“Hope for Big Cities” Offering Targets Urban Evangelism

Fifty-five of the world's largest cities will see gospel outreach programs funded in part by three major offering collections in Adventist congregations worldwide. Donations will support "Hope for Big Cities," a worldwide urban outreach by the Adventist Church, with more than 100 new congregations planned for those cities, church leaders say.

In 1950, only 18 percent of developing countries' populations lived in cities; soon, that number will be half of those nations' populations. The "Hope for Big Cities" initiative seeks to reach these major population groups.

The first of this year's offerings will be gathered April 9 in Adventist congregations outside of North America. Churches in the United States, Canada, and Bermuda will have a collection for the project three weeks later, on April 30. On July 9, all the church's congregations-and the world business session in St. Louis, Missouri, United States-will participate in a third offering for the project. According to the General Conference Office of Mission Awareness, a number of local growth projects will be "brought to life" because of members' contributions.

Target cities will include Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with a population of more than 2 million; Mexico City, Mexico, with a population of more than 22 million; and Johannesburg, South Africa. Experts predict that by 2015 the rapidly growing areas of Johannesburg, Pretoria, and their satellite towns will become a single megalopolis, the 12th largest city in the world.

In North America, many large cities have been relatively untouched by the Adventist Church. More than 80 percent of North Americans live in metropolitan areas, but most Adventists don't. Only one in three Adventist congregations is located in big cities. Montreal, Canada, will be the North American target city.

For more information, go to www.hope4cities.org.
--Adventist News Network/AR.

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