Students pray together during one of many prayer sessions at the Ipala Adventist Camp in Chiquimula, Guatemala, Mar. 11, during Inter-America’s special day of prayer emphasis across hundreds of Adventist schools in the territory. [Photo: Gustavo Menéndez]

March 12, 2020 | Miami, Florida, United States | Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News

For the 10th consecutive year, hundreds of students and teachers in Seventh-day Adventists schools and universities across the Inter-American Division (IAD) territory, put away their class work to engage in spiritual activities focused on promoting a daily prayer life, sharing hope on their campus and communities, and testifying publicly of their commitment to a life in Jesus.

The special day on March 11, saw teachers and pupils eager to pray, sing, and fellowship together during the annual event.

“This special day of prayer is so important in our Adventist educational institutions because it cements in students the important aspects of communion with God: prayer, bible study, and service to others,” said Gamaliel Florez, education director for the church in Inter-America. The day is also one to showcase activities that  send a clear message that the best way to enjoy life is to trust and surrender to the will of God, he added.

A group of students are baptized during a special ceremony at the Ipala Adventist Camp in Chiquimula, Guatemala, on Mar. 11, 2020, where students from the 31 primary and secondary schools met for a day of spiritual activities. Seventy-seven students were baptized in that pool totaling 138 new members added to the church so far this month. [Photo: Filiberto Verduzco/IAD]

Flórez, who celebrated the day at the Dominican Adventist University in Bonao, Dominican Republic, with more than 1,300 junior and senior students from across Adventist schools on the island, witnessed bible competitions, public speaking contest contest, and creation painting competitions, as well as prayer sessions and numerous sports activities. He encouraged students to be strong and courageous as they face the challenges.

“Make Jesus your top priority. Don’t leave it for the end of your life. Cultivate a life of prayer,” said Flórez.

In Chiapas Mexico, more than 7,000 students and 630 teachers and faculty in all of  Adventist schools turned their campuses and nearby streets into praying spaces. Students prayed for each other, wrote letters to God, and prayed for anyone willing to be prayed for. Students and teachers also prayed for local and government authorities, public servants, small businesses, and nearby schools. They also distributed literature. It was an activity that was replicated throughout the 31 primary and secondary schools in Chiapas during the five-hour school period, local educators said.

A student stands by his painting during a creation subject painting contest held at the Dominican Adventist University in Bonao, Dominican Republic, on Mar. 11, 2020. [Photo: Gamliel Flórez/IAD]

“Our objective was clear: to motivate students in experiencing intercessory prayer for others and show how important it is to face the daily challenges of life,” said Orley Sánchez, education director for the church in Chiapas.

Nearly 2,000 church leaders, parents and students throughout Guatemala, gathered at the Ipala Adventist Camp in Chiquimula, to worship, pray and witness the baptism of 77 students from across the 31 primary and secondaries in the country.

More than 1,600 students from the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union Adventsit school system gathered at the church-operated Coatzacoalcos Camp in Veracruz, Mexico, to witness 71 of their fellow classmates getting baptized.

Students from teh Harmon White Adventist School in Hidalgo, Chiapas pray for a motorcyclist and his child during the day of prayer Mar. 11, 2020. [Photo: Bequer Jimenez/Hope Media Chiapas]

There was music, interactive activities and a testimony of a Presbyterian family who was baptized thanks to the prayers and influence of their 10-year daughter who studies in the Adventist school in Minatitlan, Veracruz, said Melchor Ferreyra, personal ministries director for the church in Inter-America who took part in the day’s program.

“I was so impressed by how Amilcar Navarrete Mendoza, prayed for her parents to become members of the Adventist Church, and soon after joining a small prayer group decided to give their life to God, all because of the witnessing of their daughter,” said Ferreyra.

Thousands of students from the 26 Adventist schools in Medellin, North Colombia, took to malls, city streets and communities to share hope and distribute hundreds of missionary books titled “Confidence Amid Chaos” authored by Mark Finley.

Students in Medellin, Colombia, take to a shopping center to distribute the missionary book by Mark Finley “Confidence Amid Chaos,” on Mar. 11, 2020. [Photo: Hiram Ruiz/IAD]

The eight schools in the North Caribbean islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas, Tortola, St. Maarten and St. Eustatius, celebrated the annual day of prayer by listening to guest speakers, singing, praying, studying scripture, participating in drama performances and more.

St. Croix Adventist School divided its dozens of students into groups to bring cheer to the needy, went to the mall to distribute literature, sang and prayed for shoppers, went to the Herbert Gregg Home for the Aged and the Flamboyant Garden where they sang, read the bible and prayed for the elderly residents.

“It’s so satisfying to see young people willing to invest their time and talents in God’s service and praise His name during these past ten years celebrating the annual day of prayer,” said Flórez.

Students at the St. Croix Adventist School in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, watch a special performance during the special day of prayer earlier this month. [Photo: North Caribbean Conference]

Church leaders and educators in the IAD continue to promote a daily study of the bible and daily prayer life, to its more than 175,000 students across its 802 Adventist schools, including 14 universities.

Uriel Castellanos contributed to this report.

To learn more about Inter-America’s Adventist educational system its initiatives and activities, click HERE

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