God has blessed us richly during these past five years. We thank our Hispanic congregations, members, leaders and pastors for what they’ve contributed to our conference during that time.
Our growth has been consistent for the past few years and we’re happy to report that by the grace of God our Hispanic membership in the Mid-America Union Conference now exceeds 8,500.
Our department now oversees 100 churches, companies and groups. All these congregations are led by a fervent team of 37 pastors who work untiringly and faithfully where God has placed them to enlarge His kingdom and to make a difference in their communities.
We are focusing on the GPS for LIFE program that we hope will mobilize approximately 350 small groups in evangelism. Not even the coronavirus could stop the small group ministry since many of them kept meeting via Zoom, not losing their purpose.
We continue to train our members in evangelism, minister to elders and spouses, and strengthen lay leadership. Almost every conference, in collaboration with Andrews University, offered a training school for lay members who desire to go deeper in Bible knowledge and become better equipped to do God’s mission in their territory. These initiatives have allowed us to have a better interrelation between churches and the conferences and the union and to respond to the concerns of the field.
Financially, the Lord has blessed us abundantly. The economic crises of recent years have not held back the generosity of our members. We recognize that, even in difficult circumstances and insecurity, our members have shown fidelity to God and His work.
Hispanic members have a passion for evangelism. Every Hispanic church hosted an average of two reaping series per year. For Hispanic churches, evangelism is not an event; it’s a lifestyle. For the next five year we are putting together a program to train newly baptized members to share the gospel with their relatives and friends.
CHALLENGES AND GIFTS
Many Hispanic youth do not have the opportunity to attend Adventist academies and relate to other Adventists their age. To help them connect with other Adventist youth, our department organizes and promotes an annual Hispanic Youth Congress. It has been very popular among attendees, and as leaders we are learning to minister to the second and third generations of Hispanic youth.
We continue to focus strategically on the areas where our presence is lacking, especially in large cities. We hope we can have more Adventist presence in large cities where the immigration population is concentrated. Many immigrants get to know Jesus in the United States and then they share the Adventist message with their families in their country of origin.
Finally, we thank God for the administrative team of our Mid-America Union Conference and for the spiritual, strategic and economic support they have given us to carry out our work. The Hispanic Ministries Department looks forward to making even greater gains during the next five years.
“Yes, Lord!” is the response of Hispanic members in gratitude to our Savior Jesus Christ for so many blessings received in the past. We are marching with total confidence knowing the presence of Jesus will be with us and His church to the end.
Even though every Sabbath the Lord is praised in different languages across the vast territory of our union, we anticipate the great day when all together we will praise the Lord in the same language.
Roberto Correa is director of Multilingual and Hispanic Ministries for the Mid-America Union.