Nov. 19, 2009
The 13 Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities spread across the United States and Canada may behave like rivals but in reality, “we’re really siblings,” Sam Leonor, La Sierra University’s campus pastor said during University Worship on Nov. 19. “We love each other very much.”
For that reason, Southern Adventist University’s devastating loss Nov. 18 of student missionary Kirsten Wolcott also deeply impacts La Sierra. “Whatever happens to one of our schools happens to all of us,” Leonor said.
During the worship service, following a recitation of the 23rd Psalm, Leonor called on students and staff to stand for a minute of silence “in honor of this amazing person.”
Wolcott, a 20-year-old liberal arts education major, was serving on the South Pacific island of Yap, Micronesia. She was teaching second grade at the Yap Adventist School. On Nov. 18, Wolcott, an avid runner, failed to return from a jog.
Adventist school systems in other countries are highly dependent on student missionaries from Adventist colleges and universities, Leonor said. “Every year …we send these people. We send them out knowing there are massive risks.”
“God does not promise nothing will harm us in this world. What He promises is His presence,” Leonor said. “…We might be confused about how things work,” but God has promised to be with us.
He advised students to remember the Bible says life is brief and should not be taken for granted. “Call your family and tell them you love them. Call your friends and tell them you love them. Call them. Don’t Facebook. Don’t Twitter. We don’t know if we have tomorrow.”
He admonished the students to remember on Thanksgiving Day that the family members gathered at their tables “are a gift God has given us.”
PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University