Aid to the suffering is definitely seen by Christian authors as an act linked to the preaching of the gospel. The writer John Stott, for example, says that "Christians have a healthier base to serve other human beings".  The phrase is taken from his classic work Being a Responsible Christian in a Non-Christian Society
, in which the social role of Christians is discussed, both at the individual and institutional levels.
In the same tone, Ellen White, co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and a prophetess of the organization, comments on chapter 58 of the book of the prophet Isaiah. She says that "...by an unselfish interest in those in need of help we are to give a practical demonstration of the truth of the gospel." [two]
The Seventh-day Adventist Church, through the dedication and generosity of its members and supporters, was responsible for benefiting more than 1,330,000 people through several different community projects between January and March 2021 in eight countries in South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.
The Adventist Solidarity Action (ASA), the department responsible for social activities and human development at the level of local congregations, in the first quarter of this year, collected and donated 2,898 tons of food. The Seventh-day Adventist humanitarian agency, Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), carried out or maintained 104 projects in the same period, serving more than 830,000 people. These figures do not include the recent campaign initiated by ADRA to serve more than 5,000 families and which has not yet been completed.
Another important front came from the Adventist Education Network. The more than 900 educational units in these eight countries collaborated to donate, according to the data collected, 9,688 basic food baskets that varied between 20 and 25 kilos each.
Pathfinders and Adventurers
Pathfinders and Adventurers also had a notable part to play. According to data from these ministries at the South American Seventh-day Adventist headquarters, more than 23,000 people were helped with food, clothing, and benefited from different social activities through the work of the clubs.
Such actions are absolutely necessary for the face of a worrying picture of food insecurity. A study done last year in Brazil alone, showed a devastating picture in the pandemic context. Research carried out by Universidade Livre, from Germany, in partnership with Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and Universidade de Brasília, revealed that 15% of Brazilian households are deprived of food and suffer hunger.
Other forms of aid
But this mobilization, in the first 90 days of the year 2021, was not limited to the donation of food and groceries for those in need. One example is the blood donation incentive project. The Life for Lives, organized by the youth ministry at the South American level, recorded 29,745 donors who participated in the project during the first quarter of 2021. Blood banks are constantly asking for help, and in places like Espírito Santo and Alagoas, Seventh-day Adventist congregations have become collection points.
Another important initiative that followed with its contribution was the Ouvido Amigo, that provides psychological support. In the first three months of the year, 324 psychologists were involved and were responsible for 5,076 visits.
The information in this report is an estimate of what has actually been accomplished. There are many personal initiatives on the part of church members that have likely not been counted.
If you are interested in collaborating with these community outreach initiatives, please reach out to a Pastor or church ( meetumaigreja.com.br ) or any of the Seventh-day Adventist Church administrative headquarters (to access any of the headquarters known as Unions, just click on the regional headquarters tab on the Adventistas.org website ).