Service

Thank you for Angel Manuel Rodriguez’s article “A Question of Obedience” (November 2013). This was an interesting topic; I strongly agree with the author: “Obedience is service. . . . It is an action-driven response of the whole person to the divine speaking.” It taught me to always put God’s Word into action.


I love reading Adventist World, but I have one suggestion. Why don’t you add a children’s game page or related Bible questions for kids? Just a thought. Sisa Nkomanzana Zimbabwe We love engaging the children of our church. Check out KidsView at www.—Editors Enlightening

My thanks to the organization for enlightening us with what is going on in the world of Adventists. Nicholas Koech Kenya Being Faithful to Him

Thank you so much for publishing Ty Gibson’s devotional “A Story to Tell” (April 2016). The articles you publish that direct us to soak ourselves in Jesus have an impact for His glory. I particularly like the line, “As God,

Jesus was faithful to humanity. As human, He was faithful to God.” Our head of state here in Britain, Queen Elizabeth, recently said that she has been faithful to God because He is so faithful to her. If we were only to live and speak of God’s incredible love and faithfulness that would be enough to woo people to Him. We have to know that love and faithfulness for ourselves. Tina Bunker, England

We Want to Hear Your


We would love to hear from you, so please send your letters to All we ask is that they are clearly written and 100 words or less. Please also include the article’s name and date of publication of your letter, with your name, town/city, state, and country. Letters will be edited for space and clarity. Not all letters submitted will be published, but we would still enjoy hearing from you!


Pray for my family. We really need a blessing from God. Ludovic, Haiti I wish to pursue my studies in a field that would honor God, but I am confused. Reine, Mauritius


I am an accountant. Pray for me to find a good wife and for my business to do better. Shawky, Egypt Please pray for me. I need finances to finish my education. Andrew, Uganda

Adventist World - nad | July 2016

Please pray that I get a good job. Sammy, Kenya The Place of Prayer: Send prayer requests and praise (thanks

for answered prayer) to Keep entries short and concise, 50-words or less. Items will be edited for space and clarity. Not all submissions will be printed. Please include your name and your country’s name. You may also fax requests to: 1-301-680-6638; or mail them to Adventist World, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600 U.S.A.



(based on Psalm 15)

Lord, Who will live next to You in heaven? Who will be Your neighbors? Those who live with integrity, Those who do right because it is right, Those who tell the truth, Those who speak well of others. Those who are true friends, Those who treat their neighbors as themselves, Those who do not associate with evil, Those whose lives reflect Your grace. Those who stand by their word at any cost, Those who lend money to those in need without interest, Those who cannot be bribed to harm the innocent, Those whose characters are honorable. My prayer today Is to be invited to live forever In Your neighborhood. Amen. —Andrew Hanson, Chico, California, United States


27Years Ago

Today’s Global Center for Adventist-Muslim Relations ( operates out of Newbold College in Bracknell, England. It is one of six Global Mission Centers that seek to build bridges of understanding and friendship with people from other major world religions and philosophies. The other centers include the World JewishAdventist Friendship Center, the Center for East Asian Religions, the Center for Secular and Postmodern Studies, the Center for South Asian Religions, and the Global Mission Urban Center.


On July 1, 1989, the Seventh-day Adventist Global Center for Islamic Studies was founded. It was the result of a strategy unveiled by Neal C. Wilson, then president of the General Conference, at the 1986 Annual Council in Rio de Janeiro, and later presented as part of a Global Mission initiative at the 1990 General Conference session in Indianapolis (United States). The rationale for establishing an Islamic study center was the fact that although the church was making rapid progress in its worldwide missionary activities in many parts of the world, growth among Islamic populations— nearly 20 percent of the world’s population—was minimal.

For more information, visit:



July 2016 | Adventist World - nad


IDEA EXCHANGE “Behold, I come quickly…” Our mission is to uplift Jesus Christ, uniting Seventh-day Adventists everywhere in beliefs, mission, life, and hope.

Publisher The Adventist World, an international periodical of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The General Conference, Northern Asia-Pacific Division of Seventh-day Adventists®, is the publisher. Adventist Review Ministries Board Ted N. C. Wilson, chair; Guillermo Biaggi, vice chair, Bill Knott, secretary; Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, Williams Costa, Daniel R. Jackson, Peter Landless, Robert Lemon, Geoffrey Mbwana, G. T. Ng, Daisy Orion, Juan Prestol-Puesán, Ella Simmons, Artur Stele, Ray Wahlen, Karnik Doukmetzian, legal advisor Executive Editor/Director of Adventist Review Ministries Bill Knott Associate Director of Adventist Review Ministries

Robbedof Choice Although slavery is illegal in every nation on earth, in 2014 the Global Slavery Index estimated that 35.8 million people worldwide were bound by invisible chains of fear, psychological control, and violence. Illegal profits from human trafficking are valued at US$150 billion each year. International Children’s Care Australia, an official supporting ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, serves at-risk children in Cambodia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand ( Source: The Rotarian/International Children’s Care Australia

Kick ! It

“Play is vital for humans to survive. Play is one of the most effective therapies for any kind of trauma or hardship, whether in refugee camps or inner cities affected with gang violence—anywhere kids have suffered human rights abuses or the effects of poverty or natural disasters. Play is what allows them to recover and connect with their communities.” —Tim Jahnigan, One World Play Project, which, in nearly 10 years, has provided more than 1.5 million durable soccer balls in more than 175 countries (

International Publishing Manager Chun, Pyung Duk Adventist World Coordinating Committee Jairyong Lee, chair; Yukata Inada; German Lust; Chun, Pyung Duk; Han, Suk Hee; Sung, Gui Mo Editors based in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA Andre Brink, Lael Caesar, Gerald A. Klingbeil (associate editors), Sandra Blackmer, Stephen Chavez, Wilona Karimabadi, Andrew McChesney Editors based in Seoul, Korea Chun, Pyung Duk; Park, Jae Man; Kim, Hyo-Jun Operations Manager Merle Poirier Editors-at-large Mark A. Finley, John M. Fowler Senior Advisor E. Edward Zinke Financial Manager Kimberly Brown Editorial Assistant Marvene Thorpe-Baptiste Management Board Jairyong Lee, chair; Bill Knott, secretary; Chun, Pyung Duk; Karnik Doukmetzian; Han, Suk Hee; Yutaka Inada; German Lust; Ray Wahlen; Ex-officio: Juan Prestol-Puesán; G. T. Ng; Ted N. C. Wilson Art Direction and Design Jeff Dever, Brett Meliti Consultants Ted N. C. Wilson, Juan Prestol-Puesán, G. T. Ng, Guillermo E. Biaggi, Mario Brito, Abner De Los Santos, Dan Jackson, Raafat A. Kamal, Michael F. Kaminskiy, Erton C. Köhler, Ezras Lakra, Jairyong Lee, Israel Leito, Thomas L. Lemon, Geoffrey G. Mbwana, Paul S. Ratsara, Blasious M. Ruguri, Saw Samuel, Ella Simmons, Artur A. Stele, Glenn Townend, Elie Weick-Dido To Writers: We welcome unsolicited manuscripts. Address all editorial correspondence to 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600, U.S.A. Editorial office fax number: (301) 680-6638 E-mail: Web site: Unless otherwise indicated, all Bible references are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission. Adventist World is published monthly and printed simultaneously in Korea, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Mexico, and the United States. Vol. 12, No. 7


Adventist World - nad | July 2016

“    ,  ,  ,   ,           G;   ,      .”

—Ellen G. White

Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p.  | 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) 12501 Old Columbia Pike | Silver Spring, MD 20904

16-074 | 04-16 | © 2016 ADRA Intl., Chris LeBrun








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AW NAD English - July 2016  


AW NAD English - July 2016