I remember when my family moved to the New Jersey Conference 30 years ago. My wife, Celita, two sons, Jose Jr. and Josue, and I came after ministering in the Euro-African Division. We carried four nearly empty pieces of luggage, but our hearts were lled with dreams.
This fall New Jersey Conference’s Lake Nelson School in Piscataway re-opened it’s doors with a new name, Lake Nelson Adventist Academy, and an expanded offering of grades through high school, but not until after overcoming many obstacles.
At age 15, Jose Cortes Jr., the North American Division’s associate ministerial director for evangelism, wanted to be a doctor—not a pastor. Being a wise father, José H. Cortés, Sr., who serves as president of the New Jersey Conference, encouraged his son to pursue his dream. But early one morning in Madrid, Spain, Cortes Jr. heard his heavenly Father’s call to become a pastor. “I believe that [my father’s] wonderful and exemplary ministry during his early years influenced and silently encouraged my call,” says Cortes Jr.
Earlier in the year, members from across the New Jersey Conference started praying for their friends and reaching them by showing acts of love and compassion. Members then invited their friends to more than 200 small groups, where they studied about God’s compassion and faith. By April each of the small groups held a week of evangelism, led by lay evangelists.
Everyone, at some point in life, has been guilty. Whether you’re guilty or innocent, in prison or occupying a high government seat, it makes no difference to God. You are a human being, and that is what is most valuable to Him.