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Hundreds of Seventh-day Adventists recently gathered in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to pray for the escalating violence, crime and poverty affecting the nation. Church leaders spoke of the insecurity that is most concerning to Dominicans, in addition to the delinquency, unemployment and family violence during a day filled with prayer, music, study of the Bible, and community service on July 7, at the Balon Mano Pavillion at the Parque del Este.
“We are here today, not only to pray for the divine presence in our lives but also for every Dominican family, for our governors and authorities, so that together as a people we can consecrate ourselves to the Lord and receive the true change inside,” said Pastor Paulino Puello, president of the church in the Dominican Republic.
During the special prayer program, newly elected church leaders publicly committed to serve the community through its institutions and churches. Church members in attendance gathered in groups of seven during the “With you 7” (or Contigo 7) prayer activity, where members were invited to divide in groups of seven to pray for one another and the nation, to make a prayer life an integral part of their lives.
“It is only through the divine presence in the human heart can change behavior,” said Puello, who was elected as the new church president on the island in March. “The lack of God in the life of man can only bring misery.”
Local church leaders were joined by Inter-American Division administrators as they prayed for the country and the new leadership officially installed to lead the church in the Dominican Republic. As part of the day’s activities, the church offered a musical concert and free health screenings to more than 4,000 individuals in the community.
Church leaders pledged to continue providing assistance and impacting the community in a positive way through its various institutions, including Dominican Adventist University, 66 primary and secondary schools, hospital and medical center, its Radio Amanecer stations covering the island, its Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) projects across the island.
The event was covered by the local and national media.
There are more than 305,000 Seventh-day Adventists worshiping in 1,310 churches and congregations.