August 22, 2012

As Youth Witness in Philadelphia, Faith Becomes Their Own

It’s a hot, sunny, summer afternoon in Philadelphia, perfect for lunching with friends or lounging by the pool. But that’s not where you’ll find Maile Hoffman. Clad in tan pants, a navy blue shirt and sneakers, this 18 year old is on a mission, and there’s nothing else she’d rather be doing. Donning a shoulder bag, a two-way radio and plenty of “bread” (sharing books), she makes her way down 68th Avenue, climbs the stairs of the house on the corner, rings the bell and waits. Moments later a woman emerges and Hoffman, a member of Pennsylvania Conference’s Harrisburg church and a recent graduate of Blue Mountain Academy (BMA) in Hamburg, Pa., flashes her signature smile and opens her bag. A short while later, the woman purchases a book, Hoffman prays with her and heads to the next home.

“Sometimes we’re the only Bible that people read,” she says. That’s why she’s spending her summer living with a host family, canvassing Philadelphia’s neighborhoods and sharing her faith.

Hoffman is one of 31 youth participating in the 2012 Pennsylvania Youth Challenge (PYC) headed by Tara VinCross (pictured second from left), senior pastor of the Chestnut Hill church here.—Story by Celeste Ryan Blyden


Capitol Hill Members Display Acts of Kindness on Sabbath

“How did you know it was my birthday?” asked one delighted senior when several members of the Capitol Hill church in Washington, D.C., showed up on his doorsteps with flowers and groceries (pictured).

That reaction is exactly “why I grow my flowers—to brighten the lives of those in need!” said Dan Price, an area resident who hand-cut more than 1,000 flowers from his personal garden for the Allegheny East Conference church’s We Are Family Senior Grocery Delivery outreach.

The grocery and flower delivery was one of more than 15 service activities that Capitol Hill members participated in on a recent Sabbath. Instead of a regular Sabbath service, Gene M. Donaldson, DMin, the church’s senior pastor, set aside the day as “Acts of Kindness” Community Service Day. Donaldson said church members hoped to bring to life Luke 6:9, which says it is “lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”—Story by Michelle Riley Jones


Lay Members Preach, Baptize in Dominican Republic

Mariano Samayoa (pictured praying) is a member of Potomac Conference’s Takoma Park Spanish church in Takoma Park, Md. He is also a lay pastor. Last year Samayoa graduated from Potomac Conference’s School of Discipleship with an Assistant to the Pastor certificate. This summer he joined 24 lay and professional pastors from Ohio; Washington, D.C.; El Salvador and Costa Rica on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, where thousands accepted the Lord.

“It was amazing to see how the people receive God over there when you preach,” he said. “They rent a big space and people pay real attention when you talk about God. When you make the call to accept Jesus, a lot of people come.”

The missionaries combined preaching with distributing free healthcare and food. When asked how he feels about his eight days in the Dominican Republic, Samayoa said, “I can see that we really need this kind of project in the world.”—Story by Taashi Rowe/Potomac Conference Staff

Laicos colaboran llevando miles de personas a Cristo en la República Dominicana

Mariano Samayoa (abajo, derecho) es miembro de la iglesia Takoma Park Spanish, en Takoma Park, Md. y también un pastor laico. El hermano Samayoa se graduó el año pasado de la Escuela de Discipulado de Potomac Conference en donde obtuvo un certificado de Asistente Pastoral. Durante este verano, se unió a otros veinticuatro pastores-laicos y profesionales—de Ohio, Washington, D.C., El Salvador y Costa Rica como integrantes de un viaje misionero a la República Dominicana, en donde miles de personas aceptaron al Señor.

“Es sorprendente ver cómo la gente en ese lugar acepta a Dios cuando uno predica”, comenta Mariano. “Rentan un local bien grande y cuando se habla de Dios, ellos prestan mucha atención. Muchas personas pasan cuando se hace el llamado para aceptar a Jesús”.

Los misioneros combinaron la predicación con distribución de comida y atención médica gratuita. Al preguntarle cómo se siente después de esos ocho días en la República Dominicana, Mariano dijo: “Me doy cuenta que este es el tipo de proyecto que verdaderamente se necesita en el mundo”.—Por Taashi Rowe/Personal de Potomac Conference


Kettering Adventist HealthCare Staff Dedicates Ollie Davis Pavilion

It was standing room only at the Ollie Davis Medical Arts and Education Center dedication, the newest facility opened by Kettering Adventist HealthCare, based in Kettering, Ohio. People from all over the healthcare network and the community came out to honor Ollie Davis, who donated the funds to build the medical office building at the Soin Medical Center, located in Beavercreek, Ohio.

Ollie Davis is a longtime Beavercreek commercial real estate developer and community healthcare advocate. Terry Burns, Soin Medical Center president, joined Fred Manchur (pictured), Kettering Adventist HealthCare CEO; Vicki Giambrione, Beavercreek mayor; and Raj Soin in honoring Davis for generously giving back to the community. The 107,000 square-foot, five-story pavilion will be devoted to leased space for physician offices and medical services.—Story by Kettering Adventist HealthCare Staff

Mysterious Benefactor Blesses Ohio Conference Church

Shortly before his closing remarks during a recent church service and communion, Pastor Patrick Mazani of the Bowling Green (Ohio) church saw a gentleman appear at the sanctuary door. Member Karen Griffith exited the sanctuary to greet him and asked if she could help. He handed her an envelope. As the gentleman hesitated, Griffith opened the envelope and pulled out a blank piece of paper with a cashier’s check.
Griffith asked the man if he would tell her the donor’s name. “That isn’t necessary,” the man replied. When asked why he was giving such a great gesture, he replied, “It’s because of all the good work your denomination does.”
Before leaving, Griffith (pictured) gave him a copy of Steps to Christ and The Master of Love and invited him to return each Sabbath for fellowship and a meal. He declined and quickly exited. The amount of the check? $3,020.—Story by Ohio Conference Staff

Charlottesville Church Draws Crowd, Media at Town Fair

Last Sabbath Potomac Conference’s Charlottesville (Va.) church participated in the Jefferson Park Avenue Street Fair. After situating a grand piano on a red carpet, surrounded by plants near the sidewalk, Rick Labate, pastor, gave a 25-minute piano concert every hour on the hour. Members from the Buena Vista (Va.) church provided a puppet show (pictured) every hour on the half hour, drawing a large crowd of children and parents.

Church members handed out almost 300 bottles of water, with labels reading, “Got Water? Whoever comes to Me shall never thirst again,” accompanied by the church’s address. Word of the church’s inventive participation drew attention from Charlottesville’s ABC affiliate, Channel 19, and NBC affiliate, Channel 29, each making it their top story.

Creative outreach and worship didn’t stop there. The church also hosted an outdoor, multigenerational Sabbath school and church service at 4 p.m. “I think the entire day brought a blessing to our church family and the community,” Labate said.—Story by Tiffany Doss

Correction: In the August 15 edition of the Visitor News Bulletin, we incorrectly identified the girls in the photo for a story titled “Spencerville Student Musicians Perform, Do Outreach in South Africa.” Pictured were Vanessa Baioni and her sister Juliana Baioni.We regret the error.

Click here for a complete listing of upcoming events around the Columbia Union Conference.

August 25-September 22: Abundant Living and New Beginnings evangelism training seminars will take place all over the Columbia Union Conference. The DVDs have brought hundreds of thousands of individuals to the Lord over the past decade. Each person who attends the training will receive two free DVDs, if he or she promises to use it within the next 12 months. The DVDs contain evangelistic presentations, each with its own outline guide, and are easy to use!
Upcoming trainings will be held: August 25at the Sussex Central church located at 22514 Gravel Hill Road in Georgetown, Delaware; September 1 at the Waldorf church located at 11245 Berry Road in Waldorf, Md.; September 8 at the Northeast church located at 6200 Loch Raven Boulevard in Baltimore and at the Tranquility church located at 1 Academy Lane in Andover, N.J.; September 15 at the Robbinsville church located at 2314 Route 33 in Robbinsville N.J. and September 22 at the Perth Amboy Hungarian church located at 345 Alpine Street in Perth Amboy, N.J. For more information, email
August 27: "Let’s Move!" Day/Adventists InStep for Life Webinar. Many churches have been participating in the Adventists InStep for Life initiative sponsored by the North American Division (NAD). Several area churches are hosting a 5K fun run September 23, "Let’s Move!" Day. To find out how your church can be part of "Let’s Move!" Day, join a webinar August 27. To learn more, visit, or contact Deloris Bailey by email at or by phone at (301) 680-6000.
September 8-9: Attend the REACH OUT Symposium and learn how to spread the gospel using a hands-on approach. Sponsored by the North American Division Adventist Community Services (ACS), the event features specialty tracks in crisis care taught by Steve Willseyand community development and urban ministrytaught by Sung Kwon. The event is held at the Chesapeake Conference office located at 6600 Martin Road in Columbia, Md. The $30 registration fee covers materials and lunch each day. Register by August 28 by contacting Evelyn Gates at (410) 995-1910, or email
September 8-16: Messiah’s Mansion is a full-scale model of the wilderness temple built by Moses and the Israelites as instructed by God after He led them out of Egypt. Free tours will take place in Hagerstown, Md., between 1 and 7 p.m. During the tour, you will learn many things about the historical temples of old, as well as the meanings of the symbols shown to us throughout the sanctuary and what they mean to us today. The mansion will be located on the grounds of the Review and Herald Publishing Association at 55 West Oak Ridge. For more information, call (301) 733-4411.

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Taashi Rowe, Visitor News Bulletin Editor 
5427 Twin Knolls Road, Columbia, MD 21045

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