Ramella Markarian

Ramella Markarian
Episode 70

Join host Japhet De Oliveira in this episode as he sits down with his guest, Ramella Markarian, to discuss singing in the shower, finding beauty in nature, the strength only mothers possess, and growing up in a culture of forgiveness.
Libsyn Podcast
"I think there are some people who have that strength and that resiliency, but we also learn as we face some of the challenges in our lives. We learn to be resilient."

Narrator: Welcome friends to another episode of The Story & Experience podcast. Join your host, Japhet De Oliveira with his guest today, and discover the moments that shape us, our families, and communities.

Japhet De Oliveira: Welcome to another episode of the Story & Experience podcast. I'm delighted with the guests we have. It is late afternoon at Adventist Health Glendale, California. The sun is definitely up, the heat is around us, and this conversation is going to be fantastic as well.

If you're brand new to the podcast, we have a 100 questions first 10 I ask, pretty easy and the guest, who's looking at me right now, they get to choose numbers between 11 and 100 and choose where they want to go with that. As you get closer to 100, it becomes a little bit more vulnerable, more open, but these are all stories and experiences that shaped this person into the great leader that they are today.

So let's begin with the very first question. What's your name? And does anybody ever mispronounce it or, yeah, let's start with that.

Ramella Markarian: Well, thank you for having me. I'm Ramella Markarian and mispronouncing it. Sometimes they call me Ramelluh or Ramuluh. But most of the time they get it right. Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: So you said they call you, what was the first one?

Ramella Markarian: Ramelluh or Ramuluh.

Japhet De Oliveira: Or Ramuluh. We'll avoid that.

Ramella Markarian: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That's good. Well, brilliant. Well, tell us what do you do for work?

Ramella Markarian: Well, I am the executive overseeing business development strategies, growth, mostly administration, administrative business development. I also have some clinical areas that report to me, but mostly nonclinical.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. How did you end up in this particular role? That's complex.

Ramella Markarian: It is complex, but very rewarding. When my kids ask me, "What do you do all day?" Because they really are interested in the clinical aspect of medicine. And when they see me in the office and they say, "You're behind the desk. How do you handle being behind the desk?" And I say, "Well, as a clinician, obviously you make an impact on a daily basis of patient care, but when you are making an impact in a macro level with policies, strategies, that would impact maybe the community, that's how I think about my role."

That our decisions and strategies and growth and creating that wellness that the community needs, that is very rewarding.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. Now, you mentioned your kids, and your kids are excited about this. Do they have a, I presume they have a lot of interest in health then?

Ramella Markarian: Absolutely. So my son is starting Stanford pre-med next week. And my daughter just graduated Berkeley in biology and public health. So very passionate about medicine.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good.

Ramella Markarian: Yeah. Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good. Well done. That's fantastic.

Ramella Markarian: Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good. How long have you been in this current role?

Ramella Markarian: Current role as the executive? Six and a half, seven years.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, wow.

Ramella Markarian: And prior to that, again, at Adventist Health, Glendale, for five years as a director of business development. And in healthcare, God, maybe 25 years.

Japhet De Oliveira: Really? Okay. It's been a journey. That's great.

Ramella Markarian: It's been a journey. Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: In the morning when you wake up and first drink of the day, is it water, is it coffee, is it tea, or one of those liquid green smoothies?

Ramella Markarian: Oh, coffee, definitely. I just rush downstairs, just get my coffee. And my routine is to kind of sit outside. I like to drink my coffee outdoors.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's nice.

Ramella Markarian: Yeah. Just for that five, 10 minutes, enjoying my coffee.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That's beautiful.

Ramella Markarian: And no breakfast, just my coffee.

Japhet De Oliveira: Just your coffee? And what kind of coffee?

Ramella Markarian: Vanilla. I like flavored coffee.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. You like flavored coffee?

Ramella Markarian: With cream, yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, yeah. That's great. That's great. All right. Tell us, where were you born?

Ramella Markarian: I was born in Middle East. I was born in Tehran, Iran.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow. That's fantastic.

Ramella Markarian: I'm Armenian, but there's a large Armenian community as Christians in Iran, and that's where I was born.

Japhet De Oliveira: Beautiful.

Ramella Markarian: Beautiful country.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Now, when you were a child out there, what did you imagine you would grow up to be?

Ramella Markarian: I imagined being a singer.

Japhet De Oliveira: Really?

Ramella Markarian: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great.

Ramella Markarian: Entertainment. I really liked dressing up, and my mom always listened to music, and I pretended that I'm a singer.

Japhet De Oliveira: Do you sing?

Ramella Markarian: No, not really.

Japhet De Oliveira: Not really?

Ramella Markarian: I try in the shower, when I'm alone.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, no.

Ramella Markarian: But however, I gave it a shot here in the United States. I was a backup singer for some...

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, so you can sing?

Ramella Markarian: I can sing backup singer. Along with few other professional singers, maybe.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well done. Hey, that's great. Takes a lot of courage to sing. I think people think... It's a lot to be up there.

Ramella Markarian: Yeah, it is.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. That's great. If they were going to describe your personality, would they describe you as extrovert, introvert, and would you agree?

Ramella Markarian: Okay. Wow. This is an interesting one. I think I used to be more of an extrovert. And people who know me from probably the past, they would always say extrovert. But recently, I kind of found a balance where I need to be taking time and reflect by myself without really, or listening more than expressing. So I still am an extrovert, but sometimes I become introvert.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. I like it. I like it. That's good. No, that's fantastic. Let's talk about your habits in the morning. Are you an early riser or are you a late night owl?

Ramella Markarian: I'm both.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, no, Ramella.

Ramella Markarian: I know I used to be an early riser, but now time is so precious to me, and I feel when I sleep, it's over, my day's over, and I just don't like to sleep early. When I say late, meaning more towards midnight and little past midnight, but I'm early riser. I wake up at 6:00. I'm not much of a sleeper, but kind of both.

Japhet De Oliveira: This morning when you woke up, what was the first thought that went through your mind?

Ramella Markarian: God, I'm coming here, and how do I dress? And I remember, this is really not...

Japhet De Oliveira: It's not on camera.

Ramella Markarian: Not on camera, yeah, but excited. I always wake up hoping for a good day, and just after getting my coffee, then looking forward to put on a nice shoe.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. I like that. Here's leadership question, and then I'm going to hand it over to you to pick the numbers.

Ramella Markarian: Okay.

Japhet De Oliveira: Are you a backseat driver?

Ramella Markarian: Backseat driver? I think it's important in leadership that you build a good team, build a good team where you can trust and not micromanage. Not to try to do everything yourself or question their work. Finding that right balance.

I think earlier leadership time, I was more of a, "Let me do it myself. I do it better." And then when you really develop that trust in your team, you want to motivate them, and you want to make sure that they're encouraged and motivated. And so definitely, it's an important way to kind of... The importance of delegation and trusting your team. Not much of a micro manager here.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, no, no, no. I hear you. I hear you. That's good. All right. So we are open. The floor is open. We have between 11 and 100. Where would you like to go first? Up or down? Well, actually up.

Ramella Markarian: Oh, God. 20. Let's start with the lower.

Japhet De Oliveira: 20. All right. Tell us about something that you would rate 10 out of 10.

Ramella Markarian: Oh, 10 out 10?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yes.

Ramella Markarian: 10 out of 10. I think what I see sometimes in nature, the beauty of non-manmade things can be 10 out of 10. I was at Sycamore Beach just a few weeks ago, and the ocean, and the way it was, the sunset. I rated that 10 out of 10. It was just the most magical thing. And the universe, everything that we see around us, that God had something to do with creation.

Japhet De Oliveira: It's beautiful.

Ramella Markarian: It's beautiful.

Japhet De Oliveira: And it's inspiring.

Ramella Markarian: It's inspiring. And 10 out of 10, the moon, the universe, the stars, those are all 10 out 10 for me.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. No, I'm with you. I'm with you. There are, with the dark nights when there's not a lot of city lights, that's pretty spectacular.

Ramella Markarian: Spectacular.

Japhet De Oliveira: I agree. I agree. All right. That was 20. Where would you like to go? Up or down?

Ramella Markarian: 21.

Japhet De Oliveira: 21? Yeah. No, no. That's great.

Ramella Markarian: Just the one. That was a good question, 20.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. Share the very best compliment that you've received.

Ramella Markarian: Of me personally?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Somebody's given you a compliment. What's the best compliment somebody's given to you?

Ramella Markarian: Well, I think daily we receive compliments. I know if I have a good hair day, I get compliments on my hair. But the best one that, I'm not sure even if it's a compliment, but we do mission trips, and I'm just so fortunate to be a part of the organizing committee for the mission trips. And I remember we went to Armenia, and during one of the mission trips, and we were standing outside trying to see how many people are we accommodating this day and trying to understand the volume of people.

And there were a lot of people there. And the next day, the same thing. I thought, "Maybe they're here for family members," but some people were just standing around without having family members bringing someone to be seen with one of our doctors. And I kind of got irritated because all these people were standing around and I couldn't really understand, "Are they here to be treated?" And I went forward and I asked the question of, "Why are you all here every day, almost two, three days, and you just are standing?"

And they said, "We're here because this is very new to us. People like you and your physicians that accompanied you, they're here because they care. And you guys are such caring people. And we are here because we want to see that. We've never seen this before. People caring for us. You come all the way from United States because you care."

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great.

Ramella Markarian: And that was the biggest compliment that myself and everybody else received as how caring can be the most amazing compliment that you can receive at that moment.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, no. I agree.

Ramella Markarian: And I said, "Okay, well come here every day. If that makes you feel good. Come here. That's okay. I'll get you water."

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Acceptance is important. No, I like that. Beautiful. All right, that was 21. Where would you like to go next?

Ramella Markarian: Oh God. Okay. 27.

Japhet De Oliveira: 27? All right. Bring us into your kitchen and you were making a special meal. What would you be making?

Ramella Markarian: Special meal in my kitchen? I like to cook, actually. And I'll give you a little story because that's not how it started.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay.

Ramella Markarian: When I first got married, my husband had an extensive experience of cooking, and he was a great cook. And I was always like, "Okay, well, I'm going to watch. You know, make the best meals, Armenian meals, Persian, all kind of cuisines." And one day I decided that I'm going to start cooking because I'm embarrassed that everyone says, "What a great spread and all this amazing food." And I would correct my friends, "It's not me, it's him."

So I started learning how to cook, and it was very therapeutic. So my kitchen would be lots of chopping. I'm not very patient. I like quick things. But when it comes to food, somehow...

Japhet De Oliveira: You slow down?

Ramella Markarian: Slow down. Yeah. I slow down because that entire process. So cooking, I'm a vegetarian, so I love making all kinds of vegetarian dishes. So my kitchen is very colorful.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's true

Ramella Markarian: With food because we have great vegetarian dishes that only nature can bring colors.

Japhet De Oliveira: Colors very good, isn't it?

Ramella Markarian: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great.

Ramella Markarian: Good salads. I love great salads.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, yeah. That's good. That's good. Good. All right. That was 27. Do you want to go up or down?

Ramella Markarian: Let's go up a little bit.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right.

Ramella Markarian: 45.

Japhet De Oliveira: 45? When people come to you for help, what are they usually asking for?

Ramella Markarian: Makeup tips? No, just...

Japhet De Oliveira: You're so funny.

Ramella Markarian: No, but really, people come to me. Well, we're in healthcare, and this is probably my answer is not unique, because most of people who come to me, they ask me about, "Which physician do you recommend? Who's the best podiatrist? Who's the best orthopedic surgeons in the community?"

And sometimes it's a struggle because you have amazing physicians serving this hospital and in the community. And then they get tougher. They say, "Who would you go to? Who's your doctor?"

And that becomes... So mostly they come to me asking about my opinion on physicians and the hospitals, which hospital and why. And so a lot of health care questions.

Japhet De Oliveira: Makes sense. Makes perfect sense. All right. That was 45. Where would you like to go next?

Ramella Markarian: God, 50.

Japhet De Oliveira: 50? Yeah, it is. Share about who has influenced you professionally.

Ramella Markarian: Oh, wow. So many people.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. I bet.

Ramella Markarian: So many people.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great.

Ramella Markarian: From a good boss, I would say, even to a bad boss. I mean, there's an influence. You learn.

Japhet De Oliveira: Interesting. It's true.

Ramella Markarian: There's things you learn. I don't want to say bad boss, but they're different styles, different leadership styles that we learn. But can we name people?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, absolutely. It feels beautiful.

Ramella Markarian: I think most of my leadership, the growth that happened in my leadership style was here at Adventist Health. I was so blessed to work with some amazing leaders seven, eight, nine years ago, where I thought I would have no characteristics or attribute of leadership. They showed me differently. They kind of gracefully, Morre Dean.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, yeah. I know Morre.

Ramella Markarian: Warren Tetz.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, good people.

Ramella Markarian: Judy Blair. Those are, Sharon Correa, leaders that I looked up to, and they were seasoned leaders. And I remember my first experience in Adventist Health, Glendale's boardroom, and my first week or first month of being an executive. And I wanted to share, give my input. And I was afraid, but I said, "Let's have the courage. Let's just give my opinion."

And after I gave it, it was a recommendation that I made. And I remember Warren Tetz's kind of nodded his head, and he said, "That's great, Ramella. That's wonderful. How about, let me share another way of doing this, how about this way? What are your thoughts?"

And then I realized my recommendation was completely off. I was completely wrong. But the way he corrected me, or he guided me, was so graceful.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great.

Ramella Markarian: That I did not feel embarrassed. I did not feel stupid. And I would never forget that. And I felt that grace, that kind of guidance, and it was just amazing.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good. It really does cultivate the freedom for people to have the courage to speak.

Ramella Markarian: Yes, because when the answer is not correct, someone very graceful and humble and smart, who has the best interest in heart for you, will guide you.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. That's fantastic. Thank you for sharing that.

Ramella Markarian: Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: Beautiful. And I take it that you have been able to be in contact now with all of these people?

Ramella Markarian: We have.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. Oh, that's even better.

Ramella Markarian: I think the world of them. Yes. Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good. All right. That was 50. Where would you like to go next?

Ramella Markarian: Let's go higher, maybe. 66.

Japhet De Oliveira: 66. All right. This, I don't know how you pick this number, because you don't know what these questions are, but this is the question.

Ramella Markarian: Okay, you're laughing.

Japhet De Oliveira: Honestly, I think, I'm wondering if you're the first person to pick this number, but tell us about one of your favorite songs and what do you love about it?

Ramella Markarian: Oh my God. Favorite song?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Ramella Markarian: There's so many good songs. I have teenagers. They're listening to everything. Trying to think. Well, I remember actually one song that, it's an oldie now probably, Mariah Carey, the song Hero.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, I know yeah. It's good.

Ramella Markarian: It's a very, very good song.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hard to emulate.

Ramella Markarian: And even the lyrics. First time I heard it, I think I thought it was a love song, my hero. And then I remember when I listened to it again, maybe a few years later, I realized that the song is about you are the hero. If you look inside yourself, you're the hero. So there's sometimes that we find answers within ourselves.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. And you guys have a sign outside of Adventist Health?

Ramella Markarian: Yes, "Heroes work here."

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, they do.

Ramella Markarian: I wish Mariah Carey would come and sing that song for our heroes here.

Japhet De Oliveira: You'll have to arrange that.

Ramella Markarian: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, that's fantastic. Great. Where next, then after that? That was 66.

Ramella Markarian: Okay. Let's go higher. 73, 71. You pick. Okay 71.

Japhet De Oliveira: 71. All right. Describe a time when your life took a really unpredictable turn.

Ramella Markarian: Oh, wow. Unpredictable turn.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Ramella Markarian: I think that's when my mom was diagnosed with cancer.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, yeah?

Ramella Markarian: And she was truly our family's, she still is.

Japhet De Oliveira: She's the matriarch?

Ramella Markarian: She has been the backbone of our family. And when she was diagnosed very unpredicted. It was me bringing her to the hospital for not even knowing it, thinking it's just a cough. Then it turned out to be an esophageal cancer, and my kids were younger, and it was an advanced stage. So our kind of lives changed because now she needed us and we needed her all our live and now she needs us. And then...

Japhet De Oliveira: It's okay.

Ramella Markarian: But she was the stronger one for us.

Japhet De Oliveira: She wanted to be stronger for everyone?

Ramella Markarian: She actually became the most strongest person in our family, telling us to be strong when we were already devastated.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Oh, yeah. There are some people like that. Just they take on everything they're going through, and they take on everything that everyone else is going through as well. So your mom's one of those.

Ramella Markarian: I remember when she was at the hospital, and I would stay here very late, and she got mad at me. She goes, "You have a life. You have family, you have kids. Get up and go home. I don't want you here." And she says that she's going to fight this, and no matter what, just we cannot lose hope, and I need to be strong. So she was telling me. So that was very unpredictable for me to face that.

So she went through a lot, but thank God she made it. And she chose to stay here right in the community with Glendale Adventist and received her care with our doctors here, because she believed in this hospital, and she miraculously got cured.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's beautiful.

Ramella Markarian: 10 years.

Japhet De Oliveira: 10 years. Hey, anniversary decade. That's great.

Ramella Markarian: Stage three.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic.

Ramella Markarian: Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: So your mom must be one of your heroes then?

Ramella Markarian: She is one of my heroes, absolutely.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Okay. This is not on the questions, but I'm going to have to ask it because everyone's going to want to know. What's one of the greatest lessons that your mom has taught you?

Ramella Markarian: Oh, resilience.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really? I like that.

Ramella Markarian: Resilience, that you need to face it. You need to face your problems. Never lose hope. Never give up. And just stay strong and positive.

Japhet De Oliveira: Do you believe resilience can be passed on? Or do you believe that people are born with a resilient nature?

Ramella Markarian: I think it could be a combination. I think there's some people who have that strength and that resiliency, but we also learn as we face some of the challenges in our lives. We learn to be resilient.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. Well, hey, thanks for sharing that. All right. That was 71. Where'd you want to go next?

Ramella Markarian: Okay. 73.

Japhet De Oliveira: 73. All right. Here we go.

Ramella Markarian: Go lower. It gets harder as you move up, I guess.

Japhet De Oliveira: I don't know if it harder. It's beautiful. They're beautiful.

Ramella Markarian: Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: Share something that you've had to unlearn in your life.

Ramella Markarian: Oh, unlearn?

Japhet De Oliveira: Unlearn.

Ramella Markarian: I want to keep learning.

Japhet De Oliveira: I know, we do. Well, yes, we do. Always.

Ramella Markarian: Let me think.

Japhet De Oliveira: What did you have to unlearn?

Ramella Markarian: Well, I lived in Germany for a few years.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really?

Ramella Markarian: Yeah. During my preteen years and coming to United States, that's how we migrated to United States. I had to learn English from zero base, so I spoke fluent German. Now I'm learning another language.

Japhet De Oliveira: So three now?

Ramella Markarian: I remember I had to stop thinking, "German language," when I was learning English, because that was also newly learned for me. But something that I had learned over the past three, four years, and now I have to learn another language. And English would've been the permanent language.

So I had to really change my mindset and unlearn the grammar, because it's very different. You know, how you put the words together in German and how you do it in English is very different.

Japhet De Oliveira: We've been trying to help Germany a long time. I'm kidding. I'm kidding. I'm kidding. I have German friends. I'm kidding.

Ramella Markarian: I remember every time, it was the most difficult thing, and I wish that I didn't know German because it was making it, so I tried to unlearn German, which I regretted later on when I was applying for college, just because I wanted to use German, a second language.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, absolutely.

Ramella Markarian: But I did, because it wasn't gone completely. But that was the only time I remember wishing to unlearn something.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. That is interesting, because the way language processes, we think in that language.

Ramella Markarian: Yes. And we're translating,

Japhet De Oliveira: What language do you dream in?

Ramella Markarian: Armenian.

Japhet De Oliveira: Interesting, isn't it? It's pretty powerful.

Ramella Markarian: And I speak Farsi fluently.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh my goodness.

Ramella Markarian: Because I was born in Iran, and I was raised till I was 11, 12. So then moved to Germany. So I kind of had to speak Persian fluent because I was going to school and everything was in Farsi.

Japhet De Oliveira: That is great. And here in Glendale with the international community all around us. It's fantastic.

Ramella Markarian: It's very diverse community.

Japhet De Oliveira: Very diverse. It's fantastic. That's great.

Ramella Markarian: Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, good. All right. We have time for two more. Your final two numbers, where would you like to go?

Ramella Markarian: 91.

Japhet De Oliveira: 91.

Ramella Markarian: Go higher.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. All right. Describe a time in your life when you learned about forgiveness?

Ramella Markarian: Forgiveness?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Ramella Markarian: Forgiveness. I think we learn about forgiveness every day, every year. You never stop learning about forgiveness. But I would say I was raised in a family that forgiveness was part of our culture.

Japhet De Oliveira: Nice.

Ramella Markarian: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Holds us together?

Ramella Markarian: Yeah. It holds us together. I think when we don't forgive, you're only torturing yourself, obviously, because you don't have that peace. Forgiving is when you let go of anger. I remember even when my mom and dad would argue, one would forgive the other. Because they don't want to be angry at each other.

So I think what we do with forgiveness is really helping ourselves. And I think world needs to learn to forgive.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yes, it does.

Ramella Markarian: To find peace and let go of anger.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. I like that. It would be a better world for sure. All right. You're unto your last number, last question, where would you like to go?

Ramella Markarian: Stay in 90s. Maybe 93?

Japhet De Oliveira: 93, yeah?

Ramella Markarian: Yeah, let's go 93.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right, I wasn't sure. You're like, "Maybe 93?" All right. So here it is. Paint for us a picture of success. What does success look like?

Ramella Markarian: Success. It means a lot to different people, obviously. For someone whose sick success is getting better. And success means, to me, is when you're happy with yourself and with the path that you've been on, the differences you make, the peace that you have within yourself.

To me, success is having a peace of mind, inner peace, and being able to be a good person and good role model, as a leader. That's success. If you can be a good role model, if I'm here at the hospital and people think that I'm a good leader, that's success here. If I'm at home and my kids think I'm a good mom, that's success at home.

Japhet De Oliveira: I like the framing. That's good. That's good. I want to say thank you so much for your wisdom. I can tell through your life experiences lots of different places, but just the tremendous leader that you are today, it just comes through all of these stories.

Ramella Markarian: Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: I want to encourage people who are listening to do the same thing, just like you and I are sitting down here talking. It's good to connect with people, ask them questions, learn from them. Because I'm growing in this moment. I'm discovering new things, and I think this is actually the best way that we can discover what is good and what is better for us. And I think we can be good people for that and God will bless us for that.

Ramella Markarian: Thank you. grateful for the opportunity to share. And thank you for everything.

Japhet De Oliveira: Absolutely. Our privilege. All right. You take care.

Ramella Markarian: Thank you.

Japhet De Oliveira: God bless everybody.

Narrator: Thank you for joining us for The Story and Experience podcast. We invite you to read, watch, and submit your story and experience at adventisthealth.org/story. The Story and Experience podcast was bought to you by Adventist Health through the Office of Culture.