The goal is to build bridges with growing communities across the region, leaders said.
The Inter-American Division (IAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church organized a week of mission filled with appropriate messages as part of a cross-cultural outreach initiative to Chinese communities throughout the territory. The evening programs, the first of their kind, touched on health, family, money, and more, and were held January 3-9, 2021.
“This important week sought to disciple baptized Chinese members, and build bridges with new Chinese friends, as well as equip church leaders competencies in contextualizing the gospel to immigrant Chinese,” Samuel Telemaque, IAD Sabbath School director in charge of Adventist Mission, said.
The event follows a long-term plan by IAD and the Chinese Union Mission to help run the two main outreach centers in the division territory, one in the Dominican Republic and the other in Panama, Telemaque explained.
Themed “The Secret to a Better and More Prosperous Life,” seminars were presented by experts on social issues with a biblical perspective within the Chinese worldview. Most speakers delivered seminars in Mandarin, and English and Spanish messages were translated into Mandarin in real time.
Elie Henry, president of IAD, spoke on the first family created by Shangdi (God) and their disregard for His laws.
“This was the first human crisis, and it created disharmony between Shangdi and the first family.… The Creator announced His plan to restore His relationship with the families of the earth by sending His only Son to bear our shame,” Henry said. “Shangdi wants Chinese people to live in harmony with Him so that He may honor them with health, education, money, and a better life with Him.”
Seminar speakers during the evening sessions included Gustavo Portes of the Chinese Union Mission. He expanded on the topics of The Source of Wisdom, The Road to a Better Life, The Road to Excellence, Four Ancient Trails, and The Perfect Home. Spiritual reflections were led by several IAD church leaders and Robert Folkenberg Jr., president of the Chinese Union Mission.