I pause each month before writing these words to think of some of the places where they may be read.
In Mumbai, India, a weary young adult opens his laptop after a 12-hour workday and scans theAdventist World Web site, eager for faith and a sense of connection to millions of brothers and sisters he cannot see.
In São Paulo, Brazil, a retired homemaker repeats the ritual of her Friday evening rhythm: a comfortable chair, a CD of favorite hymns, the cat beside her on the couch, a copy of this magazine bent to favorite sections.
Somewhere north of Calgary, Canada, an Adventist schoolteacher opens up these pages with an eye toward what will tie her small community of elementary students to a movement that circles the globe. She looks for what her students need: geography, Bible study, history, faith.
In a village three hours drive from Nairobi, Kenya, the ninth reader of these words inherits a copy much smudged and marked from all the handling. Even beneath the fingerprints and stains, words still live, still move, still bind the scattered flock together.
More than 1.5 million copies of this magazine are distributed every month in six print languages (English, Korean, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Bahasa/Indonesian). Tens of thousands of persons—who knows for sure how many?—access the magazine in five of those languages on the Web or in four more Web-only translations (Chinese, Russian, German, and this month—Vietnamese).
Now in its 160th year, Seventh-day Adventist publishing has reached a unprecedented milestone for a journal of a worldwide faith. Nearly two thirds of all the 17 million Adventists in the world are within reach of the news, inspiration, biblical teaching, and hope provided by Adventist World.Not since the 1870s, when the membership of the infant Seventh-day Adventist Church was not much different from the subscription rolls of the Review and Herald magazine (now the Adventist Review) that helped to coalesce the movement, has there been such an opportunity for the worldwide family of Seventh-day Adventists to meet in common study, devotion, and focus on the second coming of Jesus.
You, dear friend, are a vital part of that great connected family of readers and believers for whom this journal exists. And for you, just now, I lift up my voice to thank the Lord for the message and the magazine that bind us together.