Seventh-day Adventist pastors and Hispanic Ministries coordinators recently gathered at the Columbia Union Conference (CUC) headquarters in Columbia, Maryland, to pray over and take home more than 13,600 Bibles and 100,000 copies of Ellen G. White’s book Steps to Christ in English and Spanish.
“We pray a special blessing on all these Bibles,” Dave Weigley, CUC president, said at the special dedication event. “As [the Bibles] go forth, may they be a wonderful light so many people might know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and prepare for the great, soon coming of Christ.”
To motivate members to witness in their circles of influence, Rubén Ramos, vice president of Multilingual Ministries, explained that he feels this initiative is the least they can do as church leaders. “The minimum that we can do besides offering motivation and training is to give [church members] the elements to share the good news — Bible lessons, the Bible, and Steps to Christ,” he said.
Ramos’ office organized the distribution and provided 27,000 Bible lessons at a low cost to churches across the region. Thanks to substantial subsidization from Food for Life, Hispanic churches around the union will receive the materials at a substantially reduced price.
“Our small groups [across the union] will have the elements to share the good news to [conduct] Bible studies and to get a lot of people involved in studying the Bible. [We hope] a lot of baptisms will follow,” Ramos added. “You cannot imagine the impact of these materials in the hands of people. It’s impossible even to comprehend what the Lord can do. If the Lord can do a miracle with only one book, can you imagine [what can happen] with the books that we distributed today?”
Ramos adds that 2020 was the last year the union distributed Bibles, and many of the coordinators were desperately waiting for more to distribute, as they had run out of Bibles. It was worth the wait, for these particular Bibles contained built-in Faith of Jesus Bible studies.
Ramón Campos, pastor of Allegheny East Conference’s Emanuel Spanish church in Mt. Rainer, Maryland, said that each family that receives a box of food from the church’s food bank also receives a Bible. Members then offer to study with them. “Each Bible is going to somebody that we’re working [with] within the community, and it will be a blessing for their home.”
Walter Cardenas, Hispanic Ministries coordinator for the Mountain View Conference, took home 1,000 Steps to Christ and 300 Bibles. He said his conference has a lot of new believers and people who don’t own physical Bibles. According to Cardenas, many of the pastors go to their neighbors, create relationships through community activities, and invite them to study together. Whenever people read the Word of God, it changes lives, he said, adding, “We’re expecting our communities to be transformed by the Word of God.”
Noting the union’s Year of the Bible emphasis, Ramos adds that the Bible is not only the core of Seventh-day Adventist beliefs but also of believers’ daily lives with the Lord, and that the Bible is an essential part of our closeness to God. It empowers us to want to share the love of God with others, he said. “I know that the Lord will help our congregations and our believers to experience the power of God through them.”