Women's Convention Results in Baptisms
South American Division (SAD)
[Rio de Janeiro] Since February, Ítalo and Kezia Pinheiro study the Bible with Pastor Emanuel Gonçalves, in Rio de Janeiro. Evangelistic for 30 years, they visited the Seventh-day Adventist Church a few times and, although they agreed with the message that they had discovered, the decision for baptism seemed a little distant. This resistance was broken when they participated in the Convention "If I Allow," organized by the Women’s Ministries of the Southeast Brazil Union (USeB), in October.
"They went back home delighted after gaining a perception of the Church's organization and, especially, with the worship and messages they heard. A week later, I baptized them," tells Pastor Emanuel. In addition to the couple, the two eldest children were also baptized, and the youngest was dedicated.
Stories like this are taking place all over the state of Rio de Janeiro, where most of the participants live. Initially set to be for women only, it was necessary to attend the requests and open a few exceptions for the participation of men as well. It is expected for other baptisms to take place in the following months, since 600 people answered the call, and pastors and local church members are doing following up meetings with them.
According to Sara Lima, Woman's Ministries director and event organizer, the intention was to promote an event that brought people to make a decision, where the music and messages would fit perfectly. For this purpose, Evangelist and Pastor Luis Gonçalves and singer Laura Morena were invited, in addition to TV host from Novo Tempo, Darleide Alves, who made a live version of her program "Consultório de Família" (Family Clinic) during the event.
In order to share all the content in an attractive and efficient manner, the efforts that took place before the event in the production made all the difference. Having this in mind, it was important to invest in the choice and preparation of the location – a hotel auditorium in a good neighborhood in the capital of Rio – and also in the coordination of the staff, so that the schedule and timing were followed perfectly. "We had people that had never before accepted invitations to church programs, and this convention was a way to open doors and brake barriers, making it easier to continue doing evangelism. And so, it required better planning and a better structure, because it would attract a more demanding audience," explains Sara.
And it was exactly this difference that motivated Ellen Graça Escobar de Lima to invite her friend Sônia Lucia Ribeiro Cipirano. For a long time, Sônia refused invitations to go to church, even though she was quite interested in the message. Ellen quickly saw the opportunity to bring more friends, and they needed to rent a van to take them in 100km-ride from Maricá to the location of the event. "At first, we were just four women going in my car, but later we had 18 women going in the morning and three more in the afternoon. It was a moment of decision, and when the call was made, we stood up together. Three days later, Sônia sent me a message saying that God had spoken to her and she was sure that this was the right church," she celebrates. Her baptism took place in that same week.
Strategy and multiplication
In order to register for the event, there were a few requirements: an Adventist woman needed to bring a visiting friend that must had had previous contact with the church, through Bible studies, events or even through Novo Tempo Communication Network. The outcome resulted in two sessions of the convention, totaling and audience of 2,000 people.
Alzira Maria Barbosa is Methodist and was one of the participants. She is an assiduous viewer of Novo Tempo TV ever since she started living in the Lake region, and with this she felt the need to learn more about the Bible. "This pastor is very well spoken," she commented, when talking about Pastor Gonçalves.
Nine conventions in this same format are scheduled for 2017, in Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, and Rio de Janeiro. For Sara, this is the second goal of the Convention "If I Allow," since a woman's evangelistic efforts can have far greater potential with programs that offer good and attractive content.
Written by Francis Matos and translated by Felipe Lemos
Link da transmissão ao vivo:
Link da reportagem na TV Novo Tempo (10:24)-
Published in Mosaic, 2017 Q1