If all the people who received Bible studies from the Adventist Church in South America in the last year were gathered in soccer stadiums, it would be possible to fill Camp Nou (the famous stadium in Barcelona, Spain, that has a capacity of over 99,000) seven times. There were 704,786 students who got to know more of the Bible through different platforms and initiatives.
Among them is the Novo Tempo Bible School, which offers care via WhatsApp, then directs students to local churches so a follow-up with and welcome of those interested in knowing the Adventist Church can be conducted.
Nevertheless, the traditional face-to-face Bible study, either one-on-one or in small groups, should be valued. There is an audience for all formats. "The church is always on the lookout for new ways and methods to teach the Bible because people's habits and preferences are constantly changing. There is no single formula to pique a person's interest to study the Bible, so one must be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. For those who want to know more about the Bible, the Holy Spirit also plays a fundamental role. It is He who enables us to understand God's guidance," says Pastor Rafael Rossi, evangelist for eight South American countries.
Mission Without Borders
The preaching of the gospel, however, goes beyond geographical boundaries. Projects like Caleb Mission, A Year in Mission, and Adventist Volunteer Service, which sends people to support the church in South America and other countries, also integrate the goal of teaching about the Bible around the world.
Today, 400 South American missionaries are collaborating with Adventist initiatives in 39 different nations. In some of them, they have to work in a silent way since Christianity is not allowed. In others, they can speak freely, open small groups, and even plant churches. These projects can be permanent or temporary, depending on the objective of each mission.
For Pastor Herbert Boger Jr., director of Personal Ministries for the Adventist Church in South America, "the example that Jesus left in the fulfillment of the mission should be followed. Jesus left heaven to meet the individual needs of people who were unique to Him. Because we have audiences for different realities, meeting people in their current realities is essential."
Some projects may not show their immediate results, but they are the key to getting someone interested in studying the Bible. One example of this is Hope Impact. Last year, thousands of Adventists distributed books in streets, squares, and places through which they passed. The 237,765 youth volunteers with Caleb Mission used their vacations to offer community service and preach. Another 405 missionaries dedicated a year of their lives for the same purpose through One Year in Mission.
The result of these varied initiatives was 220,301 people being baptized throughout 2022.
The original article was published on the South American Division Portuguese-language news site.