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The People at my Adventist School Have Become Like Family to Me

Adventist education is something that has significantly impacted my spiritual life, even though I’m not an Adventist. I am Messianic Jew. For those who do not know what Messianic Judaism is, we are Jews and Gentiles who believe in Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus) while also keeping the Jewish faith (e.g., kosher laws, feasts, Sabbath).

When I first came to Midland Adventist Academy [in Shawnee, Kansas, United States], I can honestly say that my faith was not as strong as it is now. As a result of just coming out of quarantine, I genuinely believed that my family was the only Messianics out there. I believed that I belonged to the one family in the entire world that kept the seventh-day Sabbath, while believing that Jesus died and was the perfect atonement. That is, until I came to Midland Adventist Academy. Little did I know that this “religious education” that I was going to receive would impact me dramatically.

I had just come from sixth grade in public school, a place where if teachers referenced the Bible, they had to be obscure about it due to possibilities of offending non-Christians. Consequently, when my sister and I went down the halls of Midland for the first time, it was quite a change from Jesus being taboo. With a picture of Jesus on almost every corner, I was honestly confused. Class soon started, and it was time for worship. Worship? In school? I was astounded. Here I was in a new school, a school with a religion that I had only heard of as a reference. Nevertheless, we were listening to Christ-centered music and talking about the Bible! It was amazing!

Undoubtedly, the Adventists around me truly cared about my personal walk with God. Before my experiences with Midland, I only did as I was told, not truly understanding why my family believed what we believed. However, due to such a strong passion for learning about the Father, my faith grew more and more. Even though I did not convert to Adventism, my Messianic faith became strengthened. I could now actually talk to people about what I believed instead of saying, “Well, I think we celebrate the feasts, but I don’t know.” Now, I can answer questions like that with confidence. 

And yet, I wasn’t shunned or even treated as a stranger. On the contrary, I was welcomed and treated like a brother. I gave my testimony, and they gave me theirs. The people at the Adventist school I go to have become family to me. In public schools, there would be very few people you could say that about. My whole class in the Adventist school welcomed me, a completely opposite reaction to experiences as a new student in public school. 

Another thing I have realized through Adventist education is that we all worship the same God. As Mishneh Torah-Positive Mitzvot (a rabbinic commentary on the Torah) notes, “To love every member of our people, as [Lev. 19:18] states: ‘And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” Moreover, we’re all in God’s family, let alone neighbors. Through Adventist education, I’ve been able to grasp that concept. There is the concept of love throughout the Christian faith, despite differences. 

In conclusion, despite my difference in religion, Adventist education has become a very important thing to me, as it helped shape my faith and understanding of my religion and of the religion of my family in Christ. Proverbs 27:17 states, “Just as iron sharpens iron, a person sharpens the character of his friend” (CJB). Undoubtedly, the Adventist education that I’ve been blessed with is proof of that. My friends ask me questions about my beliefs, and I ask them the same. This generation needs foundation. Nonetheless, Adventist and other faith-based education are the best options, as they help create a realization of a foundation that never shifts — the unshakeable foundation of Yeshua. 

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