February 13, 2014

​In Colombia, Adventist University Will Light up City With “Centers of Influence”

Light Up Medellín” is the name of the project launched
in the Colombia Adventist University [UNAC] Church, in Medellín, Colombia, last
February 1. The new project was introduced as the most important outreach and
mission initiative of the school for 2014.

“Light Up Medellín” will focus on establishing centers
of influence in the city, as the school makes efforts to meet the needs of the
community and strives to create an environment which encourages sharing a
message of hope with the eventual interests.

Abraham Acosta, president of Colombian Adventist University (UNAC), holds an acrylic church in his hands, representing the school’s dream of planting new churches in various neighborhoods of the city of Medellin that so far have no Seventh-day Adventist presence. With this goal in mind, administrators, deans of the
university schools, and leaders of Adventist industries operating on the school
campus were challenged to select areas in a map of the city where they commit
to open those centers of influence.

“In this city, there are many people who are waiting
for us to give them a message of hope and salvation. Through this initiative,
our goal is to launch centers of influence which may allow us to develop
friendly and loving relationships with people, so that they can find in Jesus a
personal Savior,” said Dr. Abraham Acosta, president of the school. “After
these centers of light are launched, a second goal is to plant churches in areas
of the city where so far there is no Adventist presence.”

During the program launch, attendees also heard of the
progress of outreach project “Rise Up and Conquer.” Launched a year ago, “Rise
Up and Conquer” invites students to give of their time and talents in order to
share the gospel in villages with no Adventist presence across the province of
Antioquía. It was a thrilling report, whose first fruits could be seen in form of
the lives of people who have decided to follow Jesus and asked to be baptized.

At the end of the “Light Up Medellín” presentation,
every leader committed to this new initiative was given a small acrylic church
building. When all lit together, they lighted up the school church sanctuary,
pointing the audience forward to a near future time when Medellín will become a
city lighted up with gospel truth.

Though the project was devised by UNAC, it will
combine the efforts of the North Colombian Union (UCN), and the West Central
Colombian Conference, and will also support UCN’s evangelism plans for this

“In our region, pastors are totally committed to the
goal of reaching the city of Medellín for Jesus,” said Pastor Gonzalo Cardona,
president of the West Southern Region. “We are working especially with small groups, and are now
incorporating the wonderful plan of our Seventh-day Adventist university.”

According to Pastor Efraín Lucumí, secretary of the
West Central Conference, “for our field, this project is a dream come true. It is
a comprehensive plan to fully reach the city of Medellín, especially at its
very core, getting to those communities where, as a church, we have so far been
unable to have a lasting presence.”