August 28, 2014

40,000 Turn Brazilian Stadium Into a Place to Praise God

, executive
secretary of the South American Division

sports stadium that had recently echoed with the cries of soccer fans turned
into a house of worship filled with prayer and song as about 40,000 people celebrated
the end of a campaign to share Jesus following the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament
in the Brazilian city of Manaus.

mainly Adventist crowd packed the 41,000-seat Vivaldo Lima Amazonian Arena to
near-capacity on Sabbath, Aug. 16, the first major public event held in the
city of 2 million after the conclusion of the World Cup on July 13. Manaus was
one of 12 cities to host World Cup games.

moment in the arena was the
great coronation of the Hope Manaus project,
which provided greater visibility of the scope of the
work developed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church to
society," said Gilmar Zahn, president of the church’s
Northwest Brazil Union.

gathering, attended by senior local officials, crowned a week of social
outreach efforts dubbed “Hope Manaus” that, among other things, saw
volunteers distribute thousands of copies of the missionary sharing book
“The Great Hope.”

are thousands of people in search of hope, and we need
to finish the work that our pioneers began
in announcing the good news of the gospel,"
Erton Kölher, president of the South American Division, which includes
the Northwest Brazil Union, told the crowd as he thanked participating local

“Hope Manaus” is part of the world church’s “Mission to the Cities” initiative
that aims to share Jesus in the world’s biggest cities.

<strong>SONG TO SING:</strong> Musicians playing at the stadium event. Photo credit: South Amercian Division

Manaus Mayor
Arthur Virgilio Neto expressed his admiration for the work of the
Adventist Church.

the development of projects like this, it is possible to grasp
the seriousness of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s concern for
others," he said.

a symbolic act, the mayor received the keys to the new local headquarters of
ADRA, the church’s relief agency from the director of the organization’s
Northwestern Brazil branch, Hebert Kalbermatter.

drone buzzed overhead during the gathering, capturing stunning pictures of the
packed arena far below.

Northwest Brazil Union occupies a unique place in the Adventist Church as the
only territory in South America and, division leaders believe, in the world
that has an Adventist presence in every county. In addition, Manaus, which is
the capital of the Amazon state, is the only regional capital in South America
that has an Adventist presence in every suburb.

stadium event also commemorated the first anniversary of the
start of TV Novo Tempo (Hope Channel Portuguese)’s broadcast over city
airwaves. Its programming began being transmitted on Channel 16 on July
27, 2013, in Manaus, capital of the Amazon state. Novo Tempo presenters and
singers spoke and sang at the stadium.

people were baptized at the end of the meeting, a token of the 350 who were
baptized throughout the week.