Greetings from Argentina, dear SCC family!
This past week, my family and I were visiting Esther's parents and relatives, and we had a great time remembering the wonderful time we have had over the years as a family. My in-laws (96 & 89) are very happy to have their five grandchildren (29, 25, 19, 15 & 15) together once again. They were talking, looking at pictures, watching family films, laughing and teasing each other. Real family time!
Even though over here, in this part of the world, there is no Thanksgiving Day, as we interacted with our family and friends, our grateful spirit was stirred up in gratitude to God for the many blessings we have received from the wonderful group of people around our lives: all of you.
- We are grateful for our parents, who, while raising us, passed on the Christian faith and Adventist values.
- We are grateful for our siblings, who, amid our typical brotherly quarrels, we have learned to be patient, respect and love each other.
- We are grateful for our children, who, through the process of raising them, we have understood God’s love for His children.
- We are grateful for our pastors and teachers, who the Lord has brought together to reaffirm the Christian Adventist faith to the current and next generation.
- We are grateful for our associates in ministry in the SCC office, who, as a team (support staff, department directors and officers), the Lord has chosen to provide leadership to His mission in SCC.
- We are grateful for our church members, faithful and committed people of God, who every day allow God to use them to share His love and gospel.
As we review and reflect on the ministry this conference has done during the year 2019, there is no doubt that the Lord has blessed us abundantly, in the difficult and easy moments; and now, to Him be all the glory and honor for all His loving blessings.
I hope and pray you have had a blessed Thanksgiving season with family, friends or strangers. Yes, you read correctly—strangers. Some of our churches have been kicking off this meaningful season by meeting strangers and sharing with them not just food or clothing, but love, care, time and talking with many who are alone and have no friends or family to spend this important day. Churches including Central Japanese, Eastmont Spanish, Gardena Genesis, Valley Crossroads, Compton Community, Ephesus, Hollydale and more reached out to their community in significant ways this holiday.
For instance, for some years, the Greater Los Angeles Region office has coordinated a visit to Skid Row next to Downtown Los Angeles by several churches, within and outside their regions.
Within this context of sharing the gospel and giving thanks, I leave you with these words from Saint Paul: "But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, 'I believed in God, so I spoke.' We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory” (2 Corinthians 4:13-15, NLT).
- SCC Day of Prayer: Save the date for Sabbath, January 25, 2020, at the Spanish American SDA Church. All are invited to come and seek the Lord’s blessing as we begin a new year.
Your fellow traveler,
Velino A. Salazar
Southern California Conference