In the place I live the world is springing back to life with buds and blooms and warming skies. At 39.03 N and 76.53 W, daffodils are leaping up, grass is greening as I write, and winter clothes are being packed away.
Somewhere half a world south, 800 kilometers (480 miles) below Santiago on the Chilean coastline, the sights and sentiments of the season are almost opposite. Though warmed by South Pacific winds, the region near Temuco is moving through its autumn. Wood is being gathered to survive the cold wintry rains of May, June, and July.
Farther still, half a world away, the nearest antipodal (exactly opposite) land mass to where I live is a tiny volcanic island 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles) southeast of Réunion called Île Saint-Paul in the Indian Ocean. It has no permanent population. Only antarctic terns and fur seals enjoy the temperate weather and the occasional scientific visitor.
Caught up in the pleasures of my world, it is tempting to forget how different the world looks to those not reveling in flowers, sunshine, and birdsongs. My time of joy may be another’s time of sorrow or anxiety. The hope that floods my heart may not be shared by those uncertain of tomorrow’s meals or hounded by a government unfriendly to their faith.
This magazine is called Adventist World because it seeks, at heart, to make the global family of Adventists aware of one another and of the many things we share in Christ. In these pages you will read of men and women physically far distant from you, but closer in the things that count than persons living on your street or in your town. You will be encouraged by their faith and perseverance; they will learn of your generosity and strength.
All of us will be reminded that we have been called into a conscious community of Christians founded on the unchanging truths of Scripture and committed to preparing people to meet a soon-coming Savior. In these pages you will read the stories of God’s grace and of the church’s witness to a world needing hope. A global family of nearly 17 million baptized members and 25 million in total meets in these pages every month.
“There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all” (Col. 3:11).