In Venezuela, Adventists Spread Kindness in Cities and Communities

The 2021 initiative is the most comprehensive social program since its launch in 2013.

In Venezuela, Adventists Spread Kindness in Cities and Communities

Nearly 9,000 Seventh-day Adventists in the East Venezuela Union Mission (EVUM) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church recently participated in what has become the church’s most comprehensive annual social program since 2013. Coined as Close to You Venezuela 2021, church member volunteers distributed supplies and brought messages of hope to those facing economic challenges. The program took place from July 1 to August 7.

Thousands of young people in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, took to the streets to the beat of marching bands to distribute bags of fruit and literature in plazas, sidewalks, and hospitals. They held up signs and banners displaying encouraging words for the benefit of drivers and onlookers at traffic lights. Many of the youth were dressed in heart-shaped costumes. They cheered on those around them and took selfies with them.

“What was so impressive to see was that each volunteer offered relief and hope to those who needed it,” David Manrique, EVUM youth ministries director and main organizer of the initiative, said. “We praise God for giving us this enormous privilege to give and be a blessing to others.”

In the state of Miranda, dozens of children received toys and meals, and dozens of people received free haircuts.


Volunteers also distributed breakfast arepas, fruit, and books to 210 people at Santo Anibal Dominici Hospital in the state of Sucre.

Elsewhere throughout the eastern region, thousands of children took part in Vacation Bible School, sports, and arts and crafts. Volunteers offered free medical attention and health talks, organized blood drives, and cleaned up parks and streets.

“Smiling has great health benefits, and young people accepted the challenge to go and share the gospel and a smile with someone who might not know the love of God,” Diana Díaz, a volunteer in the East Venezuela Conference, said.

The vision for the rest of the year is to continue with the social program once a week to reach more people, Manrique explained.

“We are going to keep instructing our members to continue working on these projects more permanently,” Alpidio Ytriago, youth ministries leader in the East Venezuela Conference, said. “We cannot lose the heat of this fire, since this is a very effective way of reaching people.”

Wilbelly Loreto, who has volunteered as Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) leader in Zone V of the South Central Venezuelan Conference for many years, congratulated volunteers. “You must move forward, one heart at a time, conquering souls for Christ,” she said.

The event was carried online and through social media platforms.

In western Venezuela, thousands of church members also celebrated the initiative from August 1 to 7, sharing food and clothing and offering free medical check-ups and haircuts. They also painted park pavilions.

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