Seventh-day Adventists who work as law enforcement professionals across Brazil met for a weekend of connecting, exchanging personal experiences, and sharing faith stories at the Adventist Training and Recreation Center in Brasilia, Brazil, November 15-17, 2019.
According to participants and leaders, the event also sought to provide fellowship and encouragement and to highlight strategies for reconciling their careers with Bible-based beliefs.
“We had the opportunity to meet fellow believers as they shared their testimonies about the difficulties they encountered in the profession and how they reconcile faith with their career,” explained Vicente Donizete Braga, a second lieutenant in the São Paulo State Military Police and organizer of the event.
“As law enforcement officers, we face a lot of challenges, especially related to Sabbath-keeping,” said Lília Farias, second sergeant serving in the Manaus Military Police. “A gathering like this helps us to meet people who go through similar hardships while we strive to remain faithful to God.”
Encouraged to Be a Blessing
Adventist journalist Leandro Quadros, who hosts the TV program In the Sight of Truth, explained that the exchange of experiences among participants significantly strengthens each participant in his or her Christian walk. “It is a true exchange of power between brothers,” Quadros explained. “They meet colleagues with the same challenges, the same problems, the same hardships, who are nevertheless managing to overcome.”
One of the speakers at the meeting was Colonel Hélio Fernando from the Brazilian Army. According to Fernando, the group has a strong motivation “to dedicate themselves to what should be the main task in our lives — to preach the gospel of Jesus.”
The November meeting also included the baptism of Murilo Marçal, a military police officer in Brasilia. Marçal had been a church member in the past but had stopped attending church. During the event, Marçal decided to recommit himself to Jesus and the Adventist Church.
“For some time, the Holy Spirit had been speaking to my wife, Sarah, and me,” Marçal said, “so we decided to get baptized and to live in faith again, to be a blessing to others.”
Central Planalto Conference church region president Max Schuabb stressed that an event such as this is essential to reaffirm the faith of professionals working in this area.
“This exchange of experiences is an opportunity to find solutions to preaching the gospel within your professional environment,” Schuabb told them.
This is the fourth time the group of Adventist law enforcement officers has met, after a first gathering in São Paulo in 2001. A second event took place in 2003 at the Adventist university in São Paulo, and a third in 2017 in the neighboring state of Minas Gerais.