May 30, 2014

Poorest Caribbean Adventists Are Biggest Givers

Haiti and Dominican Republic might be among the poorest
countries in the world, but Seventh-day Adventists in those Caribbean nations
are among the most generous when it comes to freewill offerings.

More than half of the Adventists in the Inter-American Division,
which includes Central America and the islands of the Caribbean Sea, give 7
percent or more of their incomes as offerings, said division treasurer
Filiberto Verduzco.

The highest percentage is in the Dominican Republic, where
Adventists give 10.6 percent, and Haiti, with 10.1
percent, he said.

“Our church members in Inter-America are some of the most
generous members throughout the world church,” Verduzco said, speaking at a
mid-year executive committee meeting last week at the division headquarters in
Miami, Florida. “They understand and embrace the global evangelism needed to
reach others.”

While all Adventists are expected to contribute 10 percent
of their income as tithe, the church leaves it up to individual members to
decide what amount they wish to give as offerings for mission outreach, church
expenses and various projects.

figures for other world regions were not immediately available.

Verduzco said the amount of offerings in his division was
even more astonishing because 72 percent of the currencies throughout the
region are weak.

Libna Stevens, communication director for the division, said
God was blessing the faithfulness of people in Dominican Republic and Haiti,
which occupy the same island and are known for their abject poverty.

“I have been in both countries. In Haiti, especially, you
wouldn't believe how God blesses them,” she said by e-mail. “I think it has a
lot to do with their faith in giving of what little they have. They believe in
helping others. They believe in the church leadership.”