I would be dead by now [if it weren’t for this Life Hope Center] because I tried to kill myself multiple times. I couldn’t think of the future. I just thought of the present and what was tormenting me and how I would kill myself.”
Deeply depressed, Consuelo abandoned her belief in God. She tried to start over, wanting to do something different with her life, so she enrolled in nursing school. But her past weighed on her wherever she went. After class one day, a professor noticed something was wrong and told her about the local Life Hope Center in the city of Talca.
Consuelo visited the center, where she met Michelly and Angie, Adventist volunteers with the One Year in Mission program. She enjoyed talking with them and decided to take a Portuguese course offered at the center. Over time, Consuelo became friends with the volunteers.
“I felt the presence of God in everyone at the center,” Consuelo said. “In what I saw, how they acted, what they said, and everything they did.”
Each time Consuelo returned to the center, she felt as if her deep wounds were being healed.
“They welcomed me with open arms,” she added. “I found another family here, another home here.”
The volunteers began talking to Consuelo about God, and it was the first time in a while Consuelo felt ready to talk about spiritual topics. She asked for a Bible study, in which she gradually developed a new understanding of and relationship with God.
“It helped me in every way to be here,” Consuelo said. “I saw the love of God, the grace of God that I hadn’t seen anywhere else. I found myself growing closer and closer to God, believing in Him, and having more faith in Him.”
As a result, Consuelo decided to be baptized and join the Seventh-day Adventist Church. She now volunteers her time at the center, doing medical consultations for free.
Like Consuelo, there are many who are looking for community and love. But most people are too suspicious of religion to seek these things in a traditional church.
“Some of the people who come here may be a little distrustful because they don’t really know what we will ask for afterward,” says Angie. “But when they see a different environment, where there is only empathy, love, and friendship, they completely change their vision. They are very grateful and bring more people to participate.”
In order to understand the needs of the community, center staff conducted a survey. As a result, the center now runs various classes and activities including Portuguese and English lessons, healthy cooking demonstrations, crafts, and a variety of exercise classes.
“We’ve seen the effect of Christ’s method on people’s lives because we see a community today open to the Adventist Church that was not easy to reach in the past,” says Michelly. “Because when you have your religion, you guard your world, and you don’t want anyone to invade your life. The centers are breaking down barriers.”
Through genuine care for the people, this center has touched the hearts of many in the community. The results have exceeded the volunteers’ expectations.
“We’ve seen how this ministry isn’t just good for the community; it’s also good for the churches. . . . It’s reviving the Adventist members,” says Angie.
Please pray for Life Hope Centers like this one. Pray that through friendship and compassion, people will see a glimpse of Jesus’ love. Thank you for helping us transform lives through your gifts to Global Mission projects like these!
Adventist Mission supports wholistic mission to the cities. This includes a rapidly growing number of Life Hope Centers (urban centers of influence), which serve as platforms for putting Christ’s method of ministry into practice. The centers provide an ideal opportunity for Total Member Involvement in outreach that suits each person’s spiritual gifts and passions. To learn more about Life Hope Centers, please visit MissionToTheCities.org.
To watch more videos about Life Hope Centers, visit m360.tv/s2019.