Hundreds of Seventh-day Adventists recently gathered in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to pray about the escalating violence, crime, and poverty affecting the nation. Church leaders spoke of the insecurity that is most concerning to Dominicans, in addition to delinquency, unemployment, and family violence, during a day filled with prayer, music, the study of the Bible, and community service on July 7, 2018, at the handball pavilion at Parque del Este.
“We are here today not only to pray for the divine presence in our lives but also for every Dominican family, for our governors and authorities, so that together as a people we can consecrate ourselves to the Lord and receive the true change inside,” said Paulino Puello, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Dominican Republic.
During the special prayer program, newly elected church leaders publicly committed to serving the community through its institutions and churches. Church members in attendance gathered in small groups during the “Contigo 7” (“With You 7”) prayer activity, during which they divided into groups of seven to pray for one another and the nation.
“It is only through the divine presence in the human heart that behavior can change,” said Puello, who was elected as the church president on the island in March. “The lack of God in the life of man can only bring misery.”
Inter-American Division administrators joined local church leaders as they prayed for the country and the new leadership officially installed to lead the church in the Dominican Republic. As part of the day’s activities, the church offered a musical concert and free health screenings to more than 4,000 individuals in the community.
Church leaders pledged to continue providing assistance and positively affecting the community through its various institutions, including Dominican Adventist University, 66 primary and secondary schools, a hospital and medical center, Radio Amanecer stations covering the island, and Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) projects across the nation.
Local and national media covered the event.
More than 327,000 Seventh-day Adventists live in the Dominican Republic, worshiping in 1,310 churches and congregations.