April 17, 2018

April 17, 2018 
The week of March 26-29, our SCC office personnel had our Spring Week of Prayer. Elder Injong Moon, Cerritos Korean SDA Church pastor, presented four inspirational messages calling our attention to our Christian duty as followers of Jesus to take care of our children, our young adults, our elderly people, and the immigrants in our communities. We were greatly blessed, and we learned a few words in Korean: “yesu saranghaeyo,” which means “I love Jesus,” and “jjang,” which is slang for “cool.”  

By the way, for those who do not know, for the last 12 years, the SCC office personnel has been having two weeks of prayer per year. These meetings are presented by our SCC pastors who have done an excellent job always inviting us all to look at Jesus as the ultimate leader of this conference.

The first four days of April, I was delighted to attend Adventist WestPoint in Long Beach, CA. These lectures were organized by the Pacific Union Conference Ministerial office. Since you may already have heard about it through the Pacific Union’s weekly video program, “All God’s People,” presented by Connie Jeffery, I will not say much about it, just that those who attended were truly blessed.

The first weekend of April, Esther and I went to visit our daughter Melissa, who teaches fourth and fifth grades at South Bend Junior Academy in the Indiana Conference. We had a wonderful time with her and her new community, especially with the church and school leadership. Although the school is small, their enrollment is growing slowly but steadily with solid projections for expansion. I was positively impressed how the church and school leaders spend time together planning and working toward the growth of both institutions.

Last week was a kind of classic week with appointments with church members and employees along with meetings for standing committees we have here in the office. Thursday at noon, I headed to La Sierra University to participate in an interview done by WASC  the Western Associations of Schools and Colleges (WASC) as part of the accreditation process. The following morning, the WASC team gave the University Board of Trustees and campus family their positive Exit Report with their commendations and recommendations as result of this visit. The complete report will be delivered to the LSU leadership in a few weeks. Congratulations to LSU leadership for the hard work in preparation for this visit to retain LSU accreditation status.

Last Saturday was a day with mixed emotions. With great joy, Esther and I had the opportunity to worship with the Panorama Spanish SDA Church. Elder Carlos Varona invited me to visit his church and help him to promote Adventist Christian education. I was more than happy to accept his invitation and highlight the importance of having Adventist Christian teachers as allies to educate our children. I made an appeal to the parents to consider sending their children to our Adventist schools.

In the afternoon with sadness, we attended the Celebration of Life of Roschelle Ray-ee Lu Fisher, Elder Cary Fisher’s wife who passed on March 27, 2018. The Glendale City SDA Church sanctuary was packed with Roschelle’s family, friends, classmates, coworkers and church members. It was a simple, meaningful and very comforting service honoring this beautiful person who was a devoted follower of Jesus. Let’s keep our dear pastor Cary, and precious children Johanna, Ella, and Grant, in our prayers.

That evening, we ended our day remembering Jesus’ words of hope and encouragement in our hearts: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

Dear Cary and children, yes, your brothers and sisters believe in these words, and Jesus will come and reunite you with your beloved Roschelle.

In the Blessed Hope,

Velino A. Salazar
Southern California Conference