South American Adventists Reach Millions in “Friends of Hope” Effort
One-day event includes 1.2 million e-mails with booklet attachment
BY FELIPE LEMOS
, South American Division
eventh-day Adventists in the South American Division do not set small goals. This year, as in several recent years, an annual evangelism outreach touched the lives of multiple millions of people on Sabbath, April 16, in the territory that covers Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, the Falkland Islands, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.
|E-MAILS OF HOPE: Seventh-day Adventist students in Peru sent more than 1 million e-mails with the book There Is Hope to their friends. More than 45,000 copies were electronically dispatched from this school. [PHOTO: Edgardo Muguerza/ASN]
From north to south in Brazil, the Friends of Hope project has made a difference. At the Central Adventist Church in Ji-Parana, Rondônia, an evangelical pastor was one of the guests who attended a breakfast at 8:00 on the day of the Friends of Hope. In the district of Alto da Conceição in the city of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, more than 50 homes were open on Saturday and more than 200 friends attended the Adventist church. At least 50 people arranged to receive Bible studies.
In the district of Urbis I, in the city of Eunápolis, Bahia, a delicious breakfast was provided to people who visited the Central Adventist Church.
In São Paulo several actions were part of the Friends of Hope project. The Guarulhos Center Adventist Church received more than 60 visitors. The Central church of Apiaí, in the western region of São Paulo, 40 neighbors visited. And in the church of Pinheiros, 20 visitors attended services. In the district of CEA Prudente, more than 300 friends attended worship services, then lunched Adventist members in their homes.
José Maria, communication director for the Central church, invited the former mayor of Conchal, Valdeci Lourenço, to attend the special program held at the city’s cultural center.
Seeds of Hope
| NORTHEAST BRAZIL: In Mossoró, the second most populous city in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, Seventh-day Adventists prepare to share There Is Hope books with neighbors and friends on Sabbath, April 16, 2011. [PHOTO: Moisés Soares/ASN]
During the week prior to the event, six units of the Associação Paulista Leste school were involved in preparation for the Friends of Hope experience. Students of all grades handed out small packets and a card symbolizing their hope for the planet. The simple activity promised a significant ecological impact. The packets included sunflower seeds, giving each person the opportunity to improve air quality and have a beautiful flower in their home.
The initiative and creativity of many members made a difference on this day of outreach. In the Horizonte Azul Seventh-day Adventist Church, located in the Distrito de Santa Julia, of São Paulo, 32 church friends and neighbors attended services on the Friends of Hope Sabbath. They used a van to transport guests to the church and back. At the Adventist church in Vila Sanchez, Vale do Ribeira, leaders held a joint effort of entrepreneurship and evangelism during the week prior to April 16. On Sabbath they received 106 guests who joined them to worship the Lord. Attendance was more than twice the normal membership of 45.
More than 800 teachers and nearly 7,000 students became messengers of hope using the Internet: 1,267,852 contacts were made with the book There Is Hope, sent as an e-mail attachment.
“It was exciting to start receiving reports and having the satisfaction of meeting our goals,” says Edgardo Muguerza Florian, director of education, communication, and religious liberty for the South Peru Union. “When they called me and told me they could not send more e-mail because they had exceeded the permitted limit, I was filled with excitement and thanked God.”
—with additional reporting from ASN Peru