RMCNews – Denver, Colorado … The annual camp meetings held in the Rocky Mountain Conference have deep roots in Adventism and are a special time that many look forward to with anticipation. Camp meeting is a chance to come together to study God’s Word, rekindle friendships and make new ones, and get re-energized for the year ahead.
The Rocky Mountain Conference has five camp meetings to choose from:
Southeast Colorado camp meeting May 20 – 22
The Power of Love will be the theme for the Southeast Colorado camp meeting held at the Canon City Adventist Church. Speakers include Dwight Nelson, senior pastor at Pioneer Valley Adventist Church in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and Clifford Goldstein, editor of Sabbath School Bible Study Guides, and author. For more information and to register, visit https://www.fairplaysdachurch.com/.
Northeast Colorado camp meeting June 3 – 4
The Northeast Colorado camp meeting will be held on the campus of Campion Academy in Loveland, Colorado. The theme will be Our Greatest Need with presenter Hyveth Williams, Professor of Homiletics at Andrews University. For more information, email Michael Goetz, senior pastor Campion Adventist Church at [email protected].
Wyoming camp meeting July 12 – 16
Wyoming camp meeting will be held at Mills Spring Ranch, located on Casper Mountain. The theme is Be Bold. Dr. Joseph Kidder, Professor of Theology and Discipleship at Andrews Theological Seminary, will be the featured speaker. To register or for more information, visit https://www.millsspringranch.com/wyomingcampmeeting.
Cowboy camp meeting July 13 – 16
If you are looking for a camp meeting off the grid, this is for you. This gathering is located outside of Montrose, Colorado on a gravel road an hour off the main road in the Uncompaghre National Forest. The camp meeting offers two gatherings per day to give you plenty of time to experience the wilderness. The theme and speakers are still being decided. For more information, visit https://cowboycampmeeting.org/.
Western Slope camp meeting August 3 – 7
The Western Slope camp meeting will feature Dr. Dick Davidson, Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at Andrews Theological Seminary. He will be presenting messages on the Sabbath. The location of the camp meeting hasn’t yet been released. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/SDAWSCM/.
By Jill Harlow – Loveland, Colorado … After ten days of holding evangelistic meetings at multiple churches in Costa Rica, the Campion students returned to campus both exhausted and blessed. The mission group included seven students, four Campion alumni, and Campion church pastors and members.
During the evangelistic outreach, each member was assigned to preach at a different church. The students would spend their mornings reviewing, practicing, and personalizing their sermons. They would spend time visiting homes in the afternoon and inviting them to attend the meetings. Each evening they would preach a sermon on a different topic and spend time interacting with the congregation. The meetings culminated with a total of 74 baptisms.
Reflecting on the experience Lily, sophomore, explained, “Costa Rica was exhausting, but rewarding. It was awesome seeing people getting baptized and knowing it was most certainly not because of any of our exceptional sermons and public speaking abilities but because of the Holy Spirit. We really got to see God in action down there.”
The students were especially challenged with the preaching aspect of the trip. Megan, sophomore, shared, “For me personally, public speaking is not an ability that comes naturally, which made it both terrifying and exhausting.”
Caleb, sophomore, shared her sentiments, saying, “Before this trip, I really disliked public speaking. However, after this trip, I do not mind public speaking anymore. The first meeting, for the first five minutes, I was very nervous, but then the Holy Spirit came over me and made me calm, and I was able to comfortably deliver all ten of my messages.”
The preaching aspect of the trip also grew their relationship with Jesus. “While I was preaching, I learned many things about how much I appreciate God. I grew spiritually because I had to learn to depend on God and trust Him that everything would be okay, and so it was,” Marcela, freshman, reflected.
Besides the meetings, the group took time to enjoy Costa Rica by visiting the beach, ziplining through the rainforest, and exploring a nature center.
The students were warmly welcomed at their various churches. “One of the many blessings I received was my church–everyone was extremely nice and accepting,” said Jared, senior.
Megan experienced the same acceptance at her church, explaining, “Being in Costa Rica taught me a lot about being friendly; the people there are all so open, and experiencing their culture showed me that in our culture, we are often cold. They showed me that sometimes it’s better to approach people and say “Hi” rather than just minding my own business.”
Caleb agreed with the other students that the culture and the faith of the people they met in Costa Rica made a significant impact on him. “What I learned from my time in Costa Rica is that we need to be more like the church members in Costa Rica,” he reflected. “They are on fire for Jesus, and they are so invested in every single worship service.”
–Jill Harlow is communication director for Campion Academy; photos supplied
By Gabriela Vincent – Casper, Wyoming … Gabriela (Anca) Vincent, wife of pastor Shayne Vincent in the Casper District of Wyoming, has felt the pain of the war in Ukraine very personally.
She grew up under communist rule in Romania, and her hometown, Iasi, Moldova is just across the border from Ukraine. Her sister’s family still lives in Iasi. Her 12-year-old niece, Miriam, moved by the thousands of refugees flooding into their town, wanted to help. She decided to give the money she had been saving for a new smartphone, to purchase two mattresses for refugees who were staying in the local Adventist church.
When Gabriela shared this story with the Casper and Wheatland churches, they were inspired to give. They raised nearly $4,000 for the Ukrainian refugees through their generous donations and the funds were sent to Miriam, who was able to purchase ten more mattresses, as well as food, medication, and more essential items.
The needs of the refugees have inspired the Romanian Pathfinders to become directly involved. Dorin Cristea, children and youth ministries director of the Moldavia Conference, said, “The Pathfinder Law is for me to ‘Go on God’s errands,’ which means we will always be ready to go about doing good as Jesus did. But I never thought it would mean to ask you to get involved in helping those impacted by war.” The Pathfinders are involved in a weekly trip to Southern Ukraine, taking food, winter clothes, and medication to those in need.
Approximately ten million people have now fled their homes in Ukraine because of Russia’s unprovoked invasion. The UN High Commissioner for refugees says, “As many as 3.6 million Ukrainians have left for neighboring countries. Another estimated 6.5 million people are thought to be displaced inside the war-torn country itself.” According to AP reports, thousands have died since the Russian war began, including hundreds of children. It is a sobering picture and a call to action in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
“I am extremely proud of what my family and friends in Romania are doing to assist with the increasing number of refugees and emergency supplies needed to support the Ukrainian people. My home church in Iasi is now a place where Ukrainian women and children find a safe place to stay until they have in place for their final destination,” Vincent said.
She added, “The church’s Sabbath School classes have been converted into temporary shelters, and with funds raised by the local church, they were able to install a washer, dryer, and shower for the refugees. With the remaining funds from our giving, the church has purchased generators, food, and medication, and the weekly convoy has distributed the emergency supplies to a shelter in Ukraine.”
This war is far from being over, and the needs are many as the people of Ukraine bravely fight for their freedoms. Gabriela and the Adventist church in Iasi are deeply grateful for the generous hearts who have given.
If you would also like to support the work in Romania, you can donate to www.adra.ro. May God bless the people of Ukraine with courage and strength.
–Gabriela (Anca) Vincent writes from Casper, Wyoming; photos supplied
By Rajmund Dabrowski – Boulder, Colorado … It was the first week of March and the war was well underway on the Eastern and Northern fronts of Ukraine. A car, which started its 365-kilometer (226 miles) drive from the outskirts of Zhytomyr to the border with Poland, carried seven refugees.
Two families with five children squeezed into a vehicle with three of the children in the trunk of Peugeot 508. The memory of flying missiles and the sound of explosions at the Zhytomyr military airport near their home were soon just a painfully etched memory. Hope drove them to safety.
Olga Charucka and her husband Waldemar Kutrzeba were awaiting them on the Polish side of the border, ready to welcome them to safety—the five kids, the mother, and a grandmother.
The night before, all seven of them slept in the basement of their house a short distance from the airport destroyed by cruise missiles and bombs dropped from Russian planes. A wall was cracked in their home from an explosion, and a portion of the ceiling had fallen.
After arriving in Poland, four-year-old Zlata, hearing the siren of an ambulance or police car, would run to Olga. Clinging to her, she cried, “We must hide.”
Olga and Waldemar live in the home of my parents near Warsaw. They were caregivers to my father and mother before they passed away. Their spacious home welcomed all seven of them. Kutrzebas are members of the nearby Adventist Theological College Church in Podkowa Leśna, which these days is serving as a shelter housing two-dozen refugees. Their church is one of many throughout Poland serving as shelters, among them Warsaw, Łódź, and Lublin. A congregation in Warsaw alone has accommodated and fed 400 refugees.
I welcomed the idea of having refugees in my parents’ home. Though far away, a plan of action was formulated during recent weeks to find support for several of our brothers and sisters in Poland engaged in helping thousands of refugees. Requests for help soon turned into questions from different parts of the Rocky Mountain Conference: How can we help? Members of Casper and Wheatland churches in Wyoming were engaged in fundraising for refugees in Romania (see https://www.rmcsda.org/a-simple-gift-inspires-others-to-give/).
From Bernie Hartnell of the Grand Junction church comes the comment, “God has blessed us in so many ways here in Colorado and the wider United States. However, Marti and I have been impressed by the Holy Spirit, to do something about the refugees flooding out of Ukraine into neighboring countries.”
He continues, “We felt time was critical to help support our Adventist brothers and sisters, who have opened their homes, churches, and schools in this crisis! So we, along with others in our Grand Junction church, have made it happen by giving either directly to our churches in Poland or through ADRA’s Ukrainian refugee fund.
“I would like to emphasize the inspiration to not sit on our hands in cozy America but listen to the Spirit’s bidding. From the ‘widow’s mite’ to the amounts that the Lord impresses, this effort, you can be assured, will go to its intended worthy purpose!” he added.
“How can one watch the news on the Ukraine crisis and not be moved to do something,” wondered Gordy Gates from Boulder. “And then to learn how the Polish people are opening their homes to the refugees led me to talk with you [Rajmund Dabrowski] to see how we might be able to get involved.”
Learning that my family’s home was part of this refugee relief, Gordy commented that he “knew he had found the way to get involved where every dollar given made it to the Ukrainian people, and [he is thankful] for being given the opportunity to help.”
Shawn Nowlan, a member of the Contemporary Issues Sabbath School Class at the Boulder church where I attend, asked how to get involved.
“Our Sabbath School wondered [how we could help] Ukraine [since] the problem is so big and beyond our control. What can we do (as suggested in the Epistle of James) to help those Ukrainians in need to go in peace, keep warm and eat their fill? Organizations like ADRA have wonderful, specialized skills. What do we have?”
He continued, “This is when we heard about Adventist congregations in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Romania who were turning their buildings into refugee centers to house the refugees streaming out of Ukraine. Maybe we could support those congregations directly so that ADRA’s resources would be free to use in the war zone itself?” Nowlan wondered.
“We could help those Eastern European congregations directly by feeding them, clothing them, and keeping them safe. We have the contacts. We can use them. And that is what we are intending to do,” he added.
Last week, I asked the kids if they would draw their experiences. Wiktoria is 15 years old and the oldest child of the Zhytomyr family. She sent her drawing full of war images and symbols of her country. When asked about the memories of the day she left her home, she said, “I remember fear. The biggest difficulty was choosing if my mother should join us or stay with dad as his support as he had to stay in Ukraine. The children decided that she would stay and be of help to my father.” The fathers are a part of the Territorial Defense Army in their region.
Zlata’s drawing was poignant, illustrating the distressing emotions of her experience in and what was being shown on TV. For her, memories were symbols of falling rain. She remembers the falling bullets and missiles.
Reports from the frontiers of the neighboring countries with Ukraine–Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland–describe the Adventist Church being present by setting up welcoming centers with ADRA* representatives and volunteers offering food, clothing, and medical assistance. Local church volunteers provide transportation, accommodation, and meals. More than three million refugees have left Ukraine, the majority of them finding refuge in Poland.
In Poland, and elsewhere, human solidarity is at work.
–Rajmund Dabrowski is editor of NewsNuggets; photos supplied *For donations contact www.adra.pl
By Love Pickle – Loveland, Colorado … After two years of limiting campus visits, Campion Academy was once again able to host Academy Day on March 26. An annual, free open house for prospective students in seventh through eleventh grades, Academy Day gives these visitors an opportunity to experience a bit of life on campus.
The visiting students began their Campion experience with activities planned by the Student Association (SA) officers, including human bumper ball, jousting, and knockout.
Reflecting on the visit, Sarah, an eighth-grader, shared, “The activities in the morning were my favorite part of the day and playing bubble soccer. I feel good about coming to Campion next year, and I thought the event was nice.”
The SA officers proceeded to give tours of the campus which left a strong impression on Sarah, “The students who gave the tour were kind, and they answered all of our questions.”
Academic contests were held, including opportunities for the students to win various scholarships, like athletics and music.
Dean Helm, business manager, with his creative art known as Helmdini, entertained the students with a special magic performance. Evie, an eighth-grader, pointed out, “My favorite part was the magic show.” She added that she is excited to come to Campion because, during her visit, the students were friendly and welcoming.
The students toured the dorms and participated in mini-scramble games before supper. After dinner, Dean and Sue Helm took the students out for ice cream to satisfy their sweet teeth. Angel, an eighth-grader, remarked, “I enjoyed the ice cream. The classes and the people who were there were nice.”
The event concluded with an award show and a vespers program. The visiting students were sent off with a farewell gift put together by Campion Academy with the hope of seeing them again as future students.
–Love Pickle is a senior at Campion Academy; photos supplied
By Dustin Stegen … At one point in our lives, we all had to be introduced to every food we now eat. We weren’t born to love certain foods. No one came out of the womb salivating at the thought of peanut butter toast. We had to acquire the desire for it. This is especially true for foods whose characteristics may not be as desirable as a chocolate treat or salty chips. Those foods do not take much time or effort to enjoy.
This is especially true for our children. Introducing new foods can be challenging. I am not talking about chocolate ice cream with crushed Oreos all over it, once our children have this type of food they seem to want it all of the time. Who can blame them? I am talking about foods like broccoli, asparagus, turnips, and tofu. These foods may sound delicious to some but may not be what our children desire but it is the food we help they learn to love. Our job as parents is to keep trying to give new, healthy foods for our kids. Children are hard to predict when it comes to their eating habits. Some days they want to eat anything and everything put in front of them. Then other days, even their favorite meal disgusts them. It can take 10 to 15 attempts for children to eat and then enjoy new foods. So don’t be discouraged and don’t give up if it take longer than that. If you have prepared the food well with delicious ingredients, your children will learn to love it. Try your best to never force, pressure and coerce your children into eating their foods. Make eating a time of fun and fellowship. (The way we treat our children when it comes to food is a giant topic and is not fully covered in this blog. Look out for future blogs covering parenting and eating tips). Please remember, children do have a more sensitive palate than older adults. They can detect bitter flavors quickly. Give them some grace when trying kale for the first time.
Our children will also be more likely to try food if we, the parent or adult, are eating and obviously enjoying the food. If we are hesitant to eat the meal with a grimus you can almost guarantee our children won’t be trying it. Speaking of adults, we too sometimes need 10 to 15 times to try a new food. How many of us have a friend who is unwilling to try certain foods because they know they disliked them as a child? As we age, we must eat our fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to aid in our own health promotion. These types of foods are essential and should be incorporated into our diets. The most important step in improving our diet through nutrition is actually eating the food. If you disliked broccoli as a kid, that may be because it was not prepared well. I am sorry to say it but who actually liked steamed broccoli? I can’t be the only one who dislikes it. But I love broccoli, lightly baked in olive oil. Crispy and sweet. Truly amazing.
I think it is important to make a distinction between healthy foods and not-so-healthy foods. I am not saying you should expose yourself to foods that require an acquired taste and are detrimental to your health. For example, I do not like coffee. I bet if I drank it more and more, I would learn to love it. But coffee is not necessarily a healthy beverage. I want more people to eat more fruits and vegetables. Keep trying those, not all the other stuff.
The point is, at any age we need to eat more plants. We don’t have to eat every single one, but a humble variety fuels our bodies with its optimal fuel. Children and adults can benefit from trying different plant foods 10 to 15 times. The food we eat literally makes up our cells and fuels them. Expose yourself to new, healthy, and delicious plant foods by just trying them.
— Dustin Stegen is a Registered Dietitian and lover of all things outdoors, cooking, and teaching others about living a healthy lifestyle and eating. He is the founder of Ten Times Better, LLC a nutrition consulting business that focuses on connecting faith and food. Photo by iStock.
This article was originally published on Outlook Magazine website
By Mickey Mallory – Denver, Colorado … Several new pastors recently joined our ministerial family at Rocky Mountain Conference. What follows is an introduction in their own words:
Brooke Melendez is the part-time associate pastor at the Adventure Church in Greeley, Colorado. Brooke’s greatest passion in ministry is helping people feel valued and to understand that they belong. According to Brooke, “one of the most beautiful parts about ministry for me is seeing people come to terms with and let go of the baggage that has held them back for so long. Sometimes, it’s beliefs about God that are burdensome, and sometimes it’s beliefs about themselves that are heavy. The freedom and joy that people experience when they come to know who God is and who they truly are because of Jesus is overwhelming in the most positive way possible.”
As the wife of Adventurer lead pastor Ricky Melendez, Brooke shared the one thing that impressed her and Ricky the most about their church: how much the people there loved Jesus and were committed to him being the focus of their church and lives. According to Brooke, “They didn’t care so much about all the peripheral things as they did the Main Thing (Jesus).”
Since starting at the Adventure Church, Brooke says, “It seems like every week there have been a number of things that continue to surprise and excite Ricky and me about the Adventure Church. It has been a delight to feel like we really fit in with our church and can be ourselves with them.”
Leandro Bizama is the associate pastor of evangelism and worship at the Campion Church in Loveland, Colorado. He and his wife, Jennifer, and kids moved to the Campion Church at the end of December. Leandro’s greatest passion is “to help mentor the next generation of worship/music leaders who will guide an inter-generational church in the true worship of the living God in the last days and to inspire all to live a life of service and meet the needs of those around them to allow the gospel truth to flow through them so that the Spirit can use them to bring more people to Christ.”
Coming from a teaching background, Leandro shared, “It was a very difficult decision [to make the move to Campion Church] because I love Adventist education and youth ministry. In the middle of that stressful time when we were trying to figure out God’s will for our lives, I prayed sort of in desperation, “I’d be willing to do anything as long as I know it is your will.” In my heart, I heard Him say, “Are you sure?” “Yes,” I responded and received a certainty of peace. That same day, “randomly,” two different churches reached out to me for the same type of worship pastor position. I had to pursue the conversation at the very least. Later, when we saw that there was a strong community who loved kids and youth and Adventist education, we made the decision to accept the call. Simply said, God answered our prayers for direction in very special and miraculous ways.”
Of all the things that Leandro likes about his new position at the Campion Church, he especially appreciates that “there is so much opportunity and [so many] possibilities in a church with a strong sense of community and a great leadership and spiritual team in the church and in both schools.”
Leonardo Jiminez is the new lead pastor of the Montrose Hispanic, Pagosa Springs Hispanic, and the Durango Hispanic churches. He and his wife, Wendy Medina, moved here from the Denver area.
Leonardo’s greatest joy in ministry is working with people and for people and seeing them give themselves to Christ, change their lifestyle, and live a life full of hope. According to Leonardo, “I am passionate when I have to preach to others about the love of Christ and his transforming power and tell them about the wonders I have seen in my life and the great things that he can also do in their lives and family.”
The main thing that motivated him to accept the call to serve the churches in the Montrose district was the call that he received from an early age to preach the gospel and to help others in their preparation for heaven. According to Leonardo, “Knowing that Christ is coming for the second time and that there is no time to waste led him and his wife to be willing to come to this country. In the same way, we have asked God to show us where to go, and through prayer and hope, God has now given us the opportunity to go to these places.”
Since his arrival, his most exciting discovery is the time he has had with the first elder of the Church of Montrose and his family. According to Leonardo, they have shown him disposition and love for the work of God. The church is a motivating church full of youth leadership. He and his wife feel very excited to be able to serve in a community of people so beautiful and full of Christian love and willing to serve God and his Church.
Daniele Fantoni is the new lead pastor of the Alamosa, Monte Vista, and Pagosa Springs churches. Daniele, and his wife Nayeli Cabrera, arrived in late February from Andrews University. Daniele’s greatest passion is knowing and bringing out the best in people and looking at them with the same loving eyes of God.
According to Daniele, “It was a great surprise when I was offered the pastor position for a three-church district. I was afraid of this possibility, but this was the only viable offer for me by God. So I trusted him and, despite my hesitation, I visited the district. What reassured me and led me to accept definitively, in addition to many prayers, was the welcome of the community and their genuine desire to know me. I saw their willingness to work together and the great potential of the district. Eventually, I put my fears aside and just desired to help this community and do great things with them for the glory of God.”
Since Daniele’s arrival, his most exciting discovery is how God has confirmed his call to pastoral ministry. According to Daniele, “After just one week of work and getting to know people, I realized that pastoral ministry was my vocation.”
Edrey Santos is the new part-time lead pastor of the Castle Rock Church as of February 1. He and his wife, Bobbi, come to us from the Denver area where he served as a chaplain at Porter Hospital. Edrey’s greatest passion in ministry is “the Christian journey and the fellowship that come as a consequence of loving God’s people.”
According to Edrey, the reason he was attracted to Castle Rock Church was “the eagerness and overall excitement of the church members to reach out to the community, but most of all, their willingness to recreate the church’s identity.” He is especially excited about partnering with Castle Rock Hospital to do ministry.
Since being at the Castle Rock Church, Edrey shared that his greatest discovery so far has been “the church members’ desire to recreate their identity, [which] has really shown forth through their willingness to work together, to bring forth fresh ideas, and [their] being receptive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Personally, for me, I had some initial fears since I’ve been away from church ministry for 14 years. However, because of the helpfulness of the church family, I am humbled to see a strong desire to grow collectively. And that’s such an awesome feeling! God’s love is truly evident!”
“May we remember these pastors and their congregations in our prayers. We should pray, especially, for the Holy Spirit to be poured out on their ministry. We are blessed to have them in the Rocky Mountain Conference,” commented Mickey Mallory.
–Mickey Mallory is RMC ministerial director; photos supplied
By AdventHealth — The closeness and safety of family during uncertain times can be so comforting. Some cultures have a deep history rooted in the importance of close-knit families. “It takes a village” is a concept lived by many Asian American families who value close relationships with extended family. In a cultural tradition like theirs, the health of the community typically takes precedence over any one individual, especially for the older generations.
With so many important social issues currently at the forefront, we want to highlight our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, empowering family members to talk to each other more openly about race, family expectations, societal pressure and how mental health is affected. Keeping communication lines open is key to staying well in body, mind and spirit — for families and individuals alike.
While the intentions are good, when collective health is valued more than individual health, the expectations are set high. There may be many family members who feel pressured to hide any human imperfections or symptoms, preferring to suffer in silence for the sake of their family. Hiding struggles without support from family and friends can lead to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Perceived failure to live up to expectations to succeed academically, personally and professionally can be a source of severe stress and lead to feelings of inadequacy.
The Model Minority Myth
Many of us are taught not to judge a book by its cover or to stereotype anyone, with the logic that stereotypes usually have negative connotations. While this is often true, it’s also true that there are positive stereotypes that can have a negative impact. Already held to high expectations by their families to achieve, Asian Americans who live with “the model minority myth” are unfairly held to higher standards by society, and suffer more as a result.
The narrative set forth by the model minority myth is that Asian American children are geniuses in math, science and music — and that their parents force them to excel to surpass everyone else. The stereotype unfairly characterizes Asian Americans as “polite,” law-abiding,” “successful,” and immigrants who live the American dream.
Like all stereotypes, this type of thinking stops people from being seen as individuals with differences and preferences. Those who are stereotyped are left with more anxiety to uphold what they think is expected of them from all ends.
No matter what our ethnic or racial background, it can be difficult to start a conversation about race with family members, especially if the age gap is very different. Adult children talking to their parents, and grandchildren talking to their grandparents, about such a complex and important topic can be unnerving. Getting the conversation started is the first step, and it can lead to good outcomes where each participant can end up learning not only more about other perspectives, but more about themselves and their own biases in the process.
In Asian American families, “respect your elders” and “don’t make waves” often impact how family members relate to one another and what is expected of each person. Having a conversation where you will make waves and challenge your elders is a risk of being seen as disrespectful. Here’s how you can do it as sensitively and effectively as possible:
Be Humble and Educate Yourself First
Read, research and come into the conversations armed with knowledge of what you’re going to talk about. Consider that your older family members simply might not know as much about American history and the centuries-long history of racism if they didn’t go to school here or experience it first-hand. Honor their lived experiences, too.
Put Your Emotions Aside
If a family member says something that sounds racist as you’re trying to open the discussion to help change their worldview, it’s normal to feel angry, sad and offended. It’s how you respond to those comments that can make all the difference. If they feel judged for their beliefs, they’ll shut down and get defensive. Putting your emotions aside while you try to educate them can be the most effective approach in that you are perceived as being in control.
Ask about Their Lived Experiences
For many Asian American parents and grandparents, views on racism were shaped by their experiences in their home countries. Try to understand the situation they grew up in and how they still carry that with them.
Speak Personally and Empathetically
Your family members care about you, so tell them why supporting diversity, learning about racism and talking about it with them to bridge the generational gap is so important to you.
Care You Can Trust Across Cultures
At AdventHealth, we provide world-class care to everyone and treat every patient with dignity. We honor all cultures, respect all wishes and strive to meet all needs. We build trusting relationships between patients and providers and Extend the Healing Ministry of Christ to them and their families.
If you’re struggling, visit here and reach out for care from the heart that you can trust. You deserve to feel whole in body, mind and spirit.
–AdventHealth; photo supplied
This article was originally published on the AdventHealth website
By Doug Inglish … For some of you, this might be new, but I’ve seen this before.
When I was a young driver, not really needing my own car, yet but finding it necessary to borrow one of the family cars from time to time, I had enough sense of responsibility to put some gas in the tank now and then. No big deal. So, by the time I did buy my first car, the habit of paying for my own fuel was well established.
Then everything changed. Or, I should say everything began changing on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times in a day. Every time I passed a gas station, a new and higher price was posted. One evening, I came in from the construction job I had that summer and told my dad, “I don’t know how I can afford to drive to work if gas hits fifty cents a gallon.”
Always a man of calm perspective, he replied, “There will come a day, and soon when you will wish it would hit fifty cents a gallon again.”
As usual, he was right. That day was very soon after, and every day since then for that matter.
Things eventually settled down, and for several decades inflation was at a more reasonable, manageable pace. In fact, a lot of items actually went down in price while going up in quality, such as electronics. Gas itself has been a more volatile ride, with the global market being affected by wars, labor issues, technological advances, and political disputes. When it went past a dollar, I never thought it would go back under, but it did for a time. Same thing at two dollars.
But now everything seems to be going up, and fast. You can read about it in the news or go see for yourself at any store. Inflation is soaring again like it was around the time I was filling the tank on my battered Chevy Impala. Not only at the gas pump. We are all paying more for food, energy, insurance, clothing, tires, and household goods. Inflation is even affecting me at work, where my ability to invite a gifted pastor to fill a position in one of our churches is frequently stymied by the cost of housing.
With this kind of instability, it’s hard to plan. Can the water heater last another couple of years, or should I get one before the price jumps? Can we afford a vacation? Is the price of used cars going to come back to earth before this one falls apart? Will a college degree be out of reach?
I am not an economist, and happily so, because I consider the field to be one of the black arts, like voodoo, witchcraft, and automatic transmission repair. But as I said in the beginning of this article, I have seen this before, and watching our country (and indeed, the world) go through it again, I think I can safely declare a very real economic principle: Stability is an illusion. It seems to be around for a while, but then everything goes haywire, and you get left wishing gas would hit fifty cents again. Or two dollars, or whatever. Soon enough, we may find ourselves longing for the good old days of five-dollar-a-gallon gas prices.
But we long for stability in life. We like to know where our next meal is coming from, for everyone to stop at red lights, and to not get hit with a pop quiz in our 7:30 class. The stress of watching prices rocket toward the stratosphere is just one more reminder that stability is not just an economic illusion; it’s a fleeting vapor that we chase in our jobs, our relationships, our health, and our golf game, if that’s your thing.
But God is stable. He’s the Rock upon which the church is built (Matthew 16:18), our shelter (Psalm 61:3), our fortress (Psalm 91:2), and the One Who hears when we cry out to Him (Psalm 55:17). When things go bad, God is good. He is dependable. Unchanging. Stable.
One bit of evidence of His stability is found, oddly enough, in economics. Inflation has had a profound effect over the last 4000 years, but I am returning the same tithe that Abraham did that long ago.
If you don’t think that’s a remarkable fact, consider sales tax rates. When I was a boy growing up in Indiana, the state sales tax was 2%. Today, it is 7%–more than a threefold increase. If God were only as stable as the legislature of that rather conservative state, our tithe rates would now be 35%, and yes, that’s before offerings. But the One Who is from everlasting to everlasting remains steady, never adjusting His rates because circumstances change.
I know that is a function of the fact that it’s not about revenue for Him (Micah 6:6-8), or about His needs (Psalm 50:12); it’s about recognizing His sovereignty (Psalm 24:1). Nevertheless, the fact that tithe has remained at a steady rate throughout its history is an indication, from the dark field of economics, that our God is stable. The kind of stable that lets me know, even when inflation is eating away at our security and foiling our attempts to plan ahead, that I can count on Him to keep me afloat.
I’ve seen this before. Tithe is my anchor in this storm because it is the assurance of God’s stability.
–Doug Inglish is RMC vice president for administration and stewardship director; photo by Rajmund Dabrowski
By Jon Roberts – We are blessed to be living in America; however, that blessing can also be our curse and downfall.
It took coming halfway around the world to a predominantly Muslim country for me to discover what true community is. I entered the trip with the normal anticipation every American has to see the famous sights of Egypt –the pyramids and the mummies, etc.
My curiosity rose when I saw a trip to the land of Goshen on the schedule. Goshen is where the Israelites settled and multiplied into the hundreds of thousands after escaping certain death in Canaan during the famine. When our tour guide mentioned that tourists rarely have the opportunity to go to the land of Goshen in Lower Egypt, it just added to my curiosity (Lower Egypt is to the north, and Upper Egypt is to the south because the Nile River runs South to North).
As we departed the very modern city of Cairo and started our journey to the North, the hustle and bustle of western civilization quickly faded and military and police vehicles joined the tour bus in caravan style. We were truly getting a VIP experience. After pulling off the interstate highway, the road immediately narrowed and turned into a mixture of gravel and pavement. The first village came into sight, and I was shocked to see a culture where nothing goes to waste, families take care of each other, and neighbor watches out for neighbor. While they had satellite dishes and cell phones, somehow, they still maintained the culture of a tight-knit community installed many centuries ago.
The tour guide mentioned that the shops are all family-run businesses, and the food comes from the surrounding farms. He also said that the shops have no set time to open since the family doesn’t rely on schedules to dictate their days.
In the stores, I saw multiple generations working together with the older teaching and training the younger generations while also communicating with people in the next store down to ensure everything is okay with that family. I also experienced a new phenomenon that Americans miss–nothing goes to waste. Old cars were salvaged for parts to keep newer ones running. Building materials removed from a remodeled home were available for those who needed them. Some could say it was dirty, but underneath what Americans saw as trash, was what the village saw as their future.
Driving along, we saw unfinished homes on the top floors of buildings. Those upper floors will eventually become the homes of the children since families stay together. The normal Egyptian family values togetherness, which is why I haven’t seen one retirement center or nursing homes in Egypt. They value and respect their elders. The elders also know that their future lies in the children and youth. This is perhaps why they spend time training and mentoring the youth and allowing them to run the family business. Many times, in the shops, it was the teenagers watching over the family livelihood.
I reflected on how we’ve allowed ourselves to become too busy and preoccupied with schedules and daily routines that we forget what true community is. Have we, as a church, forgotten that Egyptian family values are the same family values Jesus exemplified for us in His life. Instead of searching for a retirement center or nursing home for our parents, what if we invite them to become part of the family– brother taking care of brother, neighbor helping neighbor.
Have our lives become so occupied with a schedule that we have forgotten to slow down and get to know our neighbors. It’s okay to take time for yourself and your family. It’s okay to get to know your neighbors, to check up on them and make sure they are okay. Spend time outside of our daily Sabbath routine with our extended church family. Train and mentor our youth and “trust” them with running the “shop”.
It’s time, as Americans, that we claim the promise in Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”
–Jon Roberts is RMC communication / media assistant; photos supplied