Silvia Sicalo (left) with her predecessor Sheri Clemmer, former meeting planner for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists [Photo Courtesy of Silvia Sicalo]
St. Louis, Missouri, United States | Nicole Dominguez

Those who have met Silvia Sicalo know her as an efficient and reliable Meeting Planner for the General Conference. This is undeniably true, given her role in the monumental task of organizing the General Conference Session. However, this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Silvia and her journey.

At the age of 19, after two years at a university in Argentina, she decided to come to America to learn English and become an assistant girl’s dean at a Maryland boarding school. This would be a landmark passage for Silvia. As her first time on a plane, the trip would spark a lifelong adoration for travel and spur on her naturally adventurous nature. It was a love of adventure that caused her to take the risk and go to a new country in her late teens, to learn a new language, and work in a new position, with only an aunt on the other side who she had not seen in many years. However, this decision kickstarted a new life in America.

As the youngest of two daughters, Silvia’s parents obviously felt concern over her going to a new country by herself. Bathing her in prayer, they relied on God to protect and guide her. This is the kind of faith that had been modeled for Silvia throughout her life. Raised in an Adventist household, she provides her parents as examples of Christ’s representation. Another individual named as an influence for her faith would be Elder Baraka Muganda who was then serving as youth director for the General Conference. Both her parents and Muganda represented Christ in Silvia’s life through their daily dedication to God, and refusal to allow the world to influence their lives. Standing firm in God has been a model that she has upheld, and has led her entire life. 

Above all, Silvia testifies to God’s divine sense of timing. Her reliance on the Lord’s timing is what made her choose to come to America in the first place. It also caused her to become closer to the man who she would later marry. Her husband was the son of her mother’s old friend, they had known each other back in Argentina and attended the same schools, however the four year age difference created a “ships passing in the night”, experience that prevented them from ever really developing a friendship. When his family moved to Maryland, Silvia spent her holidays with them, allowing for a deeper connection to be built which would later lead to their marriage. It was also divine timing that allowed her to get her bachelors at the University of Maryland, where she would later get her graduate degree in Management for Non-Profit Organizations, the very subject God called her to pursue after fostering a love of people and dedicated church involvement. Silvia recognizes that helping people through management is a ministry.

Looking back, Silvia has seen Christ’s consistent and active presence in her life, recognizing that through the best and worst times of her life the Lord has been faithful in His leading. She has yet to know what her plans are for the next five years, but she knows that her Savior will be guiding her steps, continuing to build her identity in Him as a woman of integrity and discernment.