Marcela Pineros/IAD staff/ANN staff
A massive two-week evangelistic effort throughout South Colombia this month drew more than 1,500 new believers to the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The series was the result of a joint effort by pastors and church members to share the Adventist hope with the region's burgeoning population, church leaders said. More than 25 million people live in South Colombia, which is home to some 130,000 Adventists.
Themed "Time for Hope," leaders organized evangelism efforts in each of Colombia's major southern cities. The efforts culminated in activities to commemorate 90 years of Adventist presence in the region.
"This was a great opportunity to show this part of Colombia that the church is alive in this region of the world and each member wants to spread the message of salvation," said Eliseo Bustamante, president of the Adventist Church in South Colombia.
In Bogota, a city with a population of more than 7 million, the church held a four-day televised series led by Robert Costa, It is Written speaker and associate ministerial secretary for the Adventist world church. More than 12,000 people gathered and some 520 were baptized as a result.
Earlier this year, Adventists organized outreach activities in Bogota leading up to the series. Adventist taxi cab drivers offered prayer for passengers and church members participated in Bogota's international half marathon, joined in a massive blood donation campaign and organized a health expo.
Elsewhere in the region, the church organized a series of meetings headlined by renowned evangelist Alejandro Bullon. The meetings covered the cities of Villavicencio, Cali, Pereira, Ibague and Sogamoso.
Nearly 35,000 people attended the evangelistic series in various centers and auditoriums and some 985 new believers joined the church, leaders reported.
"We saw so many people truly searching for hope," said Aicardo Arias, personal ministries director for the church in South Colombia.
Church leaders are already planning another major evangelism effort to reach five more cities in South Colombia next year.
The Adventist world church's current focus is outreach to the world's large urban centers.