July 25, 2012

21 CN: Guatemalan Adventists Hit the Streets, Offer Prayer for Neighbors

Guatemalan Adventists Hit the Streets, Offer Prayer for Neighbors
Carry signs reading “We Pray for You!” (Posted July 26, 2012)

BY GUSTAVO MENENDEZ/IAD STAFF, reporting from Villa Nueva, Guatemala

Young Seventh-day Adventists in Villa Nueva, in the south central region of Guatemala, took to the streets to pray for onlookers, neighbors, and friends in early June. The youth, most of them from Villa Nueva Central Adventist Church, also distributed literature. The event was part of the church’s evangelism impact initiative.

The young people carried signs that read “We Pray for Your Health”; “We Pray for Your Work”; and “We Pray for You.” They offered hope and prayed for more than 200 families, organizers said.

“We wanted to take advantage of the community’s program called ‘Steps and Pedals’ in Paseo San Isidro, where the streets are closed to only pedestrians,” said Pastor Fabian Natareno, district pastor and communication director for the church in south-central Guatemala. The program allows hundreds of families to enjoy several activities every weekend, promoting family recreation and safe passage for riders on their bicycle, skates, and the like, Natareno added.

2012 1521NewsGuatemala

“PRAYING FOR YOUR WORK”:  Holding a sign with that promise, Seventh-day Adventist youth take to the streets of Villa Nueva, Guatemala, to pray for their neighbors. Photo: Guenther Garcia/IAD

Villa Nueva is considered a “high-risk red zone,” and one of the 10 most violent cities in Guatemala because of gang activity and drug trafficking, said Natareno.

“Many people have abandoned their homes for fear of being killed, and many live in fear,” added Natareno. He said the main theme promoted by the youth was “God is bigger than your problems.”

“The church in Guatemala has given space for our young people to develop their own leadership and take to the streets with a message of hope to their neighbors and friends, praying for their work, health and life,” said Pastor Guenther Garcia, president of the church in Guatemala. Garcia joined the young people in the streets during the event.

Jonathan Corado, a youth leader in the Villa Nueva Adventist Church, was happy to be part of a group of young people involved in sharing the love of Christ. “It’s really wonderful to pray for someone else and tell them that Jesus loves them and give them hope in their lives, that is really priceless,” said Corado. He said he hopes that more young people get involved in creative activities to reach people with the hope the gospel offers.

For more information on this initiative sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Guatemala, visit www.uniondeguatemala.org.