November 19, 2013


God’s invisible web connecting Adventists all around the world is truly amazing. I was recently privileged to participate in an Adventist Heritage Tour organized by Sue Patzer from the North Pacific Union Conference. On our first day, I met Shirley and Larry Panasuk of College Place, Washington. Before his retirement, Gary worked for the United States Department of Agriculture as part of its embassy staff all around the globe. From 1990 to 1995 Shirley and Larry had been stationed in Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey, a country with very few Seventh-day Adventists. He told me how he had received a phone call one day from a young Turkish woman who announced that she was a Seventh-day Adventist and was looking for Adventist brothers and sisters. Her name was Melek.

When he mentioned that name my wife, Chantal, and I looked at each other. Could it be? Melek and her young daughter, Pelen, had been our neighbors in our first year of married life living in a tiny flat on the campus of Helderberg College, South Africa. Melek’s conversion had begun with a South African Adventist tour group. Melek had been their tour guide, and God had found her in Turkey. Friends helped her study at Helderberg College, and she later went to Andrews University, where she met her husband, David. Both have been active in service for Jesus over the past 20 years.

Why do I tell you this story? God’s timing and His web design are impeccable. This particular part of God’s web connected an American couple serving in Turkey, a Turkish woman searching for peace and purpose, and a German studying in South Africa. God not only owns the cattle on a thousand hills—He knows every one of His creatures and wants to make us part of His divine web. I am looking forward to the time I will see God’s intricate web design of my life, the impact that I have had on others and that others have had on me.

Standing around the throne of the Lamb promises to be exciting.