Updated: Aug 2
Adventist Church Wraps Up National Evangelism Efforts. Adventists have distributed over 500,000 hard copies and digital copies of The Great Controversy book by Adventist cofounder Ellen G. White were distributed in March 2023 across Mexico City alone.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Mexico welcomed more than 21,000 new members as the first six-months of intense evangelism efforts across the nation ended with a national online evangelism campaign from Mexico City, Mexico, on June 24, 2023. The eight-day series became the third annual national online evangelistic campaign which saw thousands of church leaders and members sharing the gospel in cities and communities throughout Mexico’s five unions or major church regions since before the start of the year.
Themed “Don’t Give Up, There is Still Hope,” the series encouraged the more than 800 in attendance at the Central Adventist Church in Mexico City every evening, along with thousands of viewers and listeners across homes, churches and community centers in Mexico, to cling to Jesus as they navigate through fear, doubt, stress, grief, uncertainty, and more.
It was hard for Jorge Santiago of Mexico City to find Jesus. During the pandemic, he spent many hours practicing Santeria witchcraft but realized that he needed to change his life.
“I began to search videos on YouTube about God and I found several sermons that helped me learn more about the Bible,” said Santiago. “As I read John 10:10, I realized that Satan came to earth to steal, kill, and destroy and what’s hurt me the most is that when I accepted Jesus, my family rejected me. But, I don’t care because in Jesus I have eternal life.”
It has not been easy to experience the struggle between good and evil up close, said Santiago. “Once I was invited to attend [an Adventist] church, I stopped feeding my demons and little by little I moved away from what was destroying me,” he said. Santiago knows he has a difficult road ahead but he is sure with God he will be able to triumph and overcome obstacles. Santiago was baptized on June 22, at the Zapata Adventist Church, in Mexico City.
Miguel Ángel Pérez, in his 30s, decided to get baptized for the second time. He had come to an unshakable conviction that he must give his life to Jesus again. Pérez had grown up in the church but left it for many years. Numerous problems and challenges and the pleading of his family led him and his family to return to church. He attended each night of the series at Central Adventist Church, listening intently. “As I heard the messages, I said to myself ‘I need to return’ and here I am getting baptized again,” said Pérez.
Seventeen-year-old Efrén Martínez had been studying the Bible for months, but he felt it wasn’t time to change his life, until he heard the message challenging the audience to “get out of your comfort zone.” It was then that he made his decision, and was baptized on the last day of the campaign. “I feel so happy because I know that Christ has touched my heart,” said Martínez.
Karen Tepos, age 18, decided to get baptized with her husband Victor Nicanor. A pregnancy and the need to start a new life with a baby awakened the desire to ensure the baby learns about the love of Jesus. They both traveled to the Central Church from the Santa Rosa Adventist Church in Chicoloapan to get baptized on June 22, 2023.
Among the baptized in the metropolitan area were Shen Zhui and Jim Feg Chen, who were among the first to get baptized in a new congregation that caters to the Chinese Community in Mexico City. The evangelism project, which has been ministering for months in the city, has been led by two missionaries from China and overseen by the church’s Metropolitan Conference, church leaders said.
Evangelism impact in Mexico City
The hundreds of baptisms that took place in Mexico City have been possible thanks to committed leaders and members who have doubled their efforts in spreading the gospel through various community impact activities. Since January until the end of the campaign, more than 1,600 persons have been baptized in the 87 districts in the Central Mexican Union, top church leaders said.
More than 500,000 hard copies and digital copies of “The Great Controversy” book by Adventist co-founder Ellen G. White were distributed in March across Mexico City, and three times that amount was distributed throughout the rest of the country.
In addition, children, adolescents, and young people, through their Adventurers, Pathfinders, Master Guide Clubs, took to cleaning city streets, parks, and schools. They also distributed water and food and prayed with anyone who wanted to be prayed for.
Mexico City also saw dozens of medical brigades and health expos held by health and medical professionals and more than 50 pastors from the Chiapas Mexican Union who held evangelism campaigns throughout the city.
Spirit of commitment
In Michoacan, a state which is part of the Central Mexican Union, a church member contacted the mayor of his town who provided screens, internet, and audio in the center of the town to project the evangelistic series each evening.
The evangelism impact throughout the union has ignited the membership to spread the hope of salvation, said pastor Jose Dzul, president of the Central Mexican Union. “We are so thankful to see the church embrace with a spirit of commitment the evangelism efforts that have brought so many to get baptized,” said Dzul. “It has been a blessing to see so many enthused to serve God, to do good, and help and assist others in the church in evangelism efforts this year,” he added
“Houses of hope”
During the week-long online evangelistic series, church members across Mexico turned their homes into “Houses of Hope” where they invited family and friends every night to watch the messages by Pastor Daniel Torreblanca, youth ministries director of the Chiapas Mexican Union. Churches, schools and even some hospitals were turned into “Centers of Hope” as they carried the series for the public.
In Chiapas, family members of patients at the Gomez Maza Hospital in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, were greeted and encouraged by church members of the Patria Nueva District and church leaders from the Chiapas Mexican Union to offer messages of hope before and after the online transmission each evening. Church members also distributed more than 200 hot meals each evening on hospital grounds after the program.
Roberto Velazco and his wife Otelina of Tapachula in Chiapas, were among those who received a copy of “The Great Controversy” book back in March, and accepted an invitation to visit an Adventist Church. They began to study the bible and decided to get baptized. Soon after, they opened their home for bible studies and to feature the online evangelistic series. The Velazcos were among the 9,363 persons to join the Adventist Church this year in Chiapas.
In addition to being transmitted through the Hope Channel Inter-America YouTube and Facebook channels, the evangelistic series was also transmitted via radio and TV Azteca national television channel. The national campaign was also covered by print media.
Sharing the hope of the gospel
For Keynote Speaker Pastor Torreblanca, it was important to get to people in need of God who are struggling with depression, anxiety and the conflict that is growing in society. “We have seen how God is fighting the battles and we see that it is not because of the work we have been doing but because God has moved through His Holy Spirit,” Torreblanca said.
In the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union, more than 4,300 baptisms took place after church members intensified their efforts in small group ministries, public evangelism and impact community activities, church leaders reported.
In the North Mexican Union, church leaders reported more than 3,300 baptisms across the 14 states comprising the territory. Churches launched hundreds of evangelistic efforts – especially in post-modern cities difficult to reach like in Guadalajara, in Jalisco, church leaders said. Evangelism campaigns in dozens of small groups led to more than 300 baptisms early in April.
Maria de Jésus Alemán began with bible studies thanks to Zoom meetings led by Pastor Erick Segundo of Fresno Sur Tlajomulco in Guadalajara. She invited Carlos Gutiérrez to study group and were both baptized on Apr. 22, 2023.
Father and daughter David and Adalia Hernández in southern Tabasco in the Southeast Mexican Union territory, wanted to get baptized together. They had been studying the Bible and decided to get baptized in a river a week before the online national evangelistic campaign began. “We just couldn’t wait any longer to get baptized,” said David. It was with their baptism that the national campaign began, said Pastor Heber Olmedo, who baptized them. Both are among the more than 2,800 new believers who have joined the Adventist Church thanks to ongoing efforts in the Southeast Mexican Union this year.
The national evangelism campaign also provided sign language for the deaf community across Mexico. Hundreds of church members involved in deaf ministries in Mexico also worked to share the gospel during the month-long efforts in the nation. Norberto Avalos and Lady Pérez were the interpreters featured during the live online national campaign. Both are committed to supporting the possibility ministries the church supports and hope to see the ministries grow more every year.
Church leaders in the Central Mexican Union are basking in the blessings from the special evangelistic impact in the territory, especially in Mexico City, said Pastor Edgar Benítez, communication director and evangelism coordinator in the Central Mexican Union. “We are looking ahead now for another period of evangelistic campaigns where more than 150 guest preachers will arrive in Mexico City to spread the gospel further,” added Benitez. Church leaders are planning for a grand evangelism celebration at Arena Ciudad de Mexico in November.
Church leaders and members are already planning for the fourth national online evangelism campaign scheduled to take place in September 15-21, 2024, in the Chiapas Mexican Union territory.
Victor Martínez, Gaby Chagolla, Jaime Armas, and Uriel Castellanos contributed information to this article.
To find out more about the online online evangelistic series of June 17-24, 2023, in Mexico City, visit adventistasmexico.com
To watch the series online, Click HERE