Jun 06, 2017
For Seventh-day Adventists in South America, May has became known as the month for the Impact Hope project. This project reached its tenth edition May 27, with an active participation of 2.5 million members who distributed more than 20 million free copies of the book Em Busca de Esperança (Searching for Hope). The total amount was not delivered in one day, but are expected to be delivered in the coming months.
According to Almir Marroni, director of publishing ministries for the Seventh-day Adventiest Church, this year, the same book (written by Ellen White) should reach the mark of 40 million copies in 40 different languages. In several countries, the intense mobilization took place in April. Half these books are delivered in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Ecuador, that is, the territory administered by the church in South America. Over the last decade, approximately 170 million books were delivered in those countries. Marroni estimates 400 million books were distributed for free all around the world.
Members of the National Force
Some stories about the book’s impact stand out. One of these stories was related to members of the National Force of Brazil in Brasilia. Mateus Castanho, a member of the Central Brasília Adventist Church, thought on Saturday he would only be helping a youth team distributing books in the biggest park of the city. During a trip to the Esplanade of Ministries, where the headquarters of the Brazilian Federal Government is located, after protests had taken place on the previous Thursday, he and a friend met around 50 policemen of the National Force. The policement were tired and disheartened because of situation. “I stopped to talk to one of them, to see how they were doing. They all were really dissatisfied with everything. I turned back, bought something to eat and took it to them. I also gave them 50 missionary books,” says Castanho. Several police officers started to read and some even asked to take a picture with the Adventist members.
In Paraguay, accountant Jordão do Vale, 26, participated of the Impact Hope project in the city of Asunción. Along with his missionary partner, they delivered a book to a Colombian man called Didier, who was juggling at a traffic light. The first thing the juggler said was he needed tennis shoes, to which Jordão replied “I don’t have them here, but if you wait here I will get them.”
He said that he would wait, without really believing. Vale finished handing out the books, went home, and then he returned with the tennis shoes in his hands. When Didier saw him, he could not hold back the tears. When invited to go to the Adventist Church, he said he would go with great pleasure. They are expecting him next Wednesday. Jordão promised to be his Bible instructor.
In the digital world, which is interconnected with the offline world, the numbers of mobilization on the 27th are impressive. According to the Digital Strategies department of the headquarters of the Adventist church in South, on Twitter, 1,771 tweets reached more than 1.5 million people in Portuguese.
In Spanish, 26,652 tweets reached 2.6 million people with 46 million of impressions. On Instagram, there were 994 publications related to the subject and they reached one million people in Portuguese.
The website www.esperanca.com.br, which appears in the book as a resource for people to visit, registered 18,000 visits in the last seven days. That increase of visits to the website is attributed to the Impact Hope project.
Another website, covering the Impact Hope project with pictures and videos, reached more than 6,500 visits, in Portuguese, only on the 27th. In Spanish, it has already reached more than 1,400 visits only in one day.
Erton Köhler, president of the Adventist Church in South America, has a very clear conception of Impact Hope’s strategic aspect. “This Impact has brought us the concept of a beautiful magazine and then a book,” he said. “Rarely do people throw it away. It shows a church that cares enough to offer something of more quality. I understand that members are more pleased to witness with the book by the response they see from the people that receive