August 29, 2014

More Than 100 South Americans to Share Jesus in Mideast

More than 100 young people
from South America will be trained to share Jesus in the Middle East after they signed up
to become missionaries at a major conference in Medellin, Colombia, church
leaders said.

The volunteers enrolled
in Colombia Adventist University’s school of missions during the Adventist
Missions International Congress, which was held at the university in Colombia’s
second-largest city and brought together nearly 2,000 young people, students
and professionals from Colombia, Peru and Argentina.

The congress, held
over three days earlier this month, sought to motivate participants to serve in
the mission field.

“We wanted to inspire
our young people who study different careers just as they grow academically,
they can grow with a commitment and growing passion for the mission of the
church,” Abraham Acosta, president of Colombia Adventist University and the
main organizer of the event, said in an online statement released by the
church’s Inter-America Division on Wednesday.

Acosta said the
trained missionaries would be sent to the Middle East.

<strong>MISSIONS CONGRESS:</strong> Hundreds of students and professionals from Colombia, Peru and Argentina meeting for the three-day Adventist Mission International Congress at Colombia Adventist University in Medellin, Colombia. The event ended Aug. 2, 2014. Photo credit: North Colombia Union
<strong>SERVING ABROAD:</strong> Abraham Acosta, president of Colombia Adventist University, said he hoped young people would feel motivated to work as missionaries beyond Colombia. Photo credit: North Colombia Union

Some participants
brimmed with enthusiasm after the congress.

“I think God is
touching the hearts of students thanks to this congress because many of us are
really motivated to preach the gospel to finish the work on Earth,” said Jenny
Paola Muñoz, an accounting student who will train to go to Egypt, according to
the IAD statement.

Nathalia Andrea Lopez
a fourth-year student specializing in preschools, said, “There are so many
places still out there to serve the Lord around the world.”

Speakers at the
congress, called “I Will Go, Too,” told participants that even though they
could share Jesus in their own communities, it was crucial to travel abroad to
spread the gospel in countries without Christians. Colombia, Peru and Argentina
have largely Christian populations.

“Our great challenge
is reaching persons who are not Christians,” said Cheryl Doss, director of the
Institute of World Missions at the Adventist world church’s headquarters in
Maryland. “To reach them we must be willing to change our current methodology
of evangelism as the challenge goes much faster than the growth of the
Adventist Church.”

Two previous missions
congresses have been organized under the auspices of the church, but this was
the first one to be held in Colombia.

Other speakers at the
Colombia congress came from the church’s Middle East and North Africa Union and
North American Division, and they spoke about Adventist-Muslim relations.

A basic aspect of
serving in the mission field is a willingness to learn and to adapt, said Wagner
Kuhn, associate director of the Global Mission Institute at Andrews University
in Michigan.

“Look to
understanding the native tongue to be able to speak to the hearts of the
people,” Kuhn said. “Be servants and look to others with empathy.”

Related links

IAD Web site: “In Colombia, University Students Are Motivated to Serve in the Mission Field”

Colombia Adventist University Web site