Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Potomac Conference, Shenandoah Valley Academy, Katelyn Pacylowski, Caleb Rivera, Marietta Nagy

Educating Disciples: Students, Parents Baptized

Story by Janel Haas Ware

The 2022–23 school year culminated in the celebration of 14 baptisms: 12 students and Shenandoah Valley Academy (SVA) parents Rick and Mande Goodwyn, who chose to be disciples of Jesus—SVA mission fulfilled. Be inspired by the testimonies of three students who made a decision for Christ:

When I came to SVA, many people came into my life who inspired me to want to know our Lord. Junior year, Marietta, Cody and I started doing Bible studies with Pastor Buz [Menhardt]. I’ve found a closer connection with God and can’t wait to keep growing in my faith. I want to be baptized because I want to begin leading a life for Christ. I also want to show others the love of Jesus Christ until He returns back to this earth to take us home.—Katelyn Pacylowski (’24)

For a long time, I had anger in my heart; only God has given me a peace of mind. I want to thank a number of people: my parents for the opportunity to come to SVA; Pastor Tim Harley who gave me Bible studies after I expressed the desire for baptism after Week of Prayer; Dean Vernal Roseval for the long conversation that was the start of this journey; Marietta for talking with me about God; Mr. Joe Lowe for teaching the importance of self-discipline; and Mr. Kaleb Leeper for spiritual conversations in class. I want to be baptized because I now know the importance of this commitment, and I want God to work His love though me.—Caleb Rivera (’23)

Praise God for the amazing blessings He has put in my life for all these life-changing events to come together. I could see how hard Satan was trying to derail me from the path that God had in place and ready for me. But God’s power is so much stronger. I was really hoping my dad could be here today. But in this process of committing to the Lord, life was, is, and will be full of hardships. The only possible solution that allows me to make it through is the decision to allow Christ into my heart. The moment I made this decision, I realized this life is temporary compared to eternal life with our loving Savior. I will see my dad again. It will be a celebration, because he will know I made the decision to follow Jesus for the rest of my life. Thank you to all who have helped me in my journey in making this decision. You have blessed my life in unimaginable ways. —Marietta Nagy (’24)

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