We have a diverse culture across the two-state conference, from Hispanic and refugee churches to mixed multicultural churches. And every member and guest in every location is highly valued. Here are three stories from different parts of our conference that celebrate our diversity.
St. Louis Community Prays Over Chief of Police
The St Louis Central Church brought together representatives from almost all the churches in the metro last year to pray over the Metro Chief of Police.
Branden Watson, St. Louis Central Church Bible worker, said, “I realize that as we are here in this city, as we are living in this city, we know that a lot is going on, but I sometimes wonder if there’s a time where we get a chance to connect and pray with these people that we’re seeing every day that are protecting our streets, that are protecting our communities, to make a connection with them. I don’t know about you, but I believe that’s one of the reasons why the church exists.”
During the gathering, the Chief of Police, Robert Tracy, shared with the church,” It’s about community—serving a community of well over 300,000 in this city and close to a million in this region. And we’re all in this together. We’re all in this together, and we talk about community—and I’ve heard that word used several times up here—which is what we need to do and come together. We need to stop being divided. We have to ensure that the rhetoric out there with a small amount of people with the loudest voices does not divide us. We’re in this together for a safer and better St. Louis area.”
Scholarships Provide Education for Refugee Students
The Iowa-Missouri Conference puts a high priority on the education of our children—and that includes all the children in our conference. That’s why we have a special scholarship to help provide good Christian Adventist education for those less fortunate. Many of those who receive the scholarship are refugees. Below are a few comments from parents about their experiences.
From Adelphine Ndayikeza (mother of Noel)
Andrews Christian Academy has helped teach my son about Christ and has given him an excellent education throughout the years of his being there. For parents who want to have their children have an excellent education, kindness and intelligence, Andrews Christian Academy is the school for that.
From Jonathan Sabokwigura (father of Jessica, Olive and Joella)
I have three daughters, and they all go to an Adventist school. As a Christian, I believe kids should be in a school where learning about God is the priority. Also, I want to thank our conference for the excellent Refugee Fund program, which covers 50 percent of our school tuition; without the refugee funds, my family wouldn’t be able to afford the Adventist education, and my kids would end up in a school where they are not allowed to talk about our Lord Jesus. Thank you so much for your support!
From om Remi Kabura (father of Rose and Rachel)
We need to send our children to Adventist schools because they have focused teaching on each of the students, which helps our children understand everything they learn. It helps them learn how to write and read well and do better than other students in other schools. Also, they teach them about the Christian faith. It is very important for us as Christian parents, that our children learn more about God at a very young age. When my daughter Rose started at Andrews Christian Academy back in 2021, she didn’t know how to read and write, but by the end of that same school year, she could read and write, which meant a lot to us as parents. We greatly appreciate all the teachers working tirelessly to help our children achieve great educational success.
Multicultural Study Tour Highlights Resiliency and Hope
The Bible is filled with stories of resiliency, hope and faith. This past summer, a small group of people embarked on a journey to better understand the stories in the first five books of the Bible by visiting the places in Egypt and Israel where the biblical writers indicate many events occurred and learn from the archaeological, geographical, and historical evidence. This Route of the Exodus Study Tour was co-sponsored by the Multicultural Church for the Community in Kansas City, Ancient Stones, and Tutku Tours. The tour director was Abelardo Rivas, who holds a PhD in ANE Archaeology.
The group visited the pyramids of Giza, Memphis, and the open museum, including the statue of Rameses II, the region of Saqqara, and even navigated the Nile River. They then traveled south to the Sinai Peninsula to visit Jebul Musa (Mountain of Moses) and Mt. Sinai where the Ten Commandments were given.
After this unforgettable time in Egypt, the group traveled north and crossed into Jordan. Following the Kings’ Highway, they stopped at important sites such as Petra and Mt. Nebo. They also visited several Adventist excavation sites, such as Tall Jalul, Hisban, and Tall Umayri.
After leaving the modern Kingdom of Jordan, they crossed the Allenby Bridge into Israel. During a special moment of celebration there, two participants sealed their commitment to Jesus through the rite of baptism in the Jordan River, and three others renewed their commitments. The group then journeyed on to the Sea of Galilee and also explored the tunnel of Siloam, built by King Hezekiah in preparation for the Assyrian siege. Their route ended in what would later become the capital of the emerging nation, Jerusalem. This city served as the crowning jewel for the Israelites and bears the symbolism of triumph over evil as representative of the New Jerusalem in Revelation.
In reflecting on this study tour, one participant said, “I will never read the Bible the same after this experience. “The Route of the Exodus teaches us that despite great challenges, great faith always makes us prevail. It is worth placing our trust in God, who carried the Israelites through this most challenging but transformative journey of their lives.
The Multicultural Church for the Community and Ancient Stones will continue to sponsor upcoming study tours. Among them are From David to Jesus, The New Testament (Turkey, Greece, and Rome), The Route of Exodus, and many more. For more information, contact ?????