, South American Division
Raising a remote control over his head, the president of the South American Division kicked off the expansion of Adventist-operated Nuevo Tiempo television in Peru at a Lima stadium packed with 40,000 church members.
The president, Erton Köhler, symbolically pressed the button on a remote control to inaugurate the launch of Nuevo Tiempo on local cable channel 571 during a worship service at Monumental Stadium in Peru’s capital last Sabbath.
The launch marks the local expansion of the Brazil-based channel, which first started broadcasting over the open airwaves in this city of 10 million people in December and whose programming is already reaping results. A married couple was baptized just last week after being convicted that God wanted them to keep the Sabbath.
"The influence of the Adventist Church in Peru is increasing with the addition of this channel on cable television, and the growth of the Peruvian church is a source of inspiration for Adventists throughout South America," said Köhler, standing on a stage with South American church leaders holding blue and yellow balloons.
About 450,000 Seventh-day Adventists live in Peru.
Among those who had been watching Nuevo Tiempo since its debut in December are Victor Rafael Motta and Epifania Santillán, a married couple and the owners of a small business selling ornamental plants. Eight months ago, they embarked on a search for the meaning of their lives and turned to the Bible to learn more about God, Santillán said.
It was at that moment when they found Nuevo Tiempo on television and began watching the program “En la Mira de la Verdad” (Targeting the Truth).
“In one of the programs, it was said that the Sabbath was a holy day. We had never heard of that before,” Santillán told the crowd at the stadium. “Immediately, we stopped working on Saturdays and did something to work it out with our employees.”
Some time later, the couple found the Adventist church located nearest to their home at the suggestion of a television host. After attending worship services for several months, the two decided that they had discovered the answers to their questions about the meaning of life and got baptized on October 25.
Now they recommend Nuevo Tiempo to everyone they know.
“This television channel is a direct path to the Lord who can really transform lives,” Santillán said with tears in her eyes.
The Sabbath event was attended by Seventh-day Adventist leaders from eight South American countries with more than 2.2 million church members. They were in Lima to attend division year-end business meetings, which run through November 5.
Köhler emphasized the important role that the media can play in large metropolitan areas like Lima to make the Bible and its teachings known. One of the Adventist Church world vice presidents, Geoffrey Mbwana, spoke of the joy of witnessing the expansion of the work of sharing the gospel.
In Peru, Adventist media include the two television signals as well as 21 radio stations and four regular programs produced for Rede Novo Tempo de Comunicação, the Adventist media center in Brazil) that reach dozens of countries.