Vanessa: "I am a Seventh-day Adventist because I am in love with Jesus Christ. I am a pastor's kid, born and raised in the Adventist church. However, I was a generational Adventist for many years. I went with the motions- believing what I did because everyone around me did, but not seeing a need to discover it for myself. I did things for God but didn't know God. This changed after I had a lasting encounter with Jesus Christ.
After that encounter my Freshman year of college I was forever changed. I now had a sudden urge to claim my beliefs for myself. This was challenged further as God called me into ministry as a Bible worker in Tampa and Pensacola for two consecutive summers. I met people who were not believers, or were believers in a different religion. It was amazing to see God's truth in His word click in my mind. I approached the Bible with a blank slate, taking only the word of God as my direction. Along the way I was able to be mentored by those who had devoted hours of time to studying God's word, many of whom converted to Adventism because of the Holy Spirit's conviction of truth. This realization made me fall deeper in love with Jesus Christ, his intentionality and faithfulness.
The church isn't perfect. People aren't perfect. Many have priorities mixed up, or have not experienced complete heart transformation. But who Jesus is and what he has established as truth never changes. I am an Adventist because I love Jesus and Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. The only thing in life worth having, and living for."
Jamil: "A little over a year ago I believed that gymnastics was my identity and that it was the only thing that gave me my worth and my value. I had done gymnastics for over six years and didn't plan on stopping anytime soon. Every time I looked at who I was without it I was left hopeless and dissatisfied. It was impossible for me to imagine a life without gymnastics because in my mind a life without it was a life without worth.
One day when I was in the middle of practice I had this feeling come over me that I'll never forget. While I was in the middle of a handstand I asked myself, 'Is this it? Is this all life has to offer?' That night I quit the team and took a leap of faith. God has been carrying me ever since. He's shown me that my value doesn't come from what I do well, but instead what He's already done for me on Calvary. I know now that my identity is found in Him alone and I want to love and serve Him to the best of my ability.
But why be an Adventist? I am an Adventist because it's rooted directly from the word of God. I believe that in order to serve the one who is the truth I first have to seek after the truth and I've found that in Adventism. I've met people in ministry whose actions speak louder than their words in regards to their devotion to the truth and the God behind the truth. I used to believe that God needed me to be ready before He could use me. But after being used in ministry to speak at different locations, lead out in small group ministries, and be an ambassador for Christ I've realized that God doesn't need me to be ready, He just needs me to be willing."