Elderly couple Plinio and Erenita Rodrigues, ages 67 and 73, respectively, from Vila Flores, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, began studying the Bible in 2007 through lessons on the DVD series The Great Controversy, produced by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The media was delivered to their home by Adventist missionaries.
At the time, they didn't have a DVD player, but the theme of the material caught their attention so much that they decided to buy a player to watch the videos.
As well as learning about the Bible with the studies in the series, the couple discovered the existence of TV Novo Tempo through this DVD. From that moment on, they began to follow all of the channel's programming and, with the help of their son, requested various Bible studies and magazines offered by the channel.
Their admiration for the content was so significant that they became supporters of the broadcaster through the Angels of Hope project. "We watch TV Novo Tempo every day. I have a TV in the kitchen of my house to watch all the programming while I do the housework," says Erenita.
Although they always heard the presenters inviting viewers to visit the Adventist Church, there was no Adventist church in the town where they live.
Recently, however, their children contacted TV Novo Tempo to express their parents' interest in receiving a visit. Pastor Charles Veiga and his wife, Ana Lúcia, traveled from their hometown to meet the couple.
On Tuesday, November 14, 2023, Plínio and Erenita were baptized at the Annual Council, themed “Living Church,” held at the administrative headquarters of the South Brazil Union, in Curitiba.
The couple's baptism took place as a way of highlighting the importance of a living church—one that is engaged in the mission of taking the Gospel message to everyone through various actions.
The moment was marked by emotion. "I feel very happy. It was a dream come true in my life. If Jesus comes back today, I feel I'm ready," said Erenita.
The Annual Council of the South Brazil Union welcomed participants from the three southern states, including church leaders, district pastors, and volunteer members.
During the meeting, the participants appreciated, evaluated, and commented on the reports on the church's activities in the southern region of the country throughout 2023. In addition, they outlined the missionary strategies for 2024 in all departments and ministries.
Pastor Adolfo Suárez, president of the Latin American Adventist Seminary of Theology (SALT) and director of the Spirit of Prophecy Department for the South American Division, points out that the theme “A Church Alive” represents a dynamic church—fully active, serving the various sectors, with a special focus on the emphases established by the division during the five-year period.
"This includes caring for the younger generation, serving the annuitant, strengthening the Sabbath School, involving members, and promoting Bible study. Therefore, an active church is one that carries out all these actions," explains Suárez.
South American Emphasis
Before being dealt with at the Annual Council of the Unions, this theme was launched at the Annual Council of the South American Division. It will then be worked on at the councils of each conference and, subsequently, reach the local churches.