“If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday’ (Isaiah 58:10).
I have found many inspiring stories in the Adventist World magazine, as well as reasons for prayer that join me with my brothers and sisters all around the world. Reading news and accounts of different places where the Church is helps us have a more complete idea of who we are as Adventist believers. It gives us a great sense of identity and belonging, and also increases our network of support and influence.
In 2015, I read the story of Anbesse, a little boy who was abandoned by his parents after a hyena had attacked him and ripped off part of his face. He went to live in an Adventist orphanage in Ethiopia and, in 1978, participated in a Week of Prayer there. Pastor Schantz, the speaker for that special week, was deeply impressed and concerned about this child’s future, His face was completely disfigured, but his sensitive heart was filled with hope when he heard about Jesus and heaven. At the end of the meeting, he went up to the pastor and said to him, “When Jesus returns, he will give me a new face.” When the pastor returned to Denmark, he set up a campaign to help the boy, and a plastic surgeon finally did several free procedures to restore him. As the years went by, Anbesse married Helen and they had three children. After the surgeries, he lost contact with the pastor and stopped going to church.
Pastor Schantz, however, continued his ministry for nearly fifty years. In 2014, shortly before he died, he preached in a place where Helen attended with her three children. Together with his wife, this pastor devoted himself to visiting the family regularly to study the Bible, and finally, Helen and her two older children decided to be baptized. Pastor Schantz said that it was a very special experience to baptize three people thanks to the work done thirty-six years earlier.
You can read this story and many more, and remember that, with your life dedicated to God, you can bear much fruit for eternity.
Do you know any orphanages where you can help? Is there a burn hospital near your home? Many children are alone and in need of affection; many patients are alone in rehabilitation. You can also share this message of hope with them.