This was not part of anyone’s 2020 vision. The line of cars snaking through the academy’s parking lot backed up almost a mile down the street. More than 100 volunteers from eight local churches working together for the sake of one goal: to serve our community.
Many of us are living through challenging times of loss, stress, and heartbreak. But there are also unexpected blessings some of us encounter. Here are a few stories of "Faithful Givers," Adventists in North America who share their experiences giving in a time of need.
“Predators love church because there’s an automatic feeling of trust,” says Erica Jones, Women’s Ministries assistant director for the North American Division. Local church leaders and members can work to promote a culture that respects boundaries and places safety as a top priority. “We take seriously our duty to protect our members as they worship. Screening programs help us to reduce risk and are a first line of defense in the prevention of potential issues,” says Fred Warfield, Human Resources director for the Potomac Conference.
Adventist Community Services has approximately 100 pantries operating in New York’s five boroughs, and they currently distribute food two to three times each week. The use of these pantries had led to our ACS teams running out of food, and some centers were not able to open because of a lack of food. We began speaking with City Harvest food banks about working with us to meet the observed need. This lead to the current offer of 12 pallets of food delivered to one location each Monday.
The Paradise, California, community understands the long-lasting recovery of a catastrophic disaster. The Nov. 8, 2018, Camp Fire burned 95 percent of the town. Now, in Paradise and across the nation, the impact of COVID-19 shelter in place is burning through check books and savings. But for those in the Paradise area, there is some good news. “The church burned down, but our members are still standing, and meeting the needs of others,” explained Steve Hamilton, senior of the Paradise Seventh-day Adventist Church.
During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, literature evangelists (LEs) face unusual challenges. But it is also a time of unusual opportunities. When it would seem that some doors are closing, it has proven to be a time when many hearts are opening.
We all know all lives matter to God. This is reaffirmed by scriptures such as, "For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him (Rom. 10:12). And while all lives matter to God, He knows all lives don't matter to all people.
Daniel R. Jackson, president of the North American Division, G. Alexander Bryant, NAD executive secretary, and Randy Robinson, NAD treasurer, recently sat down with Mylon Medley, assistant director of NAD communication, to discuss recent events related to racial injustice, the history and relevancy of regional conferences, and the presence of racism in the denomination’s past and present. WATCH the conversation.
These six Adventists work in essential roles during this time of uncertainty and crisis. Each one answered a series of questions. Here are, In their own words (with editing for clarity only), glimpses into their lives and faith. We thank them and many others for their service, and encourage our readers to pray for them.
When I had my daughter in June 2018, I fell into a well of post-partum depression. I never had suicidal thoughts or a desire to hurt my baby, but I wasn’t enjoying my life. I was exhausted all the time. I felt listless. I didn’t even realize I wasn’t feeling happy; it was like looking at life through a veil. It took me more than a year to accept that I needed help and finally, in October 2019, after an extremely difficult therapy session with my husband, I went to my doctor. I got help with medication and supplements, but it took me another month to take the plunge and call a therapist. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.