On August 6, 2023, Bethlehem Chicago SDA held the second edition of our great annual event called Rock the Block. This community event aims to implement the vision of the Lake Region Conference’s strategic plan; one of the tenets of its mission is to find ways to CHANGE our evangelism method in meaningful, innovative, relevant, and creative ways to share the three angels’ messages.
The goal can be summarized in three “I” (implementation, integration, and involvement). First, implement the action plans of the Lake Region Conference as part of sharing the end-time gospel. Second, integrate the community to find and work with other stakeholders to know the available resources and for them to know about us. Third, involve members and, more specifically, youth and young adults.
The outcome was positive. Concerning evangelism, in partnership with the Adult Ministry Director, Pastor Darlene Thomas, we distributed biblical literature, prayed with visitors, and collected nearly 60 names for the follow-up and Bible study. We also distributed more than 120 school bags and other school supplies. For children, the fun was there; there were various games and activities, such as face painting, bouncy castle, and games to measure their muscle strength. We had a barber for the day to give the boys a fresh new look. And lunch was provided for as participants enjoyed our famous vegetarian burger.
For integration, we organized this event in partnership with the entrepreneur Charles Johnson who owns Exquisite Events, an event planning and décor business. The Haitian American Nurses Association (HANA) was there to work with our local health leader Myrlene Charles and to help our community with healthcare guidance and well-being.
The most impressive part was seeing the church members involved with our third goal in this initiative, more precisely, the young adults. We want to thank young people like Vanessa Lamarre, Joe Augustin, and Kosner Janvier, who were the initiators of this event and have worked from beginning to end to ensure a successful outcome. They distributed the invitations to the community, used social media to advertise the event, and ensured that every detail was addressed. Latita Thomas, one of the youth leaders, was pivotal in encouraging the youth team and helping them reach their goals.
Submitted by Pastor Allen Gilles
Bethlehem Chicago French and La Nouvelle Jerusalem French