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Joy Cho, Self-Supporting Missionary, Dies in Hiking Accident—And More News

Joy Cho

Joy Cho, vice-president for Eastward Missions youth ministry in Australia, fell to her death hiking in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park on Friday, August 11. Cho, 47, was on a weeks-long US road trip with Eastward Missions that included a stop at the ASI (Adventist-laymen’s Services & Industries) convention in Kansas City and summiting Mt. Whitney in California, according to the group’s Facebook page. A graduate of Pacific Union College, Cho also worked for Madison Missions and The Maker Heals programs, which are self-supporting organizations affiliated with Eastward Missions, as well as volunteering for Helping Hands Ministry, which serves lepers in China as she describes in this video:

Eric Lagatta reported on the her accident for USA Today.

Part of the Teton range, the exposed peak of Teewinot is a popular destination for mountaineers that reaches 12,325 feet above sea level, according to the National Park Service.

Tim Hopkins, who described himself as Cho's friend and brother in Christ in a public Facebook post, wrote that the fall happened after a ledge she was holding onto gave way. “Our hearts are shattered.”

“We mourn the loss of our leader, colleague and friend, Joy Cho,” Eastward Missions said in the Facebook post. “Our hearts are broken. She will be dearly missed. . . . One day we will see our beloved sister again.”

—From USA Today, “Tributes Pour in for California Hiker Who Fell to Her Death in Grand Teton National Park.” 

Babcock University Hosts Faith and Science Conference

A Faith and Science Conference on the campus of Babcock University attracted over 1,600 participants from 22 countries in the West-Central Africa Division (WAD) from July 5–14. “These Adventist scientists and Bible scholars dissected, one by one, the theories that obscure faith in a God who created all things in six literal days,” write Abraham Bakari and Belle Osei-Bonsu for the Adventist News Network

Sharing the latest knowledge on these thorny issues will help students and teachers reconcile faith and science. From the Big Bang Theory to geological time periods and fossil dating techniques—from the wonders of the cell to the complexities of DNA, homology, and embryology—from dinosaurs to the remains of the universal flood—the exploration has been dense.

Among the many topics covered were intelligent design, creation in the New Testament, speciation from a creationist perspective, trilobites and their complexity, the Cambrian explosion and flood, bioturbation and time, a comparison of the human and chimpanzee genomes, the churchs position on naturalism, the authority of the Bible, the principles of biblical thought, and much more. It was a real scientific and theological treat!

The Bible provides more reliable answers to the questions facing science than do the widely accepted theories of the origins of life. There was a clear theme running through the theological and scientific presentations: God is the Creator. This conference provided the Ariadne's thread” most likely to lead Christians out of the maze—out of the prevailing confusion.

Read the entire story at Adventist News Network

Hartland College Provides Mental Health and Coaching Training Initiated by Evangelist Mark Finley

Teachers from Hartland College (Rapidan, Virginia) collaborated to produce a Basics of Mental Health and Coaching training program on the campus of the Ukrainian Institute of Arts and Sciences on July 17­­­­­–28, 2023.

The event was initiated by the famous preacher and evangelist Mark A. Finley. After the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he offered training in psychological assistance and the basics of mental health for Ukrainians. As a result, a training course was formed, with 60 participants from all over Ukraine. Among them were pastors, psychologists, chaplains, and those who wanted to start serving society. For two weeks, they learned skills to help in crisis situations, overcome PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and methods of effective spiritual support.

Hartland College was represented by pastors Robert Bruce Mackay and Paul Coneff, faculty members Gerardo Payan and Ivonne Restrepo (Ruiz), and a student from the college, Johan Gómez.

The participants of the training noted the harmonious combination of biblical principles and modern methods of psychological assistance. . . . According to Serhii Lutskyi, director of the Health and Chaplaincy Ministries departments for the UUC, it was not only the first visit of the Hartland College team to Ukraine but also the first trip of each of the speakers to the country.

Read the entire story at Adventist News Network.

Adventist Bible Study Leader in Missouri Defends Her Right to Hold Meetings at Senior Living Center

Donna Dunbar, a Seventh-day Adventist who had been leading a weekly Bible study at a Missouri senior living center, was told to stop “because some residents were purportedly offended by the Bible study,” according to a story in The Christian Post.

However, American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a Christian legal advocacy group representing Dunbar, threatened to sue. “After residents held the weekly Bible study over the course of several months ‘without issue,’” the article says, “management claimed the study was not allowed since the center was a federally funded building and that Bible studies are prohibited under FHA guidelines.”

“This is literally the exact opposite of the law,” Abigail Southerland with ACLJ said. After the resident contacted the ACLJ, the group sent a demand letter to the facility outlining federal law, which, according to Southerland, states “not only does the FHA allow a Bible study on federally funded property, but it also expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion in regard to providing facility services.”

The [Department of Justice] has made it clear that “someone could not, for example, be excluded from reserving a common room for a prayer meeting when the room may be reserved for various comparable secular uses,” she explained.

Dunbar later reached a settlement allowing her to carry on with the study.

—From The Christian Post, “Missouri Senior Center Cancels Weekly Bible Study After ‘Some Residents Were Offended.”

Benton Harbor Adventist Church Donates Van to Local Youth Organization

Harbor of Hope Seventh-day Adventist Church in Benton Harbor, Michigan, “recently donated a 15-passenger van to We-ECHO Youth Services (WEYS) for its transportation needs,” according to the Leader Publication story by Max Harden.

A Buchanan native and Niles High School graduate, KC Johnson created WEYS as a means to give back to the community and to make a positive impact on the local youth. 

After three years in business, Johnson appreciates the support from community members and organizations alike.  

“Its overwhelming,” she said. “I know that this is something that the community needs and that Im supposed to be doing because everything we need ends up coming into place. Its just been overwhelming to get all the support that we've been getting. Every time we need something, the community supports us.”

“Were super excited about that,” she said. “We really exist to help reduce student delinquency and increase mental health awareness and all those kinds of things. Youth suicide is the second leading cause of death in the age range that we work with. We work around mental health and bullying prevention.”

The van will allow the organization to have safe transportation to and from programming events. “We needed a way for our students to get back and forth because our program doubled in size since last year,” she said. “Weve been using Dial-A-Ride and doing the best we can to get around but this will help us tremendously.”  Johnson said that supporting the mental health of the youth has become an important aspect of the organizations efforts.

—From Leader Publications, “Church Donates Van to Nonprofit Serving Local Youth.”


Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7–12 librarian. She lives in Yucaipa, California.

Title image by Spectrum / photo credits: Eastern Missions Facebook page

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