The official news service of the Seventh-day Adventist world church
A young Seventh-day Adventist holds her locks of hair after getting her hair cut in Caracas, Venezuela, on August 8. Some 350 church members donated their hair to help children and women with cancer throughout Venezuela during the church’s city-wide impact earlier this month. The initiative involved 2,000 Church members. [photo courtesy East Venezuela Union]
August 20, 2014 | Caracas, Venezuela | Josben Rodriguez/IAD staff
Hundreds of Seventh-day Adventists took a week off from their busy schedules for a major community impact event in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas from August 4-9.
The six-day initiative drew more than 2,000 volunteers offering a smile, sharing hope, and cleaning dozens of parks, streets and neighborhoods throughout the city.
The initiative coined “Close to you Caracas” is part of the church’s big city-impact to reach out as a Church body to let city-dwellers know about God’s love through acts of kindness, said Josney Rodriguez, president of the Adventist Church in East Venezuela. This was the second annual coordinated effort to reach the city’s population of 5 million, he added.
Church leaders and members from churches in Caracas and throughout the rest of the eastern part of the country worked together to feed the homeless, visit hospitals, offer vacation Bible school to thousands of children, perform concerts, offer counseling, give free medical screenings, clean up streets, beautify parks and schools, plant trees, pray with onlookers and spread messages of hope at traffic lights.
“These are important activities to save lives and bring smiles to those who may have felt at times like hope was lost,” Rodriguez said. “We want to see a Caracas moved by the love of God, letting them know that we are close to them, willing to do them good.”
A new activity this year was hair donation for children and women battling cancer. Adventists have collaborated with the Senosayuda and Friends of the Child with Cancer foundations to provide 200 wigs to people who have lost hair due to cancer treatments.
A blood drive also took center stage during the six-day initiative to benefit hundreds of needy patients across hospitals in Caracas.
The event was reported on national television, radio stations and in newspapers.
The city-impact initiative themed “Smile God loves you” provided more than 35,000 new contacts for the Church, leaders said. The initiative also took place across the country in the city of Maracay in June. Maturin will also hold a city-wide community impact in December, organizers said.
The Adventist Church’s East Venezuela Union is home to more than 130,000 members worshiping in 456 congregations.
For more on the Seventh-day Adventist Church in East Venezuela and its annual city-impact in Caracas, visit adventistasvenezuela.com. See photos of the initiative HERE.