Looking for God in Tragedy
Regarding “Adventist Musician Looks for Good in Tragedy” (adventistreview.org/church-news/after-viral-video,%E2%80%8B-adventist-musician-looks-for-good-in-tragedy): My deepest sympathy goes out to Chris Picco and his family. Picco’s faith is inspiring beyond words; and his unwavering belief in a loving Father is outstanding.
I work with a man who just lost a second son after being born premature, and the man’s wife is really struggling. Picco made a statement through his spokesperson that he would like minister to others who are struggling. When he is able to explore this I would be interested in pointing people I know who are grieving for loved ones to a ministry with a heart like Chris Picco.
I am a member of the Southwest Seventh-day Adventist Church in Orland Park, Illinois, and I feel personally inept in ministering to those who have gone through such a tragedy. I cannot relate with the loss of a child or a spouse.
I recognize an amazing faith in this young man who has a heart for others. Please let me know if there is anything we can do for him and his family. We will pray. If this can be a ministry opportunity, I am interested in that as well.
More Ministry for Those Who Are Deaf
The cover article “Seeing is Believing” (Nov. 13, 2014) encouraged me. We had a deaf son (he died at age 52 in 2013), and when he was school age I tried to establish an Adventist school for deaf children. Without support and help it was impossible.
I praise the North American Division for supporting the establishment of an official work for those who are deaf with the Southern Deaf Fellowship. May God bless this work and help it spread.
Averting a Crisis
Regarding the article “Five Steps for Resolving Disunity on Women’s Ordination” (Nov. 13, 2014):
The Bible does not say that Acts 15 is a story about how a conflict in the church was averted by everyone agreeing to do whatever the Jerusalem council decided. Rather, it is a story about how church leaders at the Jerusalem Council, after much prayer and discussion, averted a crisis by making a wise decision.
Instead of deciding in favor of either Paul or the Judaizers, and requiring that the losing side comply with other people’s convictions, they decided to respect the convictions of people on both sides of the issue, endorsing different practices for different people.
We are not told what would have happened if the council had decided in favor of the Judaizers. Perhaps Paul would have obediently joined the Judaizers in telling Gentile believers that the grace of Christ was insufficient, and that they could not be saved without following all the Jewish laws, but that does not seem likely.
Newbury Park, California
Light in Prison
Thank you for Victor Hulbert’s article, “14 Soldiers in God’s Army” (Oct. 23, 2014). When I was a student at Pacific Union College (1969-1973), I remember rather clearly a chapel in which an elderly gentleman told about being imprisoned for his faith when he was in the army, and how he and his colleagues were placed in solitary confinement. He reported how he felt he was going crazy until a Bible (or a portion of it, I don’t recall) was smuggled to him. He said after that he no longer felt as if he was going crazy.
He said that prison officials told him everyone else had given in and he was foolish to resist. He said that he was in his cell one day when he started to whistle the first line of a hymn, “The Lord Is My Light” (which is still in today’s hymnal). Then he stopped because he knew the guards would be upset. But he said he then heard someone else in the prison somewhere whistle the second line of that hymn. Then, he said, he knew that at least one of his companions had remained faithful. We sang that hymn at the close of chapel.
That is the story I remember. I may have heard one of the 14.
Berrien Springs, Michigan
Curious About Haiti
I am curious about our church in Haiti. The country is said to be the poorest in the western hemisphere, with a barely-functioning government. Yet the 2011 Seventh-day Adventist Church Yearbook says that the membership of the Haitian Union Mission is 351,352, composed of four missions, with a full complement of departments and institutions.
I do not remember seeing stories in the Review about these members and their activities. Of course, there were stories about the volunteers who went to help after the earthquake and the cholera epidemic, but I would like to see features playing up the history of the mission, and the present activities of the Haitian members.
In the light of the Yearbook statistics, they must be doing something right!
According to the 2014 Seventh-day Adventist Church Yearbook, the Haitian Union Mission has 534 churches, 401,334 members, three local missions, and a local conference. We appreciate your suggestion. In spite of the challenges, Adventists in Haiti are indeed doing something right. —Editors