YouTuber and church consultant Justin Khoe (with microphone). Photo: Nick Wolfer

eHuddle offers innovative methods for sharing Christ

Columbia, Maryland, United States

In February 2023, more than 150 pastors and conference- and union-level leaders gathered at the eighth annual eHuddle, a visioning and leadership conference hosted by the North American Division’s (NAD) Ministerial Department.

The event uncovered best practices within eHuddle’s six actions of evangelism: love, serve, baptize, equip, plant, and revitalize. The mix of short presentations by practitioners, Q&A, roundtable discussions, and takeaway tips was a hit.

On day one, Ivan Williams, NAD Ministerial director, revealed there are more than 370 million people within the division, but “God specializes in the majority being reached by the minority.”

This year’s eHuddle examined the definition of a disciple: “A disciple is someone who loves Jesus, lives by His teachings, and leads others to Him.” The event showed that churches with clarity on what disciple means thrive. At West Palm Beach Spanish Church, led by Pastor Herbert Lopez, members are asked to attend worship services, join a small group, and serve in a ministry. Since 2016, the church has expanded to include an English-speaking group and, through a volunteer lay pastor, planted a church.

Justin Khoe, YouTuber and church consultant, challenged attendees to turn their weekly sermons into one piece of daily gospel content for different platforms.

Colby Maier, pastor of Bloom Church in Portland, Oregon, who reached 247K followers on Instagram, 321 K on TikTok, and 1.1 million on YouTube in one year, read a message from a 14-year-old who was contemplating suicide and begged God for a sign: “I went onto YouTube shorts and the first video I scrolled was … of you praying for whoever’s on the other side of that screen. I started sobbing. That video saved my life.”

Plugging his church in his videos’ comments section has also brought 50–100 people to the church in the past few months.

“If you want to take the gospel commission seriously, meet people where they are—online,” Maier stated.

West Palm Beach English pastor Giovanni Esposito, who with copastors Herbert Lopez and volunteer lay pastor Magdiel Gonzalez (West Palm Beach Spanish Church), presented at eHuddle and left energized. “It was inspiring to hear stories of leaders who did not give up. We need to be bold for Jesus. God calls you and me for such a time as now!” [Christelle Agboka, NAD News]

Photo: ADRA Brazil

Venezuelan migrants welcomed at House of Hope

Porto Velho, Rondônia, Brazil

Orlando* is a professional cook. Due to the difficulties in Venezuela, he had to leave his country to search for a better life. “It wasn’t an easy decision. It’s just my wife and me. We had difficulties along the way, but in every place we passed through, we were well received,” he said.

The couple had to leave their two children finishing high school, as well as other family members and the house they struggled to build. In the state of Rondônia in northern Brazil, Casa Esperança (House of Hope) staff welcomed and assisted them.

“The House has been helping since the first day we arrived,” Orlando said. “We were greeted with welcome and smiles. They’re always talking to us, supporting us, and encouraging us not to give up.”

Located in the state capital of Porto Velho, House of Hope opened its doors in April 2022 as a direct result of the migration crisis that prompted people, mostly Venezuelan, to cross the border into Brazil. The initiative involves a partnership between the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Rondônia and the city's Office of Social Assistance.

With room for 40 migrants, the facilities have already welcomed temporary guests from several nations. House of Hope includes bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, and an activities hall.

Migrants can stay at House of Hope for as long as they need to, project coordinators said. So far, more than 400 people have received assistance.

“The services offered at House of Hope are transforming many lives,” local ADRA director João Paulo Dias said. “After staying with us, every migrant leaves with more hope than before.” [Priscila Baracho, South American Division, and Adventist Review]

* Name changed to protect his identity.

Photo: Southern Asia-Pacific Division

Blood drive enhances evangelistic initiative across Thailand

Korat, Thailand

As part of their community outreach and nationwide evangelistic effort dubbed Christ for Thailand, a care group (#CareTeamKorat) in city of Nakhon Ratchasima (known as Korat) arranged a blood donation drive and community concert in collaboration with the Red Cross.

The blood drive was hosted in Korat’s Terminal 21 mall, with the care group collaborating closely with the Red Cross to ensure that all required safety standards were followed. The goal of the drive was to collect blood for people in critical need of medical attention. The community’s reaction was positive, with donors of all ages lining up to give blood and support the cause.

The care group’s activities are part of the Christ for Thailand nationwide evangelism program, which strives to promote Christian values and disseminate the Word of God across the country.

“We think that our job is a manifestation of our faith, and we want to show people God’s love via our acts,” team member Nerman Bonanza said.

Ultimately, the #CareTeamKorat events were a tremendous success, bringing together individuals from all walks of life who shared a common aim of giving back to the community, organizers said. “Their actions inspire others, reminding us of the significance of working together to make a difference for good in our communities.” [Edward Rodriguez, Southern Asia-Pacific Division, and Adventist Review]

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