Stories & Commentaries

NAD Sponsors Guide Magazine Subscriptions for Calexico Mission School Middle Schoolers

students at calexico mission school reading guide

Two students at the Calexico Mission School read the first copy of their new Guide magazine subscription. Photo by Bernardo Sámano

“Lord, I’d like students at the mission school to get Guide magazine,” prayed Laura Sámano, managing editor of Guide magazine. She longed to send the weekly magazine to Calexico Mission School middle schoolers.

“Dear Jesus, what can I do to get the magazines to the mission school?” she prayed another day. “You know, Lord, 10- to 14-year-olds are so receptive to the gospel. It’s very important for us to reach them at this age.”

Sámano prayed again one morning as she worked. “OK, Jesus, I’m going to ask customer service how much it would cost for me to pay for those magazines. Is that what you want me to do? But first I will ask Ms. Gracie how many kids they have.” She called the school’s registrar and found out there were 52 students enrolled in grades five through eight.

She sighed and her shoulders dropped, feeling unable to do anything about her desire. At $65 per student, the dollar amount needed for 52 subscriptions discouraged her. “Jesus, I can’t afford to do this on my own, and I don’t think I can fundraise that much either,” Sámano prayed and sighed again. “You’ll need to do something about this need then. Please provide.”

Please, Provide

As she sat at her desk eating lunch, Sámano reminisced on the years she had spent as a student at the mission school. “I don’t remember learning English, but I do remember not speaking it,” she smiled, talking with God.

“The mission school isn’t just where I learned English,” she realized. “My teachers also taught me to love Jesus. Those kids need Guide. But, how, Lord? I know You have a way. You own all the money in the world and You can provide. Please, provide.”

Sámano often daydreamed about kids at the mission school looking at the illustrations and reading the true stories each week. “You know, Lord, my dad was supposed to become a Catholic priest after he graduated from Calexico, but You used the teachers there and the Discover Bible School lessons in Spanish to reroute him. Now he teaches Bible truth to others!”

Her dad, Bernardo Sámano, is the religion and Spanish teacher at Calexico Mission School. “That school did so much for me, my dad, and my brother. But what can I do?” she wondered, wanting to “pay it forward.”

Welcome News

A few months later during an online prayer meeting, Laura expressed her prayer request to Carl McRoy, Publishing Ministries director at the North American Division, and Heather Quintana, editor of Vibrant Life. “I would like to find a way to subscribe all the fifth- to eight-graders at Calexico Mission School to Guide magazine.” The number of middle schoolers had grown to 66 since she had first started praying.

“Tell me more about the school, Laura,” McRoy said.

“It’s a mission school. Though it is owned by Adventists, most of the student body is not Adventist. This is where my dad currently teaches and the school where he met the Lord and where my brother and I learned English. The school’s education planted the seed for me to be able to edit Guide,” she shared.

“My dad tells me stories about his students, and they sound like he’s in some foreign land, working as a missionary.” Bernardo has a diverse group of students: Buddhist, Catholic, unchurched, Mexican, American, Chinese. Only a handful are Adventist. Most of his students cross the Mexico-U.S. border every day because they live in Mexico. The school, which serves students from kindergarten through grade 12, is 25 feet from the international border.

Several students at the Calexico Mission School read the first copy of their new Guide magazine subscription. Photo by Bernardo Sámano

Several Calexico Mission School students spend time reading their first copy of Guide magazine. Photo by Bernardo Sámano

“If those 66 kids had subscriptions, Guide would be reaching an international audience. Since most of those students have to exchange Mexican pesos for dollars in order to pay tuition; there’s no way they could afford Guide.”

“I think we need to do this,” McRoy decided on the spot. “We need send them Guide. Send my department an invoice for the 66 subscriptions.”

A fat tear dropped down Sámano’s cheek. She didn’t expect to get an answer to her musings during the online meeting. The group hadn’t even prayed yet. “God is good! Thank you; you just made my day!” she said tearfully.

A Cycle of Evangelism

“Every day I pray for those 66 kids,” Laura says. “I thank the Lord in advance for those who will give their lives to Jesus, because one day someone gave to the Lord and made it possible for our work in the Guide offices to minister to kids in Calexico. I pray the cycle of evangelism continues for many years to come.”

Guide magazine delivers character-building stories, puzzles, and thought-provoking columns on media, sports, creation, and church history, along with content for Pathfinders and complementary material for the Sabbath School lessons. To learn more or start a subscription for your child or a group of kids in your local school or church, visit

Alicia Adams is director of marketing for Pacific Press Publishing Association.