May 18, 2020 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | Bernardo Medina/Inter-American Division News Staff
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Dominican Republic recently urged its members and citizens to join in fasting and prayer as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
According to Pastor Paulino Puello, president of the church in the Dominican Republic, government statistics (as of May 15) show that there are 11,700 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 470 deaths, including one church member who died last month.
Natanael Encarnacion, 55, of the Colirio Adventist Church in southeastern region of Santo Domingo, died after contracting COVID-19, reported Puello. “We understand Encarnacion died within a week of contracting the virus due to other health complications he was facing and church leaders have continued offering spiritual support to his family,” he said. Encarnacion is survived by his wife and three daughters.
There are 22 church members across the island who have contracted COVID-19 and are recovering, reported Puello. “It was important for us to come together in fasting and prayer to share hope and strength to the Dominican family,” explained Puello.
The church advertised its fasting and prayer initiative of Apr. 27-29, through major media outlets and back-to-back programming on the church’s Radio Amanecer that broadcasts to 90 percent of the island.
The three-day fasting and prayer campaign was themed ‘God is in Control’. The campaign encourages families to continue praying for the nation and the victims of the pandemic.
“It was wonderful to see among the leadership and the membership fasting and praying united during those three days,” said Puello. Encouraging messages and a prayer were transmitted at 6:40 a.m., at 12 noon, and at 6:40p.m. through Radio Amanecer in through a Zoom video conference via Facebook Live and YouTube as well. “We had all the leadership of the six conferences and all the institutions taking part in the national prayer initiative,” he added.