Jul 04, 2020 | Merida, Yucatan, Mexico |
Seventh-day Adventist leaders and members in Southeast Mexico recently celebrated the culmination of their first online evangelistic campaign that drew in 404 new believers through baptism.
“Covid-19 made our churches close, but we know the mission cannot be detained,” said Pastor Isaias Espinoza, president of the church in Southeast Mexico. The new believers add to a total of 3,087 newly baptized members during the first half of the year. Comparing to the 2,690 baptisms held up to June of 2019 to this year’s increase reassures leaders how the church needs to continue working together to spread the gospel, church leaders said.
“The crisis opened our eyes, and taught us that we have a great opportunity to preach the message through digital media at a large scale in a powerful and affordable way.”
Titled “A World With Hope,” the virtual evangelistic series was led by Special Guest Evangelist Rubén Bullón via Facebook Live and YouTube, from May 16-23, 2020. The series highlighted the promises in the Book of Revelation at a time of crisis affecting the world today.
It took the coordinated efforts of leaders and hundreds of small groups to engage in connecting with friends and neighbors on social media networks and cell phone contacts to be part of a one-week online evangelistic series, at a time when positive Covid-19 cases were increasing and the social distancing regulations were still being enforced, organizers said.
“There were hundreds of messages and calls that came in for special prayer requests from the Southeast region and other parts of Mexico and even outside of the country,” said Pastor Jesús Corona, evangelist for the church in Southeast and one of the organizers of the virtual campaign. Corona said that dozens of online meetings with pastors and small group leaders were held to pray and strategize in preparation of reaching non-believers to take part in connecting and inviting to watch the online campaign. “Every contact was sent digital audio of the evening’s sermon, along with Bible study lessons to follow up.
Pastors and lay leaders were called in to baptized many who, at the end of the series, made the decision to accept Jesus and get baptized with proper protective gear, according to Pastor Corona.
There were so many miracles of conversion stories like the one with a young couple in the States of Quintana Roo, said Corona. Héctor Jeremías and Candy Contreras had taken Bible studies during a whole year, but for various reasons they had not been baptized yet. “They felt moved by the Holy Spirit during the week and by God’s grace that same week, a judge agreed to marry them and were soon ready to begin a new experience of faith,” said Corona.
Top church leaders are encouraged to plan for a second online evangelistic impact if the pandemic crisis continues during the following months.
“As a church we must continue to preach at all times and at the very moment of crisis is when individuals are more sensitive,” said Pastor Espinoza. “We must offer assurance and hope at a time when people’s heart are more receptive to accept Jesus as their Savior.”
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Southeast Mexico has more than 80,400 church members and operates 1,199 churches and congregations organized in 7 local conferences and missions, one hospital, an educational institute and 14 primary and secondary schools.
To learn more about the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Southeast Mexican Union, visit unionsureste.org.mx