August 10, 2011

Sligo Members Provide Healthcare to Neighbors   

When the invitation came asking them to provide healthcare services, Potomac Conference’s Sligo church community in Takoma Park, Md., was ready. “We knew that this is where we should be—in the community so … we gladly responded,” said Rebecca Brillhart, associate pastor. The invitation came from CASA de Maryland, a community organization responding to the needs of the thousands of mainly Central Americans arriving in the Washington, D.C.-area after fleeing wars and strife in their countries of origin.

Under the theme “To Your Health!” or “A Tu Salud!” the health fair for the local underserved, intercultural community brought together several Seventh-day Adventist partners—Washington Adventist Hospital, Washington Adventist University and members of the Sligo church. Nearly 300 visitors, including Pedro Ventura, (pictured) received health attention, information and assessments, with the help of 120 volunteers turning the “neighbors meeting neighbors” community event into a day to remember.—Rajmund Dabrowski


ASI Attendees Give $2 Million for Mission

The annual international gathering of Adventist-laymen’s Services & Industries (ASI) last week drew a large attendance of generous participants who reached deep into their pockets to surpass the organization’s fundraising goal.
More than 3,100 people packed into the Sacramento Convention Center (Calif.) on Sabbath morning, August 6, the final day of the 2011 convention. They worshiped with sacred orchestral music, listened to member and ministry testimonies and shouted “amens” during Seventh-day Adventist world church President Ted N.C. Wilson’s sermon. Wilson lauded the program’s theme, “Inspired to Finish Strong!”

The audience was clearly inspired to give. More than $2 million was collected in the special offering to fund 47 mission projects—surpassing the organization’s $1.5 million goal. “I think people realize the times we’re living in,” said Donna McNeilus, ASI general vice president, beaming at the conclusion of the four-day convention. “And even though the economic situation is extremely volatile, people really are serious about wanting to give their all for Jesus, and it showed here.”—Edwin Manuel García/ANN


Economist Predicts New Adventist Hospital Will Bring Billions to Region   

A leading economist is predicting that the proposed relocation of the Washington Adventist Hospital to White Oak, Md., and its continued use of the hospital’s current Takoma Park, Md.-campus, will spur billions of dollars in jobs, housing and private investment in the region.

In a newly released study of the economic impacts of the project, Stephen S. Fuller, PhD, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University in Arlington, Va., says the hospital’s importance as a catalyst for further economic development within the science corridor can generate significant and continuing economic benefits to the local and state economies.—Story by Diana McFadden


Mountain View to Host Hispanic Camp Meeting This Weekend

With its work among Spanish-speaking members growing, Mountain View Conference leaders are hosting their second Hispanic camp meeting August 12-14 at Valley Vista Adventist Center in Huttonsville, W.Va. Reflecting on the theme “Jesus is Coming,” Walter Cardenas, Hispanic Ministries coordinator for the conference, says, “Now more than ever we have to live ready to receive our Savior and King. This is the reason why the main focus for this camp meeting is sharing how to live ready to receive our soon returning King.”

Main speaker Pastor Andres Reyes has been serving the Lord in the Dominican Republic for 15 years. Alabanza Pura (pictured), the official worship team of the Potomac Conference Hispanic Ministries, will lead in the song service. They will also perform a concert on Sabbath afternoon.

The weekend will include programs for kids, family-focused seminars and social events on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. For more information, contact Cardenas at (703) 297-2294.

Noticias: La Conferencia de Mountain View realizará su campamento hispano este fin de semana  

En vista a un ministerio hispano en creciendo, los líderes de la Conferencia de Mountain View han planeado su segundo campamento hispano desde el 12 al 14 de abril en el Centro Adventista de Valley Vista, Huttonsville, WV. Considerando el tema central “Jesús Viene,” Walter Cárdenas, coordinador hispano de la conferencia, dice, “Ahora más que nunca tenemos que vivir preparados para recibir nuestro Salvador y Rey. Por eso decidimos que el enfoque de este campamento debería ser como vivir preparados esperando la venida del Señor.”

El orador principal será el Pastor Andrés Reyes (foto). El ha estado sirviendo a Dios en la Republica Dominicana por 15 años. Alabanza Pura, el grupo oficial de música del Ministerio Hispano de la Conferencia de Potomac, estará dirigiendo los servicios de alabanzas. También tendrán un concierto el sábado de tarde.

Durante el fin de semana habrá programas para niños, seminarios para la familia y eventos sociales. Estos se realizarán el sábado por la noche y el domingo por la tarde. Si desea más información, contacte al Pr. Cárdenas al (703) 297-2294.

College Colporteurs Canvass New Jersey, Maryland

They are devout fishers of men. As members of ANEW, a network of Seventh-day Adventist students and young professionals who are actively involved in campus ministries on secular universities in the mid-Atlantic region, these students are not afraid to declare their faith out loud. For several weeks this summer, nine of them worked with Allegheny East Conference churches as colporteurs canvassing in parking lots, at businesses, homes and apartments around Maryland and New Jersey.

Grace Lee, who recently graduated from the University of North Carolina with her master’s degree in Social Work, says, “This summer has definitely been helping me learn that God is a loving and personal Savior whose love is so much greater than I can imagine.”

ANEW will be hosting a fall conference at Camp Hebron in Halifax, Pa., October 14-16. To learn more about ANEW, visit—Jacqueline E. Rivera


Chesapeake Summer Camps Foster Fun, Faith
Nearly 1,000 kids attended a Chesapeake Conference camp this summer. Mount Aetna Camp in Hagerstown, Md., capped enrollment at 560 residential campers due to staffing constraints, but several churches and schools offered day camps to serve their constituents and communities.

“Our goal is for every Chesapeake church that can afford it to offer FLAG Camp (Fun Learning About God) each summer,” says Carl Rodriguez, conference Youth Ministries director. “If we get 20 churches and schools to do it, and they each get 100 kids, then we’re reaching 2,000 kids!”

This year four Maryland churches—Baltimore First, Baltimore White Marsh, Frederick and Park (Salisbury) offered day camp; and two Delaware churches—Dover and West Wilmington; and Atholton Adventist Academy in Columbia, Md., launched their first summer day program.—Randy Myaing

Photo by Randy Myaing

Liberty’s VBS Teaches Kids About God’s Love  

Four-year old Joash gave his mother important advice one afternoon as she searched for a lost item: “Mommy, pray. God is listening.” Where did he learn this? At Vacation Bible School (VBS) at Allegheny East Conference’s Liberty church in Randallstown, Md. For four weeks this summer, the church ran a VBS mini-camp using the theme “Pandamania—Where God is Wild About You.”

Forty children, 10 of whom were visitors from the church’s community, participated in Bible stories, crafts and games that emphasized the messages that God loves us no matter what and is always listening. Bible stories ranged from creation week to Elijah on Mount Carmel to Jonah in the belly of a fish.

“I really liked the field trips, and I especially liked the people,” said Kianu Carcamo, 11, one of the first-time participants from the community. She and her siblings enjoyed VBS so much that they all want to come back next year.— Barbara Crawford

New Jersey Selects New Youth Director

Pastor Paulo Macena (pictured left) is the new Youth Ministries director for the New Jersey Conference. He replaces Pastor Laffit Cortés (pictured second from left) who went on to serve as chaplain at Pacific Union College (Calif.). Macena previously pastored the Luzo-Brazilian church in Newark and churches in the Waldwick and Wayne district while serving as the Children’s Ministries director for the conference. Macena is transitioning to the conference office where he will serve as the full-time director for Youth and Children’s ministries. His wife, Cristiana (pictured right), will continue to provide support to the Children’s Ministries program.

“We are pleased to have such an excellent and energetic leader,” José H. Cortés, conference president, said of Macena. “I know that he will continue a good strong youth ministry program in our conference.”

Williamsport Students Join Adults to Preach   

Caleb Holt, Kayla Pryor and Taylor Fulmer, three Mountain View Christian School (MVCS) students, recently got a taste of ministry when they preached in a ShareHim series that took place at Pennsylvania Conference’s Williamsport church.

The series spanned the first three weekends and included 11 meetings. Fulmer (fifth-grade), Pryor (sixth-grade) and Holt (seventh-grade) each preached one sermon. The topics the three students covered include Sabbath, salvation and the state of the dead. Various students from MVCS presented special music each night. Approximately 20 people attended each meeting and MVCS parents who are not Adventist have since shown interest in what the Adventist Church teaches.

“I was so impressed that these students decided to be used by God to preach His Word,” said Thomas Grove, pastor of Williamsport church.—Ashley Richards

Campus Ministries Takes Off in Ohio

Last fall the Ohio Conference sponsored Campus Ministries programs at Ohio University (OU) in Athens, The Ohio State University in Columbus and Wright State University in Dayton. How did the Adventist Christian Fellowship (ACF) chaplains fare during their first year? Here are their stories:

A little daunted by the task of attempting to reach a student body of 21,303 students, Ohio University ACF chaplains Darrin and Beamy Thurber started the school year with a prayer walk through the campus. Then the Thurbers hosted a back-to-school barbecue for students and community members. The 2010-11 school year marked the beginning of ACF as a recognized student group on campus, the start of a weekly campus Bible study, a weekly campus prayer time and other social and spiritual events.—Heidi Shoemaker


Meet Devante Stephenson, Short-Term Missionary  

Meet Devante Stephenson (pictured right), a member of Allegheny East Conference’s Emmanuel-Brinklow church in Ashton, Md. As a short-term missionary with Global Vessels this summer, he traveled with 22 others to serve at the Havilah Village Orphanage in Tanzania.

Upon reflecting on his trip, this recent high school graduate said: “When I arrived at the orphanage, I immediately fell in love with the kids. That they have lost so much in their lives already, but wake up every day with a smile, is a testimony in itself. While I was there, we went into the village and remodeled a house. You should have seen the joy in the homeowners’ faces after we finished the house. It was as if they won the lottery.

“Despite their many struggles, the people had a spirit of gratitude! They live day-to-day but still thank God!” Learn more about the orphanage at

Washington Adventist Sophomore Heads to Tanzania

This summer 35 Washington Adventist University students went overseas for short-term mission trips. However, Kellie Dehm, a sophomore nursing major at the Takoma Park, Md.-based school, will be the university’s first long-term missionary in over six years. Dehm will head to Arusha, Tanzania, on August 23. She will be spending one year as a student missionary working at the Havilah Village Orphanage. Global Vessels, which was founded by Emmanuel-Brinklow church members in Ashton, Md., operates the orphanage.

“I decided to go to Africa because I wanted to step out on faith and do what I felt God was impressing me to do,” Dehm shared. “I know that while I am there, I will be God’s vessel as He touches lives through me.”

Forward to a Friend or Subscribe

To share the Visitor News Bulletin with friends and church members across the Columbia Union, click the “Forward to a Friend” link below so all the photos and copy will appear correctly. Also, encourage them to sign up for the email at Thank you!  

Stay Connected:

Visitor News Bulletin Staff: Celeste Ryan Blyden, Communication director;
Taashi Rowe, news editor
5427 Twin Knolls Road, Columbia, MD 21045

Email:    Website:
Visitor News Bulletin is an electronic newsletter published by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Columbia Union Conference. You are free to reprint any portion of the bulletin, however, please identify Visitor News Bulletin as the source.

Visitornews mailing list
To unsubscribe send your request to

This message was sent to from Columbia Union, 5427 Twin Knolls Road,, Columbia, MD 21045.
Edit profile / unsubscribe