Adventist young people rake debris and beautify public areas in the southern part of Chiapas, Mexico, on Mar. 13, 2022. The group is part of more than 15,000 young people who took to the streets in their cities, communities, parks and public places, as part of the church “Clean your City” initiative one week ahead of the Adventist world church’s Global Youth Day. [Photo: Chiapas Mexican Union]

March 17, 2022 | Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico | Uriel Castellanos and Inter-American Division News

A week ahead of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Global Youth Day, more than 15,000 Seventh-day Adventist in Chiapas, Mexico, took to the streets, parks, and public spaces on Mar. 13, 2022, to clean up and inspire others to join their efforts.

From very early on, many local church youth clubs wore their adventurer, pathfinder, master guide scarfs, or with their “The Final Hope” themed T-shirts, young people swept, cleared and gathered trash.

Young people in Motozintla, in south Chiapas, load up bags of trash to a truck provided by the local authorities. [Photo: Chiapas Mexican Union]

The church’s state-wide initiative, coined as “Clean your City,” was created three years ago by youth ministries in Chiapas to motivate young and old to care for their environment as God’s stewards, said Pastor Daniel Torreblanca, youth ministries director for the church in Chiapas.

“Because of the pandemic, the young people had not been able to freely clean the streets of Tuxtla Gutiérrez as intended but this year we were able to motivate young people to expand to cleaning their cities and communities,” said Torreblanca.

“We were so pleased to see children and young people moving about and cleaning because they are clear in their role of being good stewards,” explained Torreblanca.  In addition, the initiative is teaching young people that taking part in the activity is part of sending a message about creation, a quiet and effective sermon, he added.

With broom in hand, young people clean up at the central park in El Limar, in the northern part of Chiapas. [Photo: Chiapas Mexican Union]

In Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the capital city, close to 1,500 young people cleaned the riverbed around the Sabinal River, adding to the municipal authority efforts in their campaign to restore a drainage area that crosses the city and was previously used as a sewage canal.

Municipal President of Tuxtla Gutiérrez Carlos Morales met with youth volunteers to congratulate them for their spirit of service and thanked the church for making the world better.

Throughout Chiapas, municipal leaders visited young people where they were serving to congratulate them.

Young people wave their hand while holding a bag of trash they have colected  in Comitán Chiapas.[Photo: Chiapas Mexican Union]

Pastor Ignacio Navarro, president of the church in Chiapas, expressed how proud he was of the passion and commitment of so many children and young people during the clean-up. “This is simply a demonstration that the church cares for society and presents Jesus in our cities and communities through the practical message of the gospel,” said Navarro.

Many onlookers joined the young people during the clean-up activity, church leaders said. The event was covered by television and print media.

“I’m very glad to see so many children involved in cleaning up, to see that at such young age they have the motivation on behalf of the Adventist Church for caring for the environment,” said Elida García, a resident from Huixtla in the southern part of the state.

A group of young people pose for a photo after cleaning up the Sabinal River area in Tuxtla Gutiérrez. [Photo: Chiapas Mexican Union}

The “Clean your City” initiative was organized within the national impact campaign led by the church in Mexico. The campaign, coined as “The Final Hope”, calls for three million missionary books titled The Final Hope  by Clifford Goldstein, to be distributed. More than 800,000 Adventist in Mexico will distribute the books on Global Youth Day on Mar. 19, 2022.

To learn more about the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Chiapas, Mexico, one of five major church regions in Mexico, visit umch.org.mx

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