There is a saying that “one of the most powerful pieces of evidence for the existence of God is a person’s changed life.” Maplewood Academy students and staff witnessed this during our Fall Week of Prayer as we listened to our guest speaker, Dennis Page, associate pastor of the Village Adventist Church in Berrien Springs, Michigan.
On the first evening, Pastor Page shared his personal testimony as a means of acquainting us to his theme of Restore 10, a study on the law and character of God using the 10 Commandments. Page grew up on the streets, became a drug user and dealer, and was arrested and served time in a federal prison. Yet God won his heart and changed him.
Throughout the week, messages based on the 10 Commandments showed us God’s faithfulness, holiness, integrity, commitment, honor, compassion, purity, generosity, honesty and contentment. God longs for us to know and love Him and then fill our hearts with those same qualities. Interspersed throughout the talks were personal stories and examples which inspired the students as they reflected and interacted in small groups on the topics presented.
Page also spoke about the mission work his church does in El Salvador. He mentioned the great need to get young people into Adventist schools to rescue them from gangs and death on the streets. Our students accepted a challenge to raise $1,700 to put one student in school for one year. But the Holy Spirit was working on hearts, and three students offered their personal savings to help sponsor one student each. So, we are truly excited to see God work as we continue this challenge to help raise tuition for students in El Salvador.
Maplewood students were inspired to see how God can change a lost and evil person into someone who just can’t stop talking about God and His love. Page’s faith in God amazed us, and he constantly gave God the glory for all He has done. This Week of Prayer gave us hope, encouragement and a picture of God’s love.
Linda Vigil is the Bible teacher and chaplain at Maplewood Academy in Hutchinson, Minnesota.