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Caleb Mission Community Service Initiative Impacts Utuado

The mountainous Puerto Rican town appreciates the youth for living and exemplifying the Gospel.


Group of young people from throughout Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Puerto Rico pray for a successful Caleb Mission initiative in Utuado, a mountainous municipality in the central northern part of the island, where they impacted communities with mission activities as well as a table tennis tournament, July 5-15, 2023. [Photo: Puerto Rican Union]

A group of young people from throughout Puerto Rico packed their bags and tents to travel to Utuado, a mountainous town in the central northern part of the island, to engage in mission impact activities as well as a community table tennis tournament, held July 5–15, 2023.


The group of 19 young Seventh-day Adventists, ranging from 16–23 years of age, distributed food boxes to low-income families, cleaned up streets, painted homes, mowed lawns, picked up debris at parks and public places, and visited several government agencies and homes. The community was invited to two youth evangelism series: one at a community sports court and another at the Barrio Sabana Grande Adventist Church. During the series, young people shared missionary books, prayed for anyone who needed it, and gave out hot meals.

A member of the “Caleb Mission’ team pressure cleans at the Angel Lile Medina Amphitheater of Utuado, Puerto Rico. [Photo: Puerto Rican Union]

The initiative, carried out by Caleb Mission, is part of an evangelistic program of the Seventh-day Adventist Church where young people take part in social and witnessing activities during their summer vacation time.


Jorge Pérez, mayor of Utuado, thanked the Adventist youth for their service in his municipality. “You have come to Utuado to bring us some fun, education, and things that can help human beings to reflect and bring the Word of God,” he said.

Youth Ministries Director of the Puerto Rican Union introduces the group of young people who led in a youth evangelism series at the Barrio Sabana Grande Adventist Church near Utuado. [Photo: Puerto Rican Union]

Similarly, Carmen Myriam González, director of the Faith Basis Office in Utuado, said, “Utuado thanks you, Caleb Mission, and keeps the doors open because you are already part of us.”


TENNIS TABLE TOURNAMENT

Sixty-five players showed up for the table tennis tournament, and dozens from the community watched the beginner- and advanced-level participants on July 9. Music and a special devotional led by the Caleb Mission team began the event and featured Fabiola Díaz, a table tennis gold medalist from the Central American games, and Yeriel López, a table tennis medalist from Colombia’s Paralympic Games.

Young people paint parts of a home in Utuado, Puerto Rico. [Photo: Puerto Rican Union]

Winners were awarded medals and the audience was invited to watch the film SPIN at the Angel Lile Medina Amphitheater on July 14. More than 120 people registered to view the film and signed up to receive Bible studies. SPIN is the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s evangelistic film produced and released in Puerto Rico in 2021 about a teenage girl who has problems at home, joins a table tennis club, learns to play the sport, meets someone who helps her find meaning in her life, and ends up playing at a national competition.


“Thank you for blessing our town,” said González. “We have really enjoyed everything you have done and for bringing this [tournament and film] event.” She encouraged parents to motivate their children to become part of mission activities to bless others in their communities.


Gustavo García, Utuado’s municipal director of Sports and Recreation, thanked the youth group for helping during the two weeks in town. “This has been a good experience to engage in healthy competitions, and I hope you can take this initiative to other towns as well,” he said. “I challenge you to serve with passion and continue volunteering in these types of initiatives that will be a blessing for you in the future.”


In addition, Bolivar Bermúdez, vice mayor of Utuado, also thanked the youth group and its leaders for their dedication to serving in the municipality. “Continue to do good, not only for Utuado but for our country,” he said. “We need persons like you, young people, to take charge of this ship of our country so that they can get it afloat.”

Young people from the community take part in a table tennis tournament organized by the Adventist youth group at the Zaida Nieves Andujar Center in Utuado, on Jul. 9, 2023. [Photo: Puerto Rican Union]

The town was so thankful to the youth group that one restaurant owner treated them to a free lunch, and another treated them to a meal. The Caleb Mission group was also featured on the local radio station to explain their initiative and activities during the two weeks.


Caleb Mission team members get ready to begin their worship service on Jul. 14, 2023, at the Angel Lile Medina Amphitheater before the SPIN film is featured on the last day of the youth evangelism series. [Photo: Puerto Rican Union]

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-American Division website.


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