Is It Possible to Unite in Diversity?
OKLAHOMA CITY – From Mexico to Chile, we Spanish speakers are distributed across almost 20 countries, with the heritage that the Spanish motherland, Spain, left us with our language. We have representatives of all these nationalities in the United States and we form one of the most diverse groups in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Although our language is the same, we have vast differences in the meanings of the same words. Although we call ourselves Hispanic or Latino, our typical dishes are as different as our nationalist sentiments and cultural roots. Each of the Latin American countries is divided into regions, and each region features a competition of distinct foods, politics and native languages that so richly differentiate us from one another.
Belonging to a Hispanic church in the United States is its own world. It is an environment where diversity is constant and where the challenges are greater, because each one of us think that “ours” is what is best. How can we unite all these forces? How do we achieve Jesus’ purpose for us? “That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me, and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:21. One of the simplest ways in which the Holy Spirit can unite us through the mission.
At the Oklahoma Conference, we launched the “Mission of the 70” project. “After these things the Lord appointed other 70 also and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, wither he himself.” Luke 10:1 (KJV). We asked lay people to donate a week of work, to be sent as volunteers two-by-two throughout our conference territory to preach, visit and find people to study the Bible with; by the grace of God, many are involved. In the month of March, we completed the first training with the participation of our administrators from the Southwestern Union. In the month of April, we gave local training and distributed the field missionaries, with the participation of our dedicated pastors. In the month of May, we began to preach for four weeks in the different churches and areas with high Hispanic populations.
From now on our topic of conversation will no longer be tortillas, pupusas, baleadas, arepas, tamales or empanadas. Our topic will be to bring hope and encouragement to families, announce that the kingdom of Heaven has drawn near and help prepare our Hispanic families to meet the King.
“So, in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26, 28.
By the grace of God and by the power of the Holy Spirit, all the diversity that we Hispanics have we will convert it into unity, preaching, the mission and hope.
By Luis Prieto
Spanish Ministries Coordinator