Adventists Meet Nation’s President
MEETING: Dominican Republic president Leonel Fernandez Reina, second from left, met with Adventist Church leaders at the National Palace on November 22 to learn about the church’s work in the nation and around the world. From left, Moises Javier, treasurer for the church in the country; Cesario Acevedo, the region’s church president; and Silvestre Gonzalez, the church’s executive secretary for the region.op Seventh-day Adventist leaders recently met with the Dominican Republic’s president, Leonel Fernandez Reina, to discuss the church’s work on the island and worldwide. The one-hour private meeting at the National Palace was the first such meeting between national leaders and a non-Roman Catholic religious organization, Adventist leaders said.
“We had the opportunity to meet with President Fernandez and tell him about the Adventist Church’s work in educating youth, strengthening families, serving the community, as well as its medical work,” said Silvestre Gonzalez, executive secretary for the church in the Caribbean nation of more than 9 million, which occupies one half of the island of Hispaniola. Haiti is its next-door neighbor on the island.
President Fernandez thanked the nine church leaders for the meeting. “We are so busy in our work that sometimes we fail to see that there are valuable groups like you that can do so much for society, for the benefit of others,” he said.
Cesario Acevedo, president of the church in the Dominican Republic, gave words of encouragement to Fernandez and offered a prayer for the leader and his government.
The Adventist Church, with its more than 238,000 members in the Dominican Republic, operates 92 elementary and secondary schools, one university, six radio stations, and one hospital.
—Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division, with Adventist News Network.