May 31, 2021 | Bogota, Colombia | Laura Acosta and Inter-American Division News

Amid the civil unrest brought on by protests in Colombia for over a month, Seventh-day Adventist leaders took part in a special prayer session for the nation thanks to an invitation by the government’s religious liberty leaders of Meta, a central Colombian department, on May 14, 2021.

More than 100 religious leaders and citizens of the municipal district of Vistahermosa gathered with white balloons in hand at the city’s main municipal park to pray for peace amid a national crisis that has left 46 people dead and paralyzed businesses.

Government officials, religious leaders and community members hold white balloons during a special prayer session for the nation at a municipal park in Vistahermosa, Villavivencio in Meta, South Colombia, on May. 14, 2021. The Adventist Church was invited to pray during “Day of Prayer for Peace in Colombia” amid the civil unrest in the nation during the past month. [Photo: Esdras Ramírez]

“I took ten minutes to speak of the truth of the imminent return of Jesus while terrible things keep happening [in this world],” said Pastor Esdras Ramírez, district pastor in Villavicencio, the capital city of Meta. “The only hope is found in Jesus and we must obey what the Bible teaches.” Ramírez, who ministers to six churches and 11 small groups in the city, said it was important to pray alongside other religious leaders for a country so affected by the lingering pandemic that has claimed so many lives and caused economic strain.

At the end of the event, coined as the “Day of Prayer for Peace in Colombia,” Ramírez gave  out the missionary book of the year entitled “Hope For Troubled Times” by Mark Finley, to government officials, local leaders, religious leaders as well as those in the community attending the event.

Church members at the El Rey de San Juan de Arama Adventist Church in Meta, South Colombia, pray for the families in the community, their neighbors and their city as the country continues social unrest across the nation. Churches across the South Colombia Conference have held prayer sessions and prayer vigils with their congregations throughout the past four weeks. [Photo: Esdras Ramírez]

The prayer session in Meta is one of many prayer initiatives across the church in Colombia.  On May 5, the church throughout its nine conferences and missions in the South Colombia Union, took a day to pray for the nation through an online program on its Facebook and YouTube channels. Church members throughout the territory spent the day praying for those affected by depression and the loss of loved ones. Churches have also held prayer vigils during the month of May as the social unrest continues in the country.

To learn more about the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Colombia, its initiatives and resources, visit unioncolombianadelsur.org

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