March 19, 2014

​Puerto Rico: Communicators Challenged to Expand Their Vision

, Inter-American

Nearly 100 Adventists in South Puerto Rico
recently met for a special communication training to sharpen their technology
skills for greater outreach as they share the good news of the gospel in their

Communication Director for the Church in Puerto Rico Pastor Julio Javier challenges the nearly 100 communicators to be part of creating new and different concepts using all media available, on the streets, in the communities, and on the internet. [Photo: Israel Rodriguez/IAD]The event, coined as EVANGECom,
brought young and old church members who are passionate about creatively
sharing the message of salvation, said Edson Canqui, communication director for
South Puerto Rico Conference.

“This was not just about sharing tools and
information but an event to establish and foster a network of communicators who
can work wholeheartedly to expanding the work of the church here in the
southern part of the island and beyond,” he explained.

Ponce is just the city to expand with the gospel,
explained Canqui. With a population of over 152,000, it is the second largest
city on the island. It has 33 Adventist churches with 2,300 church members.

Creativity must be utilized to appeal to more
people who need God, he continued. “You are part of this church that needs to
stretch out more and more to others,” said Canqui. “It is about going beyond
church walls and beyond local communities.”

Pastor Edson Canqui, communication director in South Puerto Rico, shares his vision of establishing and fostering a network of communicators to further the mission of the church in the city of Ponce and beyond, during EVANGECom event, Mar. 8, 2014. [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]Fostering a network of communicators throughout
the island is an initiative in which church leaders have been investing during
the past two years, said Julio Javier, communication director for the Puerto
Rico Union.

EVANGECom is the third regional communication
training event supported by the church on the island, said Pastor Javier, and
one that represents the needed impact that can enrich the church further.

“We want
our communicators to believe in this department of communication, to be part of
creating new and different concepts using all media available, on the streets,
in the communities, and on the internet because we have a wonderful message to
share with the world,” said Javier.

The hunger for service has been evident in South
Puerto Rico, the smallest church constituency region out of the four on the
island, added Javier. Yet is one with a core group of volunteers who have
created and maintained their Facebook account with the largest traffic on the
island as compared to the other church social media accounts, organizers said.

Aida Gonzalez from the Ponce 5 Adventist Church
is among the core group of young people in South Puerto Rico who loves to serve
her church. During the day she works at the Tribunal Court in Ponce and the
rest of the time volunteers as the communication director at her church. “I
really enjoyed being part of EVANGECom and was most excited about the training
on news writing,” said Gonzalez, who also helped organize the event.

Her brother Julio Gonzalez, an industrial
engineer, is also active in church and is in charge of technology. “We stream Sabbath services every week and
cover activities on social media and our church members are very supportive in
understanding the role that communication and technology play in evangelizing,”
he said.

Yessenia M. de Jesus of Arroyo Bueno Adventist
Church in Ponce, said that this communication training was the motivation she
needed to create a support ministry online to connect with other communicators
to work on projects to support the church.

EVANGECom, held March 7-8, offered training in
photo editing, web design, video editing, online streaming, news writing,
blogging, podcasting, script writing, social media, and more. Additional
communication certifications are planned to continue in the coming months and
year, said Pastor Javier.

“We want our communicators across the island to
continue being motivated and equipped to share, to inspire, to share the vision
of evangelizing with all accessible and available media,” he said.

For more information on the Seventh-day Adventist
Church in Puerto Rico, visit