“I’m writing you by e-mail in hopes of reconnecting again—soon! I’ve left voicemail messages four or five times, and tried texting you half a dozen times too. I stopped by your house last Thursday evening with a loaf of Kathy’s whole wheat bread, but only heard Ranger barking in the backroom when I rang the bell. Hope you got the bread on the front porch before the squirrels did!
I keep getting the sense that something must be wrong—something must have happened that has discouraged you. It’s nearly four months since we saw you at church, and at least six weeks since we bumped into each other at the convenience store. Gaps like that aren’t usually good for faith. Maybe yours is struggling a bit just now.
I know that Fatima has always been unsure about your new relationship with Jesus. She loves you deeply, and she’s really loyal, but I can feel the pull of her own faith background and the concerns of her family. I was just looking at the photos of your baptism on my iPhone yesterday: there was worry in her eyes as she stood beside you and Pastor Rick. I wish she could have joined you more evenings during the “Revelation Speaks Peace” seminar in May. I remember how important it was to me that Kathy and I could talk and pray about the whole new world of Bible truth we were discovering when we got baptized six years ago.
I’ve been collecting the Bible puzzles each week in Serena’s Primary class at Sabbath School. I’ve got quite a stack of them now, and I can just imagine the big grin on her face as she dives into solving all of them. Tell her “Uncle Ernie” misses her—and has a lot of puzzles for her.
Adrian, I pray for you each day—because I know how hard it is to be a new believer. Learning how to keep God’s Sabbath; discovering how to build daily Bible study time; getting used to a whole new identity as an Adventist—those aren’t easy things to navigate, especially alone.
Take a moment and let me know how you’re doing, or call anytime.”
Each year, 40,000 new believers join the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America. And each year, nearly half of them disappear within 12 months, pulled away from a new faith in Jesus by families, jobs, and the doubts that always come to those who have made life-changing decisions.
Tens of thousands of young adult Adventists also disappear each year, many of them not formally cutting ties to their childhood faith, but simply going quiet when they don’t find meaning any longer, or the relationships that support them in turbulent times.
That’s why the Adventist Review for nearly 20 years has been offering its readers a practical way to build support into the lives of those who most need it—the newly baptized, and those trying to discover the faith of Jesus for themselves. “Young in faith” is always an “at-risk” category, and the readers of this magazine have contributed more than $1 million since 1998 to put a free subscription of this faith-saving journal in young hands.
You can help again this year. Give one new believer or one Millennial a full year of all the hope, courage, and Bible truth that the Adventist Review offers for just $10. Reach out to five for only $50. Bless ten with your gift of $100—or more. We partner with generous conferences across the continent to supply the balance.
Simply go online at www.adventistreview.org/subscriptions to make your credit card contribution to our New Believers campaign, or better yet, call 1-800-447-7377 to make your gift by phone. When you see our letter in your mailbox this month, send a check to “Adventist Review—New Believers” in the enclosed business reply envelope.
Keep reaching out to Adrian.