Paraguay’s vice president takes a Bible verse to heart

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PThe vice 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 Bible in Spanish as Wilson, accompanied by a delegation of a dozen church leaders, gave an impromptu Bible study on Micah 6:8 at a government office in the capital of the South American country, Asunción.

The 30-minute encounter came 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 trip to encourage and inspire church members across the continent.

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

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

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

“We think 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 including family life and mental health.

“You almost gave me a library,” he laughs.

Impromptu Bible Study

Picking up the Bible, he asked Wilson to write a dedication note. Wilson agreed and asked if he could share a favorite verse from his own Bible first. Both men opened their Bibles to Micah 6:8, and Wilson read, “He has shown thee, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, if not to act justly, 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 justly,” said Wilson, speaking in English as Magdiel Pérez Schulz, Assistant to the President of the Conference. general, interpreted in Spanish.

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

“When you do that, 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 staff in the office because it is important for 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 appointment.

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

A unique encounter

Wilson shared biblical advice and prayed with a number of world leaders, including Uganda’s president, Egypt’s prime minister and others in Vietnam and Iraq. But the meeting in Paraguay marked the first time he and a world leader read open Bibles, Wilson said later.

“What an opportunity to meet a senior government official and see how his heart was touched by just reading the Word of God and our prayer for him, the President and the people of Paraguay,” Wilson said. “You can never tell what a few words of spiritual encouragement will bring to people on 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 in Paraguay; and Juliano Marcimiano de Almeida, treasurer of the Adventist Church in Paraguay.

A full day

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

“Everything distracts people today,” he said as Pérez Schulz performed. “God calls us to forget those things behind and reach for the things to come. Press towards the goal. The goal is Jesus.

At the hospital, Asunción Adventist Sanitarium, Wilson broke ground on a new emergency room and prayed for a new wing slated to open in August 2019. This addition will expand the hospital to 70 beds from the current 30 beds . 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 caught up in the latest technology that you forget about the Master Physician,” Wilson said during a meeting with hospital staff. “Older workers, thank you for your dedication. I met two doctors who worked here for 90 years. On behalf of the global church, we salute and honor you.

At the mission headquarters of the Union of Churches of Paraguay, Wilson urged local church leaders to remember the importance of the Sabbath, Christ’s intercessory work in the heavenly sanctuary, and to encourage the 12 000 Adventists in Paraguay to actively share Jesus with others as part of Total Member Involvement (TMI), a global 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 with the Vice President of Paraguay in his office. After a light supper, Wilson preached to a standing crowd of 1,000 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 total 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 Asunción Adventist College, 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 elements of church growth in the South American Division because they integrate personal fellowship with biblical instruction. Such an approach can be effective anywhere in the world, he said.

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

the original version of this story was published on the Adventist Mission news sites.

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