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Five years ago, Victor Rivera was given a diagnosis of cancer and told he had six months to live. Prior to his death in 2020, his prayer to see his son grow to at least 8 years old was answered.

Story by Cynthia Mendoza

A little over five years ago Victor Rivera was given one of the most dreaded diagnoses; cancer. He was given no more than six months to live.Though at the time he did not belong to any denomination, Rivera asked God for a seemingly impossible blessing: that God would give him five more years, long enough to see his son grow to at least eight years of age. Against all medical odds, Rivera didn’t die after six months.

La Unión de Columbia está celebrando el 2021 como el Año de la Biblia al promover un fuerte enfoque en la primacía de la Palabra de Dios, alentar una mayor lectura, estudio y memorización de la Biblia y brindar oportunidades para que los miembros de todas las edades contemplen y compartan cómo la Biblia impacta sus vidas de manera significativa.

Para ayudar a los miembros en esta jornada, la union ha publicado Palabras
de Vida, un libro devocional con testimonios de los miembros. “Estamos muy agradecidos por aquellos que sacrificaron su tiempo y energía para escribir desde su corazón”, agrega Weigley.

Historia de V. Michelle Bernard

El Comité Ejecutivo de la Unión de Columbia eligió a Rick Remmers como secretario ejecutivo de la unión. Remmers (fotografiado con su esposa, Shayne) comenzó su nuevo cargo en enero para cubrir la vacante dejada por Rob Vandeman, quien anunció planes para retirarse durante el 2021.

Remmers ha sido el presidente de la Conferencia de Chesapeake desde el 2011. Anteriormente se desempeñó como secretario ejecutivo de la misma conferencia.

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Editorial by Dave Weigley

Being sheltered in place during the pandemic means I get to walk my dogs every morning and evening. At night, I have discovered anew the starry heavens, and, thanks to an app on my phone, I am able to view stars with constellation descriptions. One in particular has caught my eye—Polaris, the North Star—which appears to maintain its position, providing an excellent reference for direction.

In writing about the North Star, Harvard University Professor Bill George, author of the book True North, notes that our lives should be principle-centered, embracing stellar values that guide us. I like that!

TRUE NORTH STAR

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“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isa. 40:28–31, NKJV).

In my 35 years of ministry, these verses have carried me through many storms and blessings. This passage became even more relevant when I got into a terrible car accident.

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“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Gal. 5:22–23, NIV).

When I think about the fruit of the Spirit, I think about our pastor’s Week of Prayer. Each day he focused on one “Fruit of the Spirit” and brought a different fruit to represent that particular “fruit.” He told us how the fruit was good for our bodies, and then related it to our spiritual lives. At the end of each talk, we got to taste the yummy fruit.

When I think about the fruit of the Spirit, some fruits stick out more than others. They are all important, but love, patience, faithfulness and self-control are the ones that mean the most to me.

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“Then a voice came from heaven, ‘You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Mark 1:11, NKJV).

When I was a child, praise had to be earned, and success seemed just out of reach. I was born with misshaped hips and legs, resulting in my needing to wear braces on my legs. This delayed my ability to walk, and completely canceled any ability to run or ride tricycles until the braces could be removed.

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“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4, NKJV).

You never expect it will happen to you. On May 23, 2016, at around 11 a.m., my (seemingly) perfectly healthy 13-year-old son collapsed at school from a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Providentially, my husband and I, teachers at the small Adventist school, had recently been trained in CPR. But we never expected to use it beyond CPR class, let alone on our own son.

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“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness” (Col. 2:6–7, NLT).

I find that my favorite text can shift depending on where I am in my spiritual journey. At times, I have found over the years that it seems easier to whine about issues than change my attitude to “overflow with thankfulness.” The text states that as I grow in Christ and my life is built on Him, then the natural overflow will be thankfulness, for the fruit of a mature Christian is thankfulness.

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“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Ps. 34:4, KJV).

On Sunday, March 29, 2020, I received a call from my daughter Andrea, a nurse, telling me that she had a temperature of over 101 degrees, was being sent home from work and was going to be tested for COVID-19. I prayed with my daughter and claimed God’s promises over her.