January 18, 2012

20CN: Adventist Outreach in Colombia

Urban Focus Highlights ?Adventist
Outreach in Colombia

Two-week campaign yields 1,500 new believers.

BY MARCIA PINEROS, Inter-American Division

A massive two-week evangelistic effort throughout southern Colombia in November 2011 drew more than 1,500 new believers to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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NEW LIFE: Robert Costa, an associate ministerial secretary for the General Conference, baptizes one of the more than 500 people who joined the church during a four-day series in Bogotá. [PHOTO: IAD]

The series was the result of a joint effort by pastors and church members to share the Adventist hope with the region’s burgeoning population, church leaders said. More than 25 million people live in southern Colombia, which is home to some 130,000 Adventists.

Themed “Time for Hope,” leaders organized evangelism efforts in each of Colombia’s major southern cities. The efforts culminated in activities to commemorate 90 years of Adventist presence in the region.

“This was a great opportunity to show this part of Colombia that the church is alive in this region of the world and each member wants to spread the message of salvation,” said Eliseo Bustamante, president of the Adventist Church in southern Colombia.

In Bogotá, a city with a population of more than 7 million, the church held a four-day televised series led by Robert Costa, an It Is Written speaker and associate ministerial secretary for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. More than 12,000 people gathered, and 520 were baptized as a result.

Earlier this year Adventists organized outreach activities in Bogotá that led up to the series. Adventist taxicab drivers prayed for passengers and church members participated in Bogotá’s international marathon, joined in a massive blood donation campaign, and organized a health expo.

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RUNNING THE RACE: Hundreds of Adventists ran Bogotá’s international half marathon in 2011. Community activities and outreach helped pave the way for the church’s evangelism efforts in southern Colombia. [PHOTO: karen Leon].


Elsewhere in the region the church organized a series of meetings headlined by evangelist Alejandro Bullón. Those meetings covered the cities of Villavicencio, Cali, Pereira, Ibagué, and Sogamoso.

Nearly 35,000 people attended the evangelistic series in various centers and auditoriums, and hundreds of new believers joined the church, leaders reported.

“We saw so many people truly searching for hope,” said Aicardo Arias, personal ministries director for the church in southern Colombia.

Church leaders are already planning another major evangelism effort to reach five more cities in southern Colombia next year.

The Adventist world church’s current focus is outreach to the world’s large urban centers.