The third angel’s message is the true light that encourages Hispanic Ministries to keep sharing with the nearly 21 million Spanish and Portuguese people who live in the Pacific Union territory. We do this so they can be awakened to the importance of this time and the significance of the events that are now taking place. While the powers of darkness are constantly attempting to destroy the world, God’s almighty powers continue to meet the emergencies that we are now facing.
Our mission, then, is to represent Jesus through effective ministries. Most of the goals we aimed to establish throughout these past five years have been met by the grace of God. We provided opportunities for our 226 congregations and their 141 pastors to strengthen their faith and to experience spiritual growth and renewal so they can model the character of Christ and attract souls to Him. In this way we implement our union theme of “Love. Serve. Lead.” by carrying out these principles in practice.
Despite declining church attendance due to the pandemic, our work has not stopped. We see progress and enthusiasm in our conferences. The results of our efforts to increase our membership through soul-winning in the pandemic year reflected the difficult circumstances; however, with God’s help, we anticipate better times.
This report will showcase just a few of the events that our faithful pastors organized during the last quinquennium.
Year 2016 – Youth Evangelism “Olas de Compasión” [Waves of Compassion]. By applying the golden rule to love our neighbors, our young people reached thousands of homeless with the gospel.
Year 2017 – Small Groups. In February, over 500 pastors and leaders of small groups gathered at Pine Springs Ranch to launch this massive evangelism effort. By the summer, 900 small groups had been established.
Year 2018 – “My greatest desire is that our God be glorified, proclaimed, and announced in all the Spanish communities of the Pacific Union” were the words of Pastor Ingleton who was appointed the new leader of Hispanic Ministries. Many successful events were held this year.
Year 2019 – SECC hosts FEJA Youth Congress at La Sierra University. 1,200 young people gathered to learn more about God’s love, to grow spiritually from Christian friendship, and to enjoy physical exercise. Hundreds renewed their commitment to Jesus and expressed their gratitude for events like these.
Tithe: $28,319, 520
Year 2020 – A difficult year! Pastors and church leaders faced the difficulties of the pandemic, but they responded to the challenges and initiated virtual worship and programs throughout the Pacific Union.
Pacific Union Hispanic Ministries: 160 congregations across the union territory launched a virtual evangelistic outreach series titled “An Encounter with Jesus,” with Alberto Ingleton as the speaker. Thousands of people were reached, and so far about 300 people have been baptized.
Arizona: A virtual couples retreat was held in June with the theme: “United and Happy Despite the Crisis.”
Central California: 9,000 men joined online for a virtual men’s retreat with the theme “Priesthood in the End Time.” They also organized an evangelistic campaign titled “Jesus in the Middle of the Storm.” More than 8,000 people tuned in online, and over 100 were baptized!
Nevada-Utah: A virtual crusade was held titled “Everything is Possible.” Thousands joined online.
Northern California: FEJA prepared a virtual week of prayer titled “Jesus in my City.” The youth were the preachers, and hundreds joined online. Also, the Hayward Spanish church distributed more than 250 food packages weekly.
Southeastern California: Many of its Spanish churches have become centers of compassion. Tons of foods were distributed to assist families in the communities.
Southern California: A lay evangelism series was held from January through March. A spiritual retreat for pastors took place in March.
Initiatives for the next five years
1. Holistic ministerial development. The goal is to provide our ministerial force with training, resources, and coaching to support a group of ministers who will offer the best quality of pastoral service to our churches.
2. Local church leadership formation. Training seminars for the leaders of all the departments will be presented. We believe well trained leaders will translate into very productive churches.
3. Discipleship for our second and third generations. The purpose is to equip them with tools for training for mission and discipleship.
4. Evangelism. This initiative will help our churches in adding new members, nurturing, training future disciples, and preparing new members for the mission.
We are grateful to God for all that has been achieved, yet we look for more. We share in the theme of this session, “So Send I You,” believing this applies to all our membership as we look forward to Jesus’ soon return. We are so happy to help others respond to Jesus’ call to follow Him, recognizing that “his sheep follow him because they know his voice” (John 10:4 NIV). Our passion is to help people know and follow the voice of Jesus!