Courtesy Ethan Hamel

April 7, 2020

Brotherly Bonds

I have spent my entire school career, beginning in pre-school, in the Illinois Conference Seventh-day Adventist school system. My family and I have attended the Elmhurst Church my entire life where my dad currently serves as the first elder and my mom as the church clerk. As you can imagine, we are very involved in church and church school life. 

I was baptized alongside my two brothers on August 10, 2019. Courtland is two years older than me and Luke is my twin. While we have all been raised together in the same home and in the same schools, our respective spiritual journeys have been quite different. Some of that can surely be attributed to our personalities, but God’s timing for each of us is perfect. 

When Luke decided to get baptized, I remember being surprised because I had never really thought of baptism before then. I have always been in an environment where God was the focus, but I didn’t think about the public announcement of being baptized. And, I wasn’t quite ready for baptism. The main reason I rejected the idea at first was that being baptized in front of everyone scared me. However, my brother’s decision for baptism led me to think more about it. I read my Bible more intently and noticed that I began praying more often than I had before. I prayed whenever I had a dilemma, a praise, and before every meal. Little did I know that these actions were, in fact, preparing me for the step of baptism. 

My twin is the cerebral brother — very intelligent, focused and intentional about what he does. My older brother has a strong moral compass and is very caring and empathetic. Me? I’m the musical one. God has blessed me with musical talent and a love for the violin. Throughout this process, God used my gifts in this area to speak to me about the beauty of a relationship with Him and helped me to see that He wants all of us to have a purposeful, meaningful life with Him composing the score.  

Music has had a tremendous impact on my life. Hymns at church and chapel at Hinsdale Adventist Academy connected me with God. Music moves me spiritually and God put that inside of me. It’s one of the ways He speaks to me.  

When I finally made the decision to be baptized, I felt a sense of relief and acceptance. Taking that step together with my brothers made it even more meaningful because there we were, the three of us, standing before our church family, friends and teachers. We were making the same public statement, but it meant different things to each of us.  

I am thankful for the way that God has led in my life and am excited about what lies ahead as I continue this journey with Him. 


Ethan Hamel is a junior at Hinsdale Adventist Academy in Hinsdale, Ill. 

Ethan received a $100 scholarship for this article. If you’re a youth or young adult interested in submitting an article for consideration, please contact: herald@lakeunion.org.