May 28, 2020

60 Evenings Witnessing … and Counting

Daniela Arrieta, Inter-American Division News

Six Adventist families in Barranquilla, Colombia, have taken to their apartment-complex balconies to play and sing hymns, read the Bible, pray, and spread hope to neighbors and pedestrians every night for two months now.

“Ever since the government implemented social distancing measures on March 24, we have been out every night to point to God and pray for the concerns and difficulties of our community, for the persons who are out providing an essential service, and others who have requested prayer every night,” said Josué Torres, president of the church in the Atlantic Conference in Colombia.

Torres and the other five pastoral families in the apartment building owned by the conference come out to their balconies at 8:00 p.m. every evening to pray and worship and provide a phone  or text number, so onlookers and listeners can dial in their prayer requests.

Alejandrina Manotas, a resident of the community, sent a message through WhatsApp thanking the families for the daily program. “It has been a beautiful experience to hear, sing, and learn your hymns,” she said.

Similarly, Julio César Vanegas, another nearby resident and father of a daughter who lives in Spain, said that coming out on his terrace to listen to the messages brings him hope in the midst of the crisis. He noted that other neighbors like him welcome that special moment every day. “People are so happy with the prayers; I have seen it reflected when they call me to tell me that they hear the program from their homes and I want for more persons to get deeper into the Word of God,” Vanegas said.

As the days have gone by, the families have changed how they share their messages and have incorporated other activities for more interaction with neighbors. They gave out the missionary book Hope in the Midst of Chaos by Mark Finley to more than 80 families in the community.

“We have had nights where we read several paragraphs from the book and play some guessing games so that they can find the passage in the book, and we give them prizes for participating,” said Torres.

During the “Day of the Child” celebrated on April 25, the children of Adventist families took over the program by reading psalms, praying, singing, and encouraging listeners with messages of hope.

So far, about 40 persons have come out on their balconies or terraces to participate in the program. In fact, “we have received messages from people who live several blocks away who also listen and are thankful for the evening program,” added Torres.

Torres invited the membership to share the message of salvation during the lockdown, as this activity is being replicated in other parts of Barranquilla.

“I believe that it is a wonderful testimony of trust and hope in God that we have shared with our neighbors, but I also believe that you too can share wherever you are and encourage others, letting them know that there is a God in the heavens who has the universe under His control and He defends, camps, and cares for all who call and trust in Him,” Torres said.

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division news site.