The year 2020 was marked by various challenges in various areas of the church. And in the financial area, it was no different. With cost reduction in mind, the Global Mission, Sabbath School, and Possibilities Ministry departments of the South American Adventist headquarters were redeployed to other leaders. The changes were announced during the denomination's Annual Council that takes place this week in Brasilia.
Pastor Herbert Boger, who already leads Adventist Personal Ministries and Solidarity Action, also takes on Sabbath School and Global Mission. And the Ministry of Possibilities is under the charge of Pastor Alacy Barbosa, who directs the Ministry of the Family.
“For the church, the unity between Personal Ministry and Sabbath School is essential. This union of ministries will further integrate the church's focus on mission,” Boger says.
From now on, Pastor Edison Choque, who was in charge of these ministries, takes on a new challenge in a pastoral district in Northeastern of Brazil. “All of us were trained to be pastors, not to be administrators or [sic] departments. The satisfaction of shepherding is being a shepherd somewhere. I think that is an expectation that always warms the heart, that gives meaning because the pastor exists,” he declares excitedly.
Choque worked at the South American headquarters of the Adventist Church for 13 years. Among the many departments, he has led, up to this time, the areas of Sabbath School, Global Mission, and the Ministries of Possibilities, formerly known as Special Ministries, which involve work with the deaf and ethnic groups, among others.
However, Choque’s history in pastoral ministry began 35 years ago in Peru, his homeland. Born in Arequipa, he graduated with a degree in theology from the Universidad Peruana Unión (UPeU), and from there began his work with the local church.
There, Choque also acted as a youth leader in three administrative headquarters. He came to Brazil in 1999 and worked as a district pastor and led the Personal Ministry in southern Bahia. He returned to Peru to again assume the leadership of Youth Ministry, but this time in the Southern Peruvian Union and then in the Northern Peruvian Union.
Specific Contribution to the Deaf
Later, Choque returned to Brazil to attend the eight countries of South America. One of the outstanding actions of his administration is the preaching of the gospel to the deaf. Under his leadership, Evangelibras was born, as well as the inclusion of sign language interpreters in the materials of the Adventist Church.
“The idea of reaching the unreached is a broad idea of Global Mission. It has this great purpose of reaching people who were not reached,” says Choque, explaining that there were 5 million deaf people in South America and there was no material for them.