The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Inter-American Division (IAD) celebrated its fall evangelism efforts with a special live program held at Colombia Adventist University’s church in Medellín, Colombia, October 26, 2019.
Hundreds of church leaders and members witnessed special reports, baptisms, and testimonies led by dozens of women, children, and teens, who doubled their efforts in sharing the gospel in their communities across the Inter-America region in 2019.
“These women represent a group of warriors who have walked through some tough roads, have knocked on doors, prayed, cried, and seen great fruits turn out,” said Dinorah Rivera, women’s, children, and youth ministries director for the IAD. A select group of women evangelists from Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, and other parts of Colombia traveled to Medellín to conduct evangelistic meetings as a final boost to lead others to Christ in many communities before the close of the year.
“I know that you persevered and came to Medellín with a mission in mind — to demonstrate Christ in the life you live,” Rivera said.
Evangelism Efforts by Women
Yesenia Chicas of El Salvador was among the dozen women who held evangelistic meetings in a poor community called Betel. When she climbed more than 200 steps to get to the small church, she noticed many children in the community and decided to hold a special series for children and one for the adults. “I taught about ‘Valores de Acero’ [‘Ironclad Values’] to about 35 to 40 children every night and spoke on God's promises that give life to a group of parents and adults and gained such a blessing,” Chicas said. She was the champion women’s ministries evangelist from the El Salvador Union region, leading 48 persons to baptism this year.
Chicas is among 2,007 mission-active women in El Salvador who have brought 1,720 new members into the church so far this year, said Betty Pacheco, women’s ministries director for the church in El Salvador. “Our active women usually reach 800 or so baptisms every year, but thanks to the emphasis push carried out by the Inter-American Division this year, our numbers have tripled, and we want to continue reaching more for the kingdom, because it’s made a huge difference.”
Through its “Women in Mission, Chosen and Loved” initiative, Inter-America has made a greater effort this year to empower, nurture, reclaim, and reach women and children, Rivera said. In addition, the church continued its evangelistic efforts with the “Talking Backpack” initiative to help children and teens with Bible principles and values to reach others in a meaningful way.
Child Evangelism Efforts
During the live program on October 26, Janier D. Rodríguez, an 11-year-old preacher from the South Colombia Union, was awarded a special medal for his evangelism efforts this year. Peter E. Díaz, 12, from El Salvador, was also awarded a medal for his commitment to preaching. Díaz reported that 68 were baptized, and several more will join the church next week. “I know God will continue to help us take more people to the feet of Jesus,” he said.
Mobilizing the church membership to reach more believers is a priority, said Balvin Braham, assistant to the IAD president for evangelism. So far, during the fall evangelism efforts across Inter-America, more than 40,000 people have been baptized.
“Our efforts are all about an integrated leadership and membership who are passionate about sharing the gospel for the kingdom,” Braham said. He challenged women and children to each set the goal of reaching one person for Jesus by next year’s territory-wide baptismal celebration in April.
Linda Koh, children’s ministries director for the Adventist world church, reported on the fruit of children’s evangelism efforts around the world. She motivated church leaders to let children in their church be more active in evangelism outreach, raising funds for mission, and in praise and worship. Also, Raquel Arrais, women’s ministries associate director for the Adventist Church, encouraged women to continue growing and flourishing spiritually, physically, and emotionally as they minister to those around them.
IAD executive secretary Leonard Johnson closed the online morning program with a call on church leaders and members to continue to instill the value of respect, love, and compassion in children, just like the servant girl for Naaman demonstrated in the story in 2 Kings 5 in the Bible.
“It does not matter how small you are or how young you are; when you surrender to God, He can use you in great ways,” Johnson said. “Thank you, women and child preachers, for preaching the Word of God.”