Thousands of Seventh-day Adventists in the state of Baja California, Mexico, recently gathered to celebrate the culmination of evangelism efforts that began earlier this year and resulted in 700 new believers joining the church.
More than 4,800 leaders and church members traveled from around the Tijuana and Ensenada regions to the Baja California Center in Rosarito to take part in a Saturday (Sabbath) worship program on May 28, 2022, where government, national, and international church leaders spoke and witnessed the work of the church and the baptism of 230 persons.
“It is such a pleasure to be among people who seek to do good,” Salvador Flores, director of Religious Affairs for Baja California, said. “The Seventh-day Adventist Church is recognized in the state as an important organization in the rebuilding of the social fabric because they seek a common good toward society and are also promoters of the culture of peace,” he said, while accompanied by regional municipal officials.
The celebration came after a full week when 116 evangelists from several parts of Mexico and abroad worked hand in hand with local churches to take part in evangelistic series and visitations to hundreds of people who had been studying the Bible before their baptism, Sedric Arena, evangelism director of the Baja California Conference of the Adventist Church, said.
“During the entire month, homes and churches held a Bible series called Esperanza para vivir (Hope to Live), which drew in more and more new believers throughout Baja California,” Arena said.
Inter-American Division president Elie Henry praised the work of church leaders and members for their commitment and dedicated efforts in spreading the hope of salvation in their communities. “We have been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Inter-American Division, and what better way to do that than rejoice with the new birth of new members in the family of God,” Henry said.
The event showcased reports of the ongoing community projects that the church has been supporting and overseeing through the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the Adventist educational system, the Valle de la Trinidad Clinic, Mexico’s publishing house GEMA Editors, and the Colpac food company.
One of the initiatives in the Baja California Conference has been assisting the integration of many people groups in the region, such as those from Haiti, members of the deaf community, and others with special needs or disabilities into Seventh-day Adventist congregations. The event provided sign language interpretations to those in attendance and following online.
At the start of the week, Yoer Pérez had filled out his baptismal commitment while his wife took part in helping in the evangelistic series that week in the La Presa Adventist church in Tijuana, and Pérez’s son spent time praying for his father.
The next day, Pérez told his employer that from that Saturday and on, he would not work on the Sabbath day because he had decided to take the day off to worship God. “Congratulations, that decision you have made is the best one for your life,” was the surprising answer he heard from his immediate supervisor. On May 28, Pérez was accompanied by his wife and son, Alexis, as he got baptized.
Just like Perez, more than 35 couples sealed their commitment with God after legalizing their marriage the week before. “There was an official marriage ceremony for couples as they took the decision to be married and join the Seventh-day Adventist Church, “ Arena said.
Hundreds more new believers have joined congregations and small groups in the Seventh-day Adventist Church across Mexico since the start of the year. Mexico’s five unions (the major church administrative regions) have doubled their efforts to share the gospel further in their communities for months leading up to the church’s national evangelistic series, which ended on June 25.