Stories & Commentaries

About Stories & Commentaries

From time to time, the North American Division shares commentaries on issues and/or events important to Adventists in this division. We also publish stories, which sometimes include interviews and features, to inspire our leaders and members.

Sad boy in chair ADHD

Exceptional Children with Special Needs: Knowing the Warning Signs

Charline Etienne’s daughter was a kindergartner at a Miami learning center when she began having problems in school. Etienne turned to a pediatrician who tested the girl and diagnosed her with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). From there, Etienne embarked on a long, tiresome journey to find the resources her daughter needed to thrive academically. 

Blackmer commentary female teacher and girl high five

Learning and Loving for Eternity

Wow, what time is it? It seems that just a short time ago I was the youngest principal in the room, and later the youngest conference associate superintendent. Wasn’t it only yesterday that I was looking forward to trying to implement change and innovation with the Adventist school system?

NPUC Gleaner photo of WWU students/interns mission trip

Why What Happened in Guatemala Matters Here

Sixteen young Walla Walla University students and pastoral interns learned something life-changing through their evangelistic trip to Retalhuleu, Guatemala, during spring break, March 22-April 1, 2018. They all knew it in theory, but for the first time some of them directly experienced how eternal decisions are made when the Spirit moves.

Amanda Rodriguez

The Product of Purpose

Human trafficking is believed to be the third-largest criminal activity in the world, and has no demographic restrictions, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “There are horrific stories,” said attorney Amanda Rodriguez. “But [it’s inspiring] to see the strength of survivors. It’s made my faith stronger. ... I know this is my purpose and I know God has led me on this path.”

Isaac and Christian Martin, Denver South church

Congolese Refugee Family Joins Colorado Church

Isaac, born Dyirengiro Amini Byiringiro, and his family had to flee their home in the People's Republic of the Congo when he was just 5 years old. Isaac, his parents, and sisters moved into a Rwandan refugee camp, where they’d live for 20 years. In the refugee camp, Isaac and his extended family discovered an Adventist church and began attending each Sabbath. Soon, the majority of the family were baptized into the faith. After the decades of life spent as refugees in Rwanda, Isaac and his family were able to immigrate to the United States and settle in the Denver, Colorado, area.

U.S. flag and fireworks closeup

Fireworks and Freedom

Sitting with my family on a sand dune at the beach in South Haven, Michigan, with Gatorade in one hand, glow stick in the other, I watched the 4th of July fireworks display. I wondered, as one of the shells exploded revealing a smiley face in the sky, what it might have been like to be Francis Key, watching from the water, as the British bombarded Fort McHenry in Baltimore. 

empty church pew stock photo

The Man Who Disappeared

During the appeal at the close of his message, Pastor Allen was thrilled to see a thirty-something man rise from his seat and make his way to the front of the worship center. The event was especially emotional because the pastor knew the backstory. Two years before, the man — we'll call him Irwin — had begun to attend the church. Sporadically at first, then with regularity. But then he disappeared.

NAD Women in Leadership

Connect, Share, Encourage

Last fall, during the North American Division 2017 Year-End Meeting, a group of church leaders gathered in a conference room for a lunchtime meet and greet. A conference president, three college presidents, several ministry leaders, and a few church officers — all women — gathered to reflect, share, pray, and praise God. They also shared advice they'd give to their younger selves.

Doctor praying before surgery

Press Together

Have you heard the phrase “the church is a hospital?” Generally, it means the church is a place of healing from physical, mental, spiritual, and social brokenness. But there is more to be gleaned from the analogy.

United Feet foot washing for homeless in Loma Linda, Calif. area

Students, Alumni Reach the Hearts of the Homeless Through Feet

As a Loma Linda University student, Tevita Palaki once skipped meals to financially support his budding ministry. Today, the non-profit organization, United Feet, which Palaki launched as a sophomore in 2015, sends out volunteers up to four times a week to serve local homeless by offering them the Christian act of footwashing.