Baptisms, Up in 2016, Show Church Commitment » With the continued emphasis on outreach and evangelism in the Rocky Mountain Conference, we are seeing an illustration in our baptism numbers of the commitment our congregations and pastors have toward reaching their communities for Christ.
Global Health Initiatives: Already Ten Years Old, but Much, Much Further Ahead » The healing ministry of Christ has inspired generations of Seventh-day Adventists. Dedicated Christian doctors and nurses have been on the front lines of sharing God's love around the world and have traditionally been one of the church's most visible efforts to improve lives from Colorado to Nepal.
From January 2014 to December 2015, our membership grew by 467. Baptisms in 2015 reached 433, up by 140 over 2014 and membership totaled 17,929 by the end of the year.
"We look forward to a celebration when we reach 18,000 members," said Ed Barnett, president of the Rocky Mountain Conference. "Thank you to our congregations and our pastors for making a difference in your communities."
Beginning Membership: 17,462
Ending Membership: 17,569
Total Gain: 107
Beginning Membership: 17,569
Ending Membership: 17,929
Total Gain: 360
[Carol Bolden; photo of Sheridan, Wyoming baptism]
Adventist mission hospitals were established in dozens of countries around the globe during the mid-1900s, but more recently, those hospitals have struggled to maintain quality services in resource-poor areas.
In 2006, the Adventist hospitals in the Denver-metro area commenced a journey to help those struggling institutions and partnered with mission hospitals in Nepal, Peru and Rwanda.
This program, called "Global Health Initiatives", has enlisted hundreds of volunteers who have performed nearly 2,100 surgeries and provided more than 40,000 primary care patient exams. And just as importantly, those volunteers have provided training, medical equipment, supplies, facilities and management expertise to those medical missionaries on today's front lines," explains Greg Hodgson, GHI director and founder of the program. Adventist hospitals, partners in Centura Health, coordinated 102 medical missions since GHI's first project in 2006.
He adds, "It is very gratifying to see individuals healed during GHI's medical mission campaigns, but the long-term legacy of GHI will be in the re-vitalized mission hospitals which will be even stronger beacons of God's love, care and compassion to their communities."
AnneMarie Kemp has been involved with GHI medical missions nearly from the outset of the program. A nurse and GHI team leader of Community Health Projects, she was invited in 2006 by Hodgson to a project in Iquitos, Peru. Before becoming a nurse, she was a fundraiser at Avista Adventist Hospital in Louisville. "I went and I got hooked," she comments. Jodi Cattich, a nurse whom she refers to as "my angel," invited her to study nursing as they were sitting on a boat on the Amazon River returning from one of the communities. "I feel called," she said. "I want to do more."
Today, AnneMarie can be regarded as a "professional volunteer." Commenting on the ethos of GHI, she says that its asset is responding to needs of one individual at a time, but also the benefit for those who go on a mission project, often with their children, and return changed.
As the GHI vision continues beyond its first ten years, voices abound with interest in adding more countries and expanding its reach. "What I love most about GHI is that it's big in heart and small in scale," AnneMarie comments.
Kim Kennedy's journey with GHI goes back to 2007 when, together with her family, she lived and volunteered in Iquitos during the summer. Her husband, Dave, the pastor at Newday Christian Seventh-day Adventist Church in Parker, was the mission project chaplain and has volunteered on three mission projects, first in 2006.
Kim explains that her first taste of international medical mission work opened her eyes to the dire need of Peruvians. "My eyes were opened and my heart broke for the people of Peru. I was forced to put a face to suffering and poverty and it changed me forever."
She discovered a new passion, a calling from God, to advocate and help the poor. "For the past ten years, our family has been able to go on several mission trips with GHI to Peru, Nepal and Rwanda. I've been hooked and feel blessed to be a part of a noble mission to help people in a desperate situation. It's humbling to meet someone and hear you are an answer to their prayers," she comments.
Since September 2015, Kim has been the development officer for GHI at the Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation. "I'm thankful that God has placed me in a position to raise needed funds to care for 'the least of these'. I am living my dream job!" she exclaims.
According to Hodgson, donors and volunteers in the Centura Global Health Initiatives will participate in a special celebration of the GHI Tenth Anniversary in Denver. [Rajmund Dabrowski; top photo: Iquitos, Peru by Kim Kennedy; middle photo: Kim Kennedy visiting young patient at San Juan, Iquitos home by Dave Kennedy; bottom photo: Dr. Tom Drake, chief medical officer at Porter Adventist Hospital, consulting with patient by Cohen Zarnock]
"God Responded to My Temporary Setback" » Rachel Hammond is a student at Campion Adventist Academy. She is also a faithful literature evangelist. In her inspiring testimony, she is sharing an experience regarding God's response to her dire need. I was struggling that morning of December 9, and we had barely begun work. As a student literature evangelist working with Joe Martin, this particular morning, we were in Loveland and the walking was making my knee hurt.
Before Thanksgiving break, I tore my ACL and parts of my meniscus in a basketball scrimmage. With surgery scheduled over Christmas break, I would miss 6-8 weeks for recovery.
In a special prayer time with Principal Don Reeder, Pastor Michael Goetz, my coach, Glenn O'Halloran and my parents, the Lord had strengthened my knee enough to continue walking door-to-door sharing Jesus, but walking was not painless.
That Wednesday morning was proving to be especially difficult. I asked God to strengthen and bless me as I was trying to give Him my best despite the pain.
I approached a small house with a white picket fence and rang the doorbell. A gentleman came to the door and I explained to him that I attend a Christian school. I began to tell him what I was selling and showed him the cookbook when he cut me short. He asked if he could simply give me a donation. Of course I said, "Yes." He reached into his wallet and pulled out a $100 bill. I was shocked. I tried to leave him all my books, but he refused. I said many thanks and was on my way. But as I stood in his driveway filling out the receipt, he came out of his house and asked me how much tuition costs. I gave him an approximate answer and he asked how much I needed. I told him that he had already been more than generous, but he held out an additional $500.
I was at a loss for words. Telling him I would feel awful if he didn't take at least one book, he finally took Peace Above the Storm.
"Before I leave," I said, "I just have to ask 'why would you do something like this for me?'" After a moment, he said, "Because Jesus did it for us." That statement brought tears to my eyes as the weight of those words sank in. I prayed with him, said as many thanks as I could and continued on.
It wasn't until later when I was able to meet up with Pastor Joe and share the news that he pointed out the most amazing part. He reminded me that $600 is equivalent to approximately two months of work and the doctor had told me I would need 6-8 weeks (two months) for recovery before being able to work again.
This injury has been difficult for me, but now I know without a doubt that God will bring far more good from it than the pain I have felt. I may not know what [the good] is right now, but I'm willing to trust God and to see how He will continue to work through this temporary setback.
Receiving the exact amount you need in the form of hundreds of dollars does not happen by chance. God knew I had a need and He filled it. As the kind man implied, Jesus paid it all for us, so what should stop us from giving what we can back to God? (Rachel Hammond; photo by Brittany Maclachlan]
"[Christ] directs sinners to the church, which he has made a channel of light to the world." -- Ellen G. White, Acts of the Apostles, p. 122
WORDS FOR REFLECTION
"[The church] is the theater of God's grace, in which he delights to reveal his power to transform hearts." -- Ellen G. White, Acts of the Apostles, p. 12
" . . . [The church] members are to find their happiness in those whom they help and bless." -- Ellen G. White, Acts of the Apostles, p. 12
Sugar Addiction -- Is There Hope? » You want to feel brighter, clearer and much nicer to be around, not to mention lose some weight, decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, increased blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. But then there's that luscious-looking, creamy chocolate cheesecake calling your name. Admit it -- you're addicted to sugar. Those who have a sugar addiction seem to have fewer dopamine receptors and need extra stimulation to feel the same level of pleasure that others do.
If you're struggling with sugar addiction, remember it is not a moral failing or lack of willpower. It may even be genetic. But you can help your genes by choices you make. Here are six suggestions to help break the sugar habit:
1. Eat a nutritious breakfast with protein, like nut butters
2. Eliminate sugar and artificial sweeteners. Go cold
turkey as you eliminate refined sugars, sodas, fruit
juices and artificial sweeteners from your diet. These
are all drugs that will fuel cravings.
3. Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
4. Avoid eating three hours before bedtime.
5. Optimize your Vitamin D level. Use a supplement or
get plenty of sun.
6. Optimize Omega 3s by eating flax or chia seeds,
walnuts, Chinese broccoli, spinach or canola oil.
It helps to realize that sugar will only taste good when it is in your mouth (less than one minute) and then it's over. The temptation is a cleverly disguised lie and when you know the truth, the lie loses its power. [Rick Mautz]
NOW AVAILABLE ON THE WEB!
2016 RMC Teen Prayer Summit » Experience God's plan for you to be Flawless through prayer, BIble study, music and friendships, January 22-24 at Glacier View Ranch. Cost: $55/person. Save $10 if you register BEFORE January 11. Includes food and lodging. Visit RMCyouth.org to register. For questions, call 303-282-3664 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Campion Academy vs. Mile High Academy » Don't miss these basketball games on Wednesday, January 13, at the Pepsi Center. Come out and support your teams.
Campion Girls vs. Mile High Academy Girls -- 1:15 p.m.
Campion Boys vs. Mile High Academy Boys -- 3:00 p.m.
Purchase tickets here: http://www.nuggetstix.com/0113mha Nuggets vs. Golden State -- 9 p.m.
Communion Table Giveaway » Denver South Church has a communion table they no longer need and will give it to the first church to call. Contact Gaby Delgado at 303-744-1271.
ACS Community LIFT is accepting applications for a part-time (32 hrs/wk, M-Th) Medical Assistant at its Denver location. Applicants must have at least two years experience working in a medical clinic, hospital, doctor's office or other health care setting. For a complete job description and application, visit http://www.rmcsda.org/hr-medical-assistant.
The Rocky Mountain Conference is currently accepting applications for a part-time (20 hours per week, M-Th) Assistant to help out in its Treasury Department. To learn more about this position and how to apply, please visit: http://www.rmcsda.org/hr-treasury-assistant.
The Rocky Mountain Conference has an immediate opening for a full-time Field Representative/Stewardship Coordinator in its Planned Giving and Trust Services Department. This position serves the Conference by visiting and fulfilling requests for assistance in estate planning, including information gathering and execution of documents. For more information about this position and how to apply, please visit http://www.rmcsda.org/hr-field-representativestewardship-coordinator.
FROM THE EDITOR
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Rocky Mountain Conference Mission Statement Tagline:
Knowing Christ and Making Him Fully Known