June 19, 2018

June 19, 2018
I am still stunned by the news over this past weekend regarding the “Children Detention Centers” established to process children who are in this country illegally. Although all of us have known about detention centers, naively we have associated them with adults only. But within the last week, all of us have been impacted by the outrageous behavior reported in the news as a result of this “zero tolerance policy” and its effects on children who are being ripped away from their parents, especially infants, while they are processed by the immigration office.

March 30,2015, Suruc in Turkey. Syrian people in refugee camp in Suruc. These people are refugees from Kobane and escaped because of Islamic state attack. March 30,2015, Suruc in Turkey.

As the media has disclosed details in their reports, all this activity has caused indignation as to how far politicians will go to further their agendas, claiming that these actions are for the collective benefit. All of this has reached the level of inhumanity and insensitivity toward the most vulnerable people on earth: children.

Yes, we as a church always have supported and still support our government, as long as they act on Christian and humanitarian principles. Jesus never supported any type of abuse, and we as His followers should take heed of His words: “Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, ‘Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me;  and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.’” (Mark 9:36-37, NKJV)

I join my colleagues in the Adventist denomination by speaking out against this type of abuse: 

I invite you to contact your congressman or congresswoman to bring an end to these heinous acts. In the meantime, let’s pray for these families who have been separated.

Here are the highlights from last Sabbath:

I had the privilege of installing Elder James L. Kyle as the senior pastor of Vallejo Drive church. This ended a year-long search for the right person to lead this congregation. Elder Kyle is a physician who has been willing to lead the ministry of churches while he functions as an administrator of a healthcare institution. Since 1997 he has served in a bi-vocational capacity for the Breath of Life (7 years), the Berean (6 months), and the Tamarind Avenue (7 years) churches. At each one of these appointments, churches grew under his leadership. He is a solid and experienced pastor in whom we have full confidence the Lord will use in his new appointment.

After our fellowship with Vallejo Drive church members, Esther and I spent the afternoon at the Hispanic Women's Ministries Retreat at the Murrieta Hot Springs Conference Center. This Hispanic ministry was celebrating their 30th Anniversary. The celebration attracted more than 450 sisters in Christ, and it was highlighted by prayer, seminars, uplifting messages, a gala dinner, and much more.

Kudos to all the leaders of this ministry, currently led by Gloria Huerta, and praise be to God for His abundant blessings to this segment of our constituency.

Your fellow traveler,

Velino A. Salazar
Southern California Conference