A recent outreach initiative led by the K-12 Adventist school in San Opico, La Libertad, El Salvador, saw hundreds of students, teachers, parents, and church members purchasing 1,400 books to share in two nearby public schools.
Every year the Adventist Training School of El Salvador (ECAS) purchases Christian literature to share with parents and students to promote the importance of reading. This year, however, it became something that engaged the entire school, principal Ana Mirian Argumedo, said.
The challenge was to get students excited about contributing to the cost of at least one book at 80 percent of the cost with the school covering the rest, explained Argumedo. The books were obtained through one of several Inter-American Division Publishing Association (IADPA) bookstores in the country.
Thanks to this initiative, 350 students and teachers at San Juan Opico National Institute School and 966 at the Santos Novoa School Center obtained a book. The books’ topics deal with getting to know Jesus, health, God’s love, the state of the dead, finding hope in the midst of chaos, and more.
Adventist schoolteachers and students paid a special visit to both public schools, prayed with them, and shared moments with school officials and teachers on June 6.
Edwin López, who is a district pastor in the region, spoke to Argumedo and her administration about the idea of establishing closer relations with the two neighboring public schools through sharing inspiring books.
“We wanted to involve the student body because they feel so good about sharing hope to other children and young people,” López said. “Engaging each student and staff member in the institution to share these missionary books means that they are engaging in preaching the Word of God,” he added. “The mission belongs to all of us, not just to a special group.”
López said when he visited the institutions with the boxes of books, he was very welcomed and thanked for the gifted books for every student, teacher, and staff member in the institutions.
“I’m so thankful because ECAS has donated so many spiritual books that can help us all to grow spiritually and become better persons, better citizens, and better children and teachers,” Rene Abrego, vice principal of the San Juan Opico National Institute School, said.
One student at San Juan Opico said, “Thank you to all of you for these books because I know they will be a blessing. I have read several of Pastor Alejandro Bullón’s books and I totally recommend them for his good advice.”
Santos Novoa School Center principal Blanca Estela Larios thanked the Adventist group for the special initiative for teachers, students, and their entire staff. “We love the books and hope that we can have other opportunities where we can share between both institutions,” she said.
The initiative was more than a strategy, López said. “It was about directly fulfilling the mission of preaching the gospel that Jesus has given us.”
ECAS has 414 students in its primary school and 475 in its secondary school. The training school also has dormitories for the secondary school students.
Since its inception, ECAS has been of paramount importance to the work of the Adventist Church in El Salvador. In the 1980s, during the national civil war, it was a refuge for young people who lived in conflict areas and who wanted to finish high school. During that period and until now, its facilities have provided a safe place to hold meetings of churches, districts, conferences, and unions. In addition, camporees, training schools, spiritual retreats, and many other activities usually take place on its campus.