May 21, 2022

Adventist Journal Online | Paraguayan vice president takes bible verse to heart

Adventist leader Ted NC Wilson gives him an impromptu Bible study during an official visit.

PVice President of Araguay pledged to make justice, mercy and humility a part of his work and personal life after reading about Christlike Leadership in a ” Andrews Study Bible ”presented by Seventh-day Adventist Church President Ted NC Wilson.

Vice President Hugo Velázquez Moreno followed in the Spanish Bible as Wilson, accompanied by a delegation of a dozen religious leaders, gave an impromptu Bible study on Micah 6: 8 at a government office in the capital of the South American country, Asunción.

  • Adventist Church President Ted NC Wilson (center right) and Evandro C. Favero (center left), president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Paraguay, lead the dedication of a new hall emergency at the Asunción Adventist Sanatorium in Asunción, Paraguay, on April 22, 2019. [Photo: Courtesy of “Pastor Ted Wilson” Facebook Account]

  • Adventist Church President Ted NC Wilson and other Church leaders visit the Asunción Adventist Sanatorium in Asunción, Paraguay, April 22, 2019. [Photo: Courtesy of “Pastor Ted Wilson” Facebook Account]

  • Erton Köhler, president of the Adventist Church of South America, congratulates Paola Mora, who was won to Christ through small group evangelism, during her baptism in Asunción, Paraguary, April 22, 2019. [Photo: Courtesy of “Pastor Ted Wilson” Facebook Account]

The 30-minute meeting took place at the start of Wilson’s two-week whirlwind tour of six South American countries. Wilson, accompanied by a small group of church leaders, makes the pastoral journey to encourage and inspire church members across the continent.

Wilson, making his first trip to Paraguay, told Moreno about an Adventist school and an Adventist hospital he had visited in Asunción earlier today.

“We want to work together to help people,” he said.

Moreno expressed his appreciation for the church’s efforts to support the people of Paraguay.

“We believe Paraguay is privileged to have people like you leading people to Christ,” he said.

He smiled broadly when Wilson presented him with the black leather “Andrews Study Bible” and six beautifully bound books on topics such as family life and psychological health.

“You almost gave me a bookcase,” he chuckled.

Impromptu Bible study

Picking up the Bible, he asked Wilson to write a dedication note. Wilson agreed and asked if he could first share a favorite verse from his own Bible. The two men opened their Bibles until Micah 6: 8, and Wilson read, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, if not to do righteously, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God? (NKJV).

“As Vice President of Paraguay, you have many responsibilities to do what is right, to do what is right,” said Wilson, speaking in English as Magdiel Pérez Schulz, assistant to the President of the General Conference , interpreted in Spanish.

Explaining the verse line by line, Wilson said the components of good leadership included righteousness, mercy, and humility.

“When you do this, God will bless your authority and your service to the country,” he said.

Moreno was visibly moved by the Bible verse, and he promised to apply it to his work.

“I will keep the verse you read in my heart,” he said. “I will share it with the office staff because it is important to the people who run the country. It is a verse that you cannot forget.

Wilson prayed for the Vice President, for the President of Paraguay and for his people. At the end of the meeting, Moreno suggested that it was a divine date.

“I believe we are here at this gathering because it is the will of God,” he said.

A unique encounter

Wilson shared Bible advice and prayed with a number of world leaders, including the President of Uganda, the Prime Minister of Egypt and others in Vietnam and Iraq. But Paraguay’s reunion marked the first time he and a world leader had read open Bibles, Wilson later said.

“What an opportunity to meet a senior government official and see how touched his heart was just by reading the Word of God and our prayer for him, the President and the people of Paraguay,” Wilson said. “You can never say what a few words of spiritual encouragement will do for people at any level of life.”

Among those present at the meeting were Wilson’s wife, Nancy; Erton Köhler, president of the South American division; Evandro C. Favero, president of the Adventist Church of Paraguay; and Juliano Marcimiano de Almeida, treasurer of the Adventist Church of Paraguay.

A full day

Wilson’s full-day visit to Paraguay began on the morning of April 22 at the Adventist College in Asunción, a K-12 school with 425 students. A teenager was baptized, and Wilson urged the other students to put Jesus first as well.

“Everything is distracting people today,” he said, playing Pérez Schulz. “God calls us to put those things behind and move on to the things to come. Press towards the goal. The goal is Jesus.

At the hospital, Asunción Adventist Sanitarium, Wilson inaugurated a new emergency room and prayed for a new wing slated to open in August 2019. The addition will expand the hospital to 70 beds from 30 currently. The hospital opened in 1959 with the help of a Thirteenth Sabbath Offering.

At the hospital, Wilson called on hospital staff to keep their eyes on Jesus.

“Young workers, don’t get so carried away by the latest technology that you forget the master physician,” Wilson said in a meeting with hospital staff. “Older workers, thank you for your dedication. I have met two doctors who have worked here for 90 years combined. On behalf of the world church, we salute and honor you.

At the mission headquarters of the Union of Paraguayan Churches, Wilson urged local church leaders to remember the importance of the Sabbath, Christ’s work of intercession in the heavenly sanctuary, and to encourage 12,000 Adventists in Paraguay actively sharing Jesus with others as part of Total Member Involvement (TMI), a world church initiative.

“Seventh-day Adventists have been chosen by God as a special people, separate from the world,” Wilson said, reading Adventist Church co-founder Ellen White’s book, “Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 7, p. 138. “He made them his representatives and called them to be his ambassadors in the last work of salvation.

After an interview with Radio Nuevo Tiempo and lunch, Wilson and the other church leaders met the Vice President of Paraguay in his office. After a light dinner, Wilson preached to a crowd of 1,000 standing in a rented auditorium at the “Shopping Salemma” mall.

Five special baptisms

Five people were baptized during the evening program, a testament to the efforts of church members in full member involvement. A couple, Nancy González and Martín Espínola, gave their hearts to Jesus after listening to Radio Nuevo Tiempo. The Adventist radio station is responsible for 10 percent of Paraguay’s baptisms each year, church leaders said.

A young mother, Paola Mora, who was won to Christ through small group evangelism, and a younger sister and brother from Adventist College in Asunción were also baptized. Teachers at Asunción Adventist College formed seven small groups with the goal of bringing at least one child to Christ, and siblings, Tatiana Ortiz, 13, and her brother, Enzo, 10, were their first responders.

Wilson said in an interview that small groups are one of the key parts of church growth in the South American divide because they integrate personal fellowship with Bible instruction. Such an approach can be effective anywhere in the world, he said.

“When you work as Christ worked with people by the power of the Holy Spirit, you will see results as we have seen in Paraguay,” he said.

the original version of this story was posted on Adventist Mission news site.

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