August 18, 2020

One hundred years ago, the “Spanish Influenza Pandemic,” which lasted two years (1918-1920), impacted 1/3 of the world population, took 675,000 American lives and about 50 million people died worldwide. Wearing masks, staying home, social distancing, banning public gatherings and quarantine orders are not new in our country and the world. 

One hundred years ago, we didn’t have cell phones, computers, the internet or virtual meetings to work remotely. The remote work was available for a handful of people, causing a substantial economic impact for most of society.

That pandemic, obviously, also impacted our Seventh-day Adventist members. Our church was affected in several ways: collective worship, evangelism, fellowship, education, finances, properties and more.

However, our Adventist ancestors continued the mission of our church amid these severe conditions. For us, who are living 100 years later, the restrictions and limitations imposed on us now are inconveniences for the majority of us, compared with the circumstances lived a century ago. 

Should you want to have a glimpse of how our Adventist church faced and handled such a pandemic back in 1918-1920, click here and read how the VISITOR magazine, published by the Columbia Union Conference, reported on such experiences.

A question came to my mind: How will we, the Adventist members living in the 21st century, inspire by our actions and deeds, the history of our mission of sharing the gospel of Jesus by assisting and helping our community who is struggling with desperation, anxiety, suffering, and death? We have the answer, let’s do it again. Let’s inspire the generations ahead.

What a blessing was the Week of Encouragement we had during the first week of August! Yes. Yes, we need encouragement and reassurance to invigorate our spirits to move forward during this time of isolation and distancing we have been living for five months. This lifestyle has impacted us not just physically but also emotionally and, to some degree, even spiritually. God created us as social human beings, and what we are living today is against our nature.

The uplifting messages by four outstanding preachers across the country, the powerful testimonies our SCC pastors shared, the inspirational music, reflecting the variety of worship styles we have in our conference, were intentionally prepared to reaffirm our trust and confidence in the Author of our faith, Jesus Christ.

If you didn’t know about this week or didn’t have the chance to watch it, I invite you to watch at least one of the nightly presentations; you will be blessed. Click here.

Your virtual fellow traveler,

Velino A. Salazar