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The International Paper for Seventh-day Adventists

Au g u s t 2 01 6

All In!

How Total Member Involvement made a difference in Rwanda

20 Life 22 Justice is Coming 38 Forgiving the Killers


North American Division | n a d

Aug ust 2016 C O V E R

The International Paper for Seventh-day Adventists

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Au g u s t 2016

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S T O R Y

F U N D A M E N T A L

All In!

By Andrew McChesney

Adventist evangelism in Rwanda has impressive impact.

All In!

Justice Is Coming

By Ekkehardt Mueller

God will answer all our questions, even if it takes 1,000 years.

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How Total Member Involvement made a difference

F E A T U R E

Lending a Hand, Providing for Needs

20 Life 22 Justice is Coming 38 Forgiving the Killers

in Rwanda

B E L I E F S

By Kryzia Abacan

8 The Worth of a Soul

When wildfires swept through Fort McMurray, Alberta, Adventists were there to provide relief.

By Ted N. C. Wilson

There is no price too high.

Forgiving the Killers

By Isaac Ndwaniye as told to Gina Wahlen

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D E V O T I O N A L

L I F E

Twenty-two years ago Rwanda was the site of one of the world’s worst genocides.

Life

By Ariel E. Noltze

A precious, irreplaceable gift from God

41 Catastrophic Earth Science F A I T H

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S C I E N C E

By Roberto Biaggi

Why do some geologists resist the idea of a global flood?

D E PA RT M E N T S 3 W O R L D

R E P O R T

3 News Briefs 6 News Feature 10 GLOW Stories

19 W O R L D H E A L T H Yellow Fever

S P I R I T 40 

Forgiveness

43 B I B L E S T U D Y Jesus’ Prayers, and Ours

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O F P R O P H E C Y

Q U E S T I O N S A N S W E R E D

I D E A

E X C H A N G E

Sacrifice and Confession

www.adventistworld.org Available in 12 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. 12, No. 8, August 2016.

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he camp meeting audience broke into a wave of spontaneous applause when I reported that almost 100,000 persons had been baptized in a threeweek span in Rwanda. I had expected the hundreds gathered under the big pavilion roof to be at least quietly pleased at the news of the Seventhday Adventist Church’s largest-ever evangelistic campaign total, but I wasn’t prepared for the scope of their delight. The news was truly “new”—and electrifying—to many, as though they were witnessing the first showers of the promised latter rain. Their joy reminded me that a deep sense of expectation undergirds all Adventist outreach—a hope that this moment, this ingathering, this harvest of souls, might be the one that inaugurates a new Pentecost. Something in our bones almost aches for the evidence that God is stirring up hearts and moving His end-time remnant beyond business as usual. And whether the result is 100 or 100,000 (for revival always has a local context), the Spirit clearly intends to restore our confidence and courage as He brings more friends and neighbors to worship and witness with us. As the stories in this journal well illustrate, the Holy Spirit clearly stirred tens of thousands of church members in Rwanda to move assertively into personal mission—each in their own way, each using the gifts uniquely given them. Who dares to say that the sermon preached was more important than the loaf of bread distributed or the house built or the arm placed around a sagging shoulder? Each act— each bit of faithfulness to Jesus—matters greatly to Christ’s kingdom. The fact that the amazing result in Rwanda was owing to the active participation of at least as many members as the number of those who were baptized makes the joy that much deeper and sweeter. As you read this month’s edition, pray that your own joy will deepen as you experience the delight of sharing the good news of Jesus in the way the Spirit prompts you.

Ted Wilson pouring cement with Lisa Beardsley-Hardy at the university in Kigali, Rwanda.

By Andrew McChesney

Construction Starts on Seventh-day Adventist

Medical School US$6.1 million first phase will open in Rwanda in 2017.

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he cornerstone has been laid for a new medical school in Rwanda that Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders declared could become a crown jewel of Adventist medical education. Adventist Church president Ted N. C. Wilson and education director Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, wearing white hard hats and yellow construction worker vests, shoveled wet cement into a hole at the stonelaying ceremony for the US$6.1 million complex on the Masoro campus of the Adventist University of Central Africa (AUCA) in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. The first phase of the medical school, which will be the seventh operated by the Adventist Church, will encompass women’s and men’s residence halls, a cafeteria, and a guesthouse and is scheduled to open for students in September 2017. Classes will be held in a state-of-the-art science center that opened on campus last year. “Students who walk from this place will not just receive a diploma Continued on next page

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WORLD REPORT to entitle them to a professional approach to life,” Wilson said in a speech to Rwanda’s education and health ministers and other dignitaries at the future construction site. “They will receive a diploma to follow in the steps of Jesus. Jesus is the Good Samaritan. Jesus is the Master Teacher. Jesus is the Master Physician. And Jesus is our Savior.” Guests from across Rwanda; the church’s East-Central Africa Division, based in Nairobi, Kenya; and the Adventist world church headquarters in the United States huddled under two large canopies on the carefully manicured campus of the Adventist University of Central Africa for the May 12 ceremony. Beardsley-Hardy said the medical school could excel by working with the six other Adventist medical schools. “This may well be the crown jewel in Adventist medical education, drawing on more than 150 years of

medical education experience and furthering the healing ministry of Jesus Christ,” she said. The Adventist Church also operates medical schools at Adventist universities in Montemorelos, Nuevo León, Mexico; Libertador San Martín, Entre Ríos, Argentina; Ñaña, Lima, Peru; Silang, Cavite, Philippines; Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria, and its flagship school in Loma Linda in the United States. Africa’s east-central region currently has only one doctor for every 17,000 people, church leaders said. Both the health ministries department and the education department pledged funds toward the project. Beardsley-Hardy said she and her husband, Frank Hardy, who was present at the ceremony, were also making a personal donation. Funds also are coming in from elsewhere. More than 500 Adventist business professionals pledged

$50,000 toward the construction of the medical school during a fundraising event at AUCA on May 15. The Detroit City Temple church in the state of Michigan, United States, donated $10,000 to the school, setting what church leaders described as an example to other congregations to get involved in Adventist world mission. Blasious M. Ruguri, president of the East-Central Africa Division and AUCA chancellor, said the university was preparing for a flood of medical students from across Africa, and perhaps from Europe and North America as well. An initial class of 30 nursing students will be enrolled, but the medical school is expected to train about 450 students a year when it reaches full capacity, university vice rector Ndahayo Claver said. The $6.1 million first phase will be followed by future phases that will include anatomy labs and a hospital and cost $20 to $30 million. n

Paul Ratsara

Resigns as SID President By Adventist Review/ANN

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aul Ratsara has resigned as president of the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division of Seventh-day Adventists in what he described as an effort “to refocus the church that I love back to its Godgiven mission.” The General Conference Executive Committee, voting May 31, accepted a request from Ratsara to step aside for possible reassignment as a local church

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district pastor in his home Indian Ocean Union, which serves seven islands or island groups, including Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Reunion, Rodrigues, and Seychelles. “To refocus the church that I love back to its God-given mission, and to prevent it continuing to be distracted, I have humbly decided to voluntarily request reassignment as a local church district pastor somewhere within the


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territory of the Indian Ocean Union, my home union,” Ratsara said in a letter to the General Conference Executive Committee, the top decision-making body of the Adventist world church. Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the Adventist world church, thanked Ratsara for serving as division president since 2005 and, before that, as the division’s executive secretary. “We thank Paul Ratsara and his wife, Joanne, for their dedication to the cause of God and Pastor Ratsara’s many years of service to the church,” Wilson said. “Many positive aspects of church growth in the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division have taken place under his leadership. We will pray for God’s guidance and blessing on their continued witness for the Lord.” Ratsara’s decision came after questions were raised within the territory of the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division about an academic degree held by Ratsara. Ratsara received a Doctor of Theology degree in systematic theology in 2014 from the University of South Africa, or Unisa, the largest university in the country. It will be up to a local conference or field to invite Ratsara to work as a district pastor. Ratsara said he would serve Jesus in any way he could. “I love the Word of God, the preaching of the Word, and will enjoy focusing on helping church members value the beauty of evangelistic activities and witnessing through Total Member Involvement,” he said in his letter to the General Conference Executive Committee. Solomon Maphosa, executive secretary of the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division, will function as the division’s acting president until the election of a new president. n

Children passing out the 2016 missionary-sharing book in Brazil in May.

Ellen White

Is Popular Author in Brazil Distribution of Adventist literature bears fruit By Felipe Lemos and Andrew McChesney

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nyone who doubts the effectiveness of distributing religious literature might want to consider the case of Seventh-day Adventist believers in Brazil. Brazilian Adventists, who may well pass out more literature than any other Adventists in the world, are being credited with propelling Ellen G. White into the ranks of Brazil’s most popular authors and making an Adventist missionary sharing book one of the country’s most-read books. White, a cofounder of the Adventist Church, is the eleventh most-read author in Brazil, according to a survey by the South American country’s prestigious research institute IBOPE. The national survey also found that the book The Only Hope, by Adventist evangelist Alejandro Bullón, is the eighteenth most-read book in the country today.

Erton Köhler, president of the South American Division, which encompasses Brazil and seven other countries, said the findings underscore the importance of book distribution initiatives such as Impact Hope, when church members distributed 20 million free copies of The Only Hope across the division in 2014. The Only Hope was the division’s missionary book for that year. “It is a testament that the seed is being planted,” Köhler said. “The gospel is being preached through projects like this.” The most-read book in the survey was the Bible, while the most popular author was Augusto Cury, a Brazilian physician and psychiatrist. The survey polled 5,012 people nationwide over three weeks. No Continued on next page

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WORLD REPORT margin of error was given. Adventists have distributed 130 million books over the past 10 years as part of the South American Division’s Missionary Book of the Year project. “Technically, we have given out more than one book to every household in the whole division,” said Magdiel E. Pérez Schulz, assistant to the president of the Adventist world church, who worked for years in Brazil. “The missionary books are bought by church members, and this has become the biggest missionary work of our believers.” Pérez, who served as executive secretary of the South American Division until last year, recalled that division leaders once considered giving members a yearlong break from passing out books. But, he said, leaders of the church’s union conferences protested, saying, “If we do that, our members will get desperate.” Sharing literature has become second nature to many church members in South America. They are known to keep books in their purses, cars, and at work so that they can give one away whenever the opportunity presents itself. Church members have posted photos on social media, showing themselves handing books to actors, ministers, and even country presidents. “This motivates all of them to witness and share,” Pérez said. In May the 2.4 million Adventists across the South American Division had shorter worship services in their churches, then went out to share this year’s missionary book, Esperanza Viva (Hope Lives). They ended up distributing 18.5 million books, or 7.7 books per member, Pérez said. Next year Ellen White and the missionary book will meet. The 2017 missionary book will be an adaptation of her book The Story of Redemption. n

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Casting Out

By Andrew McChesney

Evil Spirits

It’s a Key Church Ministry in Laos.

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he bent-over elderly woman saw the demon-possessed young man as an answer to prayer. Boi hobbled past the man, chained to a house, as she began the customary 15-kilometer (nine-mile) trek from her village to the nearest Seventh-day Adventist church in Laos’ capital, Vientiane, one Sabbath. Boi, who has no last name, had been praying for a travel companion. An evil spirit had possessed the young man, Seuth, on the day of his wedding, leaving him violent and with incredible strength. His family believed that a female spirit had entered him in a fit of romantic jealousy, and they had taken him for treatment to hospitals, temples, and various churches. They finally gave up and chained him to a house post. “But this old woman rescued him through the power of Jesus,” said an Adventist leader in Laos. Today Seuth is pastor of an Adventist house church in Boi’s village. Nearly all of the 50 Adventists who attend the church were once demon-possessed, or have a mother, brother, or another relative who was once possessed. Attendance has grown so high that believers spill out into the small courtyard outside the house church’s open front door during worship services.

Seuth’s story is not unique in Laos, a predominantly Buddhist country in Southeast Asia where public evangelism is restricted. Although the Adventist Church is one of the few officially recognized religious denominations, its 1,300 local members cannot evangelize through traditional methods and instead share their faith through life activities: weddings, funerals, health expos, and prayer meetings to cast out demons. “We cannot do evangelism in a normal way, so we have to think outside the box,” the local leader told visiting Adventist Church president Ted N. C. Wilson at the church’s Lao Attached Field headquarters in Vientiane in early May. Adventist World is not identifying this leader because of certain sensitivities involving his work in Laos. Buonaparte Vannadee, president of the Adventist Church in Laos, said casting out evil spirits was a busy ministry for the church, with church members being asked to pray for eight or nine people every year. Vannadee’s first experience with demon possession occurred in southern Laos in 2014. The demon would possess the man for 20-minute spells, causing the man’s tongue to roll out of his mouth and appear to


Above: Seuth sitting on the floor of his house church with Grandma Boi on May 11. Right: Seuth on the day of his wedding, when he was possessed by a spirit. A N D R E W

hang down toward his chest. “Many people tried to catch him and control him, but he was so strong,” Vannadee said. A group of church members prayed and sang at his house until the spirit left him. “He didn’t know anything when the devil left him,” Vannadee said. “He asked, ‘What happened? What happened?’ And we told him. He was very scared. He realized he needed to trust in Jesus, who is more powerful than the devil.” Today he is an Adventist, as are many people who have been freed of evils spirits through prayer. “Most people who are freed became Adventists,” the local church leader said. “They know that if they don’t give their lives to Jesus, the devil can come back any time.” Boi Finds a Friend

Another story of healing emerged through the prayers of Boi, affectionately known as “Grandma” in her village outside Vientiante. Boi learned about God from an Adventist acquaintance when she was

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seeking solutions to problems with her daughter. Boi, who has never gone to school, accepted Jesus as she attended church and heard the Bible read out loud by her new Adventist friends. She faithfully attended church every Sabbath, even though it was a four-hour walk each way when she didn’t have bus fare. She began to pray for someone to join her. “Lord, I am the only one here. I need a friend to go to church with me,” she prayed, according to an account shared by church leaders. Ten years passed, then one day she saw Seuth chained to the house. She saw him as an answer to her prayer, and began to pray: “Lord, free him. I would like to take him as my friend to church.” One Friday night Seuth somehow came to his senses and said to his young wife, “Let’s go see Grandma.” His wife protested, saying it was 10:00 p.m. and Boi was sleeping. But Seuth felt a strong urge to go. When he knocked on her door, Boi greeted him, saying, “I’ve been praying for you. Come inside.” She

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prayed for him and said, “If you want to get well, come with me to church tomorrow.” So Seuth and his wife went to church with Boi. The pastors prayed for Seuth and cut off the amulets and other trinkets related to devil worship that he wore. He felt much better after the first prayer, and left the church in his right mind, church leaders said. He kept attending church with Boi until he was baptized. Seuth, now 29, was among the pastors who met with Wilson at the Lao Attached Field headquarters. Wilson also visited the house church that Seuth leads in Grandma Boi’s village. No sign of his former struggles remained on his clean-cut countenance. Seuth has a gentle, easy grin, and a sense of purity radiates from his face. He sat with his wife and their young son on the floor with about 50 church members as Wilson encouraged them to be faithful in sharing their love for Jesus. “Since Seuth became a leader, he has helped many demon-possessed people,” said the local church leader. n

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hat happened in the country of Rwanda this past May was phenomenal. It was historic. Never before in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church had such an outreach been attempted. Dedicated men and women, children and youth shared the truth as it is in Jesus at 2,227 evangelistic sites scattered across that beautiful and mountainous country. The Holy Spirit moved in a mighty way, resulting in nearly 100,000 precious souls giving their lives to Jesus and joining His remnant church through baptism. The stories coming out of this event are amazing and inspiring—stories of forgiveness, reconciliation, lifelong burdens lifted, new insights, courage, rededication, and more.

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Coming Back

One such story involves a man who lost his family during the 1994 genocide. His father, an Adventist pastor, and his mother and sister were praying together when men entered their home, killed them, and then set the house on fire. The son had seen the commotion from a nearby hill, but by the time he arrived, it was too late. For decades he carried grief and bitterness in his heart. Interestingly, the man lived in a home located directly across from one of the evangelistic sites held in Rwanda this past May. To the surprise of everyone, he came to the meetings, sitting on the front row each night. At the end, through providential circumstances, the man came forward for rebaptism, stating “I want to tell all of you that I am coming back to the church. Many of you know my story, but today I’m coming back to Jesus and to you.”1 TMI Seen Everywhere

The amazing results seen in Rwanda are not simply because of an intensive two-week evangelistic program. What we are witnessing are the results of the

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God Is Calling You Holy Spirit working through complete Total Member Involvement (TMI). For months leading up to the series, Seventh-day Adventist pastors and lay members worked together, reaching out to their neighbors, friends, loved ones, and community members through personal visitation, Bible studies, health outreach, community services, and more. Prayer played a big role as Adventists across the country met together regularly to pray for specific individuals and for the success of the upcoming meetings. Shortly before the meetings began, Adventists went door to door, encouraging all to come. The TMI logo could be seen everywhere—on blue scarves, ties, and

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shirts. Thousands of Adventists enthusiastically sang a specially composed TMI song as they remembered their important calling. Members donated money for food, cows, and health insurance policies aimed at improving the lives of impoverished people in their communities. Medical clinics at three locations provided free services to nearly 6,000 people over the course of a week. Nurture and Retention

Even though these evangelistic meetings are now over, TMI and nurturing of the new members in Rwanda continues. On June 4, 2016, a special Sabbath of celebration was held at every Adventist church in P H O T O :

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Rwanda. Believers were encouraged to bring special thank offerings. Newly baptized members shared inspiring testimonies. Groups of longstanding members have committed to faithfully nurture every newly baptized person in their church, including inviting the new members to become a part of Total Member Involvement soul-winning activities. Adventists in Rwanda have given us a wonderful example of how God pours out incredible blessings when His people are totally involved in the important work He has given each one of us to do. The Key

The key to the wonderful experience in Rwanda was a Holy Spirit-driven laity. They caught the vision of Total Member Involvement—everyone involved in the mission of the church. Everyone doing something for Jesus. It’s a lifestyle, an ongoing personal outreach to friends, neighbors, the community. And the members caught the vision. When they caught it and the Holy Spirit used it, nothing could stop it. Inspiration tells us that “God cannot display the knowledge of His will and the wonders of His grace among the unbelieving world unless He has witnesses scattered all over the earth. . . . Every follower of Jesus has a work to do as a missionary for Christ in the family, in the neighborhood, in the town or city where he lives. All who are consecrated to God are channels of light. God makes them instruments of righteousness to communicate to others the light of truth, the riches of His grace. Unbelievers may appear indifferent and careless; yet God is impressing and convicting their hearts that there is a reality in the truth.”2 In Every Country

As we see clear signs of the nearness of Christ’s return, we long to see

the beautiful miracle of what happened in Rwanda happen in every country of the world—and there is no reason it cannot. Throughout the world today, people are expressing fear and uncertainty about the future. Instability is felt in nearly every area of life—socially, politically, financially, environmentally. No one knows what to expect next, and no one seems to have the answers to life’s looming questions. Now is the time, if ever there was a time, to share “the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). If we don’t share that hope with our friends, neighbors, relatives, communities, who will? The truth is, if this work is left solely to the ministers of the church, it will never be completed. Everyone Is Needed

We are told very plainly that “the work of God in this earth can never be finished until the men and women comprising our church membership rally to the work and unite their efforts with those of ministers and church officers.”3 This is a critical point—ministers and church officers alone cannot do the job. It’s going to take Total Member Involvement. 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. Personal interaction and witness are key, and everyone is needed. Plans are now under way for a TMI-driven evangelistic series to be held in Romania and across much of the former Soviet Union early next year. Already church members and pastors are working together in making friends with the public and providing a comprehensive approach to outreach in the months leading up to the series. By God’s grace we plan to have from 2,000 to 2,500 sites across Romania, with most of the

meetings conducted by lay members. For more information on this exciting TMI event, read the Adventist Review article “Next Major Evangelistic Series to Reach Romania and Former Soviet Union.”4 I urge you to consider preaching in one of the many evangelistic series in Romania in the Inter-European Division during February 10-25, 2017. Also, there will be hundreds of Total Member Involvement evangelistic meetings planned about the same time in the Euro-Asia Division—in Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, and almost all of the countries in that division. If you are interested in being involved in this TMI outreach, contact Kathy McKey at mckeyk@gc.adventist.org or Nancy Costa at costan@gc.adventist. org. Don’t delay. God needs you there and wherever you are. Total Member Involvement—everyone doing something for Jesus! He is coming soon! One More Soul

What is the worth of one soul? Scripture tells us that “for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The worth of one person is priceless, as God’s only Son gave His life for him, for her. One person who recognized the worth of a soul was the great evangelist Elder C. D. Brooks. Over the course of his 60-year ministry Elder Brooks led countless people to Jesus, resulting in more than 15,000 baptisms around the world. Elder Brooks passed to his rest on June 5, 2016. At his funeral held on June 12 at the Sligo Adventist Church in Takoma Park, Maryland, his son Charles D. Brooks, Jr., gave a very moving tribute in which he shared what may have been his father’s final prayer. Lying on his deathbed, this great warrior for God did not ask for a longer

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Nancy Costa, “Son Forgives Parents’ Killers During My Meetings in Rwanda” Adventist Review online, June 9, 2016, www.adventistreview.org/church-news/story4093-son-forgivesparents-killers-during-my-meetings-in-rwanda. 2 Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 2, pp. 631, 632. 3 Ibid., vol. 9, p. 117. 4 https://news.adventist.org/en/all-news/news/go/2016-06-13/ next-major-evangelistic-series-to-reach-romania-and-formersoviet-union-1/.

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

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Stories GLOW: Giving Light to Our World

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Giving Light to Our World—GLOW—is an outreach initiative that originated in California, United States, but is now branching out to other world divisions. It’s based on the concept of church members distributing GLOW tracts—free of charge—at every opportunity. The tracts are now printed in 45 languages. This short story from London, England, depicts lives touched by GLOW:

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life. No, his whispered prayer that night was this: “Lord, let me have the opportunity to bring just one more soul to Christ before I go. One more soul.” Even at the end of his life, this man whom God had used to touch so many lives over six decades longed for just one more—one more soul for the kingdom. One more soul to be snatched away from Satan’s grasp. One more soul to be filled with hope instead of despair. One more soul to enjoy eternity with. What about you? Do you know the worth of a soul? You may not be a pastor, or a church leader, or an evangelist like Elder C.D. Brooks. You may not have the opportunity to speak on television or to travel to foreign lands. But God needs you. He needs you now— right where you are—to reach one more soul for Him. Will you answer His call? Are you a part of Total Member Involvement? Does your local church have a plan to empower its members for TMI outreach? There are so many ways to become involved. Everyone can do something for Jesus!  Evangelism is a year-round activity helping people see practical Christianity. Ask God to open many ways for you to serve Him and others through Total Member Involvement. I encourage you to talk with your pastor and church leaders about how you can be a part of this worldwide TMI movement. Only eternity will reveal what the results will be. n

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Carlot Dorve, a recent university graduate with a degree in trumpet performance, was invited to fly to London to film commercials for Britain’s Channel 4 for the upcoming summer Paralympics in Brazil. Carlot himself has a disability. A Haitian native, he lost an arm as a result of an infection in childhood. TRUMPET PLAYER: Carlot Dorve (left) Channel 4 chose him as one holds the picture a local Christian artist of 10 musicians from around (right) drew of him. the world who had major disabilities but had persevered through them to accomplish great things. During his off-time from filming, Carlot went to Trafalgar Square in the city and noticed many musicians performing. He decided to do the same. But rather than putting out a hat for money, he hoped to share GLOW tracts. People began to flock around him. They loved his music and wanted to share a contribution, but he motioned to his display of GLOW tracts instead. Though many weren’t religious, they seemed to favor the tracts “Where Is God When I’m Hurting?” and “An Intelligent Faith.” A Christian artist asked Carlot about his faith. They discussed the Seventhday Adventist Church and the Sabbath. The artist then drew a painting of Carlot playing his trumpet in the square. Carlot later left the square praising the Lord for using his musical talent to spread His message through GLOW tracts. Stories are compiled by Pacific Union Conference, United States, GLOW director Nelson Ernst and International GLOW coordinator Kamil Metz. To learn more about GLOW, go to sdaglow.org. To watch video GLOW testimonies, go to vimeo.com/user13970741.


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Oakwood University Church Honors

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250,000 individuals each year,” said Byrd. “The foundation’s impact, moreover, is far-reaching.” Joined by Johnson’s family members, including his parents, Earvin Sr. and Christine Johnson, the couple was welcomed home. “So happy to be back home,” said Cookie, a native of Huntsville. “It makes me feel so good to be here. . . . God has tremendously blessed us.” Johnson donated $500,000 to the Oakwood University church’s family life center, and created a $50,000 scholarship in his mother’s name for students attending Oakwood University. —Ramona L. Hyman, Oakwood University

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nd here I am,” said Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jr., at the Oakwood University Seventhday Adventist Church in Huntsville, Alabama. “I used to be a point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers. . . . I was happy, but I wasn’t fulfilled. So now I am a point guard for the Lord.” On May 14, 2016, the Oakwood University church honored Magic and his wife, Earlitha “Cookie” Johnson, with the 2016 Humanitarian Award. Carlton Byrd, senior pastor of the church, affirmed the Johnsons’ unwavering support of and commitment to underserved communities. In 1991 the Johnsons inaugurated the Magic Johnson Foundation. “The foundation . . . serves more than

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NBA Legend “Magic” Johnson

“Magic” and “Cookie” Johnson pose with Pastor Carlton Byrd at the Oakwood University church.

Elizabeth Talbot, speaker/director of Jesus 101, and Mike Tucker, speaker/ director of Faith For Today, team up to present the program Radical Discipleship.

Jesus 101 Wins People’s Choice Telly Award ■■ In May 2016 the Telly Awards named Jesus 101 a winner of the thirty-seventh annual People’s Choice Telly Award for the program titled Radical Discipleship: “Extraordinary Perseverance” (Judas Iscariot). More than 13,000 entries were judged from all 50 states and numerous countries. Radical Discipleship is a Jesus 101 television series that examines how the disciples of Jesus are ordinary people who accept extraordinary grace. The series features Elizabeth Talbot, speaker/ director of Jesus 101, and Mike Tucker, speaker/director of Faith for Today. The “Extraordinary Perseverance” episode discusses how Jesus reached out to Judas Iscariot to the very end, offering God’s grace and forgiveness. The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 and is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and online commercials, video, and films. “Jesus 101 gives all the honor and glory to Jesus Christ, who is the primary focus of this media ministry,” said Talbot. Continued on next page

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NAD NEWS

M A R I A

La Sierra University Enactus Team Wins Championship

B R Y K

Radical Discipleship is available for free on the Jesus 101 Web site, along with many other resources and ondemand videos.

With the dome of the United States Capitol as a backdrop, IRL Summit attendees enjoy lunch and networking on the Newseum deck.

■■ The La Sierra University Enactus team of 20 students earned a first-place win in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Enactus National Expo, a national competition that showcases young business talent. The students, led by a six-member presentation team, were declared the champions in the final round against 118 universities and colleges from across the United States at the expo held on May 15-17, 2016. With the win, La Sierra will represent the United States during Enactus World Cup competitions in Toronto September 28-30. The La Sierra students’ winning projects include a micro-lending program with cows in India and a mobile grocery market for low-income customers in southern California.

O T T O

M E J I A / E N A C T U S

U S A

“We are so very proud of these students who have invested so many volunteer hours on significant projects that are continuing to impact hundreds of people in the local region and in India,” said La Sierra University president Randal Wisbey. This is La Sierra’s seventh national title during its 25-year history, an unprecedented string of national wins. The team last brought home the national trophy in 2007, going on to win the world cup that year in New York City.

La Sierra University Enactus presentation team at national championship competition. (From left) Joe Rees, Andrew Ranzinger, Sharina Carruthers, Eliza Hakobyan, Branden Lai-Lau, and Xavier Watson.

12

Religious Liberty Summit Challenges Advocates ■■ The 2016 International Religious Liberty (IRL) Summit, held May 24, 2016, at the Newseum’s Religious Freedom Center in Washington, D.C., focused on what has become a key concern for religious freedom advocates: scarce media and political attention given to rising rates of global religious discrimination and persecution. The North American Religious Liberty Association (NARLA), which hosts an annual Religious Liberty Summit in D.C., joined the IRL Summit at the Newseum. More than 50 NARLA guests and religious liberty directors and attorneys enjoyed panel

Adventist World - nad | August 2016

discussions and keynote addresses with a group of about 250. “There are cries of the persecuted that we are refusing to hear,” said former United States congressman Frank Wolf, one of the keynote speakers at the summit. Wolf, a leading supporter of religious freedom legislation during his 36 years in Congress, works closely with the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, an organization that raises awareness of religious freedom violations around the world. According to Dwayne Leslie, associate director of the Adventist Church’s Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department, the IRL drew several prominent journalists into the conversation. E. J. Dionne, Jr., political commentator and syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, was one of the summit’s keynote speakers. Dionne warned against the danger of allowing the current culture wars in the United States to narrow the understanding of religious freedom issues globally. Melissa Reid, NARLA executive director, was pleased with the joint event. “It’s a chance for local members to play an active role in our church’s religious liberty advocacy work,” she said. —Bettina Krause, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty; Kimberly Luste Maran contributed to this report


Washington Adventist University Graduate Wins College TV Awards Emmy ■■ Eugene Simonov, director of video and creative marketing for WGTS 91.9 and recent graduate of Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland, received second place honors in the College Television Awards, presented by the Television Academy Foundation. Simonov won an Emmy in the Best TV Series, Unscripted category for the video series Words of Hope. “It was an incredible experience. I was happy to represent WGTS here!” says Simonov. “We truly are grateful. Words of Hope was the only faith-based project in the competition. We are so proud of Eugene for living out his faith to Hollywood—to the world,” says WGTS 91.9 general manager Kevin Krueger.

Voice of Prophecy Launches New Weekly Program ■■ The Voice of Prophecy officially launched its new flagship broadcast, Disclosure. Hosted by Voice of Prophecy speaker/director Shawn Boonstra and associate speaker Jean Boonstra, Disclosure is talk radio with an emphasis on Bible study and prophecy. Topics are rooted in current events and trends, and each program illustrates how the Bible’s perspective on today’s issues.

A D V E N T I S T

“One of the reasons the Voice of Prophecy is one of the longest-running broadcasts in history is that the program continues to take timeless truths and apply them to modern life,” said Shawn Boonstra. “Disclosure is engaging Christian talk radio with a bold edge,” said Voice of Prophecy media director Ruben Gomez. “We start respectful discussions about important topics: LGBTQ rights, national security, privacy, and so much more. And it all comes back to the Bible, with an invitation to enroll in the Voice of Prophecy’s free Discover Bible School.” This new format currently provides 30- and 60-minute options to radio stations. Disclosure airs weekends on more than 200 radio stations nationwide and Wednesday mornings on each major podcast network (iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, and Spreaker).

U N I V E R S I T Y

P I E T E R

D A M S T E E G T

W A S H I N G T O N

The College Television Awards follows the tradition of the Emmy Awards, recognizing student innovation and achievement in storytelling. The awards recognize excellence in student-produced entertainment and news content from college students across the country. Out of roughly 600 submissions, only 37 received awards.

Eugene Simonov, director of video and creative marketing for WGTS 91.9 and WAU alumus, is interviewed after winning a College Television Award (Emmy).

Speaker/director Shawn Boonstra and associate speaker Jean Boonstra talk to guests on Voice of Prophecy’s Disclosure, a new radio broadcast.

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N A D U P D AT E

Following God’s Lead

Charles Decatur Brooks was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, on July 24, 1930, the tenth child of Marvin and Mattie Brooks. Although Methodists at the time, shortly after his birth the Brooks family began observing the seventh-day Sabbath in honor of a pledge Mattie Brooks made to God while in a hospital bed suffering from a near-fatal illness. Learning

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B R E AT H

O F

L I F E

O

n June 5, 2016, retired Seventh-day Adventist evangelist C. D. Brooks passed to rest in Jesus after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He was honored during a memorial service on June 12 at Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church in Takoma Park, Maryland. Brooks worked as a pastor, administrator, evangelist, and chaplain for the church since 1951, when he graduated from Oakwood College (now Oakwood University) in Huntsville, Alabama, with a degree in theology. His first love was evangelism, and he continued to conduct meetings after taking on the role of church administrator for the General Conference (GC) in Silver Spring, Maryland. “Evangelism is the elixir that warms up a cold church,” Brooks said, “the force that moves the members from standing on the premises to standing on the promises.” Daniel R. Jackson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America (NAD), said, “I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of Elder Brooks. He was a great preacher and one of God’s true saints. I have watched him walk the halls of our office and used to repeat in my head, ‘He’s a prince among men.’ I will miss him. But one day soon he will have eternal youth and live forever with his dear wife and family.”

Charles D. Brooks speaks during a Breath of Life television broadcast. The evangelistic innovator trained hundreds of ministers in evangelism around the world, and brought more than 15,000 to Christ.

Evangelist

C. D. Brooks

Passes to His Rest

He influenced public evangelism for decades. more truth years later from reading Ellen G. White’s book The Great Controversy, Brooks, along with his mother and six sisters, was baptized into the Adventist Church in 1940. In 1947, after attending an evangelistic tent meeting, Brooks remained under the tent long after the last person had departed. “Charles, I want you to make truth clear,” Brooks distinctly heard a voice say, then had a vision of himself standing behind the pulpit at the front of the tent, proclaiming the truth. He immediately jettisoned his dentistry career plans for the ministry, setting his sights on Oakwood. At Oakwood, Brooks met Walterene Wagner. Brooks heard God

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speak for the second time in his life when a voice said to him, “Charles, this is the young lady you will marry.” The two were married in 1952, at the Ebenezer Seventh-day Adventist Church in Philadelphia. Brooks served the Columbia Union Conference as a pastor, evangelist, and administrator until 1971, working mostly in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and Ohio. In 1971 Brooks was asked by then General Conference president Robert Pierson to serve as a field secretary for the Seventh-day Adventist world church, a role he held until 1995, making him the longest-tenured field secretary in the church’s history.


Evangelist, Groundbreaker

While serving at the GC, Brooks took on the dual role as speaker/director for the Breath of Life Ministry, a television ministry of the GC produced at the Adventist Media Center in Thousand Oaks, California. Brooks partnered with Walter Arties, Louis B. Reynolds, and the Breath of Life Quartet to produce television programming that reached out to audiences all around the world. As speaker/director of Breath of Life, Brooks took his place among such legendary Adventist media revolutionaries as H.M.S. Richards, George Vandeman, and William Fagal. In 1989 the ministry was broadcast on Black Entertainment Television (BET), and reached a

potential audience of more than 90 million people a week. Brooks was speaker/director of Breath of Life Ministries from 1974 to 1997. During that time, the ministry brought approximately 15,000 people to Christ, established 15 Breath of Life congregations, and was viewed by untold millions. In 1994 Brooks was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr., Board of Preachers and Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1996 health challenges forced Brooks to retire from the GC, and in 1997 he stepped down as speaker/ director for Breath of Life. Brooks had a long and productive retirement. In 2007, in honor of E. E. Cleveland, Charles Bradford, and C. D. Brooks,

ALL YOUR MINISTRY NEEDS FROM

the Bradford-Cleveland-Brooks Leadership Center (BCBLC) was established. The center is housed on the campus of Oakwood University in a 10,000-square-foot, $2.5 million stateof-the-art building. In 2010 the Ellen G. White Estate elected Brooks as a lifetime member of the Ellen G. White Estate board. The NAD invited Brooks to be its chaplain in residence in 2013, a position he held until his death. C. D. Brooks is survived by his wife of almost 64 years, Walterene; his children, Diedre and Charles “Skip” Jr.; and three grandchildren. —Prepared by the North American Division Office of Communication, with information from a life sketch of C. D. Brooks written by Benjamin Baker.

AZ

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August 2016 | Adventist World - nad

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

—Ellen G. White

Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 

ADRA.org | 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) 12501 Old Columbia Pike | Silver Spring, MD 20904

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


n

NAD PERSPECTIVE

Visionaries

By Dan Weber

Who’s Next?

A

series of inquiries emerged after the recent deaths of musician/singer Prince and boxer Muhammad Ali in regard to their limited ties to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Prince was raised by family members who were Adventists, and he was familiar with the teachings of the church, even though many of his musical lyrics clashed with the basic tenants of Adventism. His later conversion to the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith brought him back toward Christianity, which caused people to examine his early Adventist heritage. Muhammad Ali, while being a devout Muslim, was familiar to Adventists near Andrews University because he lived in Berrien Springs, Michigan, where the university is located. Many Adventists throughout the years were exposed to Ali’s famous wit and warm character as he often visited the Andrews campus and ate in the cafeteria. Seminary students reported that Ali regularly invited them to his farm to read and discuss Bible texts. While he never gave up his Muslim beliefs, Ali’s death raised a chorus of remembrances on social media from Adventists who appreciated his humor, charm, and hospitable nature in the interactions they had with him. Death has a way of causing people to stop and reflect on a person’s life and its impact on the world. Warm thoughts tend to replace negative impressions, as compassion leads to remembering the good in people’s

lives. This is a good thing; our memories should always be of the positive influence people leave behind. Another recent death caused Adventists to stop and reflect on a life well lived. Charles Decatur (C. D.) Brooks served the Seventh-day Adventist Church as an evangelist, pastor, chaplain, and administrator. Brooks broke down barriers when the church was struggling to deal with its own attitude toward civil rights. Brooks served as a union conference evangelist and General Conference field secretary when African Americans had never filled such influential positions. His desire to share the love of Jesus with people helped dissolve racial tensions that permeated the 1960s and 1970s. An evangelist at heart, Brooks took as his motto: “Don’t ask anybody for permission; just put up your tent and start preaching.” Tasked by then General Conference president Robert Pierson to serve the church as a general field secretary, Brooks traveled to every continent except Antarctica. He quipped, “I didn’t want to go to Antarctica because there was no one to preach to.” In his wake myriad new churches were raised up, comprised of those he won in his efforts. Listeners of all races, nationalities, ages, and backgrounds were captivated by Brooks’s earnest, riveting, eloquent, and truth-filled sermons. In 1974 Walter Arties convinced Brooks to serve as speaker/director for the newly created Breath of Life television ministry, which focused on reaching urban populations

unreached by other Adventist television ministries. This new ministerial focus helped reach thousands of people in cities all around the world. “Breath of Life” congregations formed after successful campaigns were held in previously unreached areas. Brooks joined George Vandeman, William Fagel, and H.M.S. Richards as legendary Adventist evangelists who utilized the powerful mediums of television and radio to reach the masses with an effective ministry that helped change countless lives. Each of these evangelists had something in common: they were visionaries. They looked for new and exciting ways of spreading the gospel. The printing of leaflets, books, and magazines helped spread the Adventist message throughout the world. Television and radio expanded the reach of the gospel to new areas, into the homes of those searching for biblical truth. The Adventist Church has always been at the forefront of using technology for outreach—and its use has proved to be extremely effective. As I reflect on the life of C. D. Brooks and the impact of his ministry, I think again of Prince and Ali. All three of them helped break down barriers of race and culture, as their sometimes larger-than-life personalities drew people from groups outside their own demographics. Who will fill this role in the Adventist Church for our generation? Who will let themselves be used by God in new and exciting ways? I can’t wait to see whom God chooses next. n

Dan Weber is commu-

nication director for the North American Division.

Continued on next page

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Everyone of us, every single person on the planet, has experienced hurt and pain, sadness and tears, turmoil and suffering. ­­—David Ross, Belleville, Ontario, Canada tered even one for whom Jesus didn’t die.” A wonderful and true statement! June Sharp North Carolina

NAD Letters Perspective

I was very impressed with two stories about refugees in the June 2016 magazine. Until I read about the Eritrean man who fled his country and eventually made his way to Germany, I was feeling down and sorry for myself. I had been dealing with a lot of family stuff and illness within my immediate family, and I told God I couldn’t deal with it anymore. Then I brightened up after reading about this amazing and tenacious man who wouldn’t and didn’t give up to get to a better place for himself and his family. What a story! And a big “thank you” to Sylvia for helping him and others. The second story was just as impressive as the first: about Blia Xiong and her children who eventually ended up in the United States. What she went through to get here was nothing short of a miracle. How could I feel as I did when these precious people suffered so much to get to safety? My favorite quote is from someone who said, “During the past six months of working with refugees, I have not encoun-

18

Our Christian Responsibility

Thank you for the June issue of Adventist World. It provides a welcome human face for what is a complex, humanitarian problem. It also shows the need for all of us to demonstrate a Christ-like compassion for our brothers and sister. Everyone of us, every single person on the planet, has experienced hurt and pain, sadness and tears, turmoil and suffering. Thus we should be able to find it in our hearts to empathize with, and fully appreciate, the suffering others endure. We also should be ready, able, and willing to help. It is our Christian responsibility. David Ross Belleville, Ontario, Canada Honesty

I loved the honesty in the article “Half a Bottle Won’t Last” in the Friendship issue of Adventist World (May 2016). If we are honest, who has not felt the same? Adria Hay Hoquiam, Washington Two Standouts

In the Friendship issue and the June Adventist World two well-done articles stuck out:

Adventist World - nad | August 2016

“Connecting with Christ,” with 13 steps and short excerpts. It was creative and effective; bullets are often a great way to keep readers’ attention. “I Was a Refugee,” in June Adventist World. Wow! What a great story! The more of those the better; the story is so raw and genuine. Bill Crick Clovis, California A Story to Tell

This well-written and precise article by Ty Gibson in April 2016 was inspiring, clear, and simple, like the gospel of Jesus Christ. Why do we complicate this wonderful message that is so beautiful when kept simple and personal? Gloria Niedigh Paradise, California Deeply Blessed

I was deeply blessed by Cheyenne Francis’s article, “Life-Changing Love,” (January 2016). It confirmed what God has been teaching me, and spoke to me of a journey like mine. God’s love is like the sunrise, growing ever brighter to the full light of day. We never graduate from that course! Thank you for reminding me to “trust those promises more than my feelings, more than my circumstances.” I know without a doubt that I am cherished. Cathy McCluskey Via e-mail


W O R L D

H E A L T H

Yellow

Fever

By Peter N. Landless and Allan R. Handysides I travel a lot, and I heard of an outbreak of yellow fever in Uganda. What is this disease, and should I be worried?

Y

ellow fever is a disease caused by a virus found in the tropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is one of the flavivirus group; other flaviviruses include dengue, West Nile virus, and Zika. The disease takes its name from the jaundice it causes in some patients; accumulation of bilirubin as a result of liver damage results in a yellow discoloration of the sclera (white portions) of the eyes, mucous membranes of the mouth, and also the skin. It’s further classified as an acute viral hemorrhagic disease; other such diseases include Ebola, Marburg, and Lassa fever. The virus is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes, usually of the Aedes or Haemogogus species. It’s possible for mosquitoes to transmit the virus from people with yellow fever for a short while prior to the onset of fever and for approximately five days thereafter. Once the disease is contracted, the virus incubates in the body for three to six days. The disease then follows one of two courses: An acute phase with fever; muscle pains, including backache; headache; episodes of shivering (rigors); nausea; and possibly vomiting and loss of appetite. Most patients improve and symptoms clear within three to four days. Fifteen percent of patients have a more severe course, entering a more serious phase after the first four days.

The fever returns, and the patient rapidly develops jaundice, with abdominal pain and vomiting. Bleeding may occur. The kidneys are affected and function deteriorates. Fifty percent of patients who enter this “toxic phase” die within 10 to 14 days; the remainder usually recover fully. Yellow fever can be difficult to diagnose, as it may mimic malaria, dengue, or other hemorrhagic fevers. The diagnosis can be confirmed by blood tests, which detect the yellow fever antibodies produced in response to the viral infection. Additional sophisticated tests can help to detect the presence of the virus during the illness and even after death, when the cause of death is uncertain. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 44 nations—in Africa (31) and Latin America (13)— are at risk. The total population living in these countries is more than 900 million. WHO further estimates that since the early 1990s, 200,000 cases of yellow fever have been responsible for 30,000 deaths globally each year. Most of these cases have been in Africa. Additionally, a small number of cases are imported into countries traditionally free of yellow fever because of the movement of workers and travel in general. All these statistics would be much greater were it not for vaccination. The single most important prevention measure against yellow fever

is vaccination. It is safe and provides effective immunity against the disease within 10 days for 99 percent of those vaccinated. Serious side effects are extremely rare, making the risk/benefit ratio favorable, considering the significant mortality associated with yellow fever. Those who should not be vaccinated include infants younger than 9 months, pregnant women (except in an outbreak when the risk is very high), people with severe allergies to egg protein, and those with severe immune-compromised states, as in symptomatic HIV/AIDS. The risk/benefit needs to be carefully assessed in individuals over the age of 60, when adverse side effects are more common. Mosquito control is important at all times, but especially as populations are building immunity through vaccination programs. Should you be worried? Enough to be vaccinated, and to encourage those who may be at risk to do likewise. Prevention is better than cure! n

Peter N. Landless, a board-certified

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

Allan R. Handysides, a board-certified gynecologist, is a former director of the General Conference Health Ministries Department.

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D E V O T I O N A L

I

t’s morning on a cold winter day, and I’m driving down the road. Misty winter landscapes pass by my window, devoid of any sun or greenery. For a moment the image of what must have been the beautiful perfection of the Garden of Eden comes to mind. How much beauty has been lost through sin! What a contrast between the freshness of that perfect creation and the dull winter colors! My thoughts revolve around a man I met a week ago. Desperate, he had decided to end his life. After locking himself in his car, he soaked the interior and his clothes with gasoline and lit a match. A helicopter brought him to our burn care facility and a near-impossible mission began. We tried to bring back a life that had already decided to give up. In the end we lost the battle. How desperate must a person feel to see suicide as the only way out of their misery! Today we would meet for the last time in an autopsy room.

I am mentally reviewing the patients who are under my responsibility in the intensive burn care facility. Each room presents another tragedy. I am especially worried about the woman who has not yet regained consciousness since the night a fire consumed her home. How am I going to explain to this mother when she wakes up from the coma that she lost her three young children in the fire that disfigured her? What a world, what pain! How disastrous when humans discover personally the secret of the knowledge of good and evil! Were Adam and Eve able to imagine the consequences of their sinful choice and what the terrible cost would be?

All of a sudden, a dangerous situation on the road forces me to let go of my thoughts and focus on the traffic. A driver approaching from the opposite direction has miscalculated while over-

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Adventist World - nad

Life

God’s supreme miracle By Ariel E. Noltze


Sooner or later we will be confronted with all kinds of problems in this world. taking a truck. A violent turn of the steering wheel, several braking maneuvers—it could have ended tragically. But, once more, all is well. I can only thank God for having protected me from a serious accident. Moreover, I feel a deep gratitude for His care in a world in which death is the major rule of the game. Lost in these thoughts, I decide to listen to some music. I put a CD into the car stereo, and a song plays whose text exalts Christ as the Lord of life. It’s a nice song, and I enjoy it whenever I listen to it. But this time it’s different. Today, somehow, I catch a glimpse of the magnitude of what God offers: Life! God offers life in a world marred by death. He offers life to me: to me, a mortal being with a body destined for death; to me, who cannot contribute anything to redeem myself from sin. He wants to reverse the countdown that began the day we were born and put us on the path to life. He who is life, “for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9), has by His death on the cross put us once more within reach of the divine breath that breathed life into mud, which ultimately became Adam. He came to this world of dried-up raisins to invite us to become vines bursting with life. We no longer need to receive the wages of a fallen world. When we accept Christ, we have passed from death to life, because “the world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17, NIV).

Clinging to this faith can help us face the worst tragedies without falling apart. While others despair, we have the assurance that God has a plan and that suffering will not last forever. Hope in

the fulfillment of God’s promises makes all the difference. The certainty of living on the threshold of Christ’s second coming opens our eyes to a reality that goes far beyond the problems we experience right now. As no marathon runners abandon their race a few meters from the finish line because of blisters on their feet, God’s children go forward in spite of trials. They may have their vision blurred by tears, but they keep their eyes fixed on the goal. Trusting in the Lord of life is how they receive the strength to continue. Sooner or later we will be confronted with all kinds of problems in this world. Sickness is one of the most dreaded obstacles. Faced with serious health issues, we often cry out: “Lord, will You heal my loved one? Will You do a miracle? Is it Your will to heal me from this disease?” Sometimes it seems that God does not answer our prayers. But God does answer! He has already given the definite answer: “Whoever has the Son has life” (1 John 5:12, NIV). It is almost too easy to believe. If we do not grasp this, we may pray for a miracle; and when no miracle comes, we will be discouraged by God’s apparent silence. We may even be tempted to think that God simply doesn’t hear our prayers, or even doubt His existence. This is a trap, for He certainly always hears us. And if it sometimes seems that He remains silent it is because He has already given the answer: “She is not dead, but sleeping” (Luke 8:52).

It’s vital that we human beings possess this kind of “life insurance,”

which guarantees life in the face of death (cf. John 11:25). Our insurance policy is to have the Son of God, the authentic resurrection and life. Christ is the wonderful formula that transforms death into a slumber. This seems too simple. I can neither provide scientific evidence nor explain this medically. But God has said so, and we trust Him by faith. “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope,” writes Paul. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. . . . For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thess. 4:13-16). What more could God give His children? So I continue driving with a renewed hope in my heart. I sense that, today, God helped me to see something important more clearly. And because I believe unshakably in the superabundant sufficiency of God’s power I follow the advice of the apostle Paul when he adds: “Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:18). n

Ariel E. Noltze, M.D., is

a specialist in plastic surgery and hand surgery. He works at a center of reconstructive surgery in Vienna, Austria, where he lives with his family.

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F U N D A M E N T A L

B E L I E F S

By Ekkehardt Mueller

Justice Is Coming NUMBER 27

T

he word “millennium” has become quite popular. Novels, comics, movies, music albums, computer games, companies, and organizations contain this name. The millennium bug in computer software was a big topic before the year 2000. Events and places relate to the millennium, and it also plays an important role in biblical theology. In fact, one of the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church deals with this subject. What are some of the issues with the millennium, and what is its relevance for us today? Understanding the Issues

The word “millennium” is derived from Latin mille (thousand) and annus (year). It is used to describe the time period of 1,000 years found in Revelation 20.1 But Christians have never been unified in how to understand it. There is agreement that it has to do with the reign of Christ, but disagreement regarding its nature and timing. Some hold that the millennium precedes Christ’s second coming. Others interpret it figuratively, as the entire period between His first and His second coming. Finally, some suggest that it follows Christ’s second coming, preceding the new heaven and new earth (Rev. 21:1). The timing of the millennium determines its nature. Those who suggest that the entire Christian age is the millennium understand it as a period of constant improvement, in which people can turn to God and experience their personal “resurrection.” Advocates of the idea that the millennium will come before Christ’s return see it as a period of evangelism. Adventists interpret it as a time of desolation of the earth after His second coming; with no humans alive on earth; when the heavenly judgment on Satan and the wicked dead will be held. Following the millennium, the lost will be resurrected. Satan will deceive them (Rev. 20:5, 7, 8, 13) to attack the New Jerusalem (verse 9), which, in the meantime, has come from heaven (Rev. 21:2). They will be judged (Rev. 20:11-13) and killed (verses 9, 10, 14, 15). God will be vindicated before the universe. Finally, the new Paradise will be ushered in and the plan of salvation completed.

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Adventist World - nad | August 2016

Answers to basic questions about the millennium

The suggestion that the millennium provides a second chance for conversion is not supported by Scripture and is detrimental to those not making a decision for Jesus in this life. The When and What of the Millennium

The context of Revelation 20 allows us to determine the timing of the millennium. The second part of Revelation, beginning with chapter 15, largely follows a chronological sequence, with only a few parallel blocks of material. Revelation 15 forms an introduction to the seven plagues (Rev. 15:1, 7). They are described in Revelation 16. With the sixth plague the dragon, the sea beast, and the false prophet are mentioned (Rev. 16:13). They form endtime Babylon and prepare for the battle of Armageddon (verses 14, 16), while the kings from the east, Jesus, and His army, are about to come (verse 12). With the seventh plague Babylon is being judged and disintegrates into its three constituent parts (verse 19). Revelation 17 and 18 describe the seventh plague in more detail, focusing on Babylon’s judgment as a harlot and as the great city. Armageddon follows the mention of the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7, 8). Jesus, as rider on the white horse with His army, defeats Babylon (verses 11-21). This is a symbolic description of Christ’s second coming.2 While the dragon lives on, the beast and the false prophet end up in a fiery pool (verse 20). The dragon will be confined to the abyss for 1,000 literal years of inactivity (Rev. 20:1-3). So the millennium is a real thousand-year period following the Second Coming. The first and second resurrec-


tions before and after the millennium are real resurrections, not to be spiritualized (verses 4-6).3 The Structure of Revelation 20

Revelation 20:1-3 describes the time at the beginning of the millennium. Verses 4-6 mention the reign of Christ with the redeemed of all ages in heaven during the millennium. The rest of the chapter deals with events after the heavenly court session (verses 7-15). But it comes in two passages. The first deals with the attack on the New Jerusalem and the defeat of the wicked, including Satan. The second passage describes the heavenly judgment and the execution of the verdict. Both passages end by pointing to the lake of fire. Thus they are parallel; their events must not be understood in strictly chronological terms. What Does It Mean Today?

I see five important points that make the teaching of the millennium relevant for us today. First, the millennium has to do with Jesus4 and His reign, in which the redeemed participate. As King of kings, Jesus is involved in final events. Our Creator and Savior is also the Judge. Most likely it is He who is seated on the “great white throne” (verse 11), the Lord of the universe who loves us deeply. Second, the millennium offers answers to our deep longing for justice, and the end of evil in a world in which injustice frequently triumphs. God intervenes on behalf of His children, and judgment is executed. The judgment process brings about a deeper understanding of the love, holiness, and justice of God and the ugliness of sin, thus vindicating God’s character. Third, the millennium is necessary for the completion of the plan of salvation so that sin will no longer

ruin God’s creation. Those who are redeemed will appreciate salvation and eternal communion with God to an even greater extent than now, and will praise Him throughout eternity. Fourth, the millennium teaches us not to postpone our decision for God. There are no second chances beyond this life. Finally, the millennium helps those who are redeemed understand why God cannot save all of their loved ones. But God will comfort them, and “will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Rev. 21:4). Wrap-up

The millennium is not a period of peace on earth, but God’s final judgment, which, however, does not directly affect God’s children. It establishes justice and ushers in His kingdom of glory. Those whose names are written in the book of life (Rev. 20:12) can rejoice that with the millennium the eon of this world will come to an end and a new eon will dawn—eternal, unsurpassable, in the presence of God. n 1 For

further material, see, e.g., Eric Claude Webster, “The Millennium,” in Handbook of Seventhday Adventist Theology, ed. Raoul Dederen (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 2000), pp. 927-946. 2 See Brian K. Blount, Revelation (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox, 2009), p. 349; Grant R. Osborne, Revelation (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002), p. 679. 3 Verse 5b refers to the resurrection in verse 4. 4 Cf. Stephen Smalley, The Revelation of John: A Commentary on the Greek Text of the Apocalypse (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 2005), p. 516.

Ekkehardt Mueller, a native of Germany, is an associate director of the Biblical Research Institute at the General Conference of Seventhday Adventists in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

The Millennium and the End of Sin The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its close Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city; but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever. (Jer. 4:23-26; Eze. 28:18, 19; Mal. 4:1; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3; Rev. 20; 21:1-5.)


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uvenal Nsengiyumva, a 47-year-old university teacher, determined to rise to the challenge when he learned in January that each of the 720,000 Seventh-day Adventists in Rwanda was being encouraged to actively share Jesus’ love with their neighbors. But how could he participate in the Total Member Involvement program, which would culminate in a nationwide evangelistic series in late May? While hundreds of preachers were needed at evangelistic meeting sites across the African country, Nsengiyumva couldn’t take the time off work to prepare and deliver the two weeks of sermons. So Nsengiyumva took stock of what he had: a caring wife, Marianne, and four children; an aging but reliable car; some cash; and fluent English skills obtained during five years of studies in India. “First and foremost, I am an active member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and you know an active member has to tell the truth that he or she knows to others,” said Nsengiyumva, an elder at the Gates of Hope Adventist Church in the resort city of Gisenyi. Nsengiyumva’s three daughters and son—Hope, 12; Friend, 9; Meek, 7; and Merciful, 5—went through their clothes and chose some to give away to those who needed them. Their mother washed and ironed them to make them look like new. “We have to teach them to be cheerful givers,” Nsengiyumva said. The family also donated US$70 toward the US$8,000 cost of a new P H O T O :

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Every Member Involved

It is the active involvement of people like Nsengiyumva that paved the way for the largest baptism in the Adventist Church’s history, local church leaders said. An unprecedented 97,344 people were baptized during the May 13-28 evangelistic meetings (as of June 2), and additional baptisms connected with the event are expected to push the total past 100,000 in subsequent months. “I can tell you that this success came about because each member in the Rwanda Union got involved in every detail of the operation,” said Blasious M. Ruguri, president of the Adventist Church’s East-Central Africa Division, whose territory of 11 countries includes Rwanda. Church members studied the Bible with their neighbors and went doorto-door, inviting people to the evangelistic meetings. They donated nearly

$350,000 to construct and repair housing and buy cows, food, clothing, and health insurance for the needy. Medical volunteers treated nearly 6,000 people for a week at free clinics at three locations. “No member thought this was a burden; in fact, every member desired to be given a chance to participate,” said Ruguri, who preached at a meeting site in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. Rwanda, with a population of 11.8 million people, stands as an example for Adventist believers worldwide, church leaders said. All union presidents from the East-Central Africa Division preached in Rwanda in May, and they plan to replicate the Total Member Involvement program in the run-up to major evangelistic series in their home countries in June 2017. Even the president of the Adventist Church in Zambia, which is located in another church division, flew to Rwanda to view the proceedings firsthand. “Total Member Involvement is not just for Africa,” Hesron R. Byilingiro, president of the Rwanda Union, told a group of preachers in Gisenyi. “It is for the entire world.” The previous record for baptisms was 30,000, after a two-week evangelistic series in Zimbabwe in May 2015. Just two months later, world church leaders unveiled the Total Member Involvement initiative at the General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas. Total Member Involvement (TMI) encourages each of the church’s 19.1 million members worldwide to find ways to share Jesus with friends

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house for a widow. In addition, Nsengiyumva signed up to serve as an interpreter for a visiting preacher from the United States, and to drive the speaker to the meeting site, an hour-long roundtrip that followed his regular day of teaching. It was all worth it, he said. A total of 168 people were baptized at the church where he interpreted, a figure that far exceeded the goal of 30 baptisms set by church leaders for each of the 2,227 meeting sites around the country. “It is really wonderful,” Nsengiyumva said. “What can I say? Glory be to God!”

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How Total Member Involvement made a difference in Rwanda

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Juvenal Nsengiyumva, who found many ways to get involved with the evangelistic meetings, holds a TMI (Total Member Involvement) scarf. Many church members wore the scarf during the meetings.

and communities. Although named at the General Conference session, Total Member Involvement is not particularly bold or new, said Duane McKey, a key organizer of the Rwanda meetings and the Adventist world church leader responsible for the program. “Jesus said more than 2,000 years ago in the Great Commission of Matthew 28 to go and preach, teach, and baptize,” McKey said in an interview in Rwanda. “The interesting and exciting thing is we’ve just finished more than 2,000 meetings that commemorate something Jesus said more than 2,000 years ago.” Large GC Delegation

Most of the presenters are regular church members from Rwanda, McKey said. But 98 speakers came from the General Conference, the

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PHOTO: COURTESY OF ABNER DE LOS SANTOS

administrative body of the Adventist world church, and another 70 came from the church’s Nairobi, Kenyabased East-Central Africa Division. Some two dozen came from France. Many funded their own way. Speakers called the event unforgettable and spoke of related blessings in their own lives. A 22-year-old international student studying in the United States told how a Muslim woman and a public university funded her trip. A 12-year-old boy rejoiced over leading hundreds of people to Christ. A Canadian woman who lost relatives in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide was finally able to forgive (see sidebars). Abner De los Santos, a general vice president of the Adventist world church, described his joy at unexpectedly joining two overwhelmed local pastors in a church baptismal tank to

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Above and Right: Hundreds of people prepare for baptism on the shore of Lake Kivu on Sabbath, May 28. Left: Abner de los Santos joins two local pastors in baptizing 528 people at a church in Rwanda's capital, Kigali, on Sabbath, May 28. baptize 528 people at a church in Kigali on Sabbath, May 28. “When I first held my newly born child in my hands, I could feel the child’s heart beating,” he said. “On Sabbath, I could feel the pounding hearts of the people whom I was baptizing. It reminded me of a newborn child.” De los Santos and his wife, Leticia, a music teacher, preached at two churches in Kigali’s Rusororo district. Another general vice president of the Adventist world church, Geoffrey Mbwana, also led evangelistic meetings. Among the other representatives of the General Conference were Lael Caesar, an associate editor of Adventist World, who marveled that six visitors attended his meetings at the invitation of one mute boy. (The author of this article, news editor of Adventist World, led a series for the first time.)

Adventist World - nad | August 2016

The sight of the unusually large delegation from the General Conference sent ripples across Rwanda. Abidan Ruhongeka, president of the South Rwanda Field, said his church members told him in astonishment: “The General Conference people used to come to Rwanda Union just for church business meetings, but now they have come only for evangelism. Jesus must be coming soon!” Adventist Church president Ted N. C. Wilson, who led evangelistic meetings in Gisenyi, thanked local church members for their participation on the last Sabbath. “You are an example for the entire world. We praise God for that,” Wilson told a crowd of 6,000 people. Among those present were 1,971 people who had been baptized in nearby Lake Kivu in the morning, and Nsengiyumva, the university teacher who found several ways to participate in Total Member Involvement. Nsengiyumva said he couldn’t be happier. “I praise God that He fulfilled my wishes to participate in the preaching of His message,” he said. n

Andrew McChesney is

news editor of Adventist World.


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Muslim Woman and Public University

Covered My Trip

By Sibu Mukwakwami

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Church members studied the Bible with their neighbors and went door-to-door, inviting people

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to the evangelistic meetings.

could not pay to travel to Rwanda—I was a 22-year-old international student from Zimbabwe, studying on a scholarship at the University of California, Berkeley. So I decided to become a literature evangelist to raise the funds, and found support in unexpected places. One day an Asian woman who hardly spoke any English answered the door to her house. I had a hard time explaining why I was selling books. But when she saw my books, a big smile spread across her face. She gave me $50 for some paperback books to help fund my mission trip. Another woman was Muslim. I told her I was raising money to go on a mission trip and tell people about God. She was very happy for me and gave me a $30 donation. I left her a book to read as well. She asked me to come back and tell her about my trip. She was so excited for me! I also prayed that my scholarship program might treat the mission trip as an internship and provide some funds. But Berkeley was a public research university, so it seemed crazy to apply for funds for a mission trip. I applied anyway. It took more than a month to receive an answer. I was sure they wouldn’t approve a mission trip. But to my shock, they decided to support me, and gave me funds for the trip. The woman in charge of the scholarship program at the university even asked me to give a presentation, complete with PowerPoint, to the other students when I returned from Rwanda. I am excited to tell them about my trip and Jesus’ soon return! His return is the reason I led evangelistic meetings for a crowd of 400 people every night in the city of Byimana. God is good, and if He calls, He will provide. Ellen White wrote, “As the will of man cooperates with the will of God, it becomes omnipotent. Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings.”* n *Ellen G. White, Messages to Young People (Nashville: Southern Pub. Assn., 1930), p. 101.

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I Didn’t Want to

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Chantal Kayumba holds hands with a man at her meeting site.

oing to Rwanda was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made. My family had lost many relatives and friends in the 1994 genocide, and the loss remains painful today. I felt anger toward those who had committed the crimes, and resented my own heritage. But all my plans for the month of May fell through except the evangelism trip to Rwanda from my home in Canada. Feeling like Jonah on his way to Nineveh, I set out to bring the gospel to the meeting site where I had been assigned to preach every evening. In my heart I tolerated the people, but the love of God was not there. I didn’t think that they deserved salvation

By Chantal Kayumba

after the atrocities. On my second night an older gentleman approached me after the sermon. He was visibly nervous. I motioned for him to sit, but instead he knelt. “Forgive me, Preacher, forgive me,” he said. Confused, I explained that I did not know him, and there was no need for forgiveness. With agony in his voice he replied: “No, forgive me, because 22 years ago I killed people like you. You say God can forgive me. But can you forgive me?” Overwhelmed, I knelt in front of him. Anger, sadness, deep pain, and then a strong and divine love filled my heart. I longed for him to experience the joy of salvation despite

the heinous crimes of his past. I longed for him to know that 2,000 years before he had sinned, Christ had been crucified on Calvary so that he might have a chance on judgment day. I reached out and held his hands in mine. With all sincerity I told him that I forgave him, not because I was a good person, but because I had also been forgiven by Christ. We both cried tears of joy at this newfound peace. Going to Rwanda, I was bitter. Leaving Rwanda, God taught me His love, which reaches even the worst of sinners. Truly, through service we ourselves are saved. n

12-Year-Old Boy Calls

Hundreds to Christ A

12-year-old adopted boy from Russia is thrilled that hundreds of people have accepted Jesus at his first evangelistic series. Dillon Smith, who lives in the state of Maryland, United States, was supposed to preach a children’s sermon every evening before his mother, Jackie O. Smith, addressed adults at their site in a city park in Karongi. But time constraints prompted the site supervisor to suggest that Dillon take over the main meeting from his mother on the third night of the two-week series. After some coaching and encouragement,

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Dillon agreed, and was thrilled to see hundreds of people answer his call to accept Christ that first night. “I was really excited,” he said. “It was surprising to me, because I did not know that that many people would come up.” Dillon and his twin brother, Dawson, were adopted at the age of 2 from an orphanage in the Russian city of Novosibirsk. Before leaving Russia, the U.S. parents dedicated the boys to God at a local Adventist church. Smith, an assistant director of the Sabbath School/ Personal Ministries Department of the Adventist world church, recalled that after dedicating

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By Andrew McChesney the boys, the Russian pastor said, “Who knows, maybe they will come back one day to preach in Russia.” Dillon, who was baptized the Sabbath before he arrived in Rwanda, had shown an interest in preaching for some time. But when asked to take over the adult meeting, he wasn’t initially sure that he was ready. The presentations, prepared by evangelist Mark Finley, were longer than the children’s program. Speakers can simply read the words off the computer screen, but the language was at a higher level than what Dillon was used to. Smith edited the sermons to P H O T O :

Dillon Smith with his mother, Jackie O. Smith.

bring them to Dillon’s level. On his first evening Dillon donned his Pathfinder uniform and spoke about the evening’s theme, “The Lamb of God,” to a crowd of approximately 1,000 people. “We prayed that we would have a perfect meeting, and God blessed,” Dillon’s mother said. “It was a perfect meeting.” n C O U R T E S Y

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Left: The view from the platform of Andrew McChesney's meeting site. Below: Kathy and Duane McKey (left) and Andrew McChesney (center) join with others in singing with the children at McChesney’s site on Sabbath morning.

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When the

Lights Went Out W

hen the lights went out the first time, I didn’t blink. After all, we were holding an evangelistic series in a half-built brick church in a remote Rwandan village. Why wouldn’t the power go out? The second and third incidents didn’t faze me either. But then I noticed that the electricity was failing whenever I mentioned the devil or one of his deceptions. This realization struck on the third night as I read a text prepared by evangelist Mark Finley from my laptop, which doubled as a teleprompter. “It’s all about worship,” I said. “You have two choices about whom you can worship: Jesus or the beast.” As I said “the beast,” the building plunged into darkness. The audience of 1,100 people and I waited several minutes in the pitch blackness. I wondered what I was doing,

By Andrew McChesney

leading my first evangelistic series. Ever since I had been baptized a decade earlier, I had been praying for the opportunity to lead just one person to Christ. But no one had been baptized, and I kept plugging away at my favorite activities of writing, editing, and leading a Sabbath School class. Then the Rwanda trip surfaced. I was eager to report about the event, but I was not particularly thrilled about preaching for two straight weeks, especially after my interpreter, a church elder, informed me that every night I would need to make an appeal for visitors to come forward to accept Christ. I had never done that before. Then the lights went out. When power was restored, I returned to the beginning of the PowerPoint slide about worship. “It’s all about worship,” I said. “You

have two choices about whom you can worship: Jesus or the beast.” The building went black again. “The devil didn’t like that,” the interpreter said. A trio of Master Guides directed 300 children seated on straw mats at the front of the church to stand up. Clapping and twirling, the children sang a lively song about keeping the devil away. When the lights flickered back on, I led the congregation in prayer. I told God that we had chosen Him. The audience roared, “Amen!” Returning to the nowfamiliar slide, I said: “It’s all about worship. You have two choices about whom you can worship: Jesus or the beast.” Everyone in the room held their breath. The lights stayed on. A sigh of relief echoed throughout the room.

That wasn’t the last time that the lights went out. But I was ready. The next time the power failed was just after I said the word “devil.” My interpreter groaned. The children again sang. And I prayed publicly for God’s power. The power never failed again. More important, our Higher Power never failed either. From the third night I made a daily appeal for people to come forward. By the end of the meetings, 168 people had been baptized. Credit for the astounding baptism result belongs to God and the diligent efforts of local church members, who shared Jesus with their neighbors. But I believe my own prayer was also answered. I had asked for one baptism. But when I ventured beyond my comfort zone, God provided 168. n

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LENDING A

By Kryzia Abacan

Hand FOR Needs PROVIDING ,

Adventists Respond to Fort McMurray Wildfire Crisis


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Inside the warehouse, crews work to keep donated items organized.

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n the afternoon of May 3, 2016, a mandatory evacuation was issued for the residents of Fort McMurray, Alberta. A harmless forest fire in the distance quickly evolved into a threatening wildfire, endangering the lives of the city’s citizens. Approximately 80,000 residents of Fort McMurray fled from their homes, seeking refuge in places north and south of the city. Along with other organizations, Adventist church members and entities in Canada sprang to action at the onset of the crisis.

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The Local Church Response

The nearest major city south of Fort McMurray is Edmonton, the capital of the province of Alberta. With an influx of evacuees en route, city officials and residents had to quickly formulate a plan for accommodation. The Edmonton South Seventh-day Adventist Church also recognized the need for a quick response. While residents of Fort McMurray received the evacuation order, John Murley, head pastor, and his elders, were holding their regularly scheduled elders’ meeting. One of the topics for discussion was the Fort McMurray fire. In the midst of discussion, phones began to ring and vibrate with news that the entire city

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of Fort McMurray was issued a mandatory evacuation order. “We’re sitting in our boardroom, a bunch of elders, looking at each other in disbelief that this happening,” recalls Murley. “But at the same time, we’re asking, ‘How can we help?’ ” Keeping in mind their goal as a church to be more involved and make a difference in the community, the church quickly decided that they would open their church doors for evacuees who needed a place to stay, as well as collect donations to help with immediate needs. “We didn’t sit around in committees and decide what should we do. We didn’t send it to a group for study. The entire church just jumped into action,” says Murley. With the support of its sister churches in the Greater Edmonton area, Edmonton South worked tirelessly to meet the needs of their neighbors from Fort McMurray. Members of the church volunteered their time and efforts to ensure that each need was efficiently met. Murley credits social media as one of the reasons they were able to provide for the evacuees in an effective manner. Members of the church and the community circulated posts on Facebook about what items and goods were needed. Without hesitation,

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Volunteers help transport necessities after Fort McMurray citizens were forced to evacuate the city.

individuals showed up to the doors of Edmonton South with requested items, such as nonperishable foods, toiletries, and clothes. They were ready to serve anyone in need. The Conference Response

The Alberta Conference sent an e-mail to the churches in Edmonton, asking them to relay how they were responding as a church, and how the conference could support their efforts. On May 4, the day after the evacuation, Murley promptly contacted Lyle Notice at the Alberta Conference to report what his church was planning to execute. “The conference has a role in these kinds of situations, definitely,” said Notice, associate youth director for the conference. “But at the local level, the churches have an even greater role.

They’re in the community: they know people; they have connections. They can figure out what the community needs and aim to meet those needs.” The conference quickly offered their support to Edmonton South’s efforts. On May 5, the conference stocked their Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Canada and Adventist Community Services (ACS) disaster response vehicle with multiple cases of water donated by the conference, as well as 2,000 care kits donated by GlobalMedic, and various items collected by Edmonton South. Fully stocked, the vehicle made its way to the Edmonton Expo evacuation center at Northlands, unloading the collected goods for evacuees staying at the center. “I really think this is where Christ would be,” says Notice. “He would be

with the people who need help, who need assistance. This is a great opportunity for our church to serve, to do what we were called to do, to do what we’re supposed to be doing.” Sitting on the non-governmental organizations (NGO) council as a representative of ADRA Canada, Notice was aware of the evolving needs of the city and the province in helping the residents of Fort McMurray. As the Alberta Conference assessed the next steps in their response to the Fort McMurray wildfire, they tapped into the expertise of ADRA Canada and ACS. The ADRA Canada and ACS Response

When fire erupted in Fort McMurray, Heather Grbic, charitable worker for ADRA Canada, was in the prov-

In the first few days after the wildfire evacuations in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, Adventist Community Services partnered with ADRA Canada and the local church to get supplies to evacuees. ACS Disaster Response director W. Derrick Lea is pictured.

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Top: A banner marks the exterior of the 17,00-square-foot donation warehouse, which, as of June 6, 2016, received more than 2,000 pallets of items and goods to be distributed to citizens in need in Fort McMurray. Bottom: The ACS/ADRA Canada truck transported donated supplies to those in need after the Fort McMurray wildfire caused more than 80,000 residents to flee the city.

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incoming donations efficiently. Coordinating with other entities in the province, ADRA Canada accepted the responsibility of donations management with plans to open and manage a donations warehouse. Acknowledging that opening a 17,000-square-foot warehouse was not an easy feat, the Alberta Conference and ADRA Canada coordinated with Adventist Community Services (ACS), tapping into their expertise in managing donations. “ACS in the United States specializes in donations management,” explains Charlene Sargent, assistant director of ACS Disaster Response in the North American Division (NAD). “That includes collecting donations, distributing them, and managing the warehouse.” As of June 1, 2016, the Alberta Wildfire Donations Center, operated by ADRA Canada, began operations. to any disaster around the world, Donations from all over the city have including Canada. been transported, ready to be sorted “Canada is our first priority,” and distributed. As the residents of explains Odondi. “If there is ever a Fort McMurray returned to rebuild disaster here, ADRA Canada will and repair their homes, warehouse immediately respond to the needs of those affected. That’s why we are here. staff assisted them by allocating donaWe want to do the best we can to help.” tions to preapproved distribution centers based on identified needs. After connecting with other orgaAs of June 6 the warehouse has nizations in the province, the need for received more than 2,000 pallets of donations management became paraitems and goods to be distributed to mount. Thousands of donations the citizens of Fort McMurray. Mempoured in from the city, the province, bers of the Adventist churches in the country, and the world. Edmonton have been quick to lend a As donations increased in numhand to the warehouse, continuing the bers, the needs of the evacuees began to grow as well. There had to be a pro- spirit of service that began at the Edmonton South church. cess in place to collect and distribute

After connecting with other organizations in the province, the need for donations management became paramount.

ince on other business. As the crisis intensified, she collaborated with the Alberta Conference and her team at ADRA Canada in Ontario. Grbic coordinated the GlobalMedic donation and alerted her colleagues at the ADRA Canada head office about the situation. On behalf of ADRA Canada, she provided support and encouragement to churches and the conference. As Notice realized the growing needs of the evacuees, as well as the needs of the city and the province, he called on the expertise of Anita Odondi, emergency management director. Odondi is responsible for ensuring that ADRA Canada formulates a quick and appropriate response

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According to a June 15 Globe and Mail report (www.theglobeandmail. com/news/national/alberta-organizesdonation-drive-for-fort-mcmurray/ article30463819/), the Alberta province will continue to partner with ADRA Canada in donation coordination. Items still being accepted include gently used furniture, food, bedding, baby food, baby bottles, and formula. The report also states that there has been an outpouring of donations since the May fire that ultimately destroyed one tenth of the city. Danielle Larivee, municipal affairs minister, says that if Fort McMurray receives more donations than needed, items will be redirected to other charities. ADRA Canada will also accept financial donations at www.adra.ca/ product/emergency-relief/. “The Adventist Church has been called to serve,” observes Sargent. “In disasters like this, we must respond with love and compassion. We have been commissioned to love our neighbors and providing support in their time of need is one way to do just that.” n

Kryzia Abacan is com-

Center of Influence IN YOUR COMMUNITY

During disasters, churches and schools serve their communities in many ways. Within the past year in North America, regions have battled such natural disasters as wildfires, tornados, and floods. With Adventist Community Services (ACS), our churches have helped those struggling through these types of crises, as evidenced in this month’s feature. ACS has worked with members “on the ground” to give aid. Adventists have worked as a team not only in Canada but in Texas and Louisiana as well. We’ve been involved in water distribution and more during the crisis in Flint, Michigan. There have been protests in our neighborhoods; and our communities have also had to deal with the aftermath from violent crimes, such as the San Bernardino, California, and Orlando, Florida, shootings. Through prayerful planning with eager and trained volunteers we’ve been able

A D V E N T I S T

C O M M U N I T Y

S E R V I C E S

munications and office manager of the Alberta Wildfire Donation Center operated by ADRA Canada.

HOW TO BE A

The Edmonton South Seventh-day Adventist Church, the closest Adventist church to Fort McMurray, took the lead in helping wildfire evacuees, some of whom are now just returning home.

to reach out and give continued care to those devastated by the Orlando shootings (see http://ow.ly/ UuXC301u2rt). Our churches can be centers of influence during these crises. One example is the Orlando area Adventist churches who are offering to host funerals for the victims of the shooting (see http://ow.ly/l7hn301u1BL). But a center of influence is more than this. Establishing ongoing relationships with the community, its leaders, and its organizations is important. If the community already has a relationship with the church, it will be more willing to turn to the church, work together, and accept help. Trust will already be established. Thus, a center of influence should: Be known and respected in the community through name and activity. Become recognized as a positive influence. Have access to resources and services that members and the community can use in a variety of situations. Be able to identify needs in the community. Understand who/what qualifies as a client, and be alert to any changing situations of that person or group. Be able to count on church and/or school member participation. Look for ways to partner with other community groups such as the American Red Cross, the Lions Club, Rotary, and other service and religious organizations.

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A D V E N T I S T

L I F E

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he killers came on a Sabbath, brought onto the Seventh-day Adventist church’s compound by the mission president himself and his son, a physician who served as medical director of the church-owned Mugonero Hospital. Many people had fled to the compound of the church’s South Rwanda Field after the Rwandan genocide started on April 7, 1994. Pastors and their families joined other church members in crowding into the compound, and particularly the church building, thinking they would be safe. I worked as director of the Publishing Department for the South Rwanda Field. The office, church, school, workers’ homes, and Mugonero Hospital were all located on the same compound in an area of Rwanda known as Kibuye. The day before Rwandans began to kill one another I was attending publishing meetings at the Rwanda Union Mission office in the country’s capital, Kigali. That night the Rwandan president’s plane was shot down, and the genocide began. The next day an employee at Mugonero Hospital called to say that my 14-year-old son, Paul, had been killed and that my wife and children had fled to the compound’s church for protection. Then on Sabbath, April 16, killers entered the compound with the assistance of the mission president and his son. How could this be? My father, a pastor, had worked with this president while I was growing up. I had worked with him as well. I had had no idea what was in his heart. What saddened me even more was that pastors holed up inside the church with my wife and eight other children had written a letter to the mission president, telling him: “We know they’re coming to kill us. Please help us get a boat to the lake and go to the Congo, so we can be rescued.” The letter was taken by a soldier who was protecting them in the church to the president’s house on the compound. The president responded that not even God could help them now. People from all over the country descended on the compound to kill the Adventists. Some of the killers were Adventist. They came with grenades, machetes, knives, anything that could kill a human being. A pastor was preaching when killers entered his church. They first shot and killed him. Then they started killing the others. My wife and children ran to the president’s house for help, but he turned them away. Others ran toward the hospital, trying to escape, but they were caught by people waiting with machetes. The killing inside the compound continued for several days. Day and night the killers looked for those who might have escaped. They even brought dogs to assist in searching the bush. By the time the genocide ended in July, I had lost my

entire family: my wife and nine children, my father and mother, three sisters, a brother, and a brother-in-law. Church for Displaced People

The outbreak of the genocide made it impossible for me to return home. From Kigali I was taken by a group of soldiers to a camp for internally displaced people in a northern province of the country. I was the only pastor in the camp. I found that when you’re busy doing good it makes you forget the bad things that have happened to you. That’s how God strengthened me.

By Isaac Ndwaniye as told to Gina Wahlen

Forgiving

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the

Killers

Must I forgive even the Rwanda genocide killers of my family?

MUGONERO ADVENTIST HOSPITAL: Some people ran toward the hospital, trying to escape the killing, but were caught by people waiting with machetes.

P H O T O S

B Y

G I N A

W A H L E N


One Friday evening I was walking around the city near the camp and saw an abandoned Roman Catholic church. I asked for permission to pray and hold services in the church. Receiving it, I went back to the camp and invited people to come to the church on Sabbath. We began to meet as a congregation every Sabbath. Even though we were homeless, those who had some money gave tithe and offerings faithfully, as if they were still at home. Sometimes people from Uganda came to visit and gave us money, which we also tithed and used for offerings. We set aside the tithe until the church in Rwanda could begin working again, and we used the offerings to help treat people injured in the war. Many people of other faiths joined the Adventists in worshipping every Sabbath. By the time we were able to leave the camp four months later, 300 people were ready for baptism. When the genocide was over in July, I traveled to Kigali and found no Adventist church operating in the country. So I went throughout the city, pleading with people to return to church. Slowly people returned to the churches. I was asked to serve as the church’s president for Rwanda for two years. Later I was elected to the Publishing Department of the Rwanda Union Mission. Five years later I was given the most challenging invitation I have ever received: Would I be willing to serve as president of the very area that included the Mugonero compound, where my family had been killed? I prayed about it and decided to go. This would be the first time to go back and work with the people who had

FORGIVING THE UNFORGIVABLE?: Isaac Ndwaniye, president of the East Central Rwandan Conference, lost his entire family in the 1994 genocide.

killed my family. I prayed, “God, help me and give me strength and words to say to these people.” On my first Sabbath back I called for a large district meeting. The Rwanda Union Mission “has sent me here to preach the good news and to lead this conference,” I said. “I don’t want anyone to tell me who killed my family. I don’t even want you to tell me that you’re my friend. My friend is the one who loves God and who loves God’s work. Let’s work together in that spirit.” I stayed there for three years, and was then called to Kigali to serve as president of what today is the East Central Rwanda Conference. We praise the Lord that our conference has grown from 65,000 church members in 2004 to more than 110,000 today. Among Rwanda’s total population of 12 million, the church has about 640,000 members, and we are holding Bible studies as we hope to baptize 100,000 people in evangelistic meetings. Love and Forgiveness

My favorite Bible verse is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” If God had not loved everyone in the world, I would have gone and killed the killers. But God loves them, and He gives them time to repent. The mission president and his son were tried and sentenced to prison for crimes against humanity and genocide. The father has died, and the son remains incarcerated. When I was in the camp during the genocide, a journalist came to interview me. He had heard about how I had lost my entire family, and asked me, “What do you think about revenge?” I took my Bible and opened to Hebrews 10:30, 31: “For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” The journalist was amazed. When people speak badly about the killers, I remind them that we have a God who is patient with everyone. He doesn’t want anyone to perish. That’s the only thing that can help someone like me, who has gone through such circumstances. Anytime anyone comes to God and asks for forgiveness, God forgives. There’s no sin God can’t forgive. Another thing that gives me strength to continue living is that I know that one day I will see my family again. Because of that, I live for Him. n

Isaac Ndwaniye is president of the East Central Rwanda Conference. Gina Wahlen is editor of Mission, from the Office of Adventist Mission.

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S P I R I T

O F

P R O P H E C Y

F

orgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.” Luke 11:4.1 Jesus teaches that we can receive forgiveness from God only as we forgive others. It is the love of God that draws us unto Him, and that love cannot touch our hearts without creating love for our brethren. After completing the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus added: “If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” He who is unforgiving cuts off the very channel through which alone he can receive mercy from God.

right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10. And again he says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12. God in Christ gave Himself for our sins . . . that He might reveal to us His love and draw us to Himself. And He says, “Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32, RV.2 Let Christ, the divine Life, dwell in you and through you reveal the heaven-born love that will inspire hope in the hopeless and bring heaven’s peace to the sinstricken heart. As we come to God, this is the condition which meets us at the threshold, that, receiving mercy from Him, we yield ourselves to reveal His grace to others. The one thing essential for us in order that we may receive and impart the forgiving love of God is to know and believe the love that He has to us. 1 John 4:16. Satan is working by every deception he can command, in order that we may not discern that love. He will lead us to think that our mistakes and transgressions have been so grievous that the Lord will not have respect unto our prayers and will not bless and save us. In ourselves we can see nothing but weakness, nothing to recommend us to God, and Satan tells us that it is of no use; we cannot remedy our defects of character. When we try to come to God, the enemy will whisper, It is of no use for you to pray; did not you do that evil thing? Have you not sinned against God and violated your own conscience? But we may tell the enemy that “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7. When we feel that we have sinned and cannot pray, it is then the time to pray. Ashamed we may be and deeply humbled, but we must pray and believe. . . . Forgiveness, reconciliation with God, comes to us, not as a reward for our works, it is not bestowed because of the merit of sinful men, but it is a gift unto us, having in the spotless righteousness of Christ its foundation for bestowal. n

The virtue we have to give to receive We should not think that unless those who have injured us confess the wrong we are justified in withholding from them our forgiveness. It is their part, no doubt, to humble their hearts by repentance and confession; but we are to have a spirit of compassion toward those who have trespassed against us, whether or not they confess their faults. However sorely they may have wounded us, we are not to cherish our grievances and sympathize with ourselves over our injuries; but as we hope to be pardoned for our offenses against God we are to pardon all who have done evil to us. The Larger Meaning

But forgiveness has a broader meaning than many suppose. When God gives the promise that He “will abundantly pardon,” He adds, as if the meaning of that promise exceeded all that we could comprehend: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. . . .” Isaiah 55:7-9. God’s forgiveness is not merely a judicial act by which He sets us free from condemnation. It is not only forgiveness for sin, but reclaiming from sin. It is the outflow of redeeming love that transforms the heart. David had the true conception of forgiveness when he prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a

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1 Unless 2 Texts

otherwise noted, Bible texts are from the King James Version. credited to RV are from The Holy Bible, Revised Version, Oxford University Press, 1911.

Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (1827-1915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry. This excerpt was taken from the book Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1956), pp. 113-115.


F A I T H

Catastrophic

A N D

S C I E N C E

By Roberto Biaggi

Earth Science

Can a worldwide flood explain some of geology’s mysteries?

D

uring the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, socalled catastrophists, earth scientists working with the paradigm of a catastrophe such as the global Flood, conducted their geological research focusing upon nature but modeled after their religious beliefs. This paradigm was replaced by the theories of James Hutton and Charles Lyell (1830s), who employed the principle of uniformitarianism, the idea that geological processes in the past occurred at the same rates as they do in the present. This principle dominated geological research so thoroughly for nearly a century that geologists automatically rejected any hypothesis that included any process of a cataclysmic nature. Uniformitarianism’s hold on the geologic community may have actually hindered the advancement of geological science.1 In the 1920s J. Harlen Bretz proposed that the rocks of the Channeled Scabland of the Pacific Northwest in the United States could be explained by an “outrageous hypothesis,” the occurrence of a cataclysmic megaflood (the Spokane flood) that produced those features by megaflooding processes. His ideas, however, were not widely accepted by other scientists until the 1960s. P H O T O :

B I S H N U

S A R A N G I

Catastrophism Reloaded

The eventual acceptance of Bretz’s hypothesis resulted in a resurgence of geological catastrophism, and in recent decades a trend allowing catastrophes to explain geological realities has emerged.2 Examples of catastrophic features include the recognition of well-documented megafloods, such as those involving Lake Missoula, the Mediterranean Sea, the English Channel, central Asia; the appearance of rock units resulting from high-speed underwater flows; the rapid accumulation of layers of sedimentary rock, previously interpreted as the result of slow, multiyear deposition; and “varves,” previously interpreted as sediments deposited in a body of still water in a single year. Large-scale volcanoes were doubtless the cause of rapid burial events by volcanic ash; as were the amazing number of asteroids that hit earth and exploded, causing environmental disruption and destruction of life. Our fossil record is embedded with rock units that possess these features, showing that fossils accumulated in catastrophic conditions. Other evidences of rapid geological activity include large-scale sedimentary processes; global distribution of marine

fossils where their presence would be unexpected; continent-scale patterns of paleocurrents; discontinuities in the stratigraphic record, such as gaps in the record with no apparent evidence for the amount of time supposedly represented; global/regional tectonic events, such as mountain uplifting, plate movements, basin subsidence, massive sediment supply for basinal infilling. Other features of the fossil record could include, for example, the mass mortality and extinction events that require rapid sediment accumulation for burial and preservation. Perhaps it’s time for contemporary geologists to return to practicing a more natural science, not an actualistic one, in which research is constrained to match observation with hypothesis. We should even be willing to consider an “outrageous hypothesis” such as a global flood of the kind reported in Scripture. n 1 V. R. Baker, “Catastrophism

and Uniformitarianism: Logical Roots and Current Relevance in Geology,” Geological Society, London, Special Publications 143 (1998): 171-182. 2 V. R. Baker, “ The Channeled Scabland: A Retrospective,” Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 37 (2009): 393-411.

Roberto Biaggi, Ph.D.,

is director of the South American branch office of the Geoscience Research Institute at River Plate Adventist University, Argentina.

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B I B L E

Q U E S T I O N S

A N S W E R E D

Sacrifice and Confession The answer to your question is debated among scholars, mainly because we don’t have explicit evidence affirming that all sin offerings included a confession of sin. I will begin with cases of related biblical practice; then examine some passages, mainly from the Psalms; and conclude with some general comments. 1. Confession and Sacrifices: The first reference to confession and the sin-offering is found in Leviticus 5:5. The context is about atoning for deliberate sins related to an unwillingness to testify in court (verse 1), delaying to perform a cleansing rite (verses 2, 3), and delaying the fulfillment of an oath (verse 4). In Numbers 5:7 confession and restitution are required for ethical violations considered sacrilegious. These are not rebellious/defiant sins, but since they include an element of intentionality the legislation explicitly requires public acknowledgment on the part of the sinner. The last case is Leviticus 16:21, when, during the Day of Atonement, the high priest lays his hands on a goat and confesses all the sins of Israel. Since this is a unique ritual, and the goat is not offered as a sacrifice, some argue that it does not support the idea that confession of sin always accompanied the sin offering. The question is “Why is confession of sin not mentioned in other passages dealing with the sin offering” (Lev. 4)? Perhaps in Leviticus 5:5 and Numbers 5:7 confession is emphasized because of the deliberate nature of the sins committed. But this wouldn’t apply to the confession in Leviticus 16:21. Frankly, we don’t have a clear reason for the omission of confession in other passages dealing with sin offerings. This textual omission does not automatically rule out the practice. The fundamental theological principle behind confession is this: “Whoever conceals their sins [any sin] does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Prov. 28:13, NIV). This principle must have been operative in all sin offerings. 2. Sacrifices, Sound, and Speech: The Psalms indicate that Temple rituals were accompanied by sound and speech. After deliverance from some oppression the wor-

Did the Israelites actually confess their sins when they brought their sin offerings to the sanctuary?

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shipper says, “I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord” (Ps. 27:6, NIV). Instructions for the peace offering (Lev. 7:16) do not say anything about spoken words, but according to Psalm 54:6 they were accompanied by praises to the Lord. When thank offerings were brought, people were exhorted to “tell of his works with songs of joy” (Ps. 107:21, 22; Lev. 7:12). The ritual experience was a joyful one, even for repentant sinners who confessed their sin, offered the sacrifice, and went home justified and blessed by the Lord (Ps. 24:5; 32:1, 2, 5, 7, 11). The psalmist confesses her or his sin (Ps. 51:3-5), asks for divine cleansing (verses 7, 10), recognizes that sacrifices by themselves are ineffective (verse 16), and finally acknowledges that when they are the physical embodiment of an inner broken heart, God accepts sacrifices (verses 17, 19). It is highly unlikely that a sin-offering would have been brought in total silence. 3. Significance of Confession: Through confession sinners recognized their violation of God’s will, and that they indeed deserved the penalty (cf. Lev. 16:21). They also knew that by confessing and abandoning sin they would find divine mercy (Prov. 28:13). In the Bible, confession is associated with covenant renewal (e.g., Neh. 5:537; 10:18, 19), suggesting the possibility that the confession associated with the sin-offering constituted a renewal of the covenant relationship that had been broken through sin. In other words, the forgiveness of sin by the Lord meant the restoration of a broken relationship (e.g., Ex. 34:1-10). Repentant sinners confessed their sin to the Lord in His presence, and sought reconciliation with the person they offended. So to answer your question, I would say that the passages in which confession is explicitly emphasized deal primarily with deliberate sins that had to be brought to light. This does not mean that since no confession is mentioned in the regular sin offering there was none. In the case of peace offerings, no verbal expression was required; but, as we saw, they were accompanied by spoken words. n

Angel Manuel Rodríguez has served God as

a pastor, professor, and theologian. He is now retired, living with his wife in Texas, United States.


B I B L E

S T U D Y

Jesus’ Prayers, and

Ours

By Mark A. Finley

T

he Gospel of Luke focuses on Jesus’ prayer life more than any other book in the Bible. Luke was a Gentile physician who longed to share the eternal truths of salvation with both Jews and Gentiles. Luke wrote his Gospel around A.D. 60 to a growing Christian community. Significantly, it is addressed to someone named Theophilus, which means “lover of God” or “a friend of God.” Luke’s purpose was to lead readers to become God’s friends. The Gospel of Luke presents a revolutionary concept: Jesus, the divine Son of God, dwelt in human flesh and, as a human, developed an intimate relationship with God in prayer.

1 What two significant principles in Jesus’ prayer life do we discover in Luke 5:16 and 9:18? For Jesus, prayer was not a spasmodic practice. He did not pray occasionally, when He “felt” a need. For Jesus, prayer was a way of life. And not only did Jesus pray often—He had regular, planned times to be alone with God (see Luke 11:1 and Mark 1:35).

2 Compare Luke 9:28 with Matthew 18:19, 20. Why do you think praying with others is vital to our prayer experience? Jesus often prayed with and for His disciples. Praying together unites our hearts, encourages our spirits, and lifts our vision. When we hear someone pray for us, we are strengthened by their prayers. When we unite in prayer, seeking God and interceding for others, God moves in unusually powerful ways in response to those prayers.

3

Reflect on Jesus’ experience with Peter in Luke 22:31, 32. What impact does this incident have on your prayer life? Why would it encourage each one of us? Jesus assured Peter that He was praying for him by name. What rich assurance that Jesus, the divine Son of God, knows our names and is praying for us. What encouragement for us to join Jesus and pray for others as He did.

G I O VA N N I

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4 What does Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane reveal about the purpose of prayer? Read Luke 22:41-46. The purpose of prayer is not for God to bend His will to conform to our will; it’s to allow His Spirit to mold our will to conform to His will. It’s not to get from God what we want, but to discover what He wants.

5 In at least two instances in the Gospel of Luke Jesus encouraged His disciples to pray for very specific things. Read Luke 22:39, 40 and 10:2, and describe why these things are so important. Jesus urged His disciples to pray for power over the temptations of the devil, and to pray for laborers to share His love and truth with receptive multitudes. These two prayers deal specifically with what God does in us and through us.

6 How is Jesus’ prayer on the cross so vital for our own spiritual lives? Read Luke 23:33, 34. Condemned unjustly, treated unfairly, and wrongfully accused, Jesus forgave His tormentors. What a model for us!

7 Read Luke 23:44-46. How did Jesus’ final prayer reveal the deep commitment of His life and model the true purpose of prayer? Jesus’ prayer life reveals a life totally surrendered to the Father’s will. Jesus had one desire: to please His Father. The purpose of prayer is to bring us into an intimate relationship with God, so that all we want is what He wants. May our prayer lives be so deep, so complete, that our hearts will be united to Christ’s heart and we will be consumed with the desire to do His will. n August 2016 | Adventist World - nad

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IDEA EXCHANGE

Don’t Forget Nuts and Seeds

Letters An Important Issue

Thank you for devoting an entire issue of Adventist World to the issues of refugees (June 2016). I read recently that 7 million people have been displaced around the world because of wars and civil unrest, many of whom are housed in refugee camps in conditions that most of us would find intolerable. I salute ADRA and all the other church agencies that are helping to alleviate the suffering of the world’s refugees, and I hope the church at all levels will consider doing more. Think of the friendships and good will we could create if we treated these individuals as we would want to be treated. Michael Trueblood Liverpool, England

PrayerW

Each month I scan/read through Adventist World and usually clip out several articles that are keepers. I especially appreciate your thoughtful devotional articles. As a retired RN, I am always interested in what Dr. Landless and Dr. Handysides share in their monthly column. In their article “Celebrate Wholeness and Health” (Friendship Issue), beginning on page 10, their suggestions about nutrition astounded me. In affirming that a nutritious vegetarian diet includes grains, fruits, and veggies, they did not even mention the vital role of nuts and seeds! Loma Linda University has done groundbreaking research regarding the importance of including a variety of nuts and seeds at least several times a week as a key component of a nutritious diet, whether one is vegetarian or not. Ruthie Flynn Sonora, California Iran’s Adventist School

I received a copy of of the April 2016 edition of Adventist World, and to my surprise, I saw a picture of my father, Jahangeer Morovati, in the Idea Exchange section. My dad lives in southern California (in the Los Angeles area) and is now 89 years old. He

always talks about the starting days of the boys’ academy in Tehran, Iran. Some of the original students still keep in touch with him, and a few years back had a surprise reunion of all the students living in the LA area to honor my dad and mom. Earl Adams started this Adventist Boys Academy in 1955 on the outskirts of Tehran and, with the assistance of my father, was able to get credentials to run the school in Iran. My dad became principal of the academy in 1957, when Adams returned to the United States. My father was able to get the approval of the government of Iran at that time to run a full-time high school. At this time the school started to accept non-Adventist students. In fact, the Shah’s nephew attended the school for a couple years. My dad was principal until 1969,

PRAISE

By the grace of God, I have completed a journalism certificate, but cannot graduate because of a lack of funds. Please pray for me. Elijah, Kenya

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I desire to walk in harmony with God. But the more I do what is right, the more I find myself more sinful. Kindly pray for me. Flora, Kenya

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Please pray for my relationship with my wife, that God will intervene. Taurai, Zimbabwe Please pray for my son and for my friend Karilyn. God is really so good and answers prayers. Virgie, Philippines


On page 30 of the Friendship Issue of Adventist World (May 2016), the historical time line indicates that the “first missionaries to Africa” in 1903 were Abraham Enns and Johannes Ehlers. This is incorrect. By that date we already had an Adventist college on the African continent, established in 1893, called Helderberg College, my alma mater. The first missionaries I am aware of were D. A. Robinson and C. L. Boyd, who went to Africa in 1887. Robinson and Boyd were accompanied by Edna Robinson, Carrie Mace, and two colporteurs. Jerry Joubert Oregon, United States Thank you for your note. You are correct, and we apologize for misstating the facts.—Editors.

C H E R Y L

H O LT

A Correction

P H O T O :

when we moved to the United States. The school was eventually shut down in the late 1970s because of the Islamic revolution. Betty Morovati Glendale, California

Whether school vacation is just coming to an end (Northern Hemisphere) or if it’s just beginning (Southern Hemisphere), it’s important to keep kids involved in positive, character-building activities. Explore More: Parks, museums, and historic sites bring learning to life and help kids apply what they learn in school. Get Cultural: Most communities host some kind of art, agriculture, ethnic, or fresh-air festivals during warm months. Meet people and learn new things. Keep a Journal: It can take the form of a letter or postcard to grandparents. It improves handwriting, grammar, spelling, and creative writing. Read Every Day: Make regular visits to the library. Make sure kids read every day, both alone and as a family. Do Something for Others: Find some age-appropriate ways to give back to the community (in addition to what you might do at church). Clean litter from trails, streams, or shores. Take small, simple gifts to children in the hospital. Source: Laura Bay, National PTA/Mediaplanet/USA Today

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Letters Policy: Please send to: letters@adventistworld.org.

Letters must be clearly written, 100-word maximum. Include the name of the article and the date of publication with your letter. Also include your name, the town/city, state, and country from which you are writing. Letters will be edited for space and clarity. Not all letters submitted will be published.

The number of female triathletes worldwide in 2015, an 18 percent increase over the previous year. Triathlons feature swimming, biking, and running, all excellent forms of exercise. We don’t have to swim 3.8 kilometers (2.4 miles), bike 180 kilometers (112 miles), or run 42.2 kilometers (26.2 miles) in an Ironman triathlon to get our exercise. Twenty minutes a day of vigorous exercise—walking, gardening, cycling—is all most of us need to stay physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. Source: USA Today

Please pray for my colleague who has pancreatic cancer. Nicole, France Please pray for my family to be saved. I am an abandoned wife with four children who have gone astray. Carol, Jamaica

Please pray for the Lord to help us with church construction and for my wife and children to love and fear God. Kwazi, South Africa

The Place of Prayer: Send prayer requests and praise (thanks

for answered prayer) to prayer@adventistworld.org. 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.

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IDEA EXCHANGE

112

“Behold, I come quickly…”

Years Ago

On August 9, 1904, Hide Kuniya arrived in Korea as an answer to an urgent plea, signed by 36 persons, to teach them the Bible more fully. The Seventh-day Adventist message was introduced into Korea shortly after the turn of the twentieth century, when many Koreans were emigrating to Siberia, Manchuria, Hawaii, and Mexico. In May 1904 a Korean, waiting for his ship to Hawaii, was walking along a street in Kobe, Japan, when he saw a sign in Chinese characters that said “The Seventh-day Sabbath Jesus Second Coming Church.” The man, Lee Eung Hyun, met Hide Kuniya, the evangelist, and together they studied the Seventh-day Adventist message. A few days later Lee brought a fellow Korean to study these new doctrines. The evening before Lee was to leave for Hawaii, the two Koreans, escorted by a group of Japanese believers, went to a pool below Nunobiki Falls, were baptized, and became the first Korean Seventh-day Adventists. Lee left for Hawaii, but the second man, Son Heung Cho, returned to Korea. On shipboard he met Im Ki Pan, a Korean returning from Hawaii. Son shared with Im what he had learned from Hide Kuniya. When they arrived in Korea, Son took the message to Pusan, and soon about 35 persons were keeping the Sabbath. Meanwhile, Im continued up the west coast of Korea to the port of Chinnampo, where he created a great interest among Koreans who were Christians.

Where in the

WIsorld This?

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 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

ANSWER: This church in Rwanda was built specifically for evangelistic meetings that were to be held in that village. But before the building was completed, Adventists in the village decided to move the meetings to a tent that would accommodate more people.

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: worldeditor@gc.adventist.org Web site: www.adventistworld.org 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.

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Adventist World - nad | August 2016

Vol. 12, No. 8


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