More than 200,000 Seventh-day Adventists in Chiapas, Mexico, distributed two million copies of the book Hope for Today’s Families to homes, businesses, and people in public places on Sabbath, May 11, 2019. The book highlights biblical passages that strengthen families in modern society.
It is the first time that such a large quantity of missionary books was distributed in a single day in Chiapas, and one that does not surprise top local church leaders.
Young and old, on foot, on motorcycles, on automobile caravans, and every way possible, members travelled together to impact each designated city and community around them in what they coined as “#ImpactoEsperanza” or “Impact Hope”.
“The church member in Chiapas is known for his or her commitment to God and the church,” said Ignacio Navarro, president of the church in the Chiapas Mexican Union. “The church here is strong and dynamic, and members, take every opportunity to shine, to witness in their neighborhoods, in their cities, with their friends and co-workers to share the hope of the gospel.”
Members from all levels of the church also distributed the books as they visited government offices, police department, military areas, highlighting the importance of fostering strong families to keep the peace and social stability.
In the capital city, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, more than 15,000 members took on the city with the distribution of books.
Navarro visited State Governor Rutilio Escandón and his family to emphasize the church’s commitment to strengthening families in the state through various community outreach initiatives and activities. Governor Escandón, who has met several times with Navarro, thanked church leaders and members for their valuable contribution to society and affirmed his government’s trust and support in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its positive programs.
Caravans of automobiles bearing banners and signs announced the importance of united and strong families, while marches and impact activities took place across the state.
At the end of the day’s journey, thousands met at Tuxtla Gutiérrez Central Plaza for a concert by Junior Kelly Marchena and listen to Evangelist Alejandro Bullón who encouraged members to continue to be victorios under God’s direction.
Ninety-nine-year old Julio Lara from the central Chiapas region didn’t want to miss the missionary activity and, together with fellow church members, took part in distributing books.
Eight-year old Abril Alvarado, who is a member of her Adventurer Club in Soconusco, distributed books with her fellow Adventurers and leaders. When she got near a woman cleaning her home in a poor neighborhood she gave her a sample of the book. She ran back to ask for her lunch and returned to share it with the woman.
Living the gospel and spreading hope is what the outreach activity is all about, said Erwin González, publishing ministries director for the church in Inter-America. González spent the day with five strategic church-member groups in Tuxtla, distributed books and talked to civil leaders and people everywhere.
“One of the most surprising things was to observe the disposition, happiness, and unity of members to get involved joyfully as they shared the gospel through publications,” said González. “The church in Chiapas is really unique, very mission-oriented, and passionate about sharing the gospel.”
The distribution in Chiapas is the largest distribution made in a single union to reach the population, said González. Many unions in Inter-America have distributed over one million copies of the book so far this year, such as Colombia, which distributed 1.3 million, and the Dominican Republic, which distributed 1.2 million. To date, about 10.5 million copies of Hope for Today’s Families have been distributed throughout Inter-America, according to Gonzalez.
“We are aiming for more than 12 million copies of next year’s missionary book to be distributed throughout Inter-America,” said González.
The plan next year for Chiapas is to distribute 2 million missionary books again said Rogelio Moreales, publishing ministries director for the church in Chiapas.
“It was amazing to see what the church can do when it unites, organizes and participates in so many activities that impact our society in Chiapas,” said Morales. “Chiapas was able to see an involved church that unites to share the special message for families.”
Hope for Today’s Families is the missionary book voted by the Adventist world church to be a witnessing tool to strengthen families. The book is authored by Willie and Elaine Oliver, family life ministries directors for Adventist World Church.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Chiapas, Mexico, has more than 246,000 members worshiping in 3,159 churches and congregations.
To learn more about the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Chiapas Mexican Union and its initiatives, visit umch.org.mx