More than 1,500 pairs of hands and feet represented Jesus in Providence, Rhode Island, blessing others and showing compassion. Volunteers from around the Atlantic Union territory converged on the city, October 18 and 19, to participate in compassion projects at more than 30 different sites. Volunteers shared food, clothing, water, and care packages; they packed meals; visited nursing homes; distributed spiritual literature, including Steps to Christ and The Great Controversy in English and Spanish; prepared and served hot meals; sewed and distributed blankets; assisted with the Greater New York Conference Adventist Community Services Showers of Blessing shower van; and much more.
The compassion weekend began on Friday evening with a consecration service at the Smith Misión Spanish church that included praise and worship, multiple prayer sessions for the city of Providence, and a message from David Dennis, Southern New England Conference (SNEC) president. SNEC Youth Ministries associate director, Daniel Velez, offered a prayer of consecration in preparation for the weekend activities.
Early the next morning, volunteers took their places at the various locations around the city to minister to residents of Providence and the homeless community. Following the compassion projects, volunteers gathered at the Providence Spanish church to participate in a parade down Broad Street. The parade ended at Roger Williams Park, where they concluded by forming a heart shape to memorialize the spirit of compassion.
Chief of police Colonel Hugh T. Clements, representing Providence’s mayor Jorge Elorza, was on hand for the event. He affirmed the efforts of the group by noting that there is so much hate, but love will always conquer hate and goodwill always conquer evil.
Other church leaders who participated in the compassion event included Daniel Honoré, Northeastern Conference (NEC) president, and Claudio Gomez, New York Conference (NYC) executive secretary. Pastors from Rhode Island who promoted the program and assisted in strategizing and providing leadership throughout the weekend include Frantzcel Aguy, Samuel Appiah, Oreste Natera, Tulip Terrero, and Philip Wesley.
“The best of humanity was seen in giving food, warm clothing, and adult personal hygiene kits,” said Lisa Quailey, Queens Faith Temple church member. “Prayers were offered and contact cards were exchanged for follow-up and [served] as invitations to our houses of worship throughout Providence.”
Atlantic Union Conference Medical Cadet Corps (MCC) members were on hand throughout the weekend to assist with logistics, provide security, maintain traffic flow, greet volunteers, and lend a hand with setup and cleanup. The Atlantic Union Adventist Youth Ministries department honored MCC members from the Northeastern and Southern New England conferences for their work through the years at the various compassion rallies by presenting them with the Jose Cortes, Jr., Compassion Award. Union Springs Academy, Nancy Mathieu from NEC, and Maria and Eddy Almonte from SNEC—all ardent compassion advocates—also received awards. Other individuals were presented with the Atlantic Union Adventist Youth Ministries Compassion Crystal Award.
“[Creating a] heart as a culminating feature of the Compassion Rally depicted that, as we come together in unity, God can reveal His heart of love and mercy through us,” said David McKenzie, Atlantic Union Conference Adventist Youth Ministries director.
View Compassion Rally photos on Facebook at: bit.ly/2NAi3gt