Milo's Early Morning Church Service Provides Glimpse of the Future

April 01, 2006 | Christine Zenthoefer

There’s a quiet, persistent knocking on my door. Groaning, I roll over and glance at my clock—3 a.m. I climb wearily out of bed and open the door as Lacey asks, “You ready?”

“Yes,” I reply as I dig through my closet for a warm sweatshirt. We walk quietly down the stairs and into the darkness of night. We do not have far to go, and we are not alone; others slowly make their way to the Milo Adventist Academy student center, where there’s a somber atmosphere, a sudden gravity as the importance of the situation we are enacting sinks in.

The room is lit only by a few candles. Under normal circumstances, we enter the student center with laughter on our lips, but tonight everyone silently takes a seat on the hard floor.

This is the conclusion to a truly thought-provoking, student-led week of prayer on the final days. The students planning the week thought that holding church in this way might awaken us all to the not-so-distant reality of not being able to worship freely.

The service began like a normal Sabbath morning, with singing, scripture and prayer. Then, however, several students read testimonies of people who have already had to put their faith to the test in the face of persecution.

In conclusion to this meaningful service, everyone was given a candle, and slowly a small flame was passed from one candle to the next. The person lighting the candle offered up a prayer for the receiver of the flame, until finally the whole room was ablaze with lighted candles.

This experience made me realize that no matter what happens in the final days, I will never be alone, for others will share my beliefs and, most importantly, I will always have God on my side.