Part of the children’s choir of the Westchester Spanish Adventist Church from Miami, sing during the special ceremony celebrating the work of dozens of children and adolescent ministries leaders across Inter-America, on Feb. 19, 2020. The special event took place during a year when the Adventist world church celebrates the 25th anniversary since the ministries was officially established. [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]

February 25, 2020 | Miami, Florida, United States | Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division

Seventh-day Adventist leaders honored the work of children and adolescent ministries leaders across the Inter-American Division (IAD) during a special celebration on Feb. 19, 2020, in commemoration of the 25th anniversary since the ministries was officially established by the Adventist world church.

“It’s been a long journey, maybe sometimes a little bit bumpy but God has taken care of this ministry, and through all of you this ministry has been enriched,” said Dinorah Rivera, children and adolescents ministries director for the church in Inter-America.

Rivera mentioned just a few of the 25 important reasons outlined during the program on the impact the ministries has seen throughout the years. “One of the reasons for having children’s ministries is to show the love of Jesus to others, especially for the children and adolescents,” said Rivera. “Another reason is to be attentive to their spiritual growth, to point them to Scripture, to help them experience a positive Christian life.”

IAD President Pastor Elie Henry thanks leaders during a special gala banquet for their passion and commitment in teaching children and adolescents to be like Jesus and to share His love. [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]

Rivera said that the celebration was meant to reaffirm in each of the dozens of children and adolescent ministries leaders the dedication and passion needed to serve in guiding children to Jesus.

IAD President Pastor Elie Henry, thanked all the leaders for making a difference in the lives of so many children and adolescents across the territory. “When we are talking about training children, what we are really saying is we need to help them have a better relationship with Christ, so when they are playing with friends in their community, they can say Jesus is my friend,” said Pastor Henry.

Linda Koh, children’s ministries director for the Adventist world church, was especially honored for her leadership in Inter-America for more than 10 years.

Linda Koh, children’s ministries director for the Adventist world church thanks Dinorah Rivera and IAD administrators for their kind words and the photobashing art gift presented to her during the gala banquet in Miami, Florida, on Feb. 19, 2020. [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]

“In Inter-America, we like to recognize those who are close to us by expressing it with something that you can remember when you take it home,” said Pastor Henry, as a photobashing piece was unveiled of Koh surrounded by two angels and children representing different nationalities in front of Jesus embracing a child.  Photobashing is a technique where artists merge and blend photographs or 3D images together while painting and compositing them into one finished piece.

“It is indeed an honor to receive such a gift,” said Koh. “Thank you to Dinorah and all the directors whom I’ve work with these last 10 years.” She thanked IAD administrators for supporting the ministries throughout Inter-America.

Children and adolescent ministries leaders were also recognized by each of Inter-America’s unions for their dedication and commitment to serving for decades in their respective countries.

Yolanda Fernández of the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union poses for a photograph with her special sash as she is honored for her more than 25 years serving in the children and adolescent ministries in her country. [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]

Among those awarded with a sash and medal was Yolanda Fernández of the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union, who worked arduously for children and adolescent ministries even before the department was officially established.

Fernández, who serves at the Tuxtla Mission office, said she is keen on seeing the physical, economic and psychological needs that so many children have. “It’s important that we strive to help the children with all the basic needs they have so they can understand more about Jesus and His love for them,” said Fernández.  She said that there are about 3,000 children the church oversees through its ministries, the Talking Backpack initiative and Vacation Bible Experience activities each year.

Audrey Filipetti of Puerto Rico was awarded a special medal for her tireless years in training child preachers in her region. She is surrounded by Janet Torres (left), children and adolescent ministries and Camille Ayala right), women’s ministries director in Puerto Rico. [Photo: Libna Stevens/IAD]

To find out more about Inter-America’s children and adolescent ministries, Click HERE

To view the special ceremony of February 19, 2020, online, Click HERE

For the photo gallery, Click HERE


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