AR Newsletter
New AR
Largest One-Day Outreach
Sweeps South America
Millions of magazines reach slums, streets – and three nations’ presidents
 
BY MARK A. KELLNER, news editor, with reporting from EDSON ROSE, MARCIA EBINGER, and MAGDIEL PEREZ, South American Division, and Adventist News Network.
 
eventh-day Adventists in South America united September 6 to deliver what may be a world record for a one-day evangelistic outreach, distributing close to 50 million magazines and tracts bearing a message of living with hope throughout the continent.

The presidents of Brazil, Bolivia, and Ecuador each received individual copies, hand-delivered by Adventists.
“I just can´t keep silent about all that´s happening in our church in South America,” Erton Köhler, president of the South American Division, wrote in an e-mail to the General Conference leadership. “We have seen with all that is happening, when our members see that we are talking big, when they see the church doing big things for the spreading of the gospel, when they see that they can do [much] with little … they all get involved with the church´s work. This is one of the biggest lessons we have learned from our people.”

GIFTED HANDS: Dr. Ben Carson is one of the world's most respected neurosurgeons and a devout Seventh-day Adventist. Carson, 56, said he prays for guidance before every surgery. [Photo courtesy Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly/RNS]
Young resident of the slums in Curitiba, Brazil, treasures her "Hope" magazine. [Photo: SAD]
The $U.S.1.7 million initiative aimed at involving most of the 2.6 million Adventists in South America in reaching out to their communities. The magazines and pamphlets advertise Bible resource Web sites in both Spanish and Portuguese. The publications have been translated into 12 different languages for use on both Web sites.

Print copies were also available in Braille and in a special edition for the hearing impaired.

The church's Hope Channel broadcast a live sermon in Spanish and Portuguese that day, along with live reports on the initiative from across South America. Churches planned a special follow-up service Saturday, September 13 for visitors.

Creative marketing was the hallmark of this day-long event. In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a 15-foot tall banner was draped over the side of an apartment building adjacent to major streets and a commuter rail line. The banner was viewed by millions.

Buses throughout the continent were decorated with special “Live with Hope” decals on their rear windows, providing tens of thousands of viewing opportunities for pedestrians and other commuters. Ten thousand billboards were erected, along with bus-side advertisements. Hundreds of Seventh-day Adventist Church staff members throughout South America wrapped their cars with special decals, creating rolling billboards.

The title of the special magazine distributed that day was "Cheer with Hope.” Article subjects covered many of the issues facing people in South America: emotional traumas, family problems, social crises, corruption, ecological questions, and death. Each article offered advice on dealing with these problems, pointing readers to the Bible and presenting the return of Christ as the ultimate answer. The magazine’s concluding article spoke about the “greatest hope,” presenting specifically the subject of the Second Coming of Jesus.

Copies of the magazine, or of a related tract, were inserted in nearly 2.5 million copies of newspapers across South America. In Brazil’s state of São Paulo 271,000 items were inserted in newspapers; in the central region encompassing Goiás, Brasilia, and Tocantins, 111,000 inserts; among the states of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, and Espiritu Santu, another 575,000 inserts. The northeast of Brazil had 66,000 inserts; while the north of Brazil had 88,000; Santa Catarina and Rio Grande de Sur totaled 708,000; Ecuador, 575,000; Bolivia, 40,000 and a total of 18,000 in Argentina and Uruguay.

GIFTED HANDS: Dr. Ben Carson is one of the world's most respected neurosurgeons and a devout Seventh-day Adventist. Carson, 56, said he prays for guidance before every surgery. [Photo courtesy Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly/RNS]
On Machu Picchu, a young Adventist gives the message of Hope to tourists. [Photo: SAD] 
Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, received a copy of the special Adventist magazine during a September 5 visit to the city of Cochabama, where the church observed a centennial celebration. Morales spoke of the need for Bolivians to have hope, upright lives, and to work for a better future.

That same day, Odacyr Amorim, a Seventh-day Adventist who the mayor of the city of Petrolina, in the state of Pernambuco, presented Brazilian president Luiz Inácio da Silva with a copy of the Portuguese-language edition of the magazine. Amorim explained the reason for the hope campaign to the president.

Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador, received his copy from Adventist district pastor Santiago Ayala, at Correa’s office in Quito, the nation’s capital.

Throughout South America, companies of Adventists fanned out into the streets and neighborhoods delivering the publications and the word that God loves every person and cares for everyone. From slums to suburbs, the message was carried.

One of the more innovative deployments was in the prison system of the Brazilian state of Paraná. There, members of the Curitiba Central Seventh-day Adventist Church contacted the prison administration and received permission to place 18,000 magazines with inmates.

At the Villarrica volcano in southern Chile, Adventists climbed 745 feet to bring the message to residents of Pucón and to those living at higher elevations around the volcano.

In Bolivia, students and workers for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, ADRA, fanned out into the highways and byways: 45,000 Adventists placed more than 300,000 pieces of literature. They visited hospitals, orphanages, plazas, asylums, four barracks of the Bolivian army, financial entities, terminals, markets, parks, and important avenues.
 


 


 
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