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Students plant tree seedlings to strengthen the environment



[Photo courtesy of the South American Division]

Students at Posse Adventist School in Goiás, Brazil, recently planted more than 300 Ipê tree seedlings on the school campus as part of the “Sustainable School” project, an initiative of the Adventist Education Network in Midwest Brazil. This special initiative emphasizes environmental preservation.

Data from the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) indicates that from August 2018 to July this year, 2625 square miles of the Amazon has been deforested. Another statistic presented by the Green Initiative website, using a CO2 calculator, showed carbon dioxide emissions in Brazil are currently equivalent to 7.85 tons per Brazilian every year.

The Ipê tree was chosen because it is effective in eliminating CO2 and because it is easy to plant. In addition to the Posse Adventist School, 36 other Adventist schools in the area are participating in “Sustainable School.” Their goal is to plant 30,000 seeds.
Goiás municipal Secretary of Environment, Cesar de Abreu, approved the initiative and was on hand for the event. Students received training from municipal forest engineer Tamiles Rodrigues as they planted the seedlings.

Stimulus to care

Principal of Posse Adventist School, Daniel Pereira, highlights this activity provides practical education and raises environmental awareness. “The students are excited and it was very nice to see their joy when it was time to put the seed in the ground,” he said. “They even asked me if they, too, will contribute to improving the world. From now on, we will make a schedule for all classes to follow the process of watering and growing the seed until it is the ideal size to plant in the final place.”

“From the first moment the project was announced, we put in our hearts the possibility of being part of and expanding into the city,” adds Pereira. “So we went after the partnerships, which were very accessible because it is a very relevant theme in the region and in the world.”

Ipê seedlings were distributed according to the number of students and collaborators at each school and planted the week prior to Tree Day, celebrated on September 21. With the planting of 30,000 seeds, it is estimated that 4,750 tons of carbon dioxide emissions will be eliminated from the environment.

Posse Adventist School hopes to continue this project, with the partnership of business man Ivon Valente, owner of Rádio Cultura FM, challenging them to plant more than 5,000 seedlings by the end of 2020.

This article was originally published on the South American Division’s Portuguese news site.

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Church member encourages 165 people to study Sabbath School Lesson




Helping people meet Jesus goes beyond an invitation to go to Sabbath morning worship services. It is necessary to bring our neighbors to a deep knowledge of the Word of God, so they may have the freedom that comes from the divine promises. For this reason, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Brazil developed the Mana Project. Its characteristic name takes us to the biblical story of the bread that God sent from Heaven to feed His people. Adventists understand the study of the Sabbath School Lesson should be prioritized as a daily spiritual food which is sent by God to draw us closer to Him.

Someone who understands the importance of this project is Lindalva Pereira, 47 years old. She is a director for one of the Adventist churches of the Northern district of Vila Nova, in São Luís, Maranhão state. Everyone who enters her church notices her at the back, seated at a small table in the church’s reception. Her goal: to take the Word of God to the largest possible number of people. “I heard that the Conference will donate a church for the district that signs up the most people for the Mana Project, and we have waited a really long time for a temple where we can worship.”

“This year, in the Caleb Mission Project (a project of young people who dedicate their school holidays to the mission of preaching the Gospel through social actions), we brought several people to baptism, and now we are leading a group that needs a church building to go to because our district church is too far from here,” Lindalva explained.

 “It was then that our district pastor, Wellington, called me and told me he had a challenge for me. I took it, and every Wednesday and Sunday, I put a table at the church’s front door and begin to promote the subscriptions to the Mana Project. If someone cannot go to church, I call them or go to their home,” said Lindalva, who has already gotten 165 subscriptions. “With God’s help, I intend to get more enrollments by the end of September and thus gain our long dreamed-of church.”

The Movement

In this same spirit, a great movement to foster the study of the Sabbath School Lesson was carried out on Sabbath August 31, in São Luís, Maranhão. The Sabbath School Congress gathered almost 1,100 people, including directors, secretaries and department elders, at the Recreational and Training Center of the Adventist Church in the region. The main goal, besides improving every Sabbath School Unit, was to motivate people to participate in Mana Project and to organize the project at their churches.

The program was honored by the presence of the director of Sabbath School Ministries for the Adventist Church in South America, Edison Choque. He delivered two seminars on the importance of having daily spiritual food. Ivanildo Cavalcante, Sabbath School leader for the Adventist headquarters in Pará, Amapá and Maranhão, was also present and encouraged everyone to get involved in the Mana Project. “In this project I found the marks of the commitment of the members to accomplish the Great Commission by means of Sabbath School,” said Ivanildo.

This Congress was a premiere of a greater movement that would take place on the following day. Hundreds of people were involved in the challenge of this Mana Effort, on Sunday, September 1st. During a whole day, Adventist churches in Maranhão organized special places to receive those who had signed up for the Lessons. In some of these places, lunch was offered. In others, the Pathfinder Club was invited to help with the enrollments. In this way, every congregation played its part in fostering the study of the Word. As a result, 5,847 subscriptions were made.

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ADRA president Jonathan Duffy steps down




[Photo: ADRA International]

Jonathan Duffy, president of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) International, has stepped down, effective immediately, from his role due to personal reasons.

“The ADRA Board has accepted Jonathan’s resignation and expresses appreciation for his service,” says Ella Simmons, board vice-chair and general vice president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “Jonathan served as president of ADRA since his election in 2013. He has led the network of more than 130 offices to adopt a new strategic framework that allowed ADRA to align with changing trends in the development and humanitarian sector.”

To ensure ADRA continues to progress and advance towards its goals, Michael Kruger, the current vice president of finance has been appointed as interim president. Mr. Kruger steps into the role with more than 30 years’ experience in senior management in both the commercial and non-profit sectors.

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