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June 13, 2013

Adventists Join

Tornado Relief

Shoes of Redemption

“I Wash Feet”






Summer Special

What is summer without something to read?

This special issue will get you reading, and thinking.



14 In the Wilderness: While They Were Sleeping GERALD A. KLINGBEIL

God pulls out all stops to reach His people—and the world.

18 Molotov Cocktails LUPU CORNELIU BENONE

He thought he could make a contribution by blowing things up.

22 Shoes of Redemption GY THOMAS

Desperation is a strong motivator.

26 Brighten the Corner MARVENE THORPE-BAPTISTE

It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day.

28 60 Days of Service

Make them an adventure.

4 Letters

7 Page 7

8 World News &


13 Give & Take

25 Searching the Obvious

39 Introducing the Why


30 One Step at a Time DARIN PATZER

Being prepared for anything.


There’s more than one way.

36 Converted on the Golf Course JAMES C. PARMELE

The power of a couple random comments.

40 Highly Committed DE WITT WILLIAMS

The life and legacy of Neal C. Wilson.


44 One Year in Catholic School KIMBERLY LUSTE MARAN

It was unforgettable.


47 Reflections



Fitbits and Pharisees


Take the Time

Publisher General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists ® , Executive Publisher Bill Knott, Associate Publisher Claude Richli, Publishing ing gBoard: Ted N. C.

Wilson, chair; Benjamin D. Schoun,

vice chair; Bill Knott, secretary; Lisa Beardsley-Hardy; Daniel R. Jackson; Robert Lemon; Geoffrey Mbwana; G. T. Ng; Daisy Orion; Juan Prestol; Michael Ryan; Ella Simmons; Mark Thomas; Karnik

Doukmetzian, legal adviser. Editor Bill Knott, Associate Editors Lael Caesar, Gerald A. Klingbeil, Coordinating Editor Stephen Chavez, Online Editor Carlos Medley, Features Editor Sandra

Blackmer, Young Adult Editor Kimberly Luste Maran, KidsView Editor Wilona Karimabadi, News Editor Mark A. Kellner, Operations Manager Merle Poirier, Financial Manager Rachel

Child, Editorial Assistant Marvene Thorpe-Baptiste, Assistant to the Editor Gina Wahlen, Quality Assurance/Social Media Coordinator Jean Boonstra, Marketing Director Claude Richli,

Editor-at-Large Mark A. Finley, Senior Advisor E. Edward Zinke, Art Director Bryan Gray, Design Daniel Añez, Desktop Technician Fred Wuerstlin, Ad Sales Glen Gohlke, Subscriber Services

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Send address changes to Adventist Review, 55 West Oak Ridge Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21740-7301. Unless otherwise noted, Bible texts in this issue are from the Holy Bible, New International Version.

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are © Thinkstock 2013. The Adventist Review (ISSN 0161-

1119), published since 1849, is the general paper of the Seventh-day Adventist ® Church. It is published by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists ® and is printed

36 times a year on the second, third, and fourth Thursdays of each month by the Review and Herald ® Publishing Association, 55 West Oak Ridge Drive, Hagerstown, MD

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www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (483) 3





» Shane Anderson’s cover

article “Un-Real” (May 9,

2013) had a refreshing perspective

on the challenges

young people face. I agree

that warning about legalism

simply results in driving

youth to relativism and secularism.

I also rejoice that

Anderson was bold enough

to point out the strong negative

impact media has on our

young people—a desperate

issue in the church largely


While I love Ravi Zacharias,

I wouldn’t, however,

emphasize apologetics. It is

not going to reach nearly as

many young (or old) people

as the simple revelation of

Jesus in Scripture when

enlightened by the Holy

Spirit. This was the emphasis

of the early Christian church.

Also, Anderson, like George

Barna and Frank Viola in

their recent books supporting

home churches, has

missed the fact that the early

Christian church did have

structure. It was patterned

after the Jewish synagogue

worship, which had Scripture

reading at its core (with some


May 9, 2013

Hope Channel Ukraine


An E rand for a Rainy Day

Kids Eat Fr e







Protestantism has moved

away from reading Scripture.

Our worship services need to

be reformed and small group

interaction is needed, but we

must be exceedingly careful

not to let it turn into social

gatherings devoid of powerful

scriptural orientation

that exalts Jesus and His sacrifice.

The Word is powerful.

In his article, Anderson

strongly supports personal

Bible reading, but let’s also

see a revival of Scripture

reading as part of our church

worship services as well.


Silver Spring, Maryland

» What a powerfully clear

analysis of truth in our own

backyard! Yes, it is time to

remind our youth to read

their Bibles to understand an

unambiguous lifetime commitment

to Christ. Anything

less can lead to blind duplicity

and stunted faith. Shane

Anderson’s call for purposedriven

worship for our

youth resonates with those

Adventists who can remember

when all church members

contributed to Sabbath

worship. We were not at

church to be entertained.

Member numbers were

smaller. People knew each

other as extended family

members. There were many

possibilities for involvement,

from oh-so-cute toddlers

who could recite Bible verses

to budding musicians cranking

out a tune with a few

bum notes. And you could

feel genuine love from participants

“giving it a go.”

Choices for how to worship

are an essential part of

teaching our youth how to

be involved. Media in itself is

not evil; it’s how it is used

that makes a difference. The

challenge of applying the

Bible’s principles of living in

our world—dealing with all

that is good and bad—allows

young people to actively

learn real Christian lifestyle

values because they have

made an effort to be personally

involved in “doing

stuff.” Church life is about

“getting it sorted” among

friends so that Christian values

are meaningful for the

whole of their life.

A call for our youth to be

more hands-on in a return to

reality is appropriate. The

Bible was written as our

prime source of truth

throughout all ages. Christian

parental wisdom is supplied

in 1 Corinthians 3:11

and 1 Corinthians 3:7. This is



Stanhope Gardens,


What Is a


» OK, the author of the April

18 editorial “Sqooshkappers,”

Lael Caesar, is erudite

and sapient! Now, if we

could have a definition of

who or what a sqooshkapper

is, we could better understand

the message being



Waynesboro, Pennsylvania

“Sqooshkappers” are fictions

that serve perverse rationality:

Sqooshkapppers are things we

believe in, support, or argue for,

because we want to believe in

them regardless of reality. Believing

in a multimillion-dollar,

objectively scientific research

project by an atheist into

whether or not there’s an afterlife

is a conspicuous example of

what sqooshkappers are all


Postmodernism in

the Classroom

» Michael Zwaagstra’s article

“Postmodernism in the

Classroom” (Apr. 18, 2013)

warmed my heart. In my

experience, education is

most efficient when there is a

balance between lectures and

“hands-on learning.” Could

we add Ephesians 6:1-4,

which suggests that adults

should be careful to not

expect learning to occur out

of harmony with the child’s

mental, physical, and spiritual

development? In support

of this concept, a reread

of Education, by Ellen White,

would be beneficial. I’d also

suggest Better Late Than Early,

by Raymond and Dorothy

Moore, and this Web site by

Susan Johnson (a non-

4 (484) | www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013

“We need to examine our own

assumptions, as they may limit our

understanding of God as much as

ways of thinking that challenge the

status quo.


Adventist M.D. and developmental/behavioral


specialist) as most timely





Goldendale, Washington

» I would like to have seen

the article “Postmodernism

in the Classroom” published

alongside a companion article

taking up another perspective

on this question.

While Michael Zwaagstra

does well to ask us to examine

ways in which constructivism

may present

challenges to faith and Christian

education, I wish that he

had encouraged us with

equal fervor to consider the

challenges presented by positivism,

the school of thought

from which he writes. Many

of us have grown up in a

largely positivist culture, and

positivist reasoning is so

much a part of our thought

processes that it can seem

obvious to us that this way

of thinking is natural, right,

logical, or even biblical.

While we tend not to feel

threatened by the familiar,

we need to examine our own


assumptions, as they may

limit our understanding of

God as much as ways of

thinking that challenge the

status quo.



Morris Venden

» I just read the article about

Morris Venden’s passing

away (online on Feb. 15,

2013; also in the print edition

on Mar. 14, 2013). I

arrived on March 2 in America,

and his memorial service

was on March 3. One of the

reasons I was looking forward

to visiting the U.S. was

to meet Pastor Venden again.

I am so sad!

I first saw Venden in

Manila. He was holding an

evangelistic campaign with

Jennifer LaMountain at the

Philippine International

Convention Center. When I

heard him speak, it’s as if I

heard God’s voice through

him. I was an active leader in

our church already. But his

words touched my heart.

They made me realize the

futility of my service. At that

time I only knew “about”

God. I cried every time Venden

concluded his sermon

for the night. And even now

as I remember the man who

changed the way I view God

in my life, it makes me cry.

I followed Venden’s advice.

I went home with a renewed

mind—I purposed to know

God personally and put Him

in my heart. I started reading

The Desire of Ages. It inspired

me to read the Bible again

and again, looking for clues

on God’s character. I fell in

love with God. And every

time I feel that life is overwhelming

me, I remember

that time when I was


I will not be able to see

Venden alive again here on

earth and thank him for how

he helped change my life. But

when we all get to heaven,

Pastor Venden and I will

meet again.



What Is a Mystic?


» “What Is a Mystic?” by Eric

Anderson (Jan. 10, 2013) has

agitated me in a good way. It

has agitated me to read more

of the Review, and more of

Ephesians 1 and 2.

“I saw that your mind was

at times unbalanced from

trying very hard to study

into and explain the mystery

of godliness, which is just as

great a mystery after your

study and explanations as it

was before” (Ellen White,

Selected Messages, book 1,

p. 177).

His mystery, our inheritance

(Eph. 1:18).


Burlington, Michigan


» Paulasir Abraham, author

of “More Than You Asked

For” (Apr. 25, 2013), is an

associate pastor of the

Southern Asian Seventh-day

Adventist Church in Silver

Spring, Maryland.


» The photo credit for the

April 25 cover belongs to

Chet Williams; photos on

pages 18-21 of this same

issue are courtesy of Chet

Williams and The Food Collective.

We regret the


We welcome your letters, noting,

as always, that inclusion of a letter

in this section does not imply that

the ideas expressed are endorsed by

either the editors of the Adventist

Review or the General Conference.

Short, specific, timely letters have

the best chance at being published

(please include your complete

address and phone number—even

with e-mail messages). Letters will

be edited for space and clarity only.

Send correspondence to Letters to

the Editor, Adventist Review, 12501

Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD

20904-6600; Internet: letters@


www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (485) 5




Fitbits and Pharisees


Before you assume that I’ve succumbed to the midlife pull of red Corvettes or canary-yellow Sea-Doos,

let me hasten to assure you that my toy is clad in somber black, weighs about two ounces, and looks

remarkably like a USB drive.

It’s a modest and unflashy toy, a thoroughly Adventist toy, one that I can take to the General Conference

office each day without fear of being thought a show-off or provoking concerns among my colleagues that

I’m hankering for lost youth and prowess. Less noticeable than a tiepin and less gaudy than a set of cuff

links, it clips demurely to a belt or pocket edge—unseen, unheard, un-commented upon. Even its brand

name—Fitbit—is still relatively unknown, providing me an unusual opportunity to imagine myself something

of a trendsetter.

But oh, the satisfactions of my unobtrusive toy.

At 9:00 a.m. I open the smartphone app that quickly syncs my Bluetooth with my Fitbit: 1 “1876 steps,” it

silently reports on my iPhone screen; four staircases climbed; . 86 miles walked; 774 calories burned—as

though my breakfast had disappeared already, overwhelmed by the intensity of my early day. At this pace,

and at this hour, it should be relatively easy to mightily impress myself by day’s end. Already I imagine the

inner warmth provided by the pop-up message declaring I have passed 12,000 steps, ascended the equivalent

of a 10-story building, and made last night’s lasagna-fest completely disappear.

If diligent, I chart my weight, ounces of water consumed, and hours of sleep—trusting that no intercepting

technology can steal the record of my less-admirable statistics. I even have the consolation of what

passes for accountability, for one of my colleagues—an overactive German with a body type entirely unlike

mine, I remind you—can track our daily steps in a friendly competition that he always wins by miles.

My Fitbit is, as I noted, a thoroughly Adventist toy, no matter who may have manufactured it. It is discreet,

invisible to others, tracks my behaviors with unerring accuracy, and rewards me with encouraging

small messages for having met my too-low goals. I know just how I’m doing as often as I want to, accompanied

by the inner glow of the one who can prove—numerically—that his actions are superior to the

masses who trudge along unmeasured and uninspired. Whole new behaviors now emerge because I know

they’ll be recorded—like that evening a week ago when I paced 100 large circles around the darkened living

room to meet my daily step goal.

All of which would only be the stuff of a 50ish editor’s self-congratulation until I caught myself some

days ago half-wishing that there was a Fitbit for my faith—you know, some somber, lightweight, unflashy

device that tracked my daily progress toward the kingdom: prayers uttered (or at least promised); kind

words spoken (or imagined); embraces cheerfully given (or at least given, cheerful or not). How convenient,

I found myself musing, if my recording angel sent an hourly progress report by some divine Bluetooth

technology to my smartphone. How easily I might be inspired by the record of my own good deeds

to do more—and still more—for the kingdom!

“God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast

twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess” (Luke 18:11, 12, NKJV). 2

The subtle temptations that accompany a faith with high behavioral standards always predispose us

toward that most insidious of spiritual postures—the one whereby we stand in the house of God, decorated

with self-given medals, and pray with our bettered selves. True, even the cup of cold water given in

the name of Jesus will not lose its reward (Matt. 10:42), but Jesus knew that we are too easily impressed by

the record of the good His Spirit does in and through us. And so He continues to advise us, “But when you

do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matt. 6:3).

Here’s a call for an unself-conscious Adventism—a trust that the name of Jesus will be praised even if

the record of my living or your giving disappears forever into celestial cyberspace. No metrics could have

ever captured how much the Master gave, and, as He said: “A servant is not greater than his master” (John



Fitbit is a registered trademark of Fitbit, Inc.


Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All

rights reserved.

6 (486) | www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013

Take the Time


refrigerator A few weeks for ago something I came home to eat. from I ended work and up taking looked an in our item refrigerator from the freezer for something and started to eat. to

prepare I ended up it. However, taking an in item the from next the instant freezer I stopped and started in my to tracks prepare and it. looked However, for something the next else. I

changed instant I my stopped mind in not my because tracks and I didn’t looked like for the something food—I knew else. I would I changed enjoy my it—but mind not because because I just I

didn’t like want the to food—I spend the knew 10 to I would 15 minutes enjoy it—but would because take to prepare I just didn’t it. So want I settled to spend for something the 10 to

quick 15 minutes and easy, it would and less take enjoyable. to prepare it. So I settled for something quick and easy, and less

enjoyable. Has that ever happened to you? You settle for something less enjoyable because you don’t

want Has to that invest ever the happened time it takes to you? to create You settle the ideal for something alternative? less enjoyable because you don’t

want In today’s invest world the time we need it takes things to create fast. We the want ideal results alternative? now. You can easily find instant copies,

instant In today’s meals, world instant we marriage need things certificates, fast. We want instant results loans, now. and You instant can easily movies. find instant copies,

instant Too often meals, our instant schedules marriage are so certificates, packed with instant projects, loans, meetings, and instant assignments, movies. appointments,

deadlines, Too often and our commitments schedules are that so packed we don’t with have projects, time for meetings, thoughtful assignments, reflection. appointments,

We’re running

from deadlines, early and in the commitments morning to late that into we don’t the night, have and time there’s for thoughtful no such thing reflection. as “after We’re hours” running anymore.

from early I once in heard the morning a radio commentator to late into the jokingly night, and say: there’s “Leaving no the such office thing at as 5:00 “after p.m. hours” almost anymore.

like I once working heard part-time.”

a radio commentator jokingly say: “Leaving the office at 5:00 p.m. almost


feels With like today’s working rapid part-time.” lifestyle it’s no wonder that God admonishes us to take the time to be still

and With patiently today’s wait rapid on lifestyle Him (Ps. it’s 37:7). no wonder Christ wants that God to give admonishes us rest and us peace, to take but the too time often to be the still

rush and patiently of life crowds wait on out Him His (Ps. still 37:7). small Christ voice. wants to give us rest and peace, but too often the

rush It’s of time life that crowds we set out aside His still time small for fellowship voice. with Jesus. He longs to renew our minds, rejuvenate

It’s time our that souls, we and set refresh aside the our time spirits. for fellowship He wants to with give Jesus. rest, He if

we longs just to take renew the our time. minds, rejuvenate our souls, and refresh our

spirits. He wants to give us rest, if we would just take the time.

An Adventist Christening



Fernando and Ana

Stahl spent 45 years in

pioneer mission service

at the headwaters of the

Amazon River. With no roads,

travel was by boat, on foot,

or by mule. The Stahls often

walked up to 45 days to reach

a mission station location.

A new day in world

missions began 50 years ago

on June 16, 1963, when

the General Conference

purchased its first mission

plane to serve the South

American Division. The

airplane was christened the Fernando

Stahl in Angwin, California. To perform

the traditional christening act, Mrs.

Stahl, then 93, used a fresh bottle of

orange juice to break over the nose of

the plane, proclaiming, “I christen thee

Fernando Stahl!”

Following the dedication service, Mrs.

Stahl was given a ride over the Pacific

Union College campus and surrounding

area. “Oh, it was wonderful,” she said.

“I should be allowed to enjoy things at

my age, shouldn’t I?”

The Fernando Stahl served the

South American Division faithfully until

February 25, 1967, when it crashed into

the Ucayali River during takeoff. The

pilot and passengers survived; the plane

sank into the silt and mud of the river.

World News & Perspectives


PANORAMA OF DESTRUCTION: Part of the devastation caused by an EF5 tornado in

Moore, Oklahoma, on May 20, 2013. Spray-painted “X” on a car indicates no one was

found in the mangled vehicle.


Adventists Join Oklahoma

Tornado Relief Effort

ACS sets up relief center at Hope Adventist

Fellowship, untouched by massive storm.

By MARK A. KELLNER, news editor


(ACS) is providing disaster relief to victims

of the May 20, 2013, tornado that

cut a 17-mile path of destruction

through Moore, Oklahoma, a suburb of

Oklahoma City.

Authorities said 24 people, including

10 children, perished in the twister,

rated at EF5, the highest rating on the

Enhanced Fujita scale used to measure a

tornado’s strength. The May 20 storm

hit on the second consecutive day of

tornadoes in the state, packing peak

winds of 190 mph, and touched down in

the towns of New Castle and Moore and

other Oklahoma City suburbs. The tornado

spent 40 minutes traveling 17

miles on the ground and devastated an

estimated 30 square miles that included

neighborhoods and two elementary


“Please remember to pray for the

many victims of this tragedy, and for all

of our faithful ACS and rescue and relief

workers and volunteers,” said Sung

Kwon, North American Division (NAD)

ACS executive director.

ACS is currently operating a distribution

center from the Hope Adventist

Fellowship in Moore, whose building

was miraculously untouched by the

storm. Collection centers are being

operated at the Midwest City Adventist

Church, Oklahoma City Central Spanish

Adventist Church, Tulsa Adventist Fellowship,

and Tulsa Adventist Academy.


VOLUNTEER EFFORT: Johnny Flores, a

volunteer with Adventist Community Services,

stacks packs of water at the Hope

Adventist Fellowship church in Moore,

Oklahoma, for distribution to victims of

the May 20, 2013, tornado there.

ADRA International has committed

$50,000 to the relief efforts and will

work with ACS to assist with the disaster


ACS Disaster Relief (ACS DR) is a

member of National Voluntary Organizations

Active in Disaster (National

VOAD), along with about 55 other non-

8 (488)

| www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013

profit organizational members. Each

response organization has their own

specialty as they work together in a

disaster area, cooperating seamlessly

with the Federal Emergency Management

Agency (FEMA) and other state

VOADs in an orderly, well-trained manner

within their own area of expertise.

ACS DR specializes in handling donated

goods and distributing relief supplies.


RELIEF SUPPLIES: People carry water

bottles as they walk away from the Hope

Adventist Fellowship church in Moore,


This means the ACS teams collect, sort,

warehouse, and distribute goods.

Much-needed relief supplies are distributed

to survivors and responders

using fixed sites that are often Adventist

churches and schools, and also

using mobile distribution units.

—with information from the North American

Division and Adventist Community



Loma Linda’s Earth and Biological

Sciences Department Turns 50

Has only accredited geology program supporting a Seventh-day Adventist worldview


THE FLAGSHIP medical and health professions

university operated by the Seventh-day

Adventist Church, Loma Linda

University (LLU), recently marked 50

years of a unique graduate program.

The Department of Earth and Biological

Sciences celebrated the anniversary

April 21–27, 2013, with events that

included field trips, a “wild animal vespers,”

and discussions on both creation

and environmental stewardship.

It was in 1961 that several biologists

from the basic science faculty in the

School of Medicine proposed a doctoral

program in biology for nonmedical professionals.

Its geology program is the

only accredited doctoral-level program

that subscribes to a recent, six-day creation


The goals were threefold: to prepare

science teachers who were trained with

a biblical worldview for Seventh-day

Adventist schools and colleges; to

develop a better understanding of the

relationship between faith and science;

and to provide basic science faculty

members new avenues of research.

LLU’s board of trustees approved the

new Department of Biology in December

of 1961, and the first students arrived in

fall of 1962—all three of them.

Since that beginning enrollment has


CENTER OF ATTENTION: Loma Linda University students take turns being photographed

with an Amazon parrot. The colorful parrot was present as part of “Entrusted: Christians

and Environmental Care,” a symposium sponsored by the LLU Department of Earth and

Biological Sciences and the LLU Center for Biodiversity and Conservation Studies.

grown 16-fold to its present high of 50,

and the department now also offers

degrees in geology, environmental sciences,

and natural sciences. Students

can shape their degrees to fit their goals

and interests.

The department’s name has changed

to Earth and Biological Sciences, and its

faculty are involved in research including

studies on sea turtles, crabs, rattlesnakes

and venoms, and a variety of

geology and paleontology topics.

“We’re getting to be better known,”

said department chair Leonard Brand,

Ph.D. “Students value our programs

because this is a unique place. At many

other schools offering these degrees,

anyone who asked a question about

religion would be laughed out, but at

LLU our students can talk about anything

and ask any questions.

“This is the only place in the world in

which a Christian student can get a doctorate

in biology or geology and study

under faculty who accept the Bible,” he

continued. “We’re a creationist faculty.

The students learn our viewpoint as

well as secular viewpoints. They need to

www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (489) 9

World News & Perspectives


VOICE FOR ANIMALS: Marianne Thieme of the Party for the Animals, Netherlands,

answers questions about her seminar: “Advocating for Animals: Political Action and the

Global Consequences of Intensive Livestock Farming,” as Ronald Carter, Ph.D., provost,

Loma Linda University, serves as moderator.

know what they’re choosing and why.”

Richard Hart, LLU’s president, said:

“Though the department has changed

names several times, it continues to train

faculty for Adventist colleges and academies

with an understanding of core Adventist

beliefs about creation and the

origins of this earth. Its current six faculty

rely on other programs in the university

for complementary courses and

research collaboration. Most major Adventist

higher education institutions

now have one or more faculty who have

graduated from this program, with a current

enrollment of about 25 representing

many international institutions.”

The anniversary celebrations included

a banquet on Wednesday, April 24, in the

Wong Kerlee International Conference

Center of the Coleman Pavilion. Citations

were given to distinguished alumni and

department professors, including Brand,

who retires this year.

Other aspects of the celebration were

designed to bring in other LLU students

and community members, with organizers

seeking to reach out as well as

commemorate. To do so, officials created

the “Entrusted: Christians and

Environmental Care” symposium, sponsored

by the LLU Department of Earth

and Biological Sciences and the LLU

Center for Biodiversity and Conservation


To the question “Why a symposium?”

event organizers posted this explanation:

“In the beginning, God created the heavens

and the earth. When finished, God

saw all that He had made, and declared

that ‘it was very good.’ He then tasked

humans—the crown jewel of His creation—to

care for all that He had made.”

One LLU professor expanded on that

thought: “Our department,” said William

K. Hayes, Ph.D., professor of biology,

“has a long history of contributions

to the relationship between faith and

science. In addition to serving as the

concluding portion of our department’s

weeklong fiftieth anniversary celebration,

the symposium represented the

second and more recent thrust of our

department: environmental care and

biodiversity conservation.

—with additional reporting by Lael

Caesar, Adventist Review


Integration of Technologies

Highlighted at Adventist

Internet Conference

In Dubai 230 tech leaders meet to share strategies.

By LIBNA STEVENS, Inter-American Division,

reporting from Dubai, United Arab Emirates


platforms and messages was a key theme

of the 2013 Global Adventist Internet

Network (GAiN), which hosted 230 Seventh-day

Adventist Church technologists

and communicators in Dubai, United

Arab Emirates, May 15-19, 2013.

Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the

General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists,

spoke to Web professionals,

communicators, church leaders, and

members at the Seventh-day Adventist

church in the neighboring emirate of

Ras al-Khaimah on Sabbath, May 18.

Wilson encouraged listeners to continue

using all means possible to spread

the Word of God.

“Share God’s love; share the three



president of the General Conference, delivers

the Sabbath sermon at the Ras al-

Khaimah Adventist Church near Dubai on

May 18. He urged technology professionals

to continue finding innovative ways of

sharing the gospel through the Web.

10 (490)

| www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013

angels’ messages as to how God is preparing

people for His soon coming,”

Wilson said.

Wilson challenged technologists to

explore ways to help in a comprehensive

integrated media approach for

reaching the hearts of people through

various outreach initiatives.

Participants were also shown the new

Creation film series that will be completed

and distributed around the

world church later this year. Wilson

appealed to conference participants to

collaborate in innovative ways to showcase

the films in churches and special

venues in every community.

During the GAiN conference, successful

Adventist Internet ministries were highlighted,

along with effective initiatives and

strategies to assist the church in social

media impact. The conference also allowed

for group discussion about consumer

trends, how to better connect congregations,

distance learning, and other topics.

Global participants expressed enthusiastic

support for the conference’s goals.

“I found the GAiN conference

extremely informative and invigorating.

With so many talented people gathered

together, the discussions were lively and

filled with energy. The wide variety of

topics opened my eyes to how many

ways the church is using Internet and

social media to promote the Adventist

Church’s initiatives and ministries,” said

Carlos Medley, online editor for Adventist

Review magazine. “The meeting has

inspired me to recommit myself to do all

I can to advance the church’s work.”

Mirjana Kicusic, network developer

and marketing manager for the Trans-

European Division, attended the GAiN

event for the first time: “The participants

had an unforgettable opportunity

to learn new things in their areas and

were able to hear great reports from

other divisions and unions,” she said.

And Jones Masimba, Central Kenya

Conference treasurer, said the event

“has been an eye-opener for me. It has

been a great experience, showing us the

many opportunities that are available


for service, and to reach out to the community.

Things are changing fast today,

and GAiN is helping us keep current.”

Along with the case studies and presentations

on the Creation film, General

Conference communication leaders

announced the pending launch of a new

www.adventist.org Web site.

The homepage overhaul will include

an improved design framework, creating

an opportunity for better integration

of the hundreds of Web sites

throughout the world church. Church

leaders say the move will deliver stronger

and more consistent branding

across the denomination.

“This will allow the church to define

its brand, to clarify its voice and move

from a place of multiple different sites to

becoming a network of sites,” said Garrett

Caldwell, assistant Communication

Department director for public relations

at the world church headquarters.

Williams Costa, Jr., the Adventist

Church’s Communication Department

director and GAiN conference organizer,

stressed the importance of a unified

digital presence.

“We understand the diversity

[around] the world, the different tastes,

colors, cultures, and the need to have

something that binds us, but people

need to see us as a family and with clear

content and visibility,” Costa said.

Offering greater unity of content and

design was a need that prompted Corrado

Cozzi, communication director for

the Inter-European Division, based in

Bern, Switzerland, to attempt to integrate

diverse and multilanguage territory

Web sites for branding more than a

year ago. Cozzi and a team led by Klaus

Popa of the Adventist Media Center in

Germany have coordinated efforts with

the Adventist Church’s new Web site

project in the integration of microsites.

GAiN’s 2014 meeting is scheduled to be

held in India, church officials said. Information

on that event can be found online

at www.gain.adventist.org.

CREATION FILM: Williams Costa, Jr., left, Communication Department director for the

Adventist world church, interviews Henry Stober, the maker of a film on Creation that Adventists

worldwide will show this year in their churches and other venues to promote the

biblical account of the earth’s origins. Stober spoke at the Global Adventist Internet Network

conference in Dubai in May 2013.

www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (491) 11



My Barber

At the appointed time on the appointed day,

my brothers and I went down to the barber.

Wise. Handsome. Tall. Athletic. Strong, yet

with the gentle touch and dexterous hands of

a surgeon.

To cut the hair on the far side of my head, he

didn’t spin the stool, and he didn’t walk around

the chair either. Rather, he snuggled my head

over against his chest so he could reach over to

the far side, working from above.

I could hear his breathing. I could feel his


I could feel his heart.

When the whim struck, he blew away the

loose hairs from my neck or face with a burst of

his own breath.

Once finished, my barber would stand back,

gaze proudly at his work, and then proclaim,

“Not bad for an amateur!”

How the years went rushing by! Looking

back past all those years, I wish my dad still cut

my hair.

The glory of children is their father . . .




Let us remember: When we put

God first in our worship, knowing

He is not only our Creator but our

Redeemer, our sorrows don’t seem

so big. We realize that He can and

will be there for us. When we do

His law—that is, putting Him first,

then our neighbor—we soon forget

about our problems. We are now

focused on God and helping others.

The prayer of Colossians 1:9-15

should be on our lips always.



Have a prayer need? Have a few

free minutes? Each Wednesday

morning at 8:15 EDT the Adventist

Review staff meets to pray for

people—children, parents, friends,

coworkers. Send your prayer

requests and, if possible, pray with

us on Wednesday mornings. Send

requests to: Let’s Pray, Adventist

Review, 12501 Old Columbia Pike,

Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600;

fax: 301-680-6638; e-mail:



About a year away from turning 100, I need to

use a walker. When I get off the elevator at my

floor, sometimes the other residents at the retirement

community where I live will say, “You get off

first because you walk faster with your walker than

we can walk.” I get teased about how rapidly I

move with my walker.

Yesterday, as I sped along and passed a kind old

gentleman, he remarked, “You are exceeding the

speed limit.”



www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (493) 13

Summer Special






This is the third installment

of a series of articles

focusing upon the book of

Numbers—a must-read

for those waiting to enter

the Promised Land. 1 .


It was a balmy night. Rebekah listened drowsily to the rhythmic breathing

of her husband lying next to her. Her little son, Aviv, was getting

ready to exercise his tiny lungs. It was time—and he was hungry.

Quickly, before Aviv began his night serenade, Rebekah had the little

bundle in her arms and moved silently and quickly to the entrance of

the family tent. She did not want to wake up her hardworking husband

and the other members of the large household.

The moon shone brightly and the stars filled the night sky with brilliant little sparkling

lights. Rebekah heard the rhythm of the night orchestrated by cicadas and crickets.

As she nursed Aviv she looked around the large encampment. There were very few

lights in the orderly rows of family tents surrounding the tabernacle. Smoke was

slowly trailing heavenward from the big altar located at the inner court of the sanctuary.

Rebekah could see some tiny slivers of lights shining through a gap in the curtain.

Oh, yes, that must be the light from the candleholder in the holy place. Little

Aviv slurped the warm milk greedily; he was happy and content.

Rebekah looked beyond the tabernacle structure and saw the tents of the Levites and

priests closely surrounding the sanctuary. She could already hear the sounds of early

morning. As she lifted her eyes she could make out the shape of the mountains bordering

the plains of Moab. On the other side of the camp she could see the deep gorge of

the Jordan River—the Promised Land was right there, waiting for them to enter.

Aviv had finally fallen asleep again. Rebekah turned around once more. A quiet

camp surrounded by silent mountains. The Promised Land awaited them on the other

side. Peace filled her heart as she put her son on his mat in the family tent. God was

watching over him. She did not see the fleeting shadows climbing the mountains overlooking

the large camp of Israel. 2



The Blessing

Numbers is not only a book of lists,

itineraries, murmurings, and rebellions.

Numbers—as most other books in

Scripture—looks beyond the familiar

landscape of God’s people. Pegged in

between the description of the first successful

military campaigns of Israel in

the Negev and on the eastern side of the

Jordan (Num. 21) and the second census

of the new generation (Num. 26) we

find the curious story of Balaam and

Balak—prophet and king with dubious

links to Israel.

It is a well-known story: a willing,

curse-for-hire prophet, eager to stock up

his retirement fund; a king frightened by

the stories of military victories of Israel’s

multitudes; a donkey that sees what people

do not see and says what people will

not say. Illustrators and cartoonists have

found inspiration in this narrative. Children

love the visual boldness of an angel

barring the passage to a “sightless” (or

better, visionless) prophet of the Lord.

Adults may react to this story with a bit

more reserve. We want to know where

this prophet (who apparently talks to the

Lord on a regular basis) got his credentials.

We wonder about prophets for hire

and the significance of blessings and

curses. And for those of us reading the

entire book, we would like to know why

three long chapters have been dedicated

to the story of spiritual warfare while

Israel is apparently blissfully ignorant in

their tent city on the plains of Moab.

Would it be possible that the unique

story of Numbers 22-24 is illustrating

God’s desire of working with those who

are naturally in opposition to Him?

Listen to the Story

(Num. 22:1-7)

Balak, the king of Moab, is terrified. He

knows what Israel has done to the Amorites

(see Num. 21) and so he approaches

the elders of neighboring Midian to join

forces against this powerful enemy. They

are clearly worried about their grass,

their fields, and their homes. Just imagine

a huge crowd of people with their

animals settling on your land.

Balak has also heard what had happened

in Egypt a generation ago, and he

realizes that he

needs the marines—

the best, the bravest,

the fearless. He

sends for Balaam,

the son of Beor, who

lives close to the

river (which, in Old

Testament parlance,

refers to the Euphrates;

probably Balaam

lived in northern

Mesopotamia, the area to which Abraham’s

father had traveled). Balak needs

a religious superman, somebody who

has a direct line to the gods and whose

curses are devastating. He is ready to

invest significantly and sends the elders

of Moab and Midian with a large

amount of cash to Balaam.

Scripture does not explain why

Balaam had such a good standing. 3 Perhaps

he had worked for Balak in the

past. Perhaps he kept his Facebook page

regularly updated and employed the

best agents. Be that as it may, he is the

source of Balak’s hope for victory.

Did you catch the irony in Balak’s






request to Balaam? “I know that whoever

you bless is blessed, and whoever you curse

is cursed” (Num. 22:6). The war that Balak

envisions is a war of words. Divination is

powerful and Balak is a firm believer.

Cash Back

The messengers present their

request—and Balaam calls for a timeout.

“Give me one night, and I will give

you an answer tomorrow,” says the seer

(see Num. 22:8). The next scene is amazing:

God “comes” to Balaam during the

night and we listen in on a dialogue

between God and prophet. Balaam

needs an answer and the sovereign

Master of the universe steps into our

world and listens to His wayward messenger

who has dollar bills in his eyes.

The next morning Balak communicates

grudgingly God’s refusal for a service

request to Balak’s messengers. No green

light—no deal.

Yet Balak does not

give up. He ups the

cash offer and sends

a bigger and more

important delegation.

Balak wants this

curse—his insistence

is surprising.

Balaam also wants

something. He

wants a cushy honorarium

and the

accompanying recognition. Reputation

requires a successful transaction—and

Balaam is someone who delivers!

On the Way

And God relents. God knows Balaam

and his love for cash. I imagine that

Balaam smiled broadly as he saddled

his donkey and began his journey. He

already saw the balance increase

sharply in his checking account.

The next section of the story is comical—yet

at the same time tragic. The

blind seer does not see what a dumb

donkey can see. God, who has relented

under only one condition (namely, “do

www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (495) 15

only what I tell you” [Num. 22:20]),

knows the heart of Balaam—and yet He

is trying to reach him by any means

(and this includes the angel of the Lord

with a sword in hand).

This happens three times, and Balaam

becomes abusive. He curses and strikes

the poor animal—without looking up.

On the third occasion there is no way to

squeeze past the angel, and God performs

another miracle—the donkey

begins to talk (verse 28).

When Donkeys Talk

The most comical element of this

well-known story is that Balaam enters

into a discussion with his donkey without

even blinking an eye. This is the

only recorded time in Scripture that a

donkey talks. And yet Balaam keeps

arguing with his donkey. He cannot see

the angel—something is terribly amiss

with his spiritual antenna. “No reception”

signs are all over his smartphone—and

he doesn’t notice.

I wonder about our spiritual antennas.

Do we pay sufficient attention to

God’s promptings, or do we stick to our

own agendas? How often do we ignore

God’s communication (verbal and nonverbal)

in our lives? Does the fact that I

worship every Sabbath in an Adventist

church or even work for this church protect

me from losing touch with the Master?

I wonder when I read Balaam’s story.

Can You Hear Me?

King Balak has waited anxiously.

These journeys must have taken weeks,

and he can still see the orderly Israelite

camp on the plains. “I can only speak

what God tells me,” reminds Balaam

(see verse 38). Balak is not interested in

hearing divine messages; he wants to

get on with it. Time is of the essence—

and he needs a curse, not God’s Word.

Balak brings the prophet to the high

places where seven altars are installed.

Do you get the irony? The prophet of

God is at the place of Baal worship,

using seven (a very significant number

in the Old Testament) altars. Following

the sacrifice, God puts a word in

Balaam’s mouth. In the midst of idolatry

and blatant disobedience God

speaks: He speaks of His chosen people

that will be as numerous as the dust of

the earth—who can curse what God has

blessed (cf. Num. 23:7-10)?

That sounds like a blessing, and Balak

catches on very quickly. He is furious—

and like Balaam earlier—he does not recognize

the immensity of what has just

happened. God has been close by. A divine

message has been given in his presence.

God keeps knocking on callused

hearts. Twice more he sends divine messages

via Balaam. Balak listens twice

more to words that come straight from

the heavenly throne room—and yet he

pays no attention.

God still knocks on our hearts. The

One who included three chapters and

96 verses telling us the story of a wayward

prophet, a talking donkey, and a

terrified king and his people is still anxious

to speak to those who do not yet

know Him. God’s mission becomes our

mission. God invests in people and

places that seem so unlikely to respond.

I wish Numbers had a happy ending. I

wish Balaam would have traveled home

a changed man. I wish Balak would have

realized his foolishness and thrown in

his lot with God’s people—after all, they

were relatives, and God had not

intended Moab to be destroyed by Israel.

But there is no Hollywood ending.

Scripture tells us that Balaam was killed

during the Midianite war (Num. 31:1-11)

after he had counseled Israel’s enemies to

use sexual immorality mixed with idolatry

to defeat God’s people (Rev. 2:14). And

yet, even though there is no “and they

lived happily ever after,” I am again

amazed at God’s commitment to reach

the wayward, the lost, the rebellious that

seemingly do not warrant the effort.

The Miracle

We had received her name as part of a

list of potential interests. My friend Erhard,

a seasoned pastor, and I looked at each

other as we rang the doorbell. What would

await us on the other side of the door?

We were not prepared for what we

saw. The woman who opened the door,

holding a young baby, looked worn out.

The smells that came out of the flat were

indescribable. The baby was crying. As

we entered we barely found three chairs

in a flat that was dirty and mostly empty.

She had fallen on hard times. Her husband

had left her with a baby and no

resources. She had a drug problem, and she

told us of nightly terrifying encounters—

clearly Satan was hard at work in this flat.

As we left the apartment I looked at

my friend and said: “This is impossible.

She is not ready for Bible studies.” My

friend also looked rattled but said:

“Gerald, God sent us here on purpose—

He can change this mess.”

Over the next four months we visited

every week at least once. We opened

God’s Word, and we saw tremendous

changes. I will never forget the day

when she first appeared with her child

in the local church—and was warmly

embraced and accepted. At the end of

the evangelistic series she stood

together with many others and

requested baptism. I still remember the

wonder that I felt when I saw her standing.

No, it wasn’t our effective Bible

study or the loving church (even though

they all played a role)—this was God’s

Spirit reaching her heart. He specializes

in the impossible. He is passionate

about the unlovable and those far away.

He even loves a Balaam and a Balak.

While Israel was sleeping God was at

work. While we may be sleeping He still

speaks tenderly to our hearts and is at

work in the people around us that we just

don’t like or understand. It’s time to wake

up. As you listen to His tender voice—

why don’t you join Him in His mission to

reach those who need Him most?


See Gerald A. Klingbeil, “In the Wilderness: Of Tassels,

Wanderings, and the Promised Land,” Adventist Review,

May 10, 2012, pp. 20-22; and “In the Wilderness: The Epidemic,”

Adventist Review, Mar. 21, 2013, pp. 26-28.


This fictional narrative is based on Numbers 22:1-3.


In case you may wonder about this Balaam, son of

Beor, who comes out of nowhere: Archaeologists have

found a text written in Aramaic in a sixth-century B.C.

context in Deir ’Alla (on the eastern side of the Jordan)

that makes reference to a certain “Balaam, son of Beor.”

Eight centuries after our narrative, Balaam was still a

household name in ancient Palestine.






16 (496) | www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013


Summer Special



The sun’s first rays cast their reddish

tonalities through the gray, metallic

structures of Rome’s Ostiense train

station. On platforms 14 and 15

more than 150 sleeping bodies are

scattered across the bare concrete

floor. One hundred more sleep on a

street outside, near the Termini

train station, some as young as 14

or 15 years old. Dirty tents close by shelter dozens of

other sleepers. These refugees from Africa and the

Middle East are alone and hungry, sad and largely

ignored. But each Sabbath and Sunday morning my

team and I bring them food. Marian, Simona, Ulise,

Gabi, Sami, Sergiu, Mihnea,

Vali, Cornel, and the

rest have thrown their

hearts into this work.

Their love for these forlorn,

lost youth is palpable.

As they talk, laugh, and eat with them, joy, and

something else, well up together in my soul. For I see

myself. These lonely foreigners from Pakistan,

Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Africa are on a journey, as

I too have been, in body and in spirit, in years gone by.

Growing up Communist

I grew up in Communist Romania. I was not necessarily

hungry for bread. Life was fine until my

Orthodox father began to study the Bible and discovered

the Sabbath. He stopped working on Saturdays.

Furthermore, he found the Adventist Church

and decided to get baptized. That started all the

trouble. Shortly after his baptism, the government

tried to compel my father to work on Saturday. He

refused. He was arrested and imprisoned for three




www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (499)


and a half years. In prison they chained him, beat

him, and otherwise physically and psychologically

tortured him. One Saturday morning, because he

refused to eat meat, guards chained him, opened

his mouth with iron pincers, and tried to force their

hot pork soup down his throat. Anything was possible

in Communist Romania. So his torturers tried

everything to make him give up his faith. They

didn’t succeed.

On a sunny autumn day he returned home. He was

thin, but his face shone with joy. He was a winner—

His faith had been victorious over the Communist


A Sudden Change

Despite my father’s experience and

his faith, I continued to starve myself of

spiritual food. I made no changes in my

life. I was disrespectful toward him and

sometimes laughed about his faith. I

would go to church and join in the programs,

but I didn’t know God. My parents

prayed a lot for me. Once they told

me to fast. It was an irony for me, and I

made fun of them. I wasn’t interested

in change.

Until the morning a strong, unfamiliar

voice spoke out in the house: “Go

and pray, because you’re walking a


I laughed, mocking my father and his

God: “What kind of God talks to

humans?” That voice had to be nothing

but illusions and nonsense from my


Hours later I was to go through my

life’s most dramatic, most explosive experience. I

was preparing a bomb. Suddenly the Molotov cocktail

blew up right in my hand. The explosion’s shock

wave stunned me. My clothes caught fire, and now

my father’s house was burning. The fire affected its

electrical system, and my mother was jolted by electric

shock. With the help of neighbors we put the

fire out and my mother survived. But I suffered several

burns and my hands were devastated. God had

warned me that morning that I was in grave danger,

but I had mocked Him and laughed. It was the last

time I made fun of God. My life changed from that

day on. I became a believer.












doctor says the cancer might have spread. But I

have placed my life in God’s hands. I am ready to

live or die as He wills.” We prayed together in that

hospital room in Bucharest, Romania, and I left.

Two days later when I returned to visit my father, I

found him preparing to go home. “What happened?”

I asked. “You were so ill!”

“I may have been dreaming,” he replied, “but after

you left, I saw an intense light at the foot of my bed.

A man standing in the light told me that God had a

work for me to do. Later I asked my roommate if he

had seen a bright light or heard a voice during the

night, but he had seen and heard nothing. Surely I

have been visited by an angel!”

We asked God to show us the ministry

he had for us. We began, with one of

my brothers, to visit Romanian prisons:

Bucharest, Iasi, , Târgoviste, , and Timisoara,

where Dad had spent several years


as a prisoner for his faith during Communist

times. He recognized many of

the guards and remembered the insults

that he had endured from guards and

prisoners alike because of his faith. At

one prison in southern Romania where

my father had spent one year as a prisoner

a guard recognized him and

hurled new insults at him. My father

and I began sharing with the prisoners

messages of hope in Christ. That same

day a boy who was in prison for his

crimes asked me for a Bible. I gave him

one, and when we left the prison, we

gave another to a guard.

As the years passed, the guard who

had insulted my father became willing

to listen to his testimony. His heart was touched,

and he accepted Christ as his Savior. He is now a

Seventh-day Adventist. My brothers Doru and

Savel are both pastors. Recently someone came to

one of their churches and asked to be baptized.

This man had known Christ for many years, having

come to know Him through a Bible he received in

prison. He was the very person I had given the

Bible to. He too is now a member of the Seventhday

Adventist Church. Florea, another inmate, was

baptized along with him, and the two now work as

evangelists. They have built up a small group of 20


Healing and Commission

Several years later my father, Vasele Lupu, was

hospitalized with a serious illness. When I went to

visit him, he looked up from his hospital bed into

my eyes and said quietly: “It’s not good news; the

A Shift in Ministry

After a few years of missionary work in the prisons,

my brothers and I decided to become pastors.

After my theology studies and pastoral service in

several districts, my work has brought me to Rome,

20 (500) | www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013

Italy. I carry on my heart the many years of my

father’s prayers for me, and the unusual experience

by which a patient and loving God abruptly

terminated my mockery, humbled me, and called

me to His work. In His kindness He has made me a

witness to many special experiences.

I think of the past five years during which I have

sacrificed my vacations and money for Africa’s people

in the Kalahari Desert and Kongola, Namibia.

Particularly, I have been touched by the Kalahari

Bushmen, so simple and poor, and yet of such great

heart. The Bushmen receive you in their shed with

joy, and they listen for as many hours as you wish

to talk to them. Amazingly enough, I

met the It Is Written team in that

place. Together with them and other

volunteers we built wells with solar

pumps. Then we built a small church

at Tsumkwe. Collaborating with one

of my colleagues, Pastor Sorin Neacsu,

of ADRA Italy, and volunteers from

Rome and Turin, we have built in the

Caprivi Region a school, a clinic, and

an orphanage. During these five years

I have fallen in love with the continent

and the children of that region.

God’s special help has enabled us to

invest thousands of euros on behalf

of orphans living there. We ourselves

cannot explain how we are able to

invest so much, since we didn’t have

any kind of resources. Our gifts seem

to us like just a few cents, and we

have not missed our holidays, for we

have lived through amazing years in

which God has given us great family

times together in ministry.

Challenge in Rome

Africa has not been our only challenge. In Rome

we experience as many surprises as we do in the

Kalahari Desert. Italy has become an immigration

destination for people of such varied nationalities

as Russia and Romania, Peru and Brazil, Ghana and

Sudan, the Philippine islands, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Immigrants bring needs and challenges. They

are searching for a home, for a job, and, not least of

all, for God. Because the Italian Union has been proactive

in establishing ethnic church communities,

companies of 30 or 40 persons have quickly grown

into churches of thousands of people. Rome’s six

churches include three for native Italians, along

with one each focused on Filipino, Latin-American,

and Romanian communities.

Responding together to the great missionary












challenges of our city, we teamed up with Pastor

Shawn Boonstra, then speaker and director of It Is

Written. Our churches distributed more than

600,000 invitations; several articles appeared in the

press; there were ads everywhere. The effort was, I

think, unprecedented in Rome. Then four short days

before our opening presentation it was halted by a

hidden hand. Our work and prayer through those

four days became more feverish than ever. We had

to redistribute tens of thousands of flyers, and the

furor generated new television interviews and more

newspaper articles. Glory to God, on the opening

evening there were more than 600 attendees.

A young student at the Orthodox

Theology Institute, already assigned

his parish and on the way to the priesthood,

learned from Elder Boonstra’s

biblical preaching what previous study

had failed to show him. He decided to

give up his parish ministry, and he is

now a member of our church in Rome.

Service Continues

While the facts of my life and this

story whirl in my head, I’m heading

with my volunteers to Termini Station.

Dozens of hungry people are waiting

for us there. The sun’s red beams are

clearly visible now. The once-sleeping

youth are already awake. In a few

moments the police will be here to

clear them away. We must hurry to

feed them. This is all that they will eat

today. One of my colleagues recently

dared to ask one of our friends on the

sidewalk if she was hungry. She

started to cry. Silently. As he handed her a package,

he could see big tears rolling down her cheeks.

People have largely forgotten to cry in Rome. But

we are still received with tears and joy. It is the same

joy that we met in the Kalahari. It may or may not be

the same feeling that surges within me when I think

of where God has brought me from. It may or may

not be that the hungry youth we serve here will learn,

as I did, that there is a God who speaks to humans—

not merely about their present, but about their

future. Maybe the bread in my hand is a bomb.





www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (501) 21


Summer Special

Shoes OF Redemption







It was 1937. My youthful days at McCune Home for Boys in Jackson County, Missouri,

were history. The Great Depression of the 1930s was at its peak. Apprehension

and confusion accompanied my release into a world of desperate, jobless,

hungry men. At 17 I too became desperate and homeless.

The natural instinct to survive soon taught me to follow the trail of men

searching for employment that would put bread on the table for their families.

Often a rumor that there was work in another state caused men to “ride the rails”

or “hop or a freight” “hop a freight” to be the to first be the to apply first to for apply a job. for a job.

A Brush With Death

I experienced a time during which the bad seemed to exceed the bearable

by a considerable margin. Because of my own carelessness I found

myself in an area known for its violent treatment of transients by local

authorities. I decided to head to the freight yard, where I would “hop” a

freight train headed west.

Via the grapevine I understood that the freight yards in this particular

area were noted for making transients extremely uncomfortable. My usual

method for hopping a freight train was to wait until a train was gathering

enough speed to indicate that it was leaving the yard. Then, watching for a

boxcar with an open door, I’d run from my hiding place, pace myself alongside

the moving car, toss my bag of belongings inside the open door, and, at

the right moment, scramble up into the interior of the car before the yard

bulls saw me.

Near dusk, evening shadows fell before a train finally left the yard. It was

moving a little faster than I liked, but I decided to try, not wanting to

remain in that area overnight. I ran from my hiding place, tossed my bag

into an open door, misjudged the speed of the train, nearly missed the edge

of the door, and ended up clinging by my elbows to the splintery floor of

the car with my legs swinging wildly outside.

I was clawing desperately at the floor of the car when a long, skinny,

dirty arm reached out, and a clawlike hand closed around my wrist. I

looked up into the grizzled face of an older man and voiced a humble

thank-you as he pulled me inside.

“Ain’t no way to hop a freight,” he said.

His face wrinkled into a sly grin. His clothes were in the last

stages of disrepair, and several days’ worth of stubble covered

his chin. He was so scrawny that when he spoke his Adam’s

apple ran up and down his long neck like a chipmunk running

up and down a telephone pole.

“Pretty close, kid,” he chuckled. “But this town ain’t no place

for a man of leisure.”

I tried to thank him again, but he ignored me. He moved to the other

side of the freight car and slid down to the floor, back against the rocking

side of the car. He motioned me to a spot nearby. “Glad to have some company.

Don’t like being alone with someone when they pass on.”

He nodded, and jerked his thumb toward the darkened front of the


22 (502)

| www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013

car. I could barely make out what looked

like a jumbled pile of bones. From it

came a rasping cough mixed with the

sounds of someone gasping for air. I

stood up to go to the pile of bones,

instinctively knowing that someone

needed help. My savior grabbed my arm.

“Don’t go near him, kid. Ain’t nothing

you can do for him.”

“What’s he got?” I asked.

“We used to call it consumption. Guess

you call it TB now. A lot of guys can’t take

the dust from whatever was hauled in these

boxcars last. It gets into their lungs. Takes

’em fast. This one won’t last much longer.”

I shuddered. This was going to be a

long night.

“Poor devil,” the old man went on. “Told





me he has a wife and a couple kids back in

Detroit. Worked in the auto plants; lost his

job when the unions started raising hell.

Wouldn’t join ’em and couldn’t find work

anywhere, things being the way they are.

Finally ran out of food. He said he kissed

his wife and kids and vowed he would

find work somewhere. That was a couple

years ago. He’s kept movin’ along, lookin’

and hopin’ but never findin’. He ain’t

heard from the little woman or tried to get

in touch with her since.

“Guess he feels guilty. Last time he

spoke to me, he said to keep away from

him. He didn’t want anyone to catch

what he has.”

“How long has it been this way for

you?” I asked.

“Since ’ 28,” he replied. “Had a good

practice. Worked in the finest hospitals.”

He looked at his hands. “Been all over.

Been around a lot of nice people. Too old

now to make a new start. One day I’ll

end up in the dark side of a boxie; not

like him, but just as dead. I only hope

the good Lord will be kind to me.”

His voice carried the combined

weight of his years. He fell silent and

appeared to be asleep.

The Test

It was a good hour, well after dark,

before my companion moved again. He

reached behind him, pulled out a bit of

newspaper, opened it, and exposed

three large carrots with the tops still on

them. He selected one and gave it to me.

“I got these back a ways. I was saving

them for the pot at the next jungle, but I

couldn’t leave him.” He jerked his

thumb toward the front of the car. “Has

to be someone there with you when it

happens, you know.” He sighed and sat

silent for a moment.

Then he said, “Save the top of the carrot,

kid; you may need ’em to suck for

water. This car is mighty dusty. We don’t

know when we’ll get out of it.”

I sat looking at the carrot in my hand,

with no appetite or desire for food. The

train rumbled through the summer

night. The wheels of the boxcar clacked

their song of death and loneliness on

the rails of the tracks. I got to my knees

and crawled to the sick man.

“Here, this might help your throat.”

His eyes lit up as he saw the carrot. He

started to reach for it, then raised both hands,

palms toward me in a gesture of defeat.

“No, all it would do is start me retching

again. Thanks. Keep it. You’ll need

it.” And between coughs: “Please go

back. I’m contagious. I don’t want . . .”

His coughing cut him off. I glanced

over his body and noticed that his shoes

appeared to be almost new. I looked at

my own. I had started putting cardboard

in them to cover the holes in the

soles months ago. Guilt smothered the

thought that came to me, and I retired

to the other end of the car to settle my

back against the wall a few feet from my

older companion. He seemed to be

sleeping. I dozed off myself.

A Vision in the Night

Sometime in the night, as the freight

train rumbled along, I was awakened by

something that seemed to be a dream.

But never have I had a dream that

burned its way into my very soul as this

one did. I will not try to explain it; I’ll

just tell it as it occurred.

The car was too dark to see my companion

only a few feet away, but the far

end of the car seemed to be lit by a

strange, soft light; a pure, white, selfcontained


I heard low voices. The sick man’s

coughing stopped, and I heard him say,

“Tell them I love them. Tell them . . . I

tried . . . I tried . . .”

Another figure bent over him, cradling

the frail body on a white-sheathed arm. A

voice came that was soothing, tender,

comforting. “They know. Just rest. It’s

been so hard for you.”

As curious as I was, I felt frozen in

place, unable to move or speak. The

light began to draw in on itself, until it

was entirely dark again. I wanted to

know more, but sleep made me its prisoner

until sunlight thrust its way

through the open door.

The train was not moving. I glanced

out the car door and saw that we had

been left on a railroad siding. I was

alone. I looked toward the far end of the

car. The figure was slumped in a position

that meant only one thing.

Glancing at his feet, I realized that his

shoes were gone.







1. Remember a time you were totally

at the mercy of strangers. Recall it


2. By what criteria do you decide whether

someone is worthy of your trust?

3. Have you ever had to trust someone

whose appearance and manner

would have made that impossible

under normal circumstances?

4. Every day contains reminders of our

fallen natures. How have you been

reminded of that reality today?

(Don’t answer out loud.)

www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (503) 23

Searching the Obvious

Always a Child


praying for time. I feel a tap on my shoulder, the ICU nurse simply says: “She’s here.”

* * *

She doesn’t look up when she asks, “Will I ever be in the ICU?”

How do I answer this? Sitting in a chair next to Rachel’s bed, we have been drawing pictures for the nurses,

and now we are deciding who gets which picture. Rachel is undergoing treatment t for lymphoblastic

leukemia. She is 7 years old, and treatment has just begun. I watch her shuffle through the pictures. She

is so positive and kind, always thinking of others regardless of her pain.

“Can I at least see the ICU? Can you take me for a visit?”

* * *

The lights are dim, and I can hear the monitors inside the room. Before I enter the room, I

say a prayer. I have never met this patient. I’m not even supposed to be here. While I was visiting

Rachel, my nurse friend Cheri had approached and asked if I could make a chaplain visit to

her ICU patient, Harvey. I slide open the door and enter the room.

“Hello? Who are you?”

I quickly introduce myself as I take in the contents of the room. He invites me to sit

down, explaining that his vision is not so good anymore. I sit and talk to Harvey. He is 99

years old. He has been in wars I have only read about in textbooks. After his stroke two weeks

ago he was transferred from a nursing home to the hospital. He sighs when he speaks. I ask if

there is anyone I can call for him, and his cloudy blue eyes turn away.

“My daughter, but we haven’t spoken in 15 years. She won’t come.”

I look through Harvey’s chart for a contact number. There it is. I ask Cheri about the daughter.

Messages have been left, but no one has called back. I’ll give it a try. As I reach into my pocket for a

pen, I feel the folded piece of paper, a drawing. Rachel. I ask Cheri about a visit to the ICU. Rachel can

be brought by wheelchair only to the doors. She will be able to look in but not enter.

That sounds like enough.

Sitting at the nurses’ station in ICU, I hang up the phone. No answer. As I try the second number I hear

the alarm of a Code Blue. I look up to see everyone heading into Harvey’s room. No. No. No. I pick up the

phone and dial again. Dear God, I just need a miracle. On the second ring she picks up.

* * *

The room is quiet. Harvey is not well. I pray with him, and we read Scripture. I tell him his daughter is on

the way. He can’t talk. But his tears let me know he understands.

* * *

She’s here! I pick up my Bible and walk toward the ICU. The doors open, and I see Cheri pushing Rachel’s

wheelchair. Behind them is a woman wearing a visitor’s badge. Impossible timing. I greet a smiling Rachel,

then introduce myself to Rhonda, Harvey’s daughter. As I walk Rhonda to the room, I give her a quick

update. We enter Harvey’s room. I stand back and watch a reunion that yields forgiveness. Shortly after,

Harvey passes away.

* * *

As Rhonda and I walk out of the room we pass the nurses’ station. Cheri has something for Rhonda. It’s a

drawing from Rachel, two butterflies. Cheri explains, reminding Rhonda of the little girl in the wheelchair.

Rhonda holds the drawing, smiles through her tears, mumbles “God bless her,” and slowly walks away.

* * *

I peek into the room. Rachel is sleeping. I pray for strength for what is to come. It has never been more obvious

to me: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs

to such as these” (Matt. 19:14).




www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (505) 25

Heart and Soul:


Summer Special

Brighten the





Very often when we hear about service

we conjure up pictures of complex

mission trips to a foreign country, or

some other complicated project involving

others. How often do we pause to

consider that we could be of service anytime, anywhere,

and in any circumstance, with the acts of service

being planned, unplanned, or commissioned?

Unplanned Service

A few summers ago I was delighted to accompany

my husband on a Sunday morning walk. I couldn’t

help noticing that he was becoming a bit irritated by

the length of time it took me to get on my walking

shoes, as well as to collect a few bits of personal

“things” to take on the walk. He remarked that these

“things” were unnecessary. My response was that I

always took these “things” with me on my walks.

Making our way back home from a delightful

walk, I noticed a college-aged woman heading in

our direction. Stopping in front of me, she

explained that she had not expected the weather to

warm up so quickly, and was feeling

extremely dehydrated. Asking for a

drink of water, she

promised to “air

drink” from the

bottle, rather than

allowing her

mouth to touch it. I

was happy to let her have the water, because the bottle

was one of the “things” that I’d brought with me.

The young woman was obviously in need of

water—she was heavily perspiring, and her hands

were trembling terribly, making “air drinking” an

impossibility. As she guzzled the chilled water, my

husband looked at me questioningly, as if to say,

“What made you bring that bottle of water?” I told

the thirsty runner that she could keep the water

bottle and offered her some chilled grapes—

another one of my “things”—but she declined.

Did I have any foreknowledge that something was

going to be required of me that morning? Of course

not! However, I’m glad I stuck to my routine of always

bringing a bottle of water and some fruit whenever I

venture out on a walk.

It has been said that preparedness is everything.

This is certainly applicable to the Christian believer,

because we never know where or when we will be

called into service. The apostle Paul admonished us

to “put on the full armor of God” (Eph. 6:13). With

such a long checklist to follow in being prepared

(verses 13-17), my water bottle and grapes really

paled in comparison. Thank God He is still able to use

the little we have to enable us to minister to others.

Planned Service

One day I received a call from a young woman

inquiring about Adventist World magazine. She had

seen an issue at a friend’s workplace and was

inspired by the contents. She wanted to obtain the

magazine on a regular basis. Through our conversation

I realized that she was not affiliated with the

church, and I decided to send her a few copies. A

few weeks later I received the following letter: “I

wish to let you know how thankful I am to you,

and honored by your generous gift of the Adventist

World magazines. . . . Thanks for caring and sharing.

You are a blessing.”

I get mail quite often, but this one touched me. I

26 (506) | www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013

Corner Where You Are

thought that I was just doing my job, even though I

extended myself a bit to accommodate her situation.

However, her written response of gratitude showed

that it meant much more to her than I’d realized.

How often in our “busyness” are we tempted to

ignore a phone call—viewing it as a distraction

from the important task at hand—while failing to

realize that perhaps that particular call is the

important task that God has sent our way, that the

unknown voice on the line is in fact searching for a

“lifeline,” one for which God

has given us some measure of









What do you do, however,

when you’re being of service,

only to be “beaten about the

head,” as it were, by the very

individuals you’re trying to

help? It may be that you were

asked to serve in one of those “much-sought-after”

church positions or on the school board or even in

your home.

Such was my experience recently when my husband

and I had to make a decision to relocate one of

our children from one part of the house to the other.

After considering the logistics and the needs of that

child, we felt we had made the best decision. When I

disclosed our decision to our offspring, however, I

quickly found myself on the receiving end of their

verbal displeasure. I thought I was doing something

that was beneficial for their health and well-being,

only to be met with vitriolic, verbal ingratitude.

Feeling discouraged, I sought solace in my bedroom.

There I sent up a silent plea to God for courage,

strength, and wisdom to deal with the

situation. There I was able to refocus on why this

act of service was being done.

In the end I was able to let my child know that

my action was the right thing to do; it was one that

was expected of me as a parent, but more important

it was what was required of me by God, and to

do anything less would be to dishonor Him—to do

a disservice to Him. In a short time that child came

to respect, and accept, the decision.

Always Ready to Serve

Some weeks later during my private devotional

time, I came upon a reading entitled “Faithful in That

Which Is Least.” My resolve to be ready at all times to

serve was bolstered as I read: “The active service of

God is directly connected with the ordinary duties of

life, even its humblest occupations.

We are to serve God just where He

puts us. He is to place us individually,

and not we ourselves. Perhaps service

in the home life is the place we are to

occupy for a time, if not always.” 1

It goes on to state that “the importance

of little things is underrated

just because they are small, but the

influence of the little things for good

or evil is great. They supply much of

the actual discipline of life for every

human being. . . . They are part of the training of the

soul in the sanctification of all our entrusted talents

to God. Faithfulness in the little things in the line of

duty makes the worker in God’s service reflect more

and more the likeness of Christ.” 2

What an awesome God! He is not one of happenstance—He

wants to place us in situations

where He would have us serve. All we have to do is

be ready, willing, and faithful so that we may

embody His words in Scripture: “Whoever can be

trusted with very little can also be trusted with

much” (Luke 16:10).


Ellen G. White, That I May Know Him (Washington, D.C.: Review

and Herald Pub. Assn., 1964), p. 331.






www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (507) 27


Summer Special

We often talk about the importance

of service, but how often

do we really do it? Below is a

list of 60 service ideas. The plan is easy.

Start this Sunday. Each day read the

suggested task and go for it! Feel free to

substitute your own ideas, switch ideas

to different days, or modify them. At the

end of 60 days, let us know how it went

(write to letters@adventistreview.org; or

see our address on p. 3). You might not

be able to do all of them, but we believe

that God offers amazing experiences to

those who serve.

Take the






Father’s Day is June 16. Mow the

lawn for your father, or “adopt a

dad” and do it for him.

Day 2: Offer to clean

up a neighbor’s yard

that might need

some special


Day 3: Organize an

“almost used”

stuffed animal collection.

Donate it to a

fire station or other

worthy organization.

Day 4: Bake several

dozen cookies and


them to a



Day 5: Go to a

park and


up litter.

Day 6: Volunteer to

play with animals at

an animal shelter.

Day 7: Choose a fam-

ily with young children

to sit with in church

this Sabbath and help

keep them engaged.

Day 8: If you knit or crochet,

make several baby

blankets. If not, purchase

several receiving

blankets. Then donate

them to a homeless

shelter or community

service center.

Day 9: Organize a

campaign to raise

funds for an item in

the ADRA gift catalog


Day 10: Ask your public

library if you can

volunteer to organize

a reading hour for

children once a week.

Day 11: Do you have a

garden? Plant an

extra tomato plant.

Use those tomatoes toes

to share with others.

No garden? Buy some

extra produce at the

grocery store.

Day 12: Buy some

fresh flowers and surprise

a friend.

Day 13: Take an

elderly church member

shopping ping or offer

to pick up

groceries for


Day 14: Offer to teach

a Sabbath school

class in one of the

children’s divisions.

Day 15: Organize kids

in your congregation

and go to several

church members’

homes to wash their

car for free. Make sure

you bring all the


Day 16: Organize

kickball or softball

games with kids from

your church and/or


Day 17: Volunteer to

help at Vacation

Bible School.

Day 18: Think of items

new parents might

need and create several

kits to give when a baby

is born. Drop them off

at your local hospital or

at your church’s community


Day 19: Plan a picnic

and invite people

you’ve never had to

your home to join you.

Day 20: Is there a

place in your neighborhood

that could use

some brightening?

Plant some flowers

and maintain them.

Day 21: Visit a nursing

home. Find three

elderly people and

have a conversation.

Day 22: Offer to wash

the windows of your

church (this one might

take a larger team to

accomplish, depending

on the size of your


Day 23: Build a birdhouse

and place it

somewhere in your


Day 24: July is

National Blueberry

Month. Plan to pick or

buy blueberries. Get

some extra for friends

and surprise them.

28 (508) | www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013

Day 25: Does your

church operate a

school? Call the principal

and volunteer to

do some summer

cleanup projects.

Day 26: Send a donation

online to Christian

Record to help a

blind child go to camp


click on “How You Can


Day 27: Take a small

child or a friendly,

well-trained pet to

visit a nursing home.

The residents love

animals and babies!

Day 28: Select five

people in your church

you haven’t seen for a

while and write them

each a note.

Day 29: July is

National Ice Cream

Month. Pick up an

elderly person and

take them out for ice


Day 30: Take some

kids from your church

to a creek or river area

and clean up the


Day 31: Offer to babysit

a church member’s

or neighbor’s children

to give them a muchneeded


Day 32: Ask your

church office for the

names of three people

with July birthdays.

Surprise them

by sending a card.

Day 33: Is there a

playground in your


Adopt it. Clean it up.

Add new mulch.

Wash and repair

some of the


Day 34: Have your

kids color pictures for

people in the hospital.

No kids? “Adopt”

some church children

or neighborhood kids

and supply all the

paper and crayons.

Day 35: Plan special

music for Sabbath

school this week. If

you can’t do it yourself,

recruit someone

who can!

Day 36: Offer to help

an elderly person

with their


Day 37: Does your

church have flowers in the

sanctuary on Sabbath?

Sponsor a bouquet and

surprise someone, or

bring a bouquet in from

your garden for this coming


Day 38: Find a

museum you enjoy

and volunteer to be a

museum guide.

Day 39: Go to the

local community center

and volunteer.

Day 40: Buy a few

toys and donate

them to a community

toy closet.

Day 41: Offer to care

for someone’s s pets

while they are on


Day 42: Invite itepeople to your home for a

hymn sing.

Day 43: Visiting a

beach this summer?

Surprise a person

with a free cold drink.

Day 44: Organize a

community dog wash

with the kids from

your church—all for

free, of course.

Day 45: Go to a busy

park and set up a free

lemonade stand for

those who are there.

Day 46: Write your

pastor(s) a note of

appreciation for their


Day 47: Buy a gift

card from the grocery

store and give it to

someone in need.

Day 48: Buy a few

bird feeders and hang

them up in your yard.

Make sure you keep

them filled!

Day 49: Organize all

those in your church

who play an instrument

into a band or

orchestra. Play for the

song service.

Day 50: “Adopt” a

grandparent in your

church. Find meaningful

ways to keep in

touch with them.

Day 51: Bake some

brownies. Put individual

ones in small

bags and hang them

on your neighbors’

doors with a “Have a

good day!” note.

Day 52: Buy school

supplies and make up

some school kits to

donate to a local

school for kids that

can’t afford them.

Day 53: Ask your

church for the name of

a homebound church

member. Call or visit.

(Be sure to check their

availability first.)

Day 54: Plan and

cook an entire meal

and take it to a young


Day 55: August is

National Peach

Month. Buy some

fresh peaches and

share them with your


Day 56: Arrange for a

vespers for your

church. Include people

who might not

often get asked to do


Day 57: Almost time

for school. Organize

your neighborhood

kids in either a readathon

or mathathon.

Raise money for a

community project.

Day 58: Head to a

nursing home and

spend some time

reading aloud to


Day 59: Support a

missionary through

Adventist Frontier

Missions (www.


Day 60: Offer to take

the neighbor’s dog

for a walk.

www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (509) 29


Summer Special


MOUNT HOOD MEMORIES: The author (left) with his father,

Jere, and brother, Troy.


All seems eerily quiet in room 14 of the intensive care unit (ICU), except for

the metronomic beeping of the ventilator that is helping my father

breathe. Our family’s three-year journey through the valley of the

shadow of cancer is nearing its end.

I find myself wrestling with God. This isn’t how it’s supposed

to end. Doesn’t the Bible ask us to pray for God to raise up workers

for the harvest? Dad spent his entire life as a pastor, sacrificing

to travel around the world with the gospel. Why haven’t You

answered our prayers, God?

Dad’s unconscious body, still young looking at 61 years, is

finally collapsing under the weight of this hated disease. As the doctor prepares to

remove the life-sustaining breathing tube, I allow my mind to wander back to another

day of great consequence for our family just a decade before.

Heading for the Summit

Crisp, chilly air blows against my face as I strap on the last of my gear. I hoist a

pickax and rope onto my shoulders. We’re amateur climbers, but for as long as our

family has lived in the Pacific Northwest and caught glimpses of its majesty, we’ve

wanted to conquer Oregon’s 11,240-foot Mount Hood.

Standing outside Timberline Lodge on this early spring morning, I look around at the

other three members of the climbing team: my brother, Troy, a college junior; my dad,

Jere; and our guide, Jim, who’s made more than 70 successful ascents to the peak of

Mount Hood in his 70-plus years of life. Legend has it that Jim once biked the 60 miles

from Portland to the mountain, climbed to the top, then biked home, all before sunset.

As we begin our ascent, snow crunches beneath our hiking boots, and the first hour

passes quickly on fresh legs. By 4:50 a.m. we can see the sun silhouetting Mount Hood’s

noble peak. The light also makes the craggy snow-patched cliffs around us sparkle.

I think of our morning worship and the poetic words of King David: “I lift up my

eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the

Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth”

(Ps. 121:1, 2).

As our hike continues, we begin to

spread out over the vast face of the

mountain, each of us climbing at a rate

that suits us. We begin to feel the added

weight of each unnecessary ounce in our

backpacks. It reminds me of the wisdom

of the apostle Paul when he spoke of the

Christian journey: “Let us throw off

everything that hinders and the sin that

so easily entangles” (Heb. 12:1).

Watching the subtle changes in the

peaceful beauty surrounding me, I grow

introspective. Questions from my heart

that have surfaced more than a few times

begin to pour into my mind: God, where

are You? Why do You remain so distant from

me, even as I seek You? Are You leading me on

this path of life, or am I to find my own way?

Suddenly my thoughts are interrupted

as my feet fall through deeper

snow. It’s getting more extreme ahead.

We take a swig from our canteens, and

Jim attaches his crampons, mountain

climbing ice cleats, to his boots and

instructs us to do the same.

By 6:00 a.m. we begin hiking again, and

the elevation grade becomes noticeably

steeper. I shed a layer of clothing as the

sun’s radiance and my own body temperature

begin to climb. With the sun beating

down on our backs and on the glazed

30 (510) | www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013

snow in front of us, Troy and I chide

ourselves for being foolish enough to

attempt such a climb without eye protection.

A rookie mistake.

Yet again King David’s encouraging

words come to mind: “The Lord

watches over you—the Lord is your

shade at your right hand; the sun will

not harm you by day, nor the moon by

night” (Ps. 121:5, 6).

Guided Along

As the peak, our goal, rises

ever before us, it motivates

me to place one foot ahead of the

other, to keep climbing higher. But

gradually our climb gets more challenging.

The three of us stay close to

our guide, whose physical fitness and

stamina amaze me. Jim, the only one who

really feels like talking at this point,

shares climbing tips and stories from his

50 years of service on the Mount Hood

Search and Rescue Team and Ski Patrol.

“Right over there,” he calls out, “is

where some college students, trapped by a

blizzard for more than a week and a half,

survived in a snow cave. They had no food,

and they melted snow for drinking water

with heat from their own bodies.

“And right up there,” Jim points to a

rock outcropping, “we pulled out eight

high school students and their guide after

an ill-planned expedition. Although we

were able to get

a helicopter in

and airlift them

out, the elements


too much for all

but two of them.

They just

weren’t prepared,

and it

cost them their

lives.” The value

of having Jim





along as our experienced guide is continually

reinforced in my mind.

By midmorning we reach a point near

the peak referred to as the Hogsback, the

most treacherous part of the ascent up the

west slope of Mount Hood. The Hogsback? I

chuckle to myself. It must have been named by

a delirious climber, famished with hunger, who

saw a mirage in every outcropping!

I soon discover that the Hogsback is a

narrow footpath sloping steeply

between two sharp precipices on either

side. One missed step could send a hiker

on a sudden, frantic slide hundreds of

feet toward the boulders and cliffs below.

Jim, who’s been warning us of the

danger in a serious tone of voice, tells

us, “Not two weeks ago a climber carelessly

moved too close to the edge and

lost his balance. As his partner looked

on helplessly, the climber shot down the

icy slope with pickax in tow, stopping

only as he slammed into the jagged

rocks below. He was broken and

bruised but, amazingly, alive.”

A small chill runs down my spine as I

strain to see the jagged rocks that Jim

refers to. I get the picture, and I don’t

need any more dramatic stories to convince

me that the added weight of the

rope I’m carrying is well worth the effort.

Step by carefully balanced step we make

our way higher and higher up the Hogsback

to the rhythmic sound of clinking pickaxes.

More of Psalm 121 echoes in my mind: “He

will not let your foot slip—he who watches

over you will not slumber” (verse 3).

Step by Step

After much struggle we reach the crest;

a pair of tall rock cliffs await us, guarding

either side of the path. I smile at the irony

as Jim tells me their name—

Heaven’s Gates. We pass through

Heaven’s Gates, and what a wonderful

sight opens before our

eyes—the peak of Mount Hood. We’ve

made it! An occasional cloud passing

close enough to touch is the only obstacle

between us and an astounding

360-degree view of the surrounding hills,

valleys, forests, and secluded lakes. In the

distance stands Washington’s stately

Mount Rainier, and near it the active volcano

Mount St. Helens.

The four of us stand in awe for many

minutes, just soaking in the scenery, one

grand picture of God’s creative perfection.

From our distant vantage point all seems

right with the world. Our journey is complete.

We have conquered Mount Hood!

Later, while returning home from the

mountain, I realize that the experience

has given me subtle yet provocative

answers to some of the deep questions

that had plagued my mind on the way up:

God, are You leading me on this path of life?

A Chinese proverb asks, “How do you

eat an elephant?”

The answer: One bite at a time.

This day I have learned how to conquer

a mountain: one step at a time.

That’s how God leads me in life, too.

I have a clearer perception that God

seldom promises to reveal to us the distant

future. He doesn’t say He’ll be a

floodlight and show us the road miles

up ahead. But He does promise to be “a

lamp for my feet, and a light on my

path” (Psalm 119:105).

The Present Challenge

The urgency of my surroundings in

ICU draws me back from the simpler,

happier memories with Dad. The doctor

has just removed the breathing tube,

and we gather to hold hands in a small

family circle, awaiting the end.

Throughout this traumatic cancer journey,

Dad had always been the one to buoy

us up with his optimistic faith in God’s

purposes. Recently someone had even

made a ball cap for him expressing one of

his familiar phrases when he was asked

whether or not he felt God would heal him.

The cap simply said, “It gets better either

way!” Either God heals, or else we awake to

an eternity of heavenly joy, “in the twinkling

of an eye” (1 Cor. 15:52).

Dad would remind us that no matter

how horrific Satan’s attacks, by the time

evil reaches a child of God it will have

passed through God’s filter, and He will

see that the suffering will work for our

eternal good and that of others.

A hospital housekeeper added her

wisdom one day, sharing: “Without a

test, there’s no testimony.”

As the moments in ICU draw on, sudwww.AdventistReview.org

| June 13, 2013 | (511) 31

denly the pulse rate blinking on the

heart monitor begins to slide rapidly. We

do our best to say our last goodbyes.

Then, in a moment, my precious father

breathes his last earthly breath.

There was stillness in the room for

many moments, and in those moments

each of us in that room agree, a peace was

present. In those final moments of death

there was not a desperate, frantic clinging

to our loved one’s last gasp of life, but a

peace and hope that the world would not

understand. A comforting presence that

makes all the difference in the world at

such a moment, and a feeling of being held

that makes me believe that everything we

hope for in eternity is really true!

Together we laid our hands on Dad one

last time and handed him over to God with

a song of praise: “I love You, Lord, and I lift

my voice to worship You, oh, my soul

rejoice. Take joy, my King, in what You hear.

May it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your


It has been said that the truest test of

character comes when a person does

not receive that which they sincerely

believe they rightfully deserve. Our family

did not experience the healing for

which we had hoped, believed, and

prayed. But God is sovereign. God loves

us, and He knows exactly what He is

doing in the lives of His children.

A few days later, as my brother, Troy,

and I, delicately placed the soil over the

burial site on a little hill called Mount

Hope, we could envision with eyes of

faith the day when, just like back on

Mount Hood, we will again pass

through the Heavenly Gates and stand

with Dad on the mountaintop.







1. When have you been challenged

in reaching a goal that was physically

treacherous? What lessons

did you learn? List three.

2. How do the challenges of life

affect our spiritual condition? Is it

all right to question God?

3. When have you been disappointed

that God didn’t

answer your prayers as you

think He should have? Are

you still disappointed? Why,

or why ynot



On what have you

learned to anchor

your faith? Does

it always


www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (513) 33


Summer Special









The meeting was held in our

downtown library with its

imposing facade that says

clean and inviting. In the

meeting hall a diverse panel

of writers took turns making 10-minute

presentations about the writing life. A

group of established and would-be

writers, ever on the lookout for ways to

hone our craft, paid close attention.

The third speaker was an impressive

specimen of a man: more than six feet

tall, corpulent, dressed in a flowing robe,

and wearing a skullcap. An Episcopal

priest, he said he belonged to a monastic

order whose members “live and work in

the real world.” As he spoke, the two

presentations preceding his became forgettable,

outvoiced by his resonant tones

and the stinging words he dropped on

our ears right from the start.

“I have chosen to wash the feet of the

homeless,” the priest said concerning

his vocation. Disturbing stuff, I told

myself. Does he really do that, or is he speaking

metaphorically? What about the promised

presentation on writing? I wondered.

The priest read some poems written by

He spoke with compelling compassion,

like one who actually washed the feet of

the homeless. The fire in his soul seemed

inspired by that Passionate One. He, too,

had nowhere to lay His head. He, too,

with towel and basin stooped to wash the

feet of those who seemed undeserving of

His selfless gesture.

A Dose of Reality

The meeting ended, and a number of

individuals crowded around the presenters.

I dashed for the exit. On the

library landing I paused in recognition.

Sitting there was the same young man I

had passed on my way into the building.

Being, at times, somewhat of a onewoman

Sunshine Band, I felt compelled

to say something to him.

“You’ve been here a long time,” I said

with a hint of cheer in my voice.

“Yeah,” he said from where he sat, his

body draped over two tiers of the library

steps. He lifted tired eyes to meet mine.

Earlier when I passed, he was sitting on

a ledge next to two companions. They

seemed a group of normal youth, sharing

a pleasant afternoon together. The

others were gone now, and he was left

huddled to one side of the library steps.

“I Wash Feet”

the homeless people he served. The

pungent language pierced the carapace

of our well-housed consciences.

“I wash the feet of the homeless,” the

priest repeated. What does he mean? Does he

really get down on his knees to wash their feet,

or is he using a gratuitous figure of speech? I

listened and tried to decipher his meaning.

“The homeless live in the real world,”

the burly priest said in a voice that

stabbed the ear as well as the heart. He

was bringing us moral discomfort.

The priest continued to speak with

fierce passion on behalf of those who

lived without the basic necessities of food

and shelter. Anger rumbled in his throat.

“I saw you when I came in,” I told

him, not knowing why I continued to

speak with him.

“I haven’t left. I’m homeless.” A teenage

face, clean-shaven, looked up at me.

He must have seen my shock, even felt

it. “I’m trying to get my GED,” he added,

looking away from me, “but I haven’t

been going for about two weeks.”

“There’s a bus that comes right onto

the campus,” I offered.

“Yeah, but I don’t have the money to

pay the fare.” Our conversation sounded

unreal to me. “I sleep out here. I wait till

they close up. Then I go over there.” He

stuck out his chin in the direction of

34 (514) | www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013

some benches. My helplessness weighed

heavily on me. Then I remembered.

“One of the persons in there works with

the homeless. He’s a priest. You’ll see him in

his robe. Talk to him when he comes out.”

I paused and said, “I hate to leave you

here without doing anything to help you.”

His eyes seemed to say, “I understand.”

What else can I tell him? He needs a place

to lie down and sleep. “Don’t forget to

watch for the priest when he comes out.

See if he can help you.”




cession. The promise sounded hollow,

but I meant it sincerely. I walked to my

car, feeling that I should take him in,

but I couldn’t, so I left him to the priest.

Washing Feet

Homelessness is pervasive; it’s not just

out in the city’s streets. It can intersect

our lives in unusual places. In a classroom

of fewer than 20 students it is easy to

notice when one is missing. The young

woman had been absent for about two

weeks, so I gave up on her. Then she suddenly

appeared, and I tried to understand.

“Let’s talk after class,” I told her.

When we met just outside the classroom

door, she said, “I’ve been homeless.”

I gasped and wasn’t able to do any

more than put my hand on her shoulder.

“My children and I had to move out of

our apartment because of mold after the

heavy rains. We’ve been sleeping in our

car.” Tears welled up in my eyes. Perhaps

she saw them.

“We’re OK now,” she said reassuringly.

“We’re staying with a friend.”

I encouraged her and tried to bring out

Living the Story

There were three in the story told long

ago. One gathered up the folds of his

robe and passed by on the other side.

Another had a desire to see but no will

to act. He looked at the man—bruised,

wounded, and lying by the roadside—

and turned away. He was a priest. Surely

this compassionate priest who washes

the feet of the homeless will not pass by

on the other side.

Feeling useless, I hesitated to leave

the young man. “I’ll

say a prayer for

you,” I told

him as a

parting conthe

basin and towel. I told her about the

help that was available in the Student Services

office on campus. She promised to go.

After two or so class periods, she was

gone again and stayed away for a while.

Then she returned.

“I have a place,” she told me excitedly.

“We’re fine.” I washed her feet with my

understanding. I knew I couldn’t give

her grades based on sympathy, but I

told her I’d make myself available to

help her catch up on her work. To wash

feet, we have to bend.

We are all called to be part of “a royal

priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9), but it is doubtful

that any of us wash the feet of the

homeless, either literally or metaphorically.

However, the words of a plainspeaking

priest can make us aware of our

need to have a heart that goes beyond a

prayer or a recommendation. Compassion

dictates that we go about our daily

duties ever mindful to carry a basin and a

towel to “wash the feet” of anyone we

meet who may need our help.









1. In one sentence, state your personal philosophy

regarding helping those who are


2. What kind of personal contact have you

had with people who are homeless?

Looking back, do you consider those

experiences positive or negative?

3. On a scale of one to 10, Jesus would

probably treat those who are homeless

as a 10. What’s your score? (Be honest.)

4. How far are you willing to go to help

those who are homeless? List three practical

things you would be willing to do.

www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (515) 35



Su mm

m er Spe



36 (516) | www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013




was near 20 years of age when I

decided to visit relatives in the midwest

of the United States. I left home

in Oregon, headed to Michigan to

visit my uncle and his wife. Other

relatives lived farther east, but this uncle

had worked for years in the Cadillac division

of General Motors. They lived about

10 miles north of Detroit.

They were happy to see me, and they

invited me to stay with them. In order not

to be a burden to them, I found a job as a

caddy at the Clinton Valley Country Club.

An Unusual Foursome

After working for some time, I was

doing quite well financially. I wasn’t getting

rich, but I enjoyed working outdoors.

One Monday morning four Catholic

priests arrived at the course. One was

the bishop of Detroit. The priest I caddied

for lived in Mount Clemens, farther

north and a little east of Detroit.

He was a friendly, excellent conversationalist,

and I enjoyed our time

together. Even though I was only a caddy,

he spoke to me as though I was his equal.

As we approached the last few holes, he

asked, “Son, what church do you go to?”

My mind suddenly went blank. We

had gone to a Baptist church at times,

because my mother had a Baptist background.

When we lived in Cornelius,

Oregon, two Seventh-day Adventists

came to our house and proposed Bible

studies. My mother decided to take the

studies, and the two men, Mr. Featherston

and Mr. Van Hook, studied with her.

My mother was later baptized into

the church. I was only 4 years old when

she was baptized in the Tualatin River. I

wasn’t going to any church when the

priest asked me that question.

But there on the golf course I thought

about my mother and said, “I’m a Seventh-day


Without hesitation the priest said, “Saturday

is right. Hang on to it. Never let it go.”

Not long afterward I decided to become

a Seventh-day Adventist.





Now I live in North Carolina. Every

Wednesday I attend a Methodist Bible

study, made up mostly of women, a few

of whom are Baptist. During the past

year we have furnished each home represented

with the five-volume set of the

Conflict of the Ages Series, some 20 sets

so far.

Some time ago I told my story to the

people at our Bible study. When I finished,

one woman said, “You were converted by

a Catholic priest.” And I wonder: If his

words so influenced me, what influence

did they have on his own life?





1. Think carefully back over

your experience as a Christian.

Are there any unusual

influences that brought you

to where you are now in

your spiritual walk? What

were they?

2. What do this story, and

your own, say about the

mysterious working of

God’s Spirit?

3. When have you had an

impromptu conversation

that gave you an opportunity

to share your faith?

What happened?

4. How do you make yourself

available to the leading of

the Holy Spirit? What spiritual

disciplines mean the

most to you?

www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (517) 37

Introducing the Why

Taking Matters Into God’s Hands


his chance to end this madness. But before plunging the blade into his back, the king-to-be paused and realized the man in

front of him wasn’t just any old king: this was God’s king.

I wonder what it must have been like to be hunted like wild game by the man you had saved. Without

David, Saul’s reign would have ended when Goliath of Gath threatened to make slaves out of the Israelites

unless someone defeated him in a one-on-one battle. In modern vernacular, the name Goliath is

used to characterize a seemingly unstoppable force or one’s greatest personal struggle. As the shepherd erd

boy with five stones and no armor proved, Goliaths aren’t defeated by normal human means.

After Goliath’s death, Israel enjoyed a steady rise in power. At first Saul gave David his due. However, er,

as David’s popularity increased, Saul started to view the young man as a threat to his throne. One day,

after a victorious battle, women began dancing and singing in the streets. “Saul has slain thousands,

and David his tens of thousands.”

At first Saul’s plots to put an end to David were subtle. He even used his daughter’s hand in marriage

as a method to have David destroyed by the Philistines. But as David’s popularity grew, Saul’s tactics cs

became more overt. After David was nearly hit by a flying spear, he knew it was time to run.

What followed was a tactical game of cat and mouse that pitted Saul and his men against David and

his loyal followers. One day, however, the roles were suddenly reversed.

Letting down his guard, Saul slipped into a cave without his bodyguards. Unbeknown to the king,

David and his men were already hiding in the crevice. This was David’s chance to end the madness s

once and for all. But as he snuck up behind Saul, another thought entered his mind. How could I kill

the man God Himself had anointed as king over Israel?

David had every reason to kill Saul. First of all, Saul was trying to kill him; that’s self-defense.

Furthermore, after being anointed by the prophet Samuel, David was the rightful king of Israel; Saul

had blown his chance. And as evidenced by the women fawning over him after battles won, the people e

clearly would have followed David.

Yet, although David could have easily justified the murder, he merely cut off a piece of Saul’s robe to

show the hardened king that he’d mercifully spared his life.

Yes, David would become king. But he wanted it to be on God’s terms, not his.



Let God Make It Happen

I’m struck by the significance of this story found in 1 Samuel 24, especially compared to other “heroes”

of the Bible. Take Jacob, for instance. God also promised Jacob a great position. He, not his older brother,

would be the leader of their family. But when Jacob became fearful that God was not going to live up to His

word, he took matters into his own hands and deceived his father. Although Jacob ultimately succeeded in

life, deception followed him at every turn.

Jacob tried to gain his blessing through deception; David waited for God to fulfill His promise.

As humans, our tendency can be to try to run ahead and claim that which, to us, is rightfully ours. But like

David, the man after God’s own heart, we are called to humble ourselves and let God do His thing in His


“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter


Has God promised you something? Maybe a new position at work, or that breakthrough for which you’ve

been longing. Don’t step out of bounds by trying to directly or subtly fulfill God’s word for Him.

No matter how easy it is to justify taking matters into your own hands, let the One who made the promise

be the One who fulfills it.



www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (519) 39

Summer Special




The following is an abbreviated excerpt from the book

Highly Committed, by DeWitt S. Williams.—Editors.




FIRST GENERATION: Family pioneers

Isabella and William Henry Wilson

The day was full of surprises. First, the weather had turned hot—

really hot for that part of California in 1904. Steam vapors streamed

up from the sawdust floor in the worship tent in shimmering wisps.

The last of several gifted and long-winded preachers sitting on the

raised plank platform had just finished speaking, and Ellen White,

dressed in simple black, was being introduced. Ellen White, who

lived in St. Helena, California, at that time, was the featured speaker of the day.

Regular church services at Healdsburg usually finished shortly after noon, but

this was camp meeting, not just church. There were so many outstanding speakers

that nobody paid much attention to the

time or the heat.

Isabella Scott Wilson sat halfway

toward the front with her four sons—

William George, Robert Ray, Nathaniel

Carter, and Walter Scott Wilson—and her

husband, William Henry Wilson. They

had married 17 years earlier in 1887, and

Isabella soon after accepted the teachings

of, and joined, the Seventh-day Adventist

Church. Her husband, however, rarely

attended the church meetings. William

was not opposed to church. He didn’t use

liquor or tobacco or those sorts of things.

He didn’t party. He lived very carefully

and was very dedicated to his wife and

children. He just didn’t want to be

involved in religious matters.

Isabella and the four boys had spent

the week camped under the trees in a

tent enjoying the spiritual feast. William

Henry then surprised Isabella by

agreeing to come to camp meeting that

morning, and her heart filled with

anticipation when she saw him drive up

in his spring wagon pulled by two

horses. He tied up the horses, fed them

a little bit, came inside the big tent, and

sat next to his family. Isabella offered a

silent prayer that God would speak

through Sister White directly to her

husband’s heart. 1

Ellen G. White’s sermon was not long,

about 30 minutes. She then extended an

invitation to the congregation: “Today, if

you hear His voice, harden not your

heart. God wants you to give your heart

to him now. Today, you must prepare

yourself for the coming of Jesus.”

She paused, then spoke again, it

seemed, directly to William: “If God is

telling you to join His family and prepare

for a home in heaven, come down

now and give your heart to Him.”

William stood up and walked down the

sawdust center aisle. Sister White shook

his hand and welcomed him into the

Christian family and the Adventist Church.

Tears of happiness streamed down Isabella’s

face. Other members of the Healdsburg

church who knew her and her family

were also wiping tears from their eyes.

In a few weeks the old Healdsburg

church had a baptism, and William Henry

Wilson was baptized. There was joy in

40 (520)

| www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013

heaven but also great joy in the Wilson

home! After his baptism and throughout

the rest of his life, whenever he had a little

time from his many farm activities, William

“would sit by the dining room window

with his Bible and The Desire of Ages or

The Great Controversy, feeding his own soul

with the precious things of God.” 2

William was a changed man from that

day on. His faith in the Bible and the Spirit

of Prophecy grew stronger. In the evenings

after supper he would look for his Bible

and copies of his favorite Ellen White

books, sit in his comfortable chair by the

dining room window, and begin reading.

A Committed Life

William was born in Donegal County,

Ireland, April 25, 1858. He had met Isabella,

also from Donegal, Ireland,

shortly after he came to America. They

married in Eureka, California, March 10,

1887, and lived in that area long enough

to have their first son, William George

Wilson. For about three years they lived

in Canada. The 1891 Census of Canada

shows them living in the province of

Ontario and notes their religion as

being Methodist. From about 1892 they

resided in California, where William

worked as an engineer and businessman,

for the most part in Humboldt

County. He later purchased a farm in

Healdsburg and became a successful

fruit farmer and cattle rancher. He had

watched Isabella closely and knew that

she lived out her faith, and he had come

to respect the doctrines of Seventh-day

Adventists. Before, he was happy to

come to an occasional camp meeting

and other services, but he didn’t want to

commit to Christ or to religion. Now he

pursued religion with vigor.

The church nominating committee

quickly elected William as a deacon, then

an elder, and then first elder. Whenever

Mrs. White was speaking in the area, he

made it a special duty to attend. She was

his favorite speaker and author. The fact

that he had joined the church from an

altar call of the special messenger to the

Adventists was a precious thought to

him. He often mentioned this connection

with the Spirit of Prophecy and let

others know that God had been good in

favoring the church with these wonderful

sources of light and truth.

William and Isabella were quite concerned

about their four sons and

wanted them to be dedicated to the service

of the church and trained for usefulness.

During the late hours of the

night, while the house was quiet with

sleep, the three youngest boys especially

were often a topic of the couple’s deep

prayers and meditation.

William George, the eldest, had completed

his studies at the Healdsburg

High School in 1907 and then left home

for Western Normal Institute, later

called Lodi Normal School, an Adventist

institution. He graduated in 1909 in the

school’s first graduating class.

A young woman in the same class

caught his eye. Soon after graduation, in

June 1910, he and Edith G. Pierce were

married. They both wanted to be teachers,

and they sought employment at

Mountain View Church School some 100

miles from Healdsburg. The little school

hired William George as the principal/

teacher and Edith as one of the teachers.

Robert Ray, Nathaniel Carter, and Walter

Scott Wilson were growing rapidly.

Nathaniel later reflected on his early boyhood:

“I started school in Healdsburg at

Old Healdsburg College, and I recall those

days and years with much joy. When

Healdsburg College was closed, I continued

school in the schoolrooms in the big

old SDA church. I very well remember Sister

White coming to the school and

speaking to us and going up and down

the aisle and putting her hand on each

child and wishing us God’s blessings.” 3

The parents thought of the tremendous

expense it would be to send all three of the

boys to Lodi Normal School. So after much

prayer, they pulled up stakes in Healdsburg

and purchased a farm near Lodi. They

felt good knowing that their children

would live under the parental roof and at

the same time be near an academy and a

teacher-training school. On January 11,

1911, they settled into their new home,

and the boys were enrolled in school.

A Tragic Loss

A week after moving to Lodi, William

opined to his wife, “Isabella, I don’t



Carter Wilson is one of Isabella and

William’s four sons and a former

GC vice president.


Clayton Wilson is Nathaniel Carter’s

son and a former GC president.



think I’m going to prayer meeting

tonight. I don’t feel well. I’m going to lie

down.” As the day wore on William

grew worse. Isabella called for a doctor,

who said her husband had la grippe. All

during the next week William rested in

bed but continued to grow even worse.

Again the doctor was called.

“I believe he has spinal meningitis,”

the doctor said. “Let him stay in bed,

and I’ll stop by again in a few days.”

William Henry, however, became

weaker and weaker.

Feeling his strength slip away, William

called Isabella to his side. “I think

my time here on earth is about to end.

Call Ray, Nathaniel, and Walter, and tell

them to come to my bedside.”

By this time William George, their

eldest son, had arrived with his wife,

Edith, as well as Elder J. N. Loughborough.

Loughborough prayed a fervent

prayer for forgiveness of sins, peace,

and rest for Brother Wilson and a special

prayer for the three youngest boys

standing around their fading father.

Brother Wilson asked his family to

forgive him for anything he had done

wrong. He told his wife he loved her and

thanked her for introducing him to the

Lord. He then asked his sons to promise

him that they would never give up the

Sabbath, would faithfully return the

Lord’s tithe, and would prepare themselves

for usefulness in God’s cause.

The boys said, “Yes, we promise,” and

www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (521) 41



wife, Nancy (center), along with their children, their children’s

spouses, and their grandchildren. Ted Wilson is Neal C. Wilson’s

son and the current GC president.

Loughborough prayed another fervent

prayer. Four days later, on Tuesday, January

31, William closed his eyes forever.

4 Unbelievably, less than a month

after getting the family settled and the

boys enrolled in school, William Henry

Wilson was gone.

William was buried in the Historic

Lodi Memorial Cemetery. Engraved on his

tombstone are the words: “I shall be satisfied,

when I awake, with thy likeness”

(Ps. 17:15, KJV). The Pacific Union Recorder

expressed its


sympathy.” 5

Isabella continued

to work

and pray for her

sons for 12 years

after her husband

died. She

passed to her rest

in California near

Lodi on January

30, 1923. The Wilson

family, in all its generations, owes

to Isabella its dedication to God and to

the Adventist Church.

A Family Faith

No one at that time could have known

that generations of dedicated, committed

workers would come from the Wilson

family. Some would serve in the medical

field, some in publishing, and some in

ministerial and other areas. Three names

especially would become highly wellknown

throughout the Seventh-day Adventist

Church: William’s son N. C.

(Nathaniel Carter) Wilson, a former vice

president of the General Conference; his

grandson N. C. (Neal Clayton) Wilson, a

former president of the General Conference;

and his great-grandson Ted N. C.

(Norman Clair) Wilson, current president

of the General Conference.


From the interview tapes of W. Bruce Wilson, son of

Nathaniel and Hannah Wilson, recorded in the early 1980s

and transcribed by Gwen Woodward-Schmidt, Feb. 2, 2011.


Adventist Review, Sept. 20, 1979, p. 2. The mini-camp

meeting was arranged by a group of local churches and

not an official conference-sponsored camp meeting.


A letter from Nathaniel Carter Wilson to Elder Herbert

Ford, vice president of Alumni Affairs, Pacific Union College,

Nov. 11, 1984.


Pacific Union Recorder, Feb. 16, 1911, pp. 6, 7.


Pacific Union Recorder, Feb. 23, 1911, p. 5.







42 (522)

| www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013

Summer Special


One Year


Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I knew

enough about the “our lady” part to be a

bit concerned (credit: a Catholic

grandma). But the carmel part sounded,

well, delicious and intriguing.

I was 6 and knew I wasn’t going back to public

school for first grade; I overheard my teacher tell

my mother not to send me there. This was fine by

me; I had assumed I’d go to the Adventist school my

mom was to teach at. But after eavesdropping on

my parents’ closed-door discussion, I realized this

caramel lady and I might instead get acquainted.

in Cath

I had spent the first six years of life glued to my

mom’s side, and now my parents were ready to cut

their little girl loose—for a year with the caramel ladies.


Poor April

A fine September morning saw me standing

hand in hand with my mom at the bus stop. I

barely noticed the other kids around us. I did

notice that my hands and underarms were sweating,

and that my stomach flipped and swirled every

time I thought the bus was rounding the corner. I

noticed that my head felt thick, and that my breath

was going in and coming out in little puffs. And

then it was here. The bus.

I dutifully climbed tall, dark steps in my greenplaid

skirt, white cotton blouse, and sturdy black

Mary Janes. I sat down and gulped. As I attempted to

be one with the green bench seat I prayed for safety

from a laundry list of things—mean children, mean

teachers, scary teachers, bad people, embarrassment,

unwanted attention—and wondered why my

parents had done this to me.

Last off the bus, I followed kids into the school,

found my desk, and got ready for prayer and the

pledge. I watched one girl in particular, April, who was

two rows in front of me. She had pretty, straight black

hair, and golden yellow skin. And she was even more

afraid than me, it seemed. She didn’t talk to anyone.

As we finished up with “and justice for all” I

noticed a puddle had formed around April’s feet.

Sister Mary and the other kids noticed too. April left

with the sister, never to return that day.

44 (524) | www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013

The next morning the same thing happened, except April left

with Sister Mary and a bag of clothes. She came back a few minutes

later. Poor April, I thought, as this ritual was repeated day

after day. She’s way more scared than I am. I added April to my

prayers, and remembered to smile at her as often as I could.

Seats, Please!

Lunch was an adventure. I’d carefully and slowly eat, trying

to blend into the sea of uniformed children. We were not

allowed to talk much, but I’d whisper with other kids about

important things such as games to play at recess, how many

times classmate Abraham got in trouble, the latest Muppets

show, and who had what for lunch. I’d cast furtive glances at

Lea, a petite and popular brown-haired girl who had a perfect

Dorothy Hamill cut. I was friends with her, but not best

friends. Yet. I was pals with Melissa, who was a BFF of Lea, so

things were possible.

I was not petite. I did not have perfect auburn hair—mine was

frizzy and “dirty blond.” So I had to work hard to be like Lea. I

begged my mom for the exact same pencil case as Lea. And I tore

it in the same place hers was torn. I was committed.

One day Sister Anita was making announcements from

the front of the lunchroom. About lent, or something. A

priest was up there too. He talked about stuff, above the

low din of eaters and whisperers.

Everyone was focused on the special guests. Melissa and Lea

decided to sneak out to the bathroom. They crouched down

between the rows of students and darted away. Deciding I had

to go too, I followed them. They had a 50-foot lead on me and

were just turning the last corner around tables before the exit

door when Sister Anita stopped talking, then shouted, “Lea!

Melissa! You get back to your seats right now! You have not

been dismissed!” They froze in fear. I froze in fear. I dropped

lower and scurried back to my seat, praying Sister Anita would

not call me out—I knew those twin ice-blue lasers had seen

me. Ninja-like, I slid into my seat. Melissa and Lea inched back

and took their seats, mortified and red-faced. After that, I

wasn’t as keen on being just like Lea.


Easter was a big deal at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. In addition

to daily recitation of the Hail Mary and Our Father prayers,

we listened to and spoke the Act of Contrition. We went to a

special mass in the church, where the priest sang-spoke a lot.

I didn’t retain much of what transpired—all I could think

about was the mark burning into my forehead.

Upon entering the sanctuary, I thought I knew what would

happen—I’d been to Mass with my grandma. Obligatory kneel

by pew followed by sign of the cross. Then we’d sit down, and

stand up, and sit down, kneel, stand up, sit down, repeat

“Lord, hear our prayer” and a few other key phrases . . . I was

not prepared for what did occur.

Once the signal was given, our entire class walked up to the

front of the church, single file, where the priest plunged his

index finger into black powder and drew on the children’s

foreheads. My anxiety ratcheted up about 20 notches. Faint,

hot, worried—this was it, I thought, the mark of the beast. I knew

just enough about the mark and the role of the Catholic

Church in prophecy to be

dangerous. I imagined

refusing and running

away, but I was an obedient

child—and I was terrified

of embarrassment. I

was stuck.

Trying not to hyperventilate,

I reasoned with

God. I don’t think I can avoid this, I told Him. I’m sorry. Please don’t

let this stop me from going to heaven. I’m on Your side. Please don’t let

this be a permanent mark against me. I’ll wash it off as soon as I can.

It does wash off, right?

I was next. I closed my eyes and felt the warm, dry finger

brush an X across my brow. Branded, I sat down and went

through the motions until we journeyed back to class. I do not

like Ash Wednesday, I declared silently. I dared not rub or smear

the cross, as we children were told to leave it untouched.

As I walked down the aisle on the bus after school I licked my

index finger and proceeded to smear, wipe, erase the mark. The

remains of ash likely just looked like a bit of dust, but I still felt

. . . compromised. I ran into our bathroom at home and emerged

a few minutes later with a clean face and relieved spirit.

lic School

More to It

I survived Catholic school. And as an adult I realize the

value of that year. Not only did I gain some independence, and

learn to worry (a little) less, I grew spiritually.

As brisk as Sister Anita was, I knew she was devoted to the

students. Sister Mary was a kind and gentle woman. As different

as their faith was from mine, I still learned dedication and

compassion from them. And with all the praying I did for others—and

myself!—I discovered that fragile little 6-year-olds

can have their own fearful, precious, heartfelt faith too. That

year was more than terror, bus rides, rosaries, and ashes.



www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (525) 45

“Yet I tell you

that not even

Solomon in all

his splendor

was dressed

like one of these.”

—Matthew 6:29

www.AdventistReview.org | June 13, 2013 | (527) 47

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