News reports from Adventist Health Glendale; an Adventist soccer star in Europe; Escondido Adventist Academy; Kenosha, Wisconsin; and the Haven Nelson SDA Church in Nelson, New Zealand:

Adventist Health Glendale has ranked in the top 5% of hospitals in California as well as in the top 10% of hospitals in the Los Angeles region. U.S. News & World Report ranked the medical center as one of 2020’s “Best Hospitals” in their annual ranking. It ranks 12th among the 132 hospitals in the Los Angeles area and 20th in California in a ranking of 424 hospitals. 

Soccer star David Alaba is an Adventist who ranks among the top athletes in the world. After his team, the Bayern Munich, won the Champions League victory against Paris Saint-Germain, in Lisbon, Portugal, on 23 August, news cameras caught him once again expressing the importance of faith in his life when he put on a shirt with his life motto “My strength lies in Jesus.” In contrast, his teammates put on a t-shirt that said, “Champions of Europe 2020.” Alba was seen kneeling next to Europe’s most important soccer trophy with the Jesus shirt. On the back of the shirt, Alaba also drew attention to the worldwide anti-racism protests with the message “Black Lives Still Matter.” The 28-year-old Alaba has repeatedly and publicly professed his faith, and the motto is also prominently featured on his social media. There he regularly shares quotes from the Bible and speaks about his faith in short videos. Alaba is quoted in German author David Kadel’s “Football Bible” that he is always aware during games that “God is there for me and gives me strength and intuition.”

Source: APD attributed to Kathpress, the Catholic press agency in Austria.  

With school starting virtually for Escondido Adventist Academy this last Monday, the faculty invited K-12 students to help them kick off the start of the year with a Drive-Thru Back-to-School Bash on Sunday, Aug. 23. At 5 p.m., students arrived on their school campus in Hawks gear with decorated cars to make some noise and see friends from a safe distance, per COVID-19 precautions. Teachers, stationed along the campus drive loop, distributed items for the students in their classes. After snapping a quick photo, participants went on their way—ready for a new school year and enthused by their caring school family.

 Source: Pacific Union Conference Communications  

After Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot seven times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, demonstrations have engulfed the city. Wisconsin Conference President Mike Edge called for prayer for Jacob Blake and Kenosha residents. “‘Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; Not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid’ John 14:27 (NKJV). In the most violent of storms, Jesus promises to give us peace. My prayer is that today, and in the days to come, you will experience that peace that Jesus so freely offers to each of us.” Pastor R. Clifford Jones, president of the Lake Region Conference said, “Kenosha, Wisconsin, is within the territory of the Lake Region Conference and we cannot be silent in the face of the travesty that took place there a few days ago. We bemoan the unjustifiable shooting of Jacob Blake, Jr., and we join voices with those crying out for justice. Our prayers are ascending on behalf of Jacob Blake, Jr., whose life has been irreversibly altered. We resonate with the sentiments of his mother, who has decried the violent demonstrations and has appealed for peaceful protests that respect life and property. We pray for Blake’s children, who may be emotionally scarred for life as a result of witnessing firsthand the near slaughter of their father at the hands of police. We commit to eradicating every ideology that divides or demeans, and every practice that decimates or destroys.”

The Haven Nelson SDA Church in Nelson, New Zealand, joined dozens of other Christian churches across the country to sing The Blessing Aotearoa, a song of God’s blessing over all people. The beautiful production can be enjoyed here.

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