Literature evangelists across Seventh-day Adventist Churches in the Inter-American Division (IAD) were celebrated and honored during a live online program held on Literature Evangelist Day, on Apr. 15, 2023. The event, which was hosted from Puebla, Mexico, highlighted and reaffirmed the important work of literature evangelists in spreading the message of the gospel. The program also featured spiritual messages and provided publications and resources.
“When we look back at our history in the Inter-American Division, we can see that almost all of our 42 countries and islands were introduced to the Adventist message through the special work of literature evangelists through many books and publications that made it to many ports more than 100 years ago,” said Pastor Elie Henry, president of the church in the IAD. “What would we be like if we did not have the blessing of publications, without the work of literature evangelists and their passion to spread the Bible truths in our territory?”Pastor Henry thanked the more than 4,200 literature evangelists in the IAD for their passion and commitment to working in the great cities, businesses, communities, and homes so that people can learn about the gospel and be ready for Jesus’ Second Coming.
“You are doing a very important work as literature evangelists. Thank you or your dedication to this very special ministry,” said Pastor Henry. “Just like God used publications to penetrate the northern part of South America, the entire Caribbean territory, Central America and Mexico, God wants to use this ministry of literature evangelism to finish the work before His soon coming.”Pastor Henry encouraged literature evangelists to continue preaching Christ. “Keep that specific objective to preach about Jesus Christ in your ministry as literature evangelist.”
The special day was important to be set aside to honor literature evangelists throughout the territory for the first time in decades, said Pastor Isaias Espinoza, publishing ministries director of the IAD and main organizer of the live event. The official day was voted by the IAD Executive Committee in May of 2022.
“Literature evangelists are our ‘messengers of hope’ and among the first to be at the forefront of battle with people who are mostly unknown to the church, and are the first to sow the message of truth through publications,” said Espinoza. “We need to recognize that they are special agents that carry out the mission, help others understand what they do and invite others to become literature evangelists as well.”During his spiritual message, General Conference Publishing Ministries Director Pastor Almir Marroni encouraged literature evangelists to understand their purpose which would help them align their priorities in carrying out the mission even amid problems and challenges that come their way.
“We are ambassadors on earth in this world which is dominated by an enemy, but we represent a God of justice, of peace, of love and hope, to make a difference in the lives of so many people,” said Marroni. “What a wonderful privilege we have.” Books have a temporal function, he said, “but the influence of a literature evangelist will last for eternity.”Literature evangelists received certificates for their outstanding service, and special medals were granted to the literature evangelists with the most years of service, most sales in 2022 and most persons baptized through their ministry.
Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union, the host union headquartered in Puebla, granted a medal to Epitacio Garcia Gonzalez for his 37 years of service in literature evangelism. Marcos Martinez Martinez was also honored for purchasing more than US $24,000 in books to sell in 2022. Rosa Laureano Ramírez also received a medal for leading 400 to accept the message of the gospel in her service as a literature evangelist.Both IAD publishing houses GEMA Editors and IADPA shared current resources available for literature evangelists. The program also highlighted the history of literature evangelism in the Adventist church, the different categories of literature evangelists that the church currently manages and opportunities for church members to become literature evangelists.
For Hector Chable of Quintana Roo in the southeastern Mexico, working as a literature evangelist for more than 10 years has taught him many lessons even now that he has become an associate director leading other literature evangelists under him. Letting God work on the hearts of people to be open to accepting the message is something he has seen time and time again. “When we visit someone, we don’t look at him or her as a client but as a soul for the Kigndom of heaven,” said Chable. “We connect with them in offices, on the streets, in taxis, and everywhere we can to share literature, pray with them and that way do our part in mission.”Heidi Maldonado, a native of Guatemala, who is close to graduating as a nutritionist, says she worked four summers and four winters as a student literature evangelist to pay for her studies at Montemorelos University. Seeing the need that so many people have to improve their health drove her to study more about health and nutrition and share that knowledge as she sold books on the subject. “Being a literature evangelist has drawn me closer to God Who teaches me to share the gospel with others,” said Maldonado. She encourages others: “When we place our hands and life to God, He will open doors and will prepare and train you for his mission.” Themed “Messengers of Hope,” the event was “a unique opportunity to bring literature evangelists so they can complement and help each other in mission,” said Espinoza. “You are the channels of light and a source of hope everywhere you go. Where a public evangelistic campaign, or a neighborhood campaign or a bible study is not possible, a book can do the work of salvation and hope,” Espinoza said. “Let literature evangelism transform your life and the life of others around you.”
To view Inter-America’s Literature Evangelist Day online program, click: