Continues Region-wide Community Prayer Focus
June 10 Day of Prayer held in thousands of homes
BY LIBNA STEVENS/Inter-America Division
housands of Seventh-day Advent-ist families across Inter-America opened their homes in mid-June to pray for families, neighbors, friends, and community leaders during a territory-wide spiritual revival activity.
The June 10 initiative was the fourth major focus of the church’s “Constant in Prayer” revival program, launched earlier this year, which stresses the need for constant prayer for a renewed committed life with Jesus.
With more than 3.4 million members in some 10,000 churches and congregations in the territory, top leaders planned the activity to strengthen church families and to reach out to their neighbors.
“The simple plan was to mobilize thousands of church members to open their homes to pray and speak of the power of God through prayer,” said Roberto Herrera, revival and reformation coordinator for the church in Inter-America.
UNITED IN PRAYER: A family prays in a home in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic, on June 10. Thousands of families took part in the community prayer initiative across the Inter-American Division. [PHOTO: Roberto Herrera]
“It was a joy to visit seven homes during the activity,” said Herrera on his way to San Pedro de Macorís, in the Dominican Republic. Herrera was among nearly two dozen leaders who traveled to different church regions in Inter-America to participate in the initiative.
“It is very clear that the greatest need our members have is spiritual nourishment, and any congregation that wants to fulfill this need should go beyond the walls of the church building,” Herrera said.
In southern Veracruz, in Mexico, Israel Leito, president of the church in Inter-America, spoke to dozens of church ministers and leaders before visiting several homes in the city of Minatitlan.
“We want the church to be known for a people who is constant in prayer,” Leito said. “We trust in our God and we want the Adventist homes to be known as prayer centers, centers that can offer comfort.”
In northern Colombia more than 15,000 homes joined to pray, fellowship, and worship during the activity, said Gustavo Pérez, family ministries director for the church in northern Colombia.
“I am so glad for this initiative,” said Sandra Espinel, a church member who opened her home to neighbors and friends. “Prayer is the foundation where we can strengthen our families.”
Homes such as Espinel’s represent a potential for small groups that can be formed and expanded in an already growing ministry throughout the territory, said Melchor Ferreyra, personal ministries director in charge of small-group ministry for the church in Inter-America.
In El Salvador more than 25,000 Adventist homes participated in the prayer initiative focused on families.
In Grenada Clare Henry, an Adventist high court judge for the eastern Caribbean, joined in the homes of members to pray for neighbors and community leaders.
Honduras also had more than 2,000 homes throughout the Central American country inviting their neighbors to pray and share Bible truths with them.
In Guatemala more than 10,000 homes became houses of prayer throughout the country. The activity was part of the initiative that has leaders thankful for the spiritual revival.
Hundreds of churches held worship services focused on prayer, and special baptisms took place throughout the territory on June 11.
“It’s all connected,” said Leito, who hopes that more community involvement and more evangelism activities will result from the prayer initiative. Top leaders are already setting the first weekend in June of 2012 to encourage Adventist families to open their homes as prayer centers.
The church in Inter-America will continue its emphasis on prayer and additionally focus on studying the Bible and the writings of church cofounder Ellen G. White.
The new emphasis will be called “Heeding the Word” and will be launched on July 23 during a special live program from El Salvador.
To find out more about Inter--America’s Constant in Prayer initiative, visit www.praying4revival.org