Inter-American Division President Pastor Elie Henry (center) stands as the 24 union presidents join in via zoom before praying for the membership, the church and the pandemic crisis affecting the globe, during special online worship service held May 16, 2020, transmitted throughout the territory. [Photo: Inter-American Division]

 May 18, 2020 | Miami, Florida, United States | Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division

From the northern most part of Mexico to the southern most part of Colombia, Seventh-day Adventists paused to worship and pray together during a special Sabbath program on May 16, 2020. The one-hour online program saw top church leaders in Inter-America stand and pray together in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Prayers were focused on gratitude, healing, and the social and economic needs of the membership, as well as a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit throughout the 42 countries and islands comprising the Inter-American Division (IAD) territory.

Adventist World Church President Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson shares a short message of encouragement to the Inter-American membership during the online transmission. [Photo: Inter-American Division]

Adventist World Church President Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson greeted the Inter-American membership and encouraged each one to see the powerful ways in which God has led them in the past and through the pandemic crisis.

“We know that we are living just before the end of time,” said Pastor Wilson. “In fact, this is a precursor to what we know will be the final crisis. Yet God is giving us an opportunity to witness for Him and to give powerful impressions to others as to how the grace of Jesus can work in our lives.”

Pastor Wilson urged members to continue relying on God for strength and to keep proclaiming the Three Angels Messages of Revelation 14. “Allow the Lord to transform you as you work in total member involvement and prepare people for Jesus’ soon coming.”

Pastor Elie Henry, president of the church in Inter-America, encourages members to draw closer to God, be strengthened and reach out to others with the love of Jesus.[Photo: Abel Márquez/IAD]

Pastor Elie Henry, president of the church in Inter-America, began the main spiritual message. He pointed out how the pandemic has made it possible for the church to better understand the sense of belonging to a big Christian family which continues the road together, persevering in readiness for the soon coming of Jesus.

“We must draw closer to God, because drawing close to God is a personal and intimate process that aims to stand in His presence,” said Pastor Henry. In order to do so, Pastor Henry outlined the different ways to approach God as found in the Bible. “We must recognize who we are as sinners and humble ourselves (Jams 4:8-10), believe in God’s forgiveness, go boldly before Him and allow Jesus to become our intercessor (Heb. 9:12).”

“Regardless of how the pandemic has affected you, whether you have lost your job and your future appears to be bleak as a student, God is there to offer you healing, peace, love and strength,” said Pastor Henry. “Now is an opportunity to draw close to God and go from His presence showing His love, and what He has done for you, as you share hope and serve in the community.”

The Jaspe Youth Choir from the French Antilles Guiana Union sing during the online program. [Photo: Inter-American Division]

Pastor Henry called on church leaders and members to share messages of hope through the social media tools available.  “Trust in Him. No one cares for you like Him. No one loves you like God.”

At the close of the event, all 24 union presidents joined in prayer with Pastor Henry for all the victims of COVID-19 and asked God for strength.

The program featured special music representing the three main language groups in Inter-America. Prayers were also offered in English, Spanish and French.

Thousands of viewers connected through Inter-America’s YouTube, Facebook and social media accounts throughout the live transmission.

Pastor Gamaliel Flórez, education director for the church in Inter-America prays during the worship program. [Photo: Inter-American Division]

“I would have never imagined seeing a program where many nationalities came together to praise one God,” said Arely Felipe de Vázquez from Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.

“Look how we are all gathered, imagine when we are in heaven before the presence of our God. What a joy my dear brothers, Hallelujah,” said Bladimir Perez of the Dominican Republic.

Church leaders emphasized the Adventist World Church’s 100 Days of Prayer initiative currently being heavily promoted across Inter-America and around the globe, the reading of the bible and faithfulness in giving, and more.

Elisa Aguirre of the North Mexican Union sings about the Love of Jesus during a special musical number after the sermon message. [Photo: Inter-American Division]

To view Inter-America’s praise and worship program of May 16, 2020:

Click HERE for English

Click HERE for Spanish

Clikc HERE for French

For upcoming Inter-American Division online events, initiatives and activities, visit us at interamerica.org

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