The North Caribbean Conference welcomed thirty-six (36) persons into the fellowship of the Seventh-day Adventist Church during the Family’s Hope online evangelistic campaign, held from October 15, 2020, to October 31, 2020. Church leaders reported that the three-week campaign drew more than 1,500 hits on Facebook and YouTube, each evening, and facilitated online Bible studies for scores of individuals.
“There are no words to express how successful this evangelistic effort has been here in our church territory,” said Pastor Desmond James, President of the North Caribbean Conference (NCC). “This is a completely new experience for us here but we are grateful for the opportunity to proclaim God’s word with power [and] clarity.”
The Family’s Hope campaign emphasized practical ways for families to restart their lives and embrace the forgiveness, love, peace, healing, power, and salvation that Christ offers. A live broadcast of the campaign was carried on two radio stations in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI). Translation services from English to Spanish and French were offered via Zoom.
Planning took more than six months. The intense promotional work was coordinated by Conference leaders, pastors, media teams and church members – we are thankful for the hard work of all participants. Advertising platforms included WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube. An app was designed to facilitate sharing and following-up with guests and many who followed, from around the world, sent encouraging messages.
Holding the evangelistic effort online, during the pandemic, was challenging. It was difficult to harness the true evangelistic potential of the Conference because its ten islands were experiencing varying degrees of government-mandated lockdowns. Some islands were under a curfew which restricted the movement of members and retarded the plans for in-person church gatherings.
“It’s been a challenge but miraculously many persons around the world were impacted by the messages and accepted Jesus and decided to be baptized,” said Dr. Henry Peters, NCC Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Director as well as manager of the campaign. “We praise God for that. There were little technical complications during the evening transmission of the campaign and they were compounded by the fact that thieves stole the standby generator used to power the campaign.”
“It’s really impressive to have baptized the 36 persons under these circumstances of the pandemic and under the conditions we face in this territory,” said Pastor Hesketh Matthew, Assistant to the NCC President for Evangelism and speaker for the campaign. “To have reached so many people with the messages online was really good and we praise the Lord for His goodness. Part of our evangelism strategy, going forward, is training our pastors and members to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Pastors and local church leaders are monitoring all Bible study enrollees and more baptisms have taken place since the campaign ended. The NCC is already planning for the next online evangelistic campaign scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2021.