Pacific Union “All God’s People,” May 29, 2020 S4:E21

In this week’s episode:

—Thunderbird Adventist Academy Principal Drives 300 Hours to Deliver Graduation Gowns—
At Thunderbird Adventist Academy in Scottsdale, Arizona, Principal Jeff Rogers and other staff members took the time to deliver yard signs to the seniors as a small way of celebrating them. Watch the ABC 15 News video via the link below.

—Hawaiian Mission Academy’s Ka Lama Iki Campus Engages Students with Virtual STEM Lab—
At Hawaiian Mission Academy’s Ka Lama Iki campus, the principal and staff wanted to create a science lesson for the students each week. They created interactive videos for all of the students to participate in, using materials they found around their homes!
Watch Online: https://www.facebook.com/HawaiianMissionAcademyKaLamaIki/

—HMA Windward Campus Connects Online—
At HMA’s Windward campus, teachers have worked hard to create happy memories for their students online. On the school Facebook page, they have provided chapel experiences and stories read aloud.
Watch Online: https://www.facebook.com/hma.windwardcampus/

—Highlights from Northern California Conference Schools During Distance Learning—
Distance learning has transformed the Northern California Conference schools. The link to an amazing video is below!
Watch Online: https://vimeo.com/420930477

—Academy Seniors Set Up Scholarships with Unused Class Trip Funds—
At Central Valley Christian Academy in Ceres, Calif., the senior class trip was canceled along with their graduation. The class voted to use their class trip funds to help others in their class pay down the balance on their school bill and they set up two scholarships of $1,000.00 each to help two of next years’ seniors with tuition. What an awesome way to demonstrate Christ’s love to their fellow students!
Learn more about CVCA: http://www.cvcaonline.net/

—Distance Learning a Success at San Gabriel Academy—
At San Gabriel Academy in the Southern California Conference, plans for an alternate education design were already underway when the conference closed its schools. The curriculum did not change and the students readily adapted. Virtual interaction paired with a strong, Christ-centered curriculum is the name of the game!
Read More: https://scc.adventist.org/stories/distance-learning-a-success-at-san-gabriel-academy

—Escondido Music Ministry Class Teacher Surprises Students for Virtual Week of Prayer—
Escondido Adventist Academy’s Music Ministry class did something very special. The students decided to make a virtual band video as a way to express worship and stay engaged, and their teacher surprised them by playing the video for the first time on the last day of their virtual Week of Prayer.
Watch online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk6b8v5sQC4&feature=youtu.be
Learn More: https://www.eaaschool.org/

—Academy Families Reach Out to Frontline Medical Workers—
Families from Riverview Christian Academy in Reno, Nevada, had the opportunity to participate in a community service project for those in their school family who are serving on the frontlines of this pandemic. An RCA parent organized an appreciation gift for a doctor and a nurse who are connected with the school. Learn more in this week’s episode!
Learn More about RCA: http://riverviewacademy.org/

—Pacific Union College Hosts Annual Week of Prayer Online—
At Pacific Union College, the annual Week of Prayer brought students together despite distance.
Additionally, the PUC Facebook page and the PUC Parents and Families page have been the hub for not only sharing relevant information, but also social connection.
Learn More: https://www.facebook.com/pacificunioncollege/
PUC Parents and Families: https://www.facebook.com/pucfamily/

—Holbrook Indian School Adapts to Students’ Needs; Celebrates Graduates—
For the students of Holbrook Indian School, distance learning has presented specific challenges. Learn how the school adapted to meet the needs of all students in this week’s episode. Visit the link below to see messages to their six seniors!
Learn More about Holbrook’s Graduating Class: https://www.holbrookindianschool.org/class-of-2020
Read more: https://adventistfaith.com/news/2020/04/holbrook-distance-learning/

—#LaSierraTogether—Being Together While Apart—
At La Sierra University’s home page, their banner captured our attention.
Learn More: https://lasierra.edu/together/

~ ~ ~

“I am among you as one who serves.” –Luke 22:27

Read a special message to our 2020 graduates!

2020-05-29T15:39:02-07:00May 29th, 2020|All Gods People|

A Conversation with Kenzie

by Connie Vandeman Jeffery
 
My granddaughter is six and loves Kindergarten. Since September, Kenzie’s life has revolved around learning, laughing, playing, discovering a new world of friends, and adoring her teacher. She loves her four-year-old sister Madi and all her cousins with whom she plays in her auntie’s daycare, but school opened her horizons in ways I hadn’t imagined, and she has blossomed into this confident, charming, social, articulate little human with whom I have the most wonderful conversations.
 
Back when school was on, our talks revolved around friends like besties Hazel and Greta and, well, just about everyone in the class. I’d pick her up after class a couple days a week and drop her off at her Auntie’s house on my way back to work, and we’d talk about Barbies, swimming, or plans for a trip to the zoo. And then, there was always “Grandma Friday.” Since both her parents work full time and I’m off on Fridays, I had the privilege of having Fridays with Kenzie from the age of three months. When Madi arrived nearly three years later, I had both girls. Fridays were magical. We had adventures, at their house and later at mine. We’d go on hikes and play Barbies and go to McDonalds for french fries and to the park with the big slides. Grandpa taught the girls English songs and nursery rhymes and played ball with them. Those were the good ole days—and they were only three months ago.
 
March 12 was Kenzie’s last day of “real” school. She played Humpty Dumpty in her class play and dressed like an egg. The class sang songs and acted out Mother Goose rhymes and had snacks with the parents and grandparents afterwards. By the next day, word went out that the school was closed and classes would be online. Her mommy was able to work from home. Her dad had to continue going to work every day at the hospital. Auntie’s daycare shut down, and Kenzie’s life as she knew it was completely changed. She loved being with her mom and Madi all day, and she loved Zoom classes twice a week, but she missed real school.
 
For the first few weeks I didn’t see my son and his family at all, and we live only one mile away. We facetimed and talked on the phone. We sent pictures back and forth. Then, we began to socially distance and see each other outside a couple times a week. I’d go watch the girls swim or sit with them in the backyard at a distance. And we talked. And laughed. And talked some more.
 
It’s difficult to know what children pick up—whether from the news (although, there’s no news on TV in the girls’ house) or from overheard conversations between parents—but I discovered Kenzie had picked up a lot and had great insight. Last week we had a conversation about change.
 
“You know, Grandma, the world is getting very weird,” she stated. “It certainly is,” I agreed, “but ‘weird,’ how?” “Everything is changing,” she said. “I can’t go to school or see my cousins, but I love Zoom class.” I asked her what she missed about actual school and she said, “Everything!” She talked about how change was hard. “I’d like there to be just one thing that wouldn’t change.”
 
“How about Grandma Friday?” I asked. “Maybe that doesn’t need to change.” “Really?” she said. “Will you come here and play with us and take us places every Friday while Mommy works?” I assured her that while I couldn’t spend the entire day with them and take them to the usual places, I would plan to spend time with them, either in person or on the phone, and we’d do crafts and read books and I’d watch them swim and play in the back yard. Kenzie was elated. “Well, that’s one thing that will not change,” she announced. “We can still have Grandma Fridays! Maybe ‘the corona’ isn’t the worst thing!”
 
“That’s so cute,” I said. “The way you said, ‘the corona.’”
 
“Grandma, ‘the corona’ is not cute,” she declared emphatically. And I agreed with her. Then, she ran off to find Madi and tell her about Grandma Fridays being back.
 
Finding one constant in the ever-changing landscape of her life gave Kenzie a moment of joy and caused me to think. What are my constants? There are so many. The unconditional love of my family; the reassuring promises in Scripture; the unchangeable nature of God. The words to “Abide with Me” are going through my mind, especially the second verse:
 
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away
Change and decay in all around I see
O Thou who changest not, abide with me

 
Yes, dear Kenzie, there are some things that will never change. Grandma Fridays may change as you get older, but not the love of God.
 
May the peace and promises of our unchangeable God abide with you today.
 

Connie Vandeman Jeffery is the host of All God’s People, a weekly short video series highlighting the people and ministries of the Pacific Union Conference, and has had a long career in media.

 

2020-05-29T11:47:45-07:00May 29th, 2020|Living God's Love|

Pacific Union “All God’s People,” May 22, 2020 S4:E20

In this week’s episode:

—Thunderbirds Honor Frontline Medical Workers—
We were awestruck last Friday when the United States Air Force Thunderbirds flew across Southern California to honor frontline workers as part of “America Strong.” Six F-16 Fighting Falcons, in delta formation, flew over our hospitals to honor the first responders who are fighting to save the lives of those suffering from coronavirus. They spent an hour and a half buzzing the skies over about 20 medical centers in our region, including Adventist Health hospitals. The nurses and doctors who could, got a chance to step away from the stress, anxiety, and heartache inside the hospitals and for a moment, feel a bit of relief, excitement, and joy. Thank you, U.S. Air Force, for lifting our spirits and saying ‘Thank You’ to frontline workers!
Learn more: https://www.foxla.com/news/thunderbirds-honor-hospital-heroes-in-special-flyover-in-socal

—Arizona “Prayer Bikers” Show Appreciation to First Responders—
In Surprise, Arizona, Pastor Lonnie Melashenko and Ivan Weiss started “Prayer Bikers” just two weeks ago. And in just one week, the group grew! They meet at the Clearview SDA church and ride their bicycles to the local fire station, police station, and hospitals to pray with first responders from a safe distance and to say “Thank You.” Last Sunday, Clearview pastor Dennis Smith and Arizona Conference President Ed Keyes prayed with the group before leaving the church parking lot. Pastor Keyes prayed for Surprise Fire Station No. 6 and the fire engine crew waved their acknowledgment on the way to a call. Not only did the group of Prayer Bikers get wonderful exercise, they had the opportunity to pray with many first responders and fellowship with each other on a glorious sunny day in beautiful Arizona.
Arizona Conference: https://www.azconference.org/

—Oakland Area Churches and The Veg Hub Minister Via Food for the Town—
Food for the Town, an initiative led by The Veg Hub and six Oakland-area churches, is engaging the community with compassion. “We recognize that many families, including those with children, are unable to have healthy food during this crisis due to their financial challenges,” said Chef G. W. Chew, director of The Veg Hub ministry. At the Grand Advent church on April 25, volunteers packed 100 boxes of healthy groceries, including beans, grains, fruits, and vegetables. In addition to the NCC, several food distribution companies supported the effort. The next distribution event will be May 30. Learn more about The Veg Hub via the link below:

—Napa Community Seventh-day Adventist Church Posts Unleavened Bread Tutorial—
If you’re wondering how to participate in a communion service now that we’re worshiping by livestream, we’ve got a resource for you. The Napa Community church is planning a virtual communion service on May 30. Two church members made a video to demonstrate how to make unleavened bread at home, and you just may recognize the instructors: NCC Trust Officer Debi Pedersen and former NCC President Jim Pedersen. This recipe and instructions look so easy. Try making a batch in preparation for communion with your local church family. Thank you, Debi and Jim Pedersen!
Watch the tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H92xU2QQwlc&feature=youtu.be

—Memorial Day Weekend—
This is Memorial Day weekend. Observed on the last Monday of May, it’s a day to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2020 is on Monday, May 25.
Originally known as Decoration Day, it started in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings, and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season. This year the celebration will undoubtedly be colored by the brush of the pandemic, and there will be no parades or large family gatherings. But there will be memories shared and stories told. It will be celebrated in homes across the country.

This time of the year affects everyone differently, even at the most normal of times. Maybe you serve our country now or you used to, maybe you have family members or friends involved in serving, or maybe this is just the start of a three-day weekend for you. However Memorial Day affects you personally, be encouraged to reflect on those who have died in service to our country.

Learn more about Memorial Day: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/memorial-day-history

~ ~ ~

There are many ways to serve God: on the frontlines, in support, and even by saying Thank You. Service is what we do; it’s who we are. Paul describes it this way: “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building” 1 Corinthians 3:9 (NIV). Even though our church buildings are closed, church is not closed because WE are God’s building. And we can find ways to serve.

2020-05-22T10:50:20-07:00May 21st, 2020|All Gods People|

Business is Not as Usual

by Jessyka Dooley

Right off the bat, I’m going to be quite honest about how I’ve been living my life these past few weeks. I am a type A person who is “go! go! go!” until I run out of the mental energy to “go” anywhere else. To be transparent, I feel as if this way of living has been rubbing like sandpaper on my soul. My pendulum swings so forcefully and rapidly that I’m either going at 100 percent or I’m in recovery. Since graduating from college, I have yet to find that sweet spot of balance, somewhere in between doing everything and doing nothing.

There are countless cons resulting from the novel coronavirus; my phone is sure to remind me of that reality every hour. But, my goodness, have I found a pro!

When business was as usual during November 2019, my husband Kiefer and I began listening to audiobooks whenever we were driving in the car together. We had long been anticipating a new book by John Mark Comer, one of our favorite pastors: The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. Ten minutes into this book we had to hit pause and sit there soaking in the words that rang all too true for both of us. We were hurried, rushed, overwhelmed people—and that kind of life is not the way of Jesus. I would like to say this book shook me enough that I radically began to apply its teachings to my life, but that isn’t what happened, at least not completely. Events still needed to be planned, materials still needed to be created, staff still needed to be hired, spreadsheets still needed data, and I still felt the need to find meaning in what I could do.

Fast forward to March 2020. Business is not as usual. Restaurants are closed, offices are virtual, students are distance learning, and the future is uncertain. Amazingly, this crazy time has forced me to slow down. There is still so much work to be done, but it seems more manageable. My schedule is mine to create. There’s no such thing as being too busy to spend quality time in prayer or to go for a walk.

While all might not be right in the world, I encourage you to find your own silver lining. To reclaim your schedule, your family, your relationship with Jesus, your life! Use the opportunity of minimal distractions to set aside deliberate time with God each day. Make meals that will bless your body, exercise, get some fresh air, have meaningful conversations with your family and friends. Use this time to feel more like a human being. God created you to enjoy life, to create, to be filled with joy and peace!

Someday—I hope soon—COVID-19 will be our history and not our present. Life will gradually return to a new normal. So, what will your new normal be?

I leave you with these words from John Mark Comer:

Should you enlist in the war on hurry, remember what’s at stake. You’re not just fighting for a good life, but for a good soul. So, dear reader and friend, you, like me, must make a decision. Not just when your own fork-in-the-road kind of midlife crisis comes (and it will come), but every day. How will you live? (Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, p. 255).

 

Jessyka Dooley is assistant youth director for ministry for the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

 

2020-05-19T12:15:13-07:00May 19th, 2020|Living God's Love|

Pacific Union “All God’s People,” May 15, 2020 S4:E19

—Drive-By Greeting Hosted at Simi Valley Church—
At Simi Valley church in Southern California, Pastors Jan and Phil White started a “drive-by” greeting time after the virtual worship service on Sabbaths. Two weeks ago 20 people showed up in their cars and the pastors prayed with them; collected tithe and offerings; handed out Sabbath School materials for adults and children, and gave out Pastor Phil’s famous “Smile, Jesus Loves You” balloons to the kids. A blessing for all involved! Learn more about the Simi Valley SDA Church via the link below.
SimiAdventist

—Churches Team Up to Host Grocery Drive-Thru—
In Central California, local churches in the South Bay are teaming up to help the community by giving free groceries to families who need it the most while limiting exposure amid COVID-19 restrictions. The Adventist Church in Sunnyvale and other Adventist churches partnered with “Fight the Hate” to host drive-thru free grocery pick-ups.
Read more: https://www.kron4.com/features/kron4-heroes/south-bay-churches-offering-free-drive-thru-grocery-pick-up-service-for-local-community/

—U Matter Grocery Give-a-way Hosted in Fresno—
In Fresno, on Sunday, May 3, several Adventist churches partnered to give away groceries to a thousand families. The giveaway started at 9 a.m., but so many people showed up that they ran out of boxes by noon, two hours early.
About a hundred volunteers packed up 40-thousand pounds of food, wearing gloves and masks as they loaded up cars. Church officials are hoping to do more giveaways at the end of May or early June. We’re so impressed by the hundreds of hours; thousands of pounds of food; and the dedicated volunteers Union-wide who are continuing to feed those in need, during these times. Keep up the great work!
Read more: https://www.yourcentralvalley.com/news/thousands-of-families-received-groceries-from-adventist-church/

—Local Church Helps El Dorado Adventist School Graduates Celebrate—
Like many high schools across the country, El Dorado Adventist School in Placerville, was grappling with how to properly recognize their graduating high school seniors given the pandemic. That’s when a local church came up with a special, heart-warming idea. They decided to take the graduation ceremony on the road. Kelly Gaines is one Academy senior who received a special surprise – right in her own driveway! And she believes this will be more memorable for her than an actual graduation!
Watch on Good Day Sacramento: https://gooddaysacramento.cbslocal.com/video/4537181-driveway-graduation/

—Teacher Appreciation At EAS—
Also at El Dorado Adventist School – last week was Teacher Appreciation Week, and the families did something very special. They took part in a drive-by parade of appreciation for their teachers. The school staff gathered in front of the school (standing the proper distance apart) and watched students and parents drive by holding signs of appreciation. The local police, sheriff, and fire departments also participated in the parade. In addition, teachers received gifts delivered to their homes. Way to go, Placerville, and for all the incredible “drive-by” graduation memories and Teacher Appreciation shown from schools all over our Union – a huge “Thank You!”
Learn more about EAS: https://www.eldoradoadventistschool.com/

—Mental Health Awareness Month—
Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May in the United States since 1949, reaching millions of people in the U.S. through the media, local events, and screenings. In the current circumstances, our own mental health—and that of our families and loved ones—is a very relevant concern. Below are resources from Adventist Health, the CDC, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. With all the exciting and upbeat stories we share with you every week, we recognize that these are extremely stressful, discouraging times for many of us.
We want to be ever mindful of what our church members, family and friends are going through, and offer encouragement and practical suggestions on how to cope. Please check out these links; talk to your pastor, or a counselor, or a trusted friend. Get help if you’re feeling isolated and lonely. There’s help out there for you—just a phone call or a click away.

Adventist Health: https://www.adventisthealth.org/blog/2020/may/taking-care-of-your-mental-health-during-a-pande/

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

National Alliance on Mental Illness: https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Mental-Health-Month

~ ~ ~

“Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone–especially to those in the family of faith.” –Galatians 6:10, NLT

2020-05-14T21:02:58-07:00May 15th, 2020|All Gods People|

Full of Overcoming

by Brigitta Beam

I read a quote from Helen Keller recently that has been sitting with me ever since: “All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.”

For the most part I tend to be an optimistic person, so this idea of overcoming is something I already try to practice every day. However, while living through this upheaval that none of us planned for, some days it’s hard to hold onto hope. We are living in a world that is experiencing terrible suffering. Many are separated from loved ones in one way or another. Even churches are not meeting in person but are still coming together as communities in ways we weren’t sure would be possible before life got wild.

But if you look closely, we are making it through this. Together. We are staying home if we can, to help slow the spread of COVID-19. If we are healthy and able to provide help for those who are more at risk from this virus, we do. We are creating beautiful things to give each other a reprieve from the stress with which we are living. We are overcoming in the best ways we know how. It may be in small or big ways, but we are making it through the best we can.

One of the ways I am making it through is by taking a few moments at the end of each day to thank God for the things that give me hope for our future and the little joys that happened during my day. I find some days are harder than others to express these things, but digging deep to find the hope and joy in life helps pull my focus off the not-so-great things that are seemingly out of my control. The hope I have is this: we will overcome. We will make it through this together—maybe a little worse for the wear, but we will make it. And while we will be heavy with the grief of loss and change, we will continue to hope, to find joy in the little things, and to find ways to help each other in big and small ways.

I hold the words of John 1:5 close to my heart, especially in these times: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (NIV).

I will leave you with this prayer from Laura Jean Truman that has been on my heart lately:

“God,
You made us out of dust and joy.
Carve out space in our tired souls for delight.
Surprise us with small holiness: in unexpected silliness, in porch sunsets, in working with our hands, in neighbors.
Sing our dusty, beloved hearts home to You.
Sing us home to joy.

Amen.”

 

Brigitta Beam is a graduate of Union College and the office manager of Boulder Adventist Church.

 

2020-05-10T11:51:36-07:00May 11th, 2020|Living God's Love|

Pacific Union “All God’s People,” May 8, 2020 S4:E18

In this week’s episode:

—Happy Mother’s Day—

For many of us, our Mother represents the gold standard for unconditional love, and Mother’s Day is a chance to show our appreciation. It’s not really a celebration of how much we love our mothers—although that’s certainly a part of it. The truth is that it’s a day to recognize and celebrate again how much our mothers have loved us.

—Nurse Appreciation Week—

We are right in the middle of National Nurses Week. It’s an extraordinary time for us to think about the contribution that nurses make to our society.

The five states that make up the Pacific Union territory—Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah—are home to nearly a half a million nurses! We are so blessed! Many of these great people are members of our churches and work in Adventist Hospitals. Adventist nurses can be found in every sector of nursing—from doctor’s offices to hospitals to schools to research labs. Many Adventist nurses regard their work as a calling—a ministry—patterning their professional lives after Florence Nightingale, whose vision and courage for nursing first established nursing as a profession.

Florence Nightingale believed that nursing was a calling. She believed that through their work, nurses embody God’s compassion and care.
When we celebrate the lives and contributions of nurses, we are recognizing the divine calling that each one of them fulfills as they go about their ministries. And it’s a reminder that we are called by God to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to have the mind of Christ, and to live our lives within His grace-filled care.

Thank you, Nurses—each of you!

—Teacher Appreciation Week | A Message from the Pacific Union—

To all our teachers in the Pacific Southwest—thank you! God bless you for all you do. Click the link below to watch a short message from Dr. Ricardo Graham, president of the Pacific Union Conference.

A Message of Appreciation for Teachers

To all our teachers in the Pacific Southwest—thank you! God bless you for all you do. #AdventistEducation #LivingGodsLove

Posted by Pacific Union Conference on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Message from the Education Department: https://www.facebook.com/PacificUnionSDA/videos/616617239067107/

~ ~ ~

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13

2020-05-08T04:32:11-07:00May 8th, 2020|All Gods People|

Lessons from El Camino de Santiago

by Kris Knutson

At the end of April 2019, my husband and I embarked on a journey that pilgrims have been taking for a thousand years—the ancient 500-mile pilgrimage called the Way of Saint James (El Camino de Santiago). We chose the Camino Francés route, starting in Southwestern France, climbing over the Pyrenees mountains, and continuing west to the city of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. It took us 36 days from start to finish. This was by far the most challenging, most amazing adventure I have ever embarked on.

I have to admit that this was not my idea to start with. My husband decided to walk it and, not wanting to miss out on an adventure, I signed on as well. We walked many miles in preparation. Clothing and gear were purchased, with special attention paid to the weight of each item, as we would be carrying everything in our backpacks.

Days consisted of waking early and getting on our way before 7:00 a.m. Meals and rest stops were interspersed with walking to arrive at our destination by mid-afternoon. Once settled in our accommodation, we would head out to explore the town we were in, plan for the next day, and settle in for the night.

We slept in dormitory-style hostels ranging in capacity from four people per room to over 100 in a former monastery. We also stayed sometimes in private rooms and splurged on a couple of hotels. Our walk took us through many small towns and some large cities, into ancient churches, through the plains, up and down mountains, and over streams and rivers. We walked on 1, 000-year-old Roman roads and bridges. We were awed by the beauty of the mountains and forests we walked through. Every day brought new discoveries.

When I compare my Camino journey to my life now during the coronavirus pandemic, there are some similarities. Life on the Camino was simple—walk, eat, prepare for the next day’s walk, sleep, and repeat. Right now, life seems simpler than it used to be. While there is definitely a level of concern involved in the current global health crisis, my life has been simplified to staying home and staying safe. There were days on the Camino that were tough emotionally and physically. There are days at home a year later that are difficult. I still walk, just not as many miles per day! Another similarity is that the weeks of walking the Camino afforded me time to talk to God about my cares and concerns. The last month has, once again, given me a lot of time to converse with God.

Looking back at my Camino journey, I have identified a few valuable lessons.

What is my job for today? People who had walked before us wrote that it helped to consider the weeks of walking as your “job.” Every morning, the job was to walk. I found this helpful, especially when the thought of walking 500 miles was overwhelming. I just had to walk for today!

Our current situations of stay at home and social distancing can be overwhelming. What is your job for today? Or maybe a day is too long—what’s your job for the next hour? Focus on that task. Perhaps it is taking time to care for your own spiritual, emotional, and/or mental health. It could be to call a loved one, to read a book, to fix yourself a good meal, or take a walk after the last Zoom meeting of the day is over. Breaking my day down to one simple job helps me right now. And there are days I do not accomplish any true job—that’s OK, too.

Reach out to someone. People refer to helpers along the way as “Camino angels”—people who help with no expectation of payment or return in kind. It could be as simple as pointing someone in the right direction when they were about to take a wrong turn or sharing first aid items with someone in need. I saw biblical principles of helping others played out every day—an extra knee brace given to another pilgrim or a conversation with a stranger about a tragic loss in your life.

Who can you reach out to today? Maybe you’ve noticed that a friend hasn’t been on social media in a day or two and that’s unlike them—send a message to say you are thinking of them. Or, do you need someone to listen to you today? Reach out to a friend.

The Camino provides! I read about this before we left for our trip, and I have to admit that it grated on me. We were created with the ability to think, to prepare, to critically assess our situation. In my mind that had nothing to do with the Camino providing for me. Yet, on so many occasions, I noticed that deep conversations developed quickly with those I met. People disclosed their deepest sorrows and fears to strangers. I exposed my fears to strangers. We provided listening ears and support for each other. Sometimes it was encouragement about a career change. Or wishes and prayers for peace for a woman walking to deal with the tragic death of a child. Often it was sharing about a serious health or relationship challenge. In the end, the Camino provided what I needed and continues to provide meaning and insight through the experience and through friends met on the way.

As I reflect on this, ultimately, it was God who provided what I needed through my journey on the Camino. And He will provide for us as we walk through this uncertain time.

 

Kris Knutson lives in Berrien Springs, Michigan, where she attends the One Place service on the campus of Andrews University where she recently retired from the Student Success Center.

 

2020-05-01T15:06:05-07:00May 4th, 2020|Living God's Love|

Por todas sus bondades

La adoración ocurre cada vez que elevamos nuestros corazones a Dios. El programa AdventistGiving permite que tu adoración incluya tu fiel retorno de los diezmos y las ofrendas. Mejora la misión de la iglesia y conlleva una bendición para ti y para tu iglesia local.

Para obtener más información, visita adventistgiving.org o solicita más detalles a tu pastor.

¿Cómo puedo pagarle al Señor por tanta bondad que me ha mostrado? —Salmo 116: 12, NVI

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Producido por la Pacific Union Conference
adventistfaith.com

Puedes obtener más información acerca de cada una de nuestras siete conferencias a través de los siguientes enlaces:

Arizona Conference

Central California Conference

Hawaii Conference

Nevada-Utah Conference

Northern California Conference

Southeastern California Conference

Southern California Conference

2020-05-01T22:03:52-07:00May 1st, 2020|All Gods People|