June 27, 2012

South America’s Evangelism Success a Challenge for All

Sitting in a meeting of South American Division leaders in São Paulo, Brazil, it’s hard for me to type. My eyes keep filling with tears.

Everywhere—at every turn—is story after story of people whose lives are being touched by the living God. In this corner of the Seventh-day Adventist world, the debates are about how to do more to introduce people to Jesus, not about matters which, ultimately, will find their resolution in the courts of heaven.

Talk about revival and reformation! I wish everyone reading these words could sit for one hour and hear the stories. I wish they could meet Sheyla Guimarães, a petite homemaker from the city of Mineiros do Tietê, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) from here. She was baptized last Sabbath, mere months after a copy of The Great Hope was left in her mailbox. What’s more, Sheyla is today leading a Bible study for 10 of her neighbors.

Perhaps hearing the choir of pastors and workers from the São Paulo area would reach some. Singing “Be Still My Soul” or other sacred songs, in Portuguese, the voices testified to the power of God to change hearts.

Or maybe a video report, such as the one I saw at the divisional meeting here, would activate one’s consciousness. You would have learned, as I did, about the 100-year-old woman (yes, you read that correctly) who handed out The Great Hope in São Paulo at a subway station. The video also reported on the “conquest” of Quito, Ecuador, by members distributing books.

The demonstrated success of the South American Division in reaching big cities using some of the most traditional of methods challenged this writer. May it challenge your heart as well!