Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Life-Changing Experience Touches Blue Mountain Academy Student Body

Story by Esther Hernandez

Rafael Tavares, a senior at Blue Mountain Academy, was born into a Christian home with a praying mother. As a young person, he decided to enjoy life and leave the church. Despite his decision, he knew his choices weren’t glorifying God. “I didn’t understand the impact of my choices—the movies I watched, the music I listened to,” Tavares shares. “But God kept sending me people who showed me His love and truth.”

Sitting in the back of Christian seminars his mom made him attend, Tavares tried to not listen. “My mom kept praying for me, and something caught my attention,” he said. “At one seminar, Scott Mayer, [the director of Little Light Studios], showed us a video of an experiment on how the brain responded when watching certain things. God revealed to me how sin wasn’t only physical but also our thoughts.”

The Holy Spirit started convicting him. “I realized that I was wasting my time on things that wouldn’t do me any good,” Tavares says. “When we discover the truth of the Bible, our hearts are convicted to be transformed. If you know of a person that is need- ing God, pray for them, show them love. Just like my mom, who never gave up on me, I encourage you to not give up. ... My life will never be the same.”

At the end of FOCUS week this school year, guest speaker Mayer shared Tavares’ testimony. “He invited other students to choose Jesus as their guide and
to allow the Bible to light their paths,” says Burney Culpepper, BMA principal. “It’s powerful to see God impact the lives of a student and then use that young person to speak into the lives of other students.”

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