Members smile big while holding their food packets they just received at the Sierra Maestra Adventist Church in Maracaibo, West Venezuela, earlier in June. Some 3,030 of the most needy Adventist families in West Venezuela were beneficiaries from special donations. Photo: West Venezuela Union

August 9, 2019 | Barquisimeto, Venezuela | IAD News Staff

Thousands of the most needy families across the Seventh-day Adventist churches in West Venezuela recently received food baskets thanks to special contributions from a donor and local churches in spite of rising economic challenges in the country.

“Our hearts go out to those who have challenging needs in Venezuela which includes our dear church members,” said Adventist World Church President Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson. “What a privilege to help facilitate the generosity of the donor to assist our church members all to God’s glory. Let us pray for God’s protection and guidance for all who are in need as we point people to Christ, the Giver of all good gifts.”

Pastor Orlando Ramírez, president of the church in West Venezuela, said it was a real blessing to receive such generous donation and oversee the logistics to assist so many among the membership.

Food packets stacked up after being assembled for delivery throughout churches across West Venezuela. Photo: West Venezuela Union

“Because of an anonymous Adventist donor facilitated by Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson, thousands of our most vulnerable families benefited from this donation and compassionate gesture toward the difficulties that the Church in Venezuela faces,” said Ramírez.

The sizable donation together with additional funds collected from local conferences benefited 3,030 families throughout dozens of local churches were recipients of a week’s worth of groceries containing brown rice,  cereal, cornmeal, whole wheat flour, oats, granola, soy protein, and other items, explained Ramírez, who oversaw the special project.

“So many of our brothers and sisters were so thankful for the help and the sense of unity in the church with this assistance,” said Ramírez.  The project, was called “A Gift of Life”, benefited the most needy Adventist families.

“The minimum salary and the salary of the general population doesn’t allow for the majority of the products  to be obtained frequently or in sufficient quantities for all family members,” said Ramírez.  “Every Venezuelan citizen has to be creative and adopt to consuming the most accessible food times, consume the same food and eat mostly carbohydrates with what they can afford.”

A member receives food for her family at the Menito Adventist Church in West Venezuela during a distribution ceremony on June 1, 2019. Photo: West Venezuela Union

Everything about the “A Gift of Life” project entailed miracles along the way, said Ramírez. From the sizable donation, to the Adventist owner of a foreign business which facilitated the purchase of food products at cost, church member volunteers who assembled the food boxes, the transportation to the 10 local conferences, to the vulnerable families who benefited in West Venezuela, was all a true blessing to witness, said Ramírez. Transportation of the grocery boxes took more than three months to be delivered amid the power outages across the country, said Ramírez.

Church administrators, department directors, district pastors and church elders witnessed the joy and tears of so many of the families who were given the food boxes during the weekday and on Sabbath afternoons which included a  thanksgiving and praise program, said Ramirez.

“We pray the God reward this spirit of love and kindness,” Ramírez said.

(The East Venezuela Union also received a donation from the same anonymous Adventist donor to aid church families in that region.)

 

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