THE FLAME | Special Miracles Issue 2019

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Special Miracles Issue





ave you or someone you know had a knock at the door only to find a police officer standing there saying, “I’m so sorry to inform you there was an automobile accident and your son did not survive?” Or maybe you or someone you know has stood by the bedside of a loved one as the physician entered the room, drew a deep breath, then said, “I am regrettably the bearer of bad news: we found cancer ... ” In moments like these, all the joy and vigor of life seems to wilt or even die on the vine. The cold valley of the shadow of death is a reality that all of us will travel through if we haven’t experienced it already. One of God’s greatest miracles is the seed that He planted deep in every soul that sojourns on this earth, that enables the human being to become resilient when facing unspeakable grief. Ecclesiastes 3:11 reads, “He has made everything beautiful in its


Miracles 2019

time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts ... ” It seems to me that the word “eternity” signifies two major and mighty spiritual tools. First, a hope and trust that stabilizes humans in moments of extreme and excruciating pain and suffering. The presence of God that passes all understanding. Second, the ability to mentally and emotionally transcend the awful moment that one is experiencing to the extent that one is not crushed or annihilated by the weight of it. When all ‘normalcy’ has vacated your life and it has become painfully evident that things will never be quite the same again, the power of Christ revitalizes your life, and you are empowered to gather the pieces and move forward with success and meaning in your life. I speak of the miracle of resiliency that God has placed in each of us. We see it every day,

and it is just as remarkable today as it was when the patriarch Job went through his personal series of tragedies. The renown theologian F.B. Meyer wrote, “Tears are the material out of which heaven weaves its brightest rainbow.” Even though extreme grief and bitter loss take time to cope with in a healthy and manageable fashion, the Lord has given His people the precious, unspeakable gift of grace that makes life bearable and even enjoyable in spite of the trials. We recall the wise words of Solomon, the son of David, in Ecclesiastes 7:3, “Sorrow is better than laughter, For by a sad countenance the heart is made better ... ” We find the mighty David weeping but choosing to worship in the midst of it. We find the eloquent Daniel fainting yet discovering the fortitude to stare down lions. Finally, we encounter Christ, the Son of God, crying out in anguish, “My Father, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46. Not long afterwards, He proclaims those words that saved humanity: “It is finished!” John 19:30. Friends, take heart today. We bear witness to these kinds of miracles every day! God’s people move forward with heavenly strength. In Jesus’ name, we press on! _________________ Carlos J. Craig, president of the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, appreciates the stories in the Bible that show God’s miracle of resiliency.




ASKING IN FAITH | Jessica Anderson and Tamara Michalenko Terry


A KNOCK OF HOPE | Marshall Gonzales


GOOSEBUMPS | Tamara Michalenko Terry








NEVER STOP PRAYING | Tenorio Romero Family


GOD’S TIMING | Mark Anthony Valadez


PRIMERO DIOS | Ingrid Hernández



Miracles rarely happen without prayer. Whether they are from a hospital bed, a prison cell, a counselor’s office, a church, a school or a home, the heart-wrenching pleas to God for help and answers do not go unnoticed. This issue features just a few of those miracle stories. If you or someone you know in our Texas Conference family has a story to share, please email it to Cover photo provided by AdventHealth. Ribbon image by Alexander Lesnitsky from Pixabay.


ASKING IN FAITH By Jessica Anderson and Tamara Michalenko Terry


onato “Donnie” Delim started having pain in his right kidney. A nurse by profession, he tried some selftreatment, but it did not seem to help. After suffering for three days, he decided to go to the emergency room. Thinking they were treating a kidney issue, medical personnel gave Delim some pain medication and a prescription and sent him home. About twelve hours later, Donnie returned to the emergency room. This time they ordered a CT scan. “Coming back from the scan, I remember sitting by my wife. I told her I loved her,”


Miracles 2019

Donnie recalled. “The next thing I remember is the rehabilitation center.” “It really scared me when Donnie told me, ‘Mommy, I love you!’ ” Lea Delim, Donnie’s wife shared. “I prayed that the CT scan results would be okay.” But they were not okay. The nurse informed Lea that her husband’s brain was bleeding. It was hard to comprehend because she thought they were treating his kidney. The doctors encouraged her to start calling family and friends as they did not expect Donnie to live for very long. “I was shocked at first,” Lea remembered. It did not help that the doctors working on his case did not agree on the course of treatment. All options seemed to include the possibility of coma or death. “I prayed and prayed, asking God for an intervention,” Lea

said. “Thinking of Matthew 7:7, ‘Ask, and it will be given to you,’ I prayed that God would give me the strength to accept whatever happened. While I was waiting and praying, God performed a miracle. Instead of surgery, one doctor came up with the solution of placing a tube in his brain to remove the bleeding. That night was so intense!” The next few days were like roller coasters as Donnie’s blood pressure rose and dropped. “I was scared, in tears, as I knelt down in prayer, begging the Lord for a miracle and healing!” Lea recalled. “The doctor wanted a decision for surgery that very moment. It was my most stressful situation. I begged the Lord to give me wisdom so that whatever decision I made would be medically right.” Their pastor, Michael Tuionetoa, came to visit and pray with them. Their church family at the Tyler Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tyler, Texas, gathered for intercessory prayer. Others shared the prayer request on Facebook. “We prayed and prayed and meditated together,” Lea remembered. “People from our church gathered in the waiting room singing and praying.” Later that day the doctor shared, “I don’t know what you people did, but I will take it.” They were waiting to perform surgery when Donnie was stable but did not need to operate when his brain swelling reduced. The next day his lung collapsed, and they had to perform a bronchoscopy. Lea considers that successful surgery another miracle. Throughout the next few days, Donnie experienced heart failure, blood pressure fluctuations and a raised oxygen level.

“I knew that with all the prayers, the Lord was with him during those times,” Lea stated. “Every time I prayed to the Lord, I asked Him for healing and miracles.” Five days after Donnie entered the hospital, Lea knelt down in prayer. “I submitted my life and Donnie’s life to the Lord, telling God, ‘May Your will be done, oh Lord!’” The next morning Lea felt a peace within that she had not felt since Donnie entered the hospital. She was finally able to smile and laugh with visitors in spite of the situation.

Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, Texas, and Tyler Adventist School in Tyler, Texas. _________________ Jessica Anderson is the church clerk for the Tyler Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tyler, Texas. Tamara Michalenko Terry is the associate director for Communication & Public Relations for the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Photos by Lea Delim

Days later, doctors were still certain Donnie was not going to make it. The roller coaster ride of emotions continued for 26 days. Finally, Donnie was able to be discharged to a rehabilitation center where he spent a month having speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy followed by a month of outpatient therapy. “I praise and thank God, for He is the true, living and powerful God!” Lea proclaimed. Today, Donnie enjoys driving, cooking and playing basketball. He teaches the Guide class for Pathfinders as well as a Sabbath school class. He has been diagnosed with moyamoya (narrowing of the brain’s blood vessels) and is in the process of treatment. The Delims are grateful for all the prayers and financial support, especially for their children attending


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Community Services | |

Miracles 2019

Tamara Terry

A KNOCK OF HOPE By Marshall Gonzales


rancisco’s house had already been flooded in the 2016 Tax Day Flood when in 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, Texas, and flooded it again.

“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:40

No one had checked on him before, but after Hurricane Harvey left Houston residents struggling to recover, members of the Houston Spanish Little York Seventh-day Adventist Church went door-to-door to offer help to their neighbors. When they knocked on Francisco’s door, he stated that he did not need to hear about Jesus. Little York members told him that they were not there to talk to him about Jesus but to help him any way they could. Shocked, he told them that he had been taking showers outside because his bathroom was ruined in the prior flood. The members pitched in and not only remodeled his bathroom but his entire house!

Francisco was so overwhelmed by their show of love and compassion that he asked them to tell him about Jesus. Thankfully, I was able to be there the day Francisco was baptized and become a member of the Little York church. Today, Francisco shares his story with anyone who will listen—all because someone took the time to knock on his door and ask, “How can we help you?” There are still people trying to recover from Harvey. If you would like to help, please email or call 817.641.7679. Donations can be given at Thank you for your prayers and support. _________________ Marshall Gonzales and his wife, Julie, are Adventist Community Services directors for Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and Southwestern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.



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GOOSEBUMPS By Tamara Michalenko Terry

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od is still performing miracles today. If you have not seen one lately, contact the principal or treasurer at a Seventh-day Adventist school. One can get goosebumps hearing the miracle stories of how students were able to attend a Seventh-day Adventist school, especially when it seemed impossible. Miranda’s* parents did not have much hope that she would be able to attend their local Seventhday Adventist school as they could not afford it. But Miranda was determined. She completed the school application and was accepted, pending financial arrangements. She told everyone she could of her plans, hopeful that it would work out. Her church family pledged a monthly amount for her tuition, but it was still not enough.


Miracles 2019

“Praise God,” she thought. Miranda and her parents were deeply touched that someone they didn’t even know cared enough to help. It is a blessing she has never forgotten. Today, Miranda is an anonymous donor for other students needing a little help. It is something most of us can do as well. Whether it is a one-time gift or a monthly pledge, your donation could be the miracle someone needs to stay in school next term. If you don’t have a Seventhday Adventist school near you, email for ideas. Our Texas family has many students needing financial assistance to continue their Seventh-day Adventist education. Will you be someone’s miracle? _________________

When she showed up for registration, Miranda was nervous. “What if it doesn’t work out financially?” she thought. Nevertheless, she completed the registration day process, leaving the financial station until last.

Tamara Michalenko Terry is the associate director for Communication & Public Relations for the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. She and her husband, Randy, have three guys in Seventh-day Adventist schools (two in college and one in academy).

Not knowing what would happen, Miranda was shocked to learn an anonymous donor paid the balance of her account.

* Not her real name

Students from Killeen Adventist Junior Academy

“True education…prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come.” E.G. White, Education, pg. 13

Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists | Education | | 817.790.2255 Ext. 2145 | THE FLAME | 9



can’t say that I’ve ever seen an angrier woman. Her rage was on her face as her husband urged her to enter my office. I had never met them before and was not certain how they got my contact information, but I was happy to help if I could. When asked the reason for their visit, Bill* shared with me that he had been involved with another woman. The affair was over now, and there was no contact with the other woman, but now that his wife, Sally*, knew, she wasn’t certain the marriage should continue. To say that she was angry would be an understatement. After listening to a brief description of the problem, I told them, “I know this seems like an impossible situation, but I assure you that if you will do the work, by God’s grace not only can your marriage survive, but you can have a stronger marriage than before the affair.”

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Miracles 2019

As I shared my words of encouragement, Sally looked at me like I had lost my mind! It was obvious that she didn’t believe me, but she decided to do the work anyway. The work was hard. Tears were shed, angry words were spoken and genuine pain was shared. There was nothing easy about the process, but eventually, she forgave her husband. This was indeed a miracle! Now it was time to work on repairing the broken relationship and to work on the things that had made them vulnerable to an affair in the first place. At first, the couple progressed well enough, but then we hit a snag. Progress slowed to a snail’s pace. Something was wrong. Eventually, I realized that Bill was now the problem. He hadn’t forgiven himself. When I confronted him with this fact, he said, “After all the pain I

caused Sally, not to mention the other woman and her husband, I am frightened that I might do something that stupid again. I don’t ever want to hurt my wife like that again, so I guess I’m being pretty hard on myself to make sure I won’t do it again.”

It took work, but Bill did eventually forgive himself.

I shared with Bill that refusing to forgive himself would not protect him from a future mistake. In fact, refusing to forgive himself would place him at greater risk of repeating his mistake. His only hope would not be found in continuing to beat himself up over his sin but in trusting Jesus alone. Only Jesus could keep him from repeating his behavior.

Months later, I received an email from Sally. She said, “I must tell you that when you told us that first night that if we did the work, not only could our marriage survive, but it would be stronger, I thought you had lost your mind! But today, I know you told the truth. We’ve never been closer than we are today.

I shared with him the words in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Then I explained, “That means that God does not condemn you because when He forgave you, He also forgot your sin. If Satan condemns you, God will not listen to him. If I or anyone else condemns you, God will hold that against us. But there is more. “You don’t even have the right to condemn yourself. You have no right to beat yourself up over sins God has forgiven and forgotten because He declares that there is to be absolutely no condemnation for you, for when He forgave you, you entered into Christ Jesus. Beating yourself up over this sin is a denial of the grace and freedom from guilt and shame Jesus died on the cross to provide for you. Your only hope is in His freedom, not your cherished, self-induced shame.”

Eventually, the three of us celebrated communion in my office as a physical reminder that the past was nailed to the cross. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, their marriage was brand new.

“If ever I was to doubt that I did the right thing by forgiving Bill, I just wait until he walks through the door after work, and our children scream, ‘Daddy’s home!’ and run to his arms. Our home is happy because we are together and hold nothing against each other. “Just last night we decorated our Christmas tree as a family. When everything else was done, Bill lifted our youngest child to place the star on top of the tree. As he did, knowing his face was hidden from our children, Bill mouthed, ‘Thank you.’ I knew what he was talking about. If I hadn’t done the work of forgiveness, we wouldn’t be having this moment together

as a family. He wouldn’t have been here, and our lives would be incomplete. “So if you ever have anyone who asks if it is worth the hard work to put a marriage back together, you tell them I say ‘Yes! It absolutely is worth it.’” This family is together today because of the miracle God worked in their lives. God loves our homes and longs for us to have the joy He intended marriage to provide. And even when we stupidly do things that could destroy our homes, God is still willing to perform the miracles of forgiveness and restored relationships. _________________ Mike Tucker is the speaker/director of Faith for Today, host of the awardwinning television program Lifestyle Magazine and host of Mad About Marriage. He lives in Grand Prairie, Texas, with his wife, Pam. *Not his/her real name

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DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel | San Antonio Downtown



WILLIE & ELAINE OLIVER Directors | Family Ministries General Conference English Speakers

ALFREDO & JUANITA RUIZ Founders | Opciones and Silver Lining Family Services Saint Joseph, MI Spanish Speakers

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Miracles 2019

Ruber Leal


hurch planting is a wonderful ministry that takes a team of dedicated Christians with a desire to share the love of Jesus with others.


Right in her living room, we called the pastor and explained the situation.

To support these efforts, my wife, Ketty, and I are helping to plant the first Spanish Seventh-day Adventist church in Terrell, Texas.

After we joined them for services, the pastor invited us to the platform to explain to his congregation what we were doing.

We needed a church building for evangelistic meetings, so we started driving around town, praying the Lord would impress us with which church we should use. Seeing what we felt was the perfect building, we stopped in the parking lot and prayed. No one was there, so we started knocking on neighbors’ doors to see whether anyone attended the church and had the pastor’s contact information. Finally, we found a 70-year-old woman who had been a member of that church since she was six. We explained what we were doing, and she gave us the pastor’s information.

He agreed to meet us the following Sunday.

Later that afternoon, the pastor called and said his church voted that we could use the church for the evangelistic meetings. He concluded the call saying that he had gone that afternoon to a Hispanic family living across from his church and invited them to the evangelistic meetings. “Knock, and it will be opened to you,” Matthew 7:7. _________________ Ruber Leal and his wife, Ketty, are Family Ministries directors for the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists— They are excited to share that the family invited by the church pastor is now studying for baptism.

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ne evening, my wife, Rachel, my six-month-old son and I were canvassing (sharing inspirational books). We were about to go home when we saw one more house. We hesitated because it had a gate but remembered a literature evangelist’s words: “Skip a house, skip a blessing.” After knocking on the front door, a lady opened it and asked what we wanted. We showed her some books on health, and then she noticed our devotional set. When the lady saw the books were about God, she said, “I don’t believe in God anymore!” Rachel asked her, “When did you stop believing in God?” She told us that about two months ago her dog, who was very dear to her, died. She had prayed for God to heal the dog, but He didn’t. She then shared that soon after her dog died, her mom also died. It had just been

one bad thing after another in her life. After she shared all the things she had been going through, I pulled out the book Steps to Christ and gave it to her. I told her that this book shows us how God is with us, especially in the tough times. I told her, “I’m not asking you to change your mind about God, but I am asking you to promise me that you will read this book.” She promised to read the book, and we continued talking for a bit. Before we left, I asked whether it would be okay for us to say a prayer for her and her family. She said that it would be okay, so we prayed. After the prayer, she said, “I am so glad you came by today! I don’t believe it was a coincidence!”

With her finger pointed to the sky, she said, “I believe that He sent you here today!” As we left, we had the joy in our hearts of knowing that God had a reason for us to be there and meet that lady. What if we hadn’t gone through the gate? _________________ Joshua Reyna is the associate director for the Texas Conference of Seventhday Adventists Publishing department. He feels blessed to be able to share God’s encouragement with others. If you would like to know more about the publishing work or are interested in becoming a student literature evangelist, visit the website:


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José Cayetano Cruz

NEVER STOP PRAYING By the Tenorio Romero Family

I have no feeling for God and do not feel impressed to be baptized,” our father, Angel Tenorio Promotor, would say. “I am a good man. I have not harmed anyone.” He was right. He was a caring man who was always interested in the best for his children. But his words did not stop our mother, Irene Romero Rodriguez, from praying that he would be baptized and accept Jesus’ love for himself. Even though he did not go to church, he supported his children in attending church schools, camp meetings, Pathfinders, camporees, summer camps and other events sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist church. In the beginning, he enjoyed questioning people about God, the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. He also wondered about the tithes and offerings our mother would give. He liked pointing out when church members made mistakes

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but, at the same time, was disappointed about it. He was not comfortable when pastors visited him even though he listened when his sons-in-law explained God’s plan of salvation and intentions for his life. Over the past six years, Tenorio Promotor and Romero Rodriguez visited their daughters, Abigail Tenorio-Espinosa and Nancy Lozano, and their families in Texas, usually twice a year. During those visits, Tenorio Promotor joined them when they went to church. Thinking he was becoming more accepting of the church, Romero Rodriguez encouraged him to join her at church when they returned home to Mexico, but he refused, telling her he liked the churches better in the United States. “If you decide to get baptized in the United States, I would move to Texas for your eternal salvation,” Romero Rodriguez told him.

When pastors encouraged him to surrender his life to Jesus and get baptized, he refused, saying, “It will be my decision. I do not want anyone to force me.” Once, he shared that he had a conversation with a priest who told him the Seventh-day Adventist Church had the truth, and he believed him. Even though he did not want to commit to the Lord or attend church regularly, he would attend with the family for special events, even evangelistic series. That gave us hope that one day he might be baptized, but the years went by. It became discouraging for our mother. She prayed so earnestly for him to be baptized and wanted him to attend church with her on a regular basis. We children started wondering whether our father would be lost forever. Eventually, he started reading the large print Bible Lozano shared with our mom. It was a blessing to see him sit on the porch reading it. Then came April 20, 2018. It is a day that forever changed our family. Hearing there was an evangelistic series in the area, Tenorio Espinosa asked her father, “Have you been going to the meetings at church?” He answered, “Yes, but I feel uncomfortable wearing a dress shirt and sitting for such a long period of time.” Lengthy sitting was a challenge because he had been struggling with some health issues since 2006. “Have you asked God to heal you?” she asked. Surprisingly, he replied, “I have asked God many, many times, but I don’t feel any change. I feel like he doesn’t hear me.” This provided an excellent opportunity to talk about God’s

love for him. Tenorio Espinosa told him, “God wants to heal your aches, but the most important thing is that God wants to heal your soul first. Don’t you think it’s about time for you to surrender your life to God?” The Lord used those words and the words of the evangelistic series speaker to move our father’s heart that night. Amazingly, during the altar call that evening, he accepted Jesus as his personal Savior. What wonderful news it was to hear that our father was baptized the next morning on Sabbath, April 21, 2018! All those years we had prayed, discussed things about God, reminded him about Jesus and encouraged him to be baptized only to hear him say, “Someday.” Well, someday finally happened! We know it won’t be easy to struggle against the enemy, but we pray every day the same way we used to pray for him. We hope he can be faithful and firm in following our loving Father until Jesus’ return. He needs Jesus every day in his life, and we, as his family, are committed to help him to grow in Christ. “There is no doubt that God answers prayers,” Romero Rodriguez shared. “I prayed for 46 years for my husband, and I can testify it wasn’t easy, but I never ceased praying. If God answered my prayers, He can hear yours.” _________________ Irene Romero Rodríguez | Veracruz, México Román Tenorio Romero | Veracruz, México Gina Tenorio Romero | Cancún, México Raúl Tenorio Romero | Veracruz, México Rubén Tenorio Romero | Tijuana, México Rogelio Tenorio Romero | Lake Elsinore, California Irma Tenorio Romero | Montemorelos, México Nancy Lozano | Edinburg, Texas Abigail Tenorio Espinosa | Keene, Texas Livia Tenorio Romero | Montemorelos, México

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TIMING By Mark Anthony Valadez


ven though I was born in Robstown, Texas, I was raised in the Chicago area from the age of one.

I grew up in a Catholic home with my father, Ramiro, mother, Nelia, and two younger siblings. Someone shared the Seventh-day Adventist message with my parents when I was 10 years old, and we were baptized. Unfortunately, as often happens, by the age of 17, I had strayed from Christ and pursued my dream to become a bilingual rapper with my hip hop friends. One day I woke up and realized that I was actually living a nightmare. At a house party one Friday night, a fight broke out, a gun was drawn and the next thing I knew, I was in county jail surrounded by criminals. I sensed God saying, “Son, it’s time to come back home. The path you are choosing will eventually lead to death.” Thankfully, I had kept a connection with a special friend I had met several years before while attending an Adventist summer camp. That special friend, Margie, helped me choose a better path back then, and today is both a wonderful friend and my very supportive wife.

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We attended our first GYC (Generation of Youth for Christ) in 2002 where our relationship with Jesus grew. In 2008, Margie, Arnoldo Cervantes, Sixto Ramos Jr. and I co-founded an affiliate GYC en Español. I served as its president from 2008 to 2012 and currently serve as an advisor. In 2010, I accepted the Lord’s call to pastoral ministry and graduated from Southwestern Adventist University two years later with a bachelor’s degree in religion. Next year, I will graduate with my master’s in pastoral ministry from Andrews University based in Berrien Springs, Michigan. As I look back at my life, I know the fact that I now use the microphone to lift up Jesus is a miracle. I enjoy equipping people to share the everlasting gospel so that together we can prepare others for Christ’s soon return. _________________ Mark Anthony Valadez currently pastors the Groves Community, Orange and Groves Spanish district in southeast Texas. He and his wife, Margie, have two children, Melanie Ann (9) and Mark Anthony II (5). For more information about GYC, visit

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Partners with God “For we are co-workers in God’s service…” – 1 Cor. 3:9

God has called us to be His partners, His disciples, His missionaries, in the sharing and spreading of the gospel. Will you join in partnership with God by helping to support the ministries within the Texas Conference? Here are a few areas of ministry that your partnership can support:


You can help take the Adventist message to all Texas and Beyond! $7.50 provides baptismal preparation materials for 1 person; $10 provides a new Adventist with mentoring materials; $150 provides one Texas pastor with baptismal preparation materials for 20 people; $1,000 pays for a small reaping meeting; $5,000 pays for a medium-scale evangelistic campaign; $30,000 pays for a large-scale evangelistic campaign, or provides each Texas pastor with baptismal preparation materials for 200 people.


A gift to community services/disaster relief would help purchase much-needed items such as cleaning supplies for cleaning buckets, new undergarments and new socks for clothing packets, diapers, baby wipes, and new children’s clothes, which would be of help to families and individuals affected by disasters. A monetary gift would allow us to direct the funds to the specific needs and directly help those most affected, as well as help to fund community services training for local churches.


Sabbath School, Vacation Bible School, Children’s Evangelism & Outreach, Club Ministries, Camporees, and the list goes on! When you give to these ministries you help provide workshops & materials, online resources, training and education for children, youth, and young adults. In 2020 we would love to plant trees in the camporee area of Lake Whitney Ranch, provide a medical cabin for use during camporees, and continue the overall development of the camp.


A gift for Christian Education can be a lasting investment to provide many distinct advantages for our children and youth. Gifts can be given to support the establishment of additional schools, student aid/scholarships, program development and professional growth. The mission of the Department of Education is “Building Kid Communities for Eternity.” A gift to Christian Education enables the development of our students into adults that have an established connection with Jesus Christ, the Church and their community. If you would like more information on how to support these ministries not only now, but through planned (future) gifts, get in touch with a Texas Conference Planned Giving Representative at 817.790.2255 ext. 2105, by email at, or by visiting

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Texas Conference Department of Planned Giving & Trust Services |

Miracles 2019


PRIMERO DIOS By Ingrid Hernández


ssociate Chaplain Linda Bertram responded to a call one day to support a family in the emergency department at Central Texas Medical Center in San Marcos, Texas, a member hospital of the AdventHealth network. It didn’t look good, but the patient’s wife was not going to give up easily. “Watch and see,” she said. When the doctor arrived, he confirmed the news about the gravity of the situation. The patient’s wife took a deep breath, continued to look the doctor in the eye and said, “But primero Dios (a Spanish saying for ‘if God wills it’). God answers my prayers. Watch.” The patient’s daughter then told the doctor that her dad would not want to live like this and that since she was the one responsible for making the decisions, she wanted the tube removed. Her mother was not happy with the decision, but neither was she deterred. She said, “Ok, you will

see,” steadfastly trusting God’s ability to keep her husband alive despite the odds. When the tube was removed, the patient continued to breathe on his own. It was not a unique occurrence, as the doctor had warned the family that they wouldn’t know how many minutes or hours would pass before he stopped breathing on his own. The next day, Bertram stopped in to visit the patient and his family, expecting the worst. But to her surprise, the patient was still breathing on his own. To everyone’s amazement, a few days later the attending doctor released the patient to return to the nursing home where he lived. Bertram said. “I thought, ‘What unfailing faith! God answered this beautiful woman’s prayers in spite of the dire circumstances.” _________________ Ingrid Hernández is a senior communications specialist in corporate communications for AdventHealth.

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ours after the death of their loved ones by the hand of a hateful 21-year-old, the families in Charleston, South Carolina, offer forgiveness.1

Holocaust survivor, Eva Mozes Kor, forgives her Nazi captors after 50 years and says, “I discovered that I had one power left in life. I could forgive ... ”2 A young lady turns with tears in her eyes as she sits in court facing her accuser, who just months before tried to take her life, and says, “I forgive you.” Forgiveness is a miracle that can only come from God. The ability to turn from hatred to love is a power that is found in our Heavenly Father. As Jesus was hanging on the cross looking down at the jeering crowds, indifferent soldiers and contemptible leaders, He uttered these words, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do,” Luke 23:34.

The word “forgive,” in various forms, appears in Scripture more than 7,000 times. What is God telling us about forgiveness? I believe He is telling us that although we are amazed at the incredible stories in our world of forgiveness and the ability of people who should not by human standards offer this gift, we can only truly forgive because of/ through His grace. This is why forgiveness is still a miracle today. _________________ Kenn L. Dixon, vice president for Communication & Public Relations at the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, is amazed at the power of forgiveness.


THE FLAME is a quarterly publication produced by the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Please direct questions or comments to or by mail to PO Box 800, Alvarado, TX 76009. ADMINISTRATION President: Carlos J. Craig Executive Secretary: David Montoya Treasurer: Randall B. Terry THE FLAME STAFF Editor: Kenn L. Dixon Managing Editor: Tamara Michalenko Terry

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Proofreader: Janelle Sundin Cover Design: Sora E. Yañez Layout & Design: Tamara Michalenko Terry Photo Editing: JVL Expressions Printing & Mailing: Pacific Press Publishing Association | Nampa, Idaho Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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