News Briefs from ADRA, Brazil, Croatia, North American Division.
Founder of Breath of Life Ministries Passes Away
Walter Eugene Arties III, a Seventh-day Adventist singer and pastor known as the founder of Breath of Life Television Ministries, died from an acute neurological condition on June 26, 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. He was born on November 12, 1941, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and at his passing was 80.
In 1974, Arties was instrumental in the founding of Breath of Life Television Ministries in Newbury Park, California, U.S. The ministry was aimed at an African American audience, then estimated as the most populous U.S. minority, with 25 million.
Taking Evangelism to the Text Level
For six years, Eliéde Rodrigues has dedicated her first hours of the day to sending messages to more than 200 people on various broadcast lists she created to share hope and faith.
The first transmission list, created in 2017, included children, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers, and acquaintances. It soon reached a total of 60 people. Today, one of the lists has 180 people.
In addition to the messages of “Good Morning, Woman,” “Revived,” and “Meditation of the Day,” Eliéde also has a special group of brothers who have recently arrived at the Adventist Church and receive the Sabbath School lesson from her daily. Another group receives different messages daily—a powerful little phrase: “‘I pray for you!’ This one, I send to 40 people, who are brothers that Jesus gave me: they are pastors, leaders, and friends who have an agreement to pray for each other until eternity,” said Eliéde.
Music to Their Ears
The Música Esperança project is providing free music lessons for 40 children in the central region of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The initiative began when musician and teacher Gaby Antunes attended, virtually, a service at the Adventist church in Barra da Tijuca. The sermon inspired her to start social work. A resident of New Mexico, United States, Antunes used the Vocello Music Studio, owned by the teacher, to donate 40 violins and 20 ukuleles to start classes. Antunes’ other siblings also volunteer: Ênio, Nema, Marly and Elsaby. Her brothers are internationally renowned and work with great musicians and artists in Brazil and abroad. One class was presented by scientist Pnina Miller, who taught lessons pertaining to earthquakes and had the children make a seismograph.
ADRA Helps 60,000 Venezuelan Refugees in Brazil
In recent years, Venezuela has undergone the largest emigration in its history. Many felt forced to leave their country and cross the border into Brazil due to economic challenges.
Across northern Brazil, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is helping newcomers from Venezuela and other countries to resettle and start a new life in their adoptive country. Currently, about 60,000 people are being supported by an ADRA initiative, leaders reported.
Virtual Group Provides Real Support
The Montgomery First Seventh-day Adventist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, United States, has suffered the loss of several church members in the past year. “Seeing so many people that were mourning, seemingly alone, and uncertain of what to do with their grief was difficult,” Cynthia Bush, Grief Ministry leader for Montgomery First, said.
She felt inspired to start virtual grief-support group meetings centered around the services of GriefShare to help. Bush said the group started meeting in November 2021 on Sunday mornings at 8:00 a.m. Central time via Zoom videoconference. Local church pastor Dan Thompson explained, “This Grief Ministry reaches many, both within our fellowship and others who need comfort from wherever they are. The virtual format allows us to reach a much wider community, truly.”
Do Good, Look Good
This year, during the first in-person event for the Adventist Church in Croatia, Trans-European Division women’s ministries director Karen Holford said that kind people have a double portion of the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone in their bodies. “It is a hormone that slows down the aging process,” she said. Kind people also show 23 percent less of the stress hormone cortisol, she added.
This Is the Way to Do VBS
The College Church of Seventh-day Adventist in Lancaster, Massachusetts, U.S. is hosting Jasper Canyon Vacation Bible School (VBS) June 27 to July 1 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Vegan Nest Cafe, owned by Victor and Nicole Broushet, with a restaurant on High Street in Clinton, will be providing free dinner to attending families and a cozy parents lounge for those who want to stay for the duration of the program to relax and connect. For the VBS, children will have access to a rock climbing wall, fossils, gemstones, skits, stories, crafts, games, and more.
(Photo: Walter Eugene Arties III, a Seventh-day Adventist singer and pastor known as the founder of Breath of Life Television Ministries, died on June 26, 2022. The ministry was aimed at an African American audience. Photo via North American Division website.)