Last fall, during the North American Division 2017 Year-End Meeting, a group of church leaders gathered in a conference room for a lunchtime meet and greet. A conference president, three college presidents, several ministry leaders, and a few church officers — all women — gathered to reflect, share, pray, and praise God. They also shared advice they'd give to their younger selves.
Have you heard the phrase “the church is a hospital?” Generally, it means the church is a place of healing from physical, mental, spiritual, and social brokenness. But there is more to be gleaned from the analogy.
As a Loma Linda University student, Tevita Palaki once skipped meals to financially support his budding ministry. Today, the non-profit organization, United Feet, which Palaki launched as a sophomore in 2015, sends out volunteers up to four times a week to serve local homeless by offering them the Christian act of footwashing.
During fourth period Samantha Grady and her classmates at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida were learning about the 1936 Summer Olympics in Germany and the Holocaust. The students were typing on their computers when shots rang out.
This is about the souls of human beings whom Jesus came to give His life for, and God has called you for the special purpose of conveying that. And it doesn’t matter where you are on planet Earth. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in Australia or Canada, the United States or Bermuda, or Guam, Micronesia. Just do it. Don’t be afraid. Move ahead. Evangelism continues to be the life blood of the church. We will never do away with it. It’s just that it may morph. Get ready.
In Jovannah Poor Bear-Adams's seven years at Holbrook Indian School—first as girls’ dean and English teacher, then as vice principal, and now as dean of Student Services and Programming—she has worked with hundreds of students, each with their own unique narrative.
It's estimated that 800,000 protesters attended the March for Our Lives demonstration in Washington, D.C., on March 24. But one Parkland shooting victim and survivor who has gained some notoriety through numerous, televised interviews wasn’t in D.C. On that March day, Samantha Grady was a state away from the Florida demonstration, praying and studying the Bible at a PBE event.
Music streamed from the hotel meeting room as instruments and voices fused the chords of an achingly beautiful and poignant message. I quickly found a place to stand with the gathered worshippers as they continued with the song’s first verse: “Teach me ever to adore Thee, may I still Thy goodness prove, while the hope of endless glory fills my heart with joy and love.”
There are many reasons why young adults become student missionaries (SMs), often pausing their college work, and their regular lives, to serve for a year or two in a place far from home. And as these five SMs’ year-long assignments drew to a close, they shared their stories — what they’ve learned about themselves, their relationship with Jesus, and what it means to serve others.