In Puerto Rico, Adventists point to Jesus during US election year

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Students from the Antillean Adventist University join the “Jesucristo 2016 y no hay más” initiative waving their flags and visiting neighborhoods in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, on Sep. 3, 2016. Image by Israel Rodriguez.

November 1, 2016 | Cayey, Puerto Rico | Libna Stevens/IAD

Seventh-day Adventists took to the streets of several cities and towns last weekend to spread hope for a better future in Jesus as U.S. elections draw to a close in the coming days.

Adventists spread positive messages as they caravan through the streets of the island during the initiative this year. Image by Israel Rodríguez

Hundreds of church members waved flags and caravanned through communities in Aguas Buenas, Cidra and Cayey in the southeastern part of the island. It was the last in a multi-city plan to point people to Jesus Christ as the end of primary elections takes place on Nov. 8, organizers said.

Under the theme “Jesucristo 2016, y no hay más na” or “Jesus Christ 2016 and there is nothing more” church members drove and marched through the streets, visited homes and businesses wearing specially marked T-shirts and waving white flags spreading joy and positive messages for health, prosperity, peace, faith and love in Jesus.

“We wanted to mobilize our children, youth and adults to proclaim Jesus and share with people that even if all the candidates from the traditional political spectrum make promises, there is little they can do to fulfill those promises because there is only Jesus Christ and nothing more,” said Jose Javier Colon, one of main organizers of the initiative.

Colon and fellow layperson David de Jesus from the East Puerto Rico began the initiative in 2004 as a way to reach people who did not know anything about God. “We wanted to be creative and involve as many Adventists as possible alongside the political campaigns that take place every four years in our country,” said Colon. In Puerto Rico, political parties take to the streets with their colors and messages in loud speakers through the streets of cities and towns, explained Colon.

Pathfinders from the Santa Juanita Bayamon Adventist Church distribute literature while visiting homes in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, on Oct. 1, 2016. Image by “Jesus y no hay mas na 2016” Facebook page

The flags used only white and the initiative’s logo and soft Christian music is played during the caravan drive, he added.

“People welcomed us in their homes, stopped us on the streets asking about our campaign, and joined next to us to be part of the initiative” said de Jesus.

The driving message is to proclaim Jesus as the only solution for life in Puerto Rico, because it is so desperately needed on the island, said Colon. “We want all Puerto Rico to draw close to God so that the island can be fixed, that’s been our purpose in 2004, 2008, 2012, and now this year 2016.”

Pathfinders marched through the streets of Bayamon earlier in October with literature and the flags visiting homes and talking to onlookers about Jesus and the transformation that can only be found in Him.
Church leaders in Puerto Rico praised the work of Colon and de Jesus for mobilizing so many young people in the initiative.

“It is very exciting to see so many young people distributing flags, literature and talking to people about Jesus as the only candidate that can supply people’s real needs,” said Pastor David Sebastian, youth ministries director for the church in Puerto Rico. Sebastian took part in several caravan initiatives with his family across cities on the island this year.

Cars caravan through the streets in Puerto Rico during the “Jesucristo 2016 y no hay más na” initiative. Image by Israel Rodriguez

“I can see how young people like to share Jesus like this. It’s basically an evangelistic campaign in itself,” added Sebastian. “This [initiative] should not only take place in 2016, but all the time.”

Organizers pointed to the next “Jesucristo 2016, y no hay más na,” caravan for 2020.

“It’s been wonderful to have been part of this journey united in Christ again this year,” said de Jesus. “We challenge our young people and church members to make a personal commitment to impact their neighbors and friends with the hope of Jesus every day.

To learn more about the “Jesucristo 2016, y no hay más na,” initiative, visit their Facebook page

Annie Colon contributed to this report.

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Categories From the Field, RSS English | Tags: | Posted on November 1, 2016