In one of my visits to El Salvador I met a young man named Leonel Arteaga. Leonel was a faithful Seventh-day Adventist employee in the San Salvador City Hall. While working there as a young professional, he discovered that eight years earlier the local conference Youth Ministries Department had asked the city of San Salvador for permission to erect and unveil a monument of the Ten Commandments in the central square. The request was tabled and forgotten by the authorities all those years. Leonel decided to request a personal interview with the mayor of the city, who graciously received him in the highest office of that government building.
After introducing the main reason for his interview, Leonel gave the mayor a copy of the original request and presented the project on behalf of the Adventist youth in San Salvador.
I was privileged to unveil an impressive monument of the law of God in the central square of that capital city while serving as Youth Ministries director of the Inter-American Division. Since that day, millions have received the impact of that witness of the Lord by reading the Ten Commandments posted there!
Leonel’s witnessing reminds me about an inspired quotation that I joyfully ponder with my fellow ministers around the world: “In the closing scenes of this earth’s history many . . . children and youth will astonish people by their witness to the truth, which will be borne in simplicity, yet with spirit and power.”*
* Ellen G. White, Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1943), 166.