Letters From Our Readers
Let’s Be Fair
What caught my eye immediately, in the December 25, 2014, Adventist Review, was the GYC tag on the top corner of the front page. Of course, I first turned to the inspirational editorial “The Unending Mission,” written by Natasha Nebblett, the new GYC president.
I read the editorial with interest. I noticed GYC’s goals—that Christ take over our lives in entirety, to be the center of our existence. I applaud those goals, but they are not new. Those goals have always been the goals of youth ministry in the Adventist Church.
I commend GYC for their emphasis of having Jesus number one in our lives, for the fervor they have for evangelism, for wanting to reach those who are starving or who are beaten in the streets, for speaking out against sex trafficking, and for encouraging a healthy lifestyle.
But let’s not forget that these have always been the goals of Adventist youth ministries, from children to young adults. In fact, the mission statement of the North American Division is: “To reach North America and the world with the distinctive, Christ-centered, Seventh-day Adventist message of Hope and Wholeness.” That reflects what GYC is all about.
In all fairness, those who lead Adventist youth ministries in the North American Division should be given the same opportunities in the editorial section of the Review. I would also suggest that the Review give regular emphasis to all the wonderful things that are happening in youth ministries, not only the major events, but what is happening in local churches, conferences, and unions that lead young people to Jesus.
Bill Wood, retired youth director, Atlantic Union
I Stayed Too
Oh, what a treasure is the Review, which has been part of my life for 47 years!
I resonate with Gerald Klingbeil’s editorial “I Stayed” (Dec. 18, 2014). I too have stayed for precisely the same reason, and I praise God and thank Him for my empowering church family to allow me to grow in Him.
Mine was a small church (30 in attendance on a good Sabbath) on the Alberta prairies. We were blessed with a pastoral presence only once a month, so everyone did their part to make our church a place to meet God.
The children’s leaders did their ultimate best to lead the children to Jesus without felts and modern technology. As a primary child, I remember one dear saint who led out in quite boring Sabbath schools; yet with all my heart I believe she did her best.
At a young age I was granted the privilege of playing the piano for Sabbath school and later for the church service. Our song selections, extremely limited, were based upon what I could play (key of C at first, and then I expanded to the keys of F and G majors). I assumed the role of adult Sabbath school secretary and quickly graduated to superintendent by age 12. I even planned and delivered the divine service message on several occasions in my teens.
Our children and youth need these same opportunities today. More often than not I observe mere lip service being paid to our children and youth. It takes work and effort and planning to have a child read the scripture for the worship service. At the General Conference level the number of participating youth and young adults on the decision-making level is paltry at best.
When will we start putting actions behind our words? I stayed because I was needed and wanted!
Millet, Alberta, Canada
Who Knows Why?
I appreciate Onaolopo Ajibade’s article “Who Knows Why?” (Nov. 27, 2014). I’m sure many, many people have had the same question and have asked again and again, “Why, God, why me?” But God is silent; the question is almost never answered. I know that I myself have asked this question many times in my life because of things that have caused sorrowful rejection, disappointments, and burdensome and depressing trials. We are told that the trials in our life help to build our faith and character; nonetheless, I still ask the question: “Why?” And I have often gone back and reread the story of Job to help strengthen my own faith.
I’m sure it does strengthen faith—it is a matter of faith to trust and believe that God is still in charge. I had a friend who once said to me, “If I had to endure the trials that you have, I think I would lose faith.”
God’s messenger counseled: “ ‘The Father himself loveth you’ [John 16:27, KJV]. If our faith is fixed upon God, through Christ, it will prove ‘as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered’ [Heb. 6:19, 20, KJV]. It is true that disappointments will come; tribulation we must expect; but we are to commit everything, great and small, to God. He does not become perplexed by the multiplicity of our grievances nor overpowered by the weight of our burdens. His watchcare extends to every household and encircles every individual. . . . All the afflictions and trials that befall us are permitted to work out His purposes of love toward us, ‘that we might be partakers of his holiness’ [Heb. 12:10, KJV] and thus become participants in that fullness of joy which is found in His presence” (Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 742).
All in a Day’s Work
A few years ago I read that Merriam-Webster had added “mondegreen” to its Collegiate Dictionary, but “All in a Day’s Work” (Nov. 20, 2014) was the first place I’ve seen it used. Thanks to Maria Rankin-Brown for passing on the “much-needed chuckle” she gets from her college students’ essays and her own childhood mondegreen, “bringing in the cheese.”
National City, California
What a delight to read Maria Rankin-Brown’s article “All in a Day’s Work”! I laughed and laughed, since I love words; and I really enjoyed her examples of the mix-ups that spell-check and autocorrect cause.
New Port Richey, Florida
Reading Maria Rankin-Brown’s article, I recall my brother, Nelson, decades ago sliding furtively over to me on the pew while the congregation was singing “There Is a Balm in Gilead” and he was singing “There Is a Bomb in Gilead.”
Ponoka, Alberta, Canada
Thank you for helping me to keep abreast of Adventist news via the Review online. I am living, at least part-time, in Costa Rica, and it is great to hear how the church is doing around the world.
I was a bit puzzled in the last issue, though, with the two articles regarding our church work in Iraq. One article suggested that wonderful things are happening in the country, as reported by the union president (see “Adventist Church Sees ‘Many Wonderful Things’ in Iraq,” www.adventistreview.org/church-news/adventist-church-sees-‘many-wonder ful-things’-in-iraq). The other story, by Andrew McChesney, references Ted
N. C. Wilson, president of the world church, stating that the problems have escalated in both Syria and Iraq (see “Adventist-Linked Group Presses UN on Iraq and Syria,” www.adventistreview.org/church-news/adventist-
In a country that is being ravished by ISIS, I would guess the report by Wilson gives us a clearer picture of what is really going on. Yes, we have a few members left in Baghdad, but if ISIS takes the capital city, those few members will be killed or certainly have to flee the city.
It seems that the two articles are in conflict with each other.
We reported that the situation is grim in Iraq, but at the same time there are some glimmers of hope (also reported on), a few good things that are happening thanks to God’s blessings.
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