Seventh-day Adventists in Mexico are celebrating the more than 23,000 people who joined the church after a coordinated evangelistic event across the nation, June 12-19, 2021. The special week of “reaping,” as it is called, crowned months of evangelistic initiatives across the five unions, or major church regions, in Mexico.
The guest speaker for the closing week was evangelist Alejandro Bullón, who delivered a spiritual message online every evening from Brazil. Under the theme “Hope Beyond Uncertainty,” Bullón’s messages reached an average of 280,000 people each evening, on top of the more than 300,000 on opening night, thanks to the region’s distribution platforms through the support of the Adventist television network Hope Channel Inter-America.
The one-hour program each evening also included moments of prayer for the needs of the community and praise and worship.
The comprehensive effort was coordinated from the city of Mérida, in Yucatán. Melchor Ferreyra, personal ministries director in the Inter-American Division (IAD), coordinated efforts among Mexico’s top church leadership. The historic collaboration was part of strengthening and resetting the direction of mission in Mexico, Ferreyra said.
Church leaders in Mexico said they are pleased with the coordinated efforts.
Ignacio Navarro, spokesperson for the church in Mexico and president of the Chiapas Mexican Union, said the comprehensive evangelistic endeavors among the five major church regions took them to another level of outreach.
“We have seen that this evangelism effort among the unions has blessed the church so much,” Navarro said. “It moved the leadership of each region to invest more to impact the country with the gospel together.” The months of evangelistic initiatives and community projects before the series with Bullón allowed them to be enriched as a church into further reaching people, he said. “This is just the beginning of even greater outreach in the months and years to come,” Navarro added.
During the months preceding the special closing week, several programs helped people get closer to God and His plan for their lives. Initiatives included “I Want to Live Healthy,” which for eight weeks led hundreds of people to acquire healthy living habits to enjoy a more productive and happy life. Concurrently, a health marathon connected hundreds more on the first Sunday of the month, attracting other interests through online outlets and platforms, leaders said.
An online platform, Esperanza Mexico, sought to provide answers to people going through suffering, pain, and sorrow, especially that caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, leaders shared. Thousands of people registered their willingness to participate in the week of meetings on hope.
Local church pastors worked for months to strengthen the work of small groups. They invited small group leaders to reach out to their families and neighbors across towns and cities. A joint team from the five church regions across Mexico also coordinated an effort to promote the series online and helped local churches find tools to promote the event.
During the Evangelistic Series
The series was broadcast on Hope Channel Inter-America in Spanish, using every analog and digital system available, including satellite, television, websites, streaming devices like Roku, mobile apps, and social networks.
In the city of Comitán, Chiapas, a local Pathfinder Club set up the overhead projector on the outside wall of the local children’s hospital every evening for people in the community to watch. They shared hot drinks, bread, and tamales each night to some 40 viewers. Pathfinders set up areas before and after the broadcast for anyone in need of prayer. Dozens in the area became acquainted with God’s message through the initiative. As a result of these efforts, 30 persons signed up to receive Bible studies. Often, broadcast access points included up to 50 people viewing in churches, garages, and on exterior walls of houses and business offices, leaders reported.
During the week of meetings, a call center helped field hundreds of calls each night for people searching for spiritual support and prayer requests.
Local TV networks in Puebla, Veracruz Hidalgo, Tlaxcala, and Tabasco agreed to broadcast the series. In addition, several local radio stations also shared Bullón’s nightly messages, which helped increase their reach in areas with limited internet coverage.
“We aren’t able to assess how many viewers were impacted through the television broadcast in so many cities in the region,” Moisés Reyna, president of the church in the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union, said. “The impact of the evangelistic series will surely bring more interested persons to study the Bible. Hundreds of pastors overseeing more than 9,400 small groups across the territory doubled their efforts to grow the church since the beginning of the year,” Reyna said.
Reyna added that he was at the morning worship service to preach at the Central Seventh-day Adventist Church in Veracruz on June 19. “There were several families that came to church that morning because they had heard Bullón’s messages and had found the nearest Adventist church to visit,” Reyna shared. Other people are calling small group leaders, saying they wish to be baptized, he added.
About the Series
The Hope Beyond Uncertainty series sought to heal the wounds of human hearts by providing emotional, spiritual, and mental health restoration, organizers said.
Bullón spoke on the healing power of forgiveness, the need to find freedom from sin, and the hope of surrendering to God even amid life’s hardships.
More than 5,000 people were baptized during the week of meetings, adding to the more than 17,000 people baptized across Mexico in the previous weeks. Church leaders expect thousands more will be baptized in the next few weeks across the country.
Stories of Hope
Carmen Roxol San Juan, a 113-year-old man, had resisted accepting a different faith from his own for many years but recently accepted the invitation to study the Bible. As the evangelistic event approached, Roxol San Juan received an invitation that included other church members meeting at his home to watch the series. On Tuesday that week, Roxol San Juan said he felt it was the right time to surrender to God. A day later, he was baptized.
Williams Torres de Dios, a Chinese-Mexican importer of home goods, also felt drawn to God during the special week of meetings. In his youth, he distanced himself from the values his parents had instilled in him and managed to make a significant amount of money, which he spent on worldly pleasures. His short temper, however, often got him into trouble, he said.
One day Torres de Dios asked God to free him. Then he connected to the series, where he listened as Bullón emphasized, “You can have everything, but you will never be satisfied because the emptiness you feel can only be filled by God’s love.” That very same night, Torres de Dios called a pastor, deciding to return to God and be baptized.
Keila Urbano, Cristel Romero and Uriel Castellano contributed to this report.