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ADRA truck in the city of Brumadinho, in 2019. 

Photo courtesy of Sara Dornelis, accessed on June 18, 2020, https://bit.ly/3d85Tos.

ADRA Brazil

By Renato Ferreira Silva

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Renato Ferreira Silva

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International (ADRA) is a global humanitarian organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA). This church agency is a private, non-governmental and non-profit organization with assistance, charitable and philanthropic objectives, being certified in Brazil as an Organização da Sociedade Civil de Interesse Público (Civil Society Organization of Public Interest) (OSCIP). ADRA Brazil headquarters is located in the South American Division (SAD) headquarters, on L3 South Ave., Grandes Áreas Sul (South Area) (SGAS) Sector, Block 611, Complex D, Part C, South Wing, Zip Code 70200-710, Brasilia, Distrito Federal, Brazil.1

ADRA is present in 130 countries, including Brazil, where there are 13 regional headquarters. From these headquarters the population is served in 13 states, as follows: Amazonas, on Ministro João Gonçalves de Araújo Ave., 10, Distrito Industrial neighborhood, in the city of Manaus; Bahia, on Ismar R. Prates St, 819, Buraquinho neighborhood, in the municipality of Lauro de Freitas; Espírito Santo, on Coruja St, 249, São Conrado neighborhood, in the city of Cariacica; Minas Gerais, on Portugal Ave., 21, Santa Amélia neighborhood, Belo Horizonte; Rio Grande do Norte, Virginópolis St, 92, Nova Parnamirim neighborhood, in the municipality of Parnamirim; and in Rio Grande do Sul, on Caí Ave., 82, Cristal neighborhood, Porto Alegre.2

There are also ADRA headquarters in the state of Paraná, on Senador Salgado Filho Ave., 5,280, Uberaba neighborhood, in the city of Curitiba; Pará, Mário Covas Highway, 400, Coqueiro neighborhood, in Ananindeua; Rio de Janeiro, Matoso St, 37, Praça da Bandeira, Rio de Janeiro; Rondônia, on José Vieira Caúla Ave., 3932, neighborhood Agenor de Carvalho, Porto Velho; Roraima, on Mário Homem de Melo Ave., 1141, Mecejana neighborhood, Boa Vista; São Paulo, on Magdalena Sanseverino Grosso Ave., 850, Jardim Rezek II neighborhood, in the municipality of Artur Nogueira; and at last, in the Federal District, Southwest Sector 7/8 02, Brasília.3

ADRA’s mission is to work with people in situations of poverty and distress, unable to provide means to meet basic needs, always aiming a positive and fair change, with the goal of improving the living conditions of the population. The agency works in the execution of community development and humanitarian assistance projects without distinction of political, racial, religious origin, age, sex, or ethnic. In addition to emergency relief, its actions are developed in nine areas: (1) water, sanitation, and hygiene; (2) emergency response and management; (3) promotion of judicial assistance; (4) community health; (5) nutrition and hunger reduction; (6) guaranteeing fundamental rights, (7) support for children in vulnerable situation; (8) employment and income generation; and (9) women valorization.4

Organization

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International (ADRA) has its origins in the 1940s, due to solidarity actions of some American churches that sought to meet the needs of people who lived in their surroundings. In 1956 the Adventist Church created the Seventh-day Adventist Welfare Service, SAWS.5 This agency was the institutional awakening of the SDA in an attempt to impact the world through social assistance mobilizations, because at that time the world population was experiencing the bitter taste left by the great world wars.6 In 1958, two years after its creation, SAWS had already sent aid to 22 countries and invested a total amount of US $485,000.7

Four years later (1962), the number of countries assisted by SAWS reached 29, and donations increased to US $2.3 million. In the 1970s the organization started new types of actions, expanding its humanitarian mission to programs directed to long-term development. In 1973 the organization’s name changed from Seventh-day Adventist Welfare Services to Seventh-day Adventist World Services, to express the worldwide reach of the actions carried out.8 Since 1983 SAWS began to provide services in Brazilian soil. The state of Santa Catarina had gone through a natural catastrophe, a flood that affected about two hundred fifty thousand people. As a result of this assistance, the Adventist relief work was soon recognized by the government.9

In the same year one of the global church leaders of the Philanthropic Service for Institutions, Milton Murray, was passing through Brazil. During his visit he advised Brazilian institutions and fields in this segment. One of the goals of this trip, in addition to seeking bigger resources for denominational organizations, was to promote the SAWS work.10 In October 198311 SAWS went through another nomenclature change, coming to be called ADRA.12 At that time the agency was responsible for philanthropy and development projects with the disaster victims for the whole world. In addition, it had the support of companies, banks, and industries. The ADRA project, already implemented in three divisions at that time, impressed the South American Division (SAD) leaders. In this context initiatives were taken and, in 1984, ADRA officially arrived in Brazil, with Pastor Werner Mayr as its first leader.13

History

In the year of its arrival in the country, ADRA responded to another disaster that happened in the state of Santa Catarina. The region was still recovering from the great floods of the previous year when it was hit by another flood. The Adventist Agency promoted a fundraising to help victims immediately, and the church made itself available to participate in aid operations. Three doctors and a nurse were sent from the Hospital Adventista Silvestre (Silvestre Adventist Hospital) (HAS) and the Hospital Adventista de Sao Paulo (Sao Paulo Adventist Hospital) (HASP) to help the wounded and assist the flagellated. The SDA agency, committed to help, established an SOS so that people from all over Brazil could send donations for the reestablishment of the state and help more than four million people.14

In February 1985 the SAD promoted an ADRA council in Chile. Forty representatives of the countries comprised by the administrative headquarters participated in the event, in order to update themselves regarding the subject of assistance services. At this meeting they learned about the details of planning, implementation, and valorization processes of ADRA projects, as well as performing a dynamic investigation with the goal of preparing development and aid programs. At last methods to gain the participation of the Adventist community in this mission were presented.15 In this initial period, the worldwide ADRA supported ADRA Brazil. In 1985, for example, 2,160 bales of clothes and 3,188 schoolbooks were donated to help flood victims in the state of Ceará. In addition, US $20,000 were raised in partnership with the EZE organization, an evangelical philanthropic institution of Germany, to help victims in the state.16

In the following year, ADRA Brazil started to carry out activities with its own resources. In June 1986 the Agency established an Assistance Center in the city of Caldas Novas, state of Goiás, to provide services for the community.17 Within August 8 and 9, in the city of Goiânia, Goiás, the ADRA Congress took place, in which ADRA, the SAD, and the União Central Brasileira (Central Brazil Union) (UCB) leaders and other representatives were present. During the congress the need to use more assistance mechanisms provided by ADRA and the development of more health programs in partnership with the agency were expressed. In addition, presentations were made about diverse methods of joint action with other sectors.18

Soon after, at the turn of the year of 1986, ADRA raised financial resources for the construction of a Social Assistance Center in the state of Goiás, reaching the amount of around US $52, 000 for the construction.19 That year the agency also managed to donate 20,000 Bibles to be distributed in the União Norte Brasileira (North Brazil Union Mission Conference) (UNB) territory. The action’s goal was to strengthen the evangelistic project carried out in the region that had the goal of reaching 13,200 new converts through the study of the book of Revelation.20 In the mid-1987, ADRA, along with other institutions, participated in a donation of 10,000 schoolbooks to the Instituto Adventista de Ensino (Brazil College) (IAE), in São Paulo (present Centro Universitário Adventista de São Paulo (Brazil Adventist University), São Paulo campus--UNASP- SP.21 Near the end of this year, the agency donated 250 tons of clothing, medicines, and food for the needy population in the states of Ceará, Piauí, and Maranhão, which was going through an intense drought period at that time.22

The agency continued to grow and develop in the social humanitarian field. In 1987 the implementation of service stations called Centro Adventista de Desenvolvimento Comunitário (Adventist Centers of Community Development (CADEC)) began, whose services allowed the use of the talent of thousands of volunteers offering occupational alternatives, in addition to providing assistance in various social segments. This agency, as ADRA’s partner, had the goal of motivating a more committed participation from the church members in society, and also to operate as an instrument of inclusion, since they were established as a priority in the context of global mission.23

In early 1988 a strong storm hit the city of Rio de Janeiro. The slums were the most affected areas by the incident, which demolished people’s houses and belongings. In the disaster dozens of people died, and thousands were left homeless and injured. ADRA promptly showed up to help and, until February 26, had already mobilized about two thousand four hundred seventy-two volunteers, a contingent mostly comprised by young people, doctors, and nurses. These rescued and treated many victims in a clinic near the accident area. It also provided 8,710 hours of assistance to the 12,226 disaster victims, and the equivalent of US $435,000 was spent. Seven tons of clothing, five tons of food, and more than US $20,000 in cash were distributed.24

While the numbers are impressive, the most striking was the “spirit of resignation, dedication, and sacrifice demonstrated by these heroes who helped to reduce the effects of the unexpected tragedy.”25 ADRA International also hurried to provide assistance and played a substantial role during this disaster. With the help offered by agencies of the USA, Germany, Sweden, England, and others, around three thousand sheets, two thousand blankets, 1,750 doses of medicine, and more than two hundred thousand pills, with the capacity to purify 150,000 liters of water, were sent to Rio de Janeiro. There was also a cash donation, in the amount of US $25,000, which added to the additional US $25,000 collected by ADRA in Brazil, that made assistance possible.

Meanwhile, in the city of Rio Branco, Acre, in the north of Brazil, a torrential rain caused the volume of the Acre River to increase. The phenomenon provoked many points of flooding in this area, considered the largest in local history so far. ADRA worked in partnership with the Secretaria de Saúde do Estado (State Health Department), managing to help 70 percent of those victims. Around four thousand four hundred forty-two people volunteered. There was a health team, led by three doctors from the Hospital Adventista de Belém (Belem Adventist Hospital), specialized in fighting epidemics. The agency also distributed food, clothing, medicines, and through donations from ADRA International, domestic materials were sent. A mobile clinic that performed care in the vicinities was later donated to the local community. The then governor of Acre, after all assistance, acknowledged the efficiency of the efforts and thanked the Adventists.26

Also during this period ADRA’s mobile clinics were spread over many regions in Brazil. In 1989 one of these units’ team assisted a woman in the city of Cascavel, in the state of Paraná. She had been abandoned by her husband, had no money or documents, and was suffering from the pemphigus disease. The ADRA office was contacted and requested the Paraná state agencies to issue new documents for the woman. In addition, the agency also arranged a sponsorship so that she could be directed to a medical institution specialized in the treatment of her disease. After the legal procedures were completed, the woman was sent to the Hospital Adventista do Pênfigo (Penfigo Adventist Hospital), in the city of Campo Grande, state of Mato Grosso do Sul, to be hospitalized and submitted to the disease treatment.27

In September 1990 ADRA sponsored the construction of houses for homeless people in the municipality of Camaragibe, metropolitan region of the city of Recife, state of Pernambuco. The population had been hit by a thunderstorm in July and August. In less than sixty days, 14 families had been benefited with the houses.28 Meanwhile, still in September, in the state of Paraná, authorities and representatives of the agency established the goals for a renovation later made in the Lar de Meninos do Xaxim (Xaxim Boys Home) and Hospital Almirante Tamandaré (Almirante Tamandaré Hospital), both institutions located in the capital, Curitiba.29

Further south, in Santa Catarina, storms had hit the region of Grande Florianópolis (Grand Florianópolis), the capital, in the month of November. As a result of this catastrophe, around ten thousand people became homeless, including many Adventist members. With the intention of meeting this demand, ADRA, in contact with the Civil Defense, mobilized the distribution of 250 bales of clothes. In addition, six collection posts established in many churches in the city, received the donation of food and other objects.30 Again in Curitiba, in the following year (1991), fulfilling the motto “Na necessidade, presente” (In present need), ADRA provided assistance to the victims of a violent tornado that reached the suburban area of the capital of Paraná.31

Within 1991 and 1992, ADRA of South America had already benefited several institutions. It built and equipped several CADECs, expanded schools, boarding schools, clinics, and hospitals, and even collaborated with broadcasters, achieving an efficient presence and performance throughout the territory assisted by the SAD. In Brazil some projects were being established in partnership with the agency’s representation in the country, which made it possible to execute them in the following years. As an example of this joint effort and exercise, the “Amazônia 2000” (Amazon 2000) program was created.32 The project had the purpose of expanding and diversifying the assistance and development work carried out by the launches with the coastal communities of the Amazon region. The goal was to expand the integration of river assistance launches at the service of the Hospital Adventista de Manaus (Manaus Adventist Hospital). This integration made possible an articulation with the Instituto Adventista Agroindustrial (Adventist Agricultural-Industrial Academy) (IAAI), a boarding school located about seventy kilometers from the city of Manaus, capital of Amazonas, for the commercialization of products manufactured in the school.33

Still resulting from ADRA’s partnership with the IAAI, a literacy program emerged with the goal of benefiting young adults in the region. This program was sponsored by the Educational Department of the Missão Central Amazonas (Central Amazon Mission) (present Associação Central Amazonas (Central Amazon Conference). In the region another goal established by the agency was the construction of dormitories, an administration building, classrooms, kitchen, and cafeteria, this time for the Instituto Adventista Transamazônico Agroindustrial (Agro-Industrial Adventist Trans-Amazon Academy) (IATAI), in the municipality of Uruará, state of Pará.34

In 1994 ADRA paid for the construction of the Luzeiro XXV (Light Bearer Medical Launch XXV) and helped with the renovation of Luzeiro I (Light Bearer Medical Launch I). This last launch, inaugurated by Pastor Leo Halliwell in the early 1930s, represents a medical missionary achievement of the earlier efforts of the SDA organization in the Amazon region.35 During that same year, ADRA implemented children’s homes and daycare centers in different regions of Brazil, making a relevant contribution on a national level. In this context, in the south region, ADRA stood out with the assistance provided to street children through children’s homes or through the influence of CADEC in the communities. In the central territory, the Neanderthal and Vovó Josefina (Grandma Josefina) homes were an inspirational source to work with children, while in the northeast region courses and seminars were offered to train assistants in community development programs.36

At the end of 1994, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, ADRA gathered 50 tons of food for the least privileged. This mobilization happened in just one week. At the end of 1995, still in Rio de Janeiro, authorities from the city of Teresópolis and ADRA representatives met to discuss humanitarian actions, and in this meeting the idea of a summer camp came up. The project’s goal was to benefit families in the region who were unable to provide a trip during the months of school vacation or even to keep their children in paid summer camps.37 With this initiative the agency would soon inaugurate another assistance front.

Within January 28 and February 2, 1996, the Summer Camp was held in the city of Teresópolis. The event, unprecedented for this municipality, took place in the Parque Nacional da Serra dos Órgãos (Serra dos Órgãos National Park) and was open to children between the ages of 5 to 12. The activities were free, starting at 7 a.m. and extending until 4:30 p.m. The various daily dynamics happened in the areas of sports, recreation, and culture, all supervised by a specialized team. The camp had the participation of Adventist professionals and university students in the areas of physical education, the arts, biology, pedagogy, medicine, physiotherapy, nursing, dentistry, and social work. The activities provided the engagement of children with ecological, health, work, hygiene, and nutrition themes. Through walks, dramatizations, parades, workshops, and lectures, children were made aware of the exercise of citizenship.38 The camp also happened in the municipalities of Macaé and Rio das Ostras, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, in early 1999. There this program assisted 357 children, for 15 days, from many cities in the state.39

On July 6 and 13, 1996, ADRA participated in the Supermissão (Supermission) project. This event was promoted through a partnership within the Associação Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro Conference) (ARJ) and the Fundação Ação da Cidadania Contra a Miséria e Pela Vida (Citizenship Action Against Misery and for Life Foundation). More than forty thousand people visited the project location, where outdoor evangelistic activities were carried out. In one of the most important moments of the ceremony, the participants engaged in social projects directed to the needy community. At the time several institutions were benefited, among them the Cruz Vermelha (Red Cross) and the Hospital Gafrée e Guinle (Gafrée and Guinle Hospital), which at the time was a benchmark in AIDS treatment. Around two million aluminum cans were exchanged for an ambulance donated to this hospital, in addition to the distribution of 30 tons of non-perishable food to 3,000 families registered by ADRA. There were also medical and dental care for 880 people.40

Still in the same decade, in Aracaju, capital of Sergipe, Northeast of Brazil, two evangelistic campaigns partnered with ADRA. In the first, medical and dental assistance were provided to 800 people. Five hundred people attended the conferences and, at the end of three months, 154 of them were baptized. In the second campaign, ADRA increased the number of visits, this time to 1,000 people, of whom 80 were baptized. The expectation was of another 150 conversions in the following weeks.41 Thus, ADRA has contributed directly and indirectly to the SDA evangelistic activities, although its main focus is on humanitarian aid. In this sense, during 1996, in the city of Florianópolis, state of Santa Catarina, south of Brazil, four tons of food and clothing were distributed by ADRA. Two other municipalities of Santa Catarina were also assisted in 1996, as follows: around five tons of various products were distributed by the CADEC in Vila Nova region, in the municipality of Imbituba; and during Christmas season, 300 children from the Capivari neighborhood, in the city of Tubarão, received medical and dental care.42

In Brazil September 7 is remembered as being the country’s Independence Day. As a national holiday, many Brazilians enjoy free time on this day. And taking advantage of the 1997 holiday, a team from the Hospital Adventista Silvestre (Silvestre Adventist Hospital), in partnership with ADRA, went out to the beaches of the city of Rio de Janeiro to check blood pressure and advise people about eating habits and lifestyle.43 Meanwhile, in that same year, volunteers from the Departamento de Assistência Social (Social Service Department) of the Joinville Adventist Church, connected to ADRA, developed five Bible classes, in which around sixty people interested in studying the word of God got enrolled. Of these, 33 were baptized at the end of the year.44

In the following year (1998), a difficult situation affected the residents of the Brazilian Northeast region. After a severe drought, thousands were affected. In this context, the Civil Defense agencies of the states in the region declared an emergency in more than a thousand municipalities. The prospect was that one million children and adults would rely solely on donations to survive August and September. In this inhospitable context, ADRA offered to help the northeast people.45 Until June and July 1998, ADRA agents traveled more than six thousand kilometers, seeking to identify places of greatest need and, at the same time, seeking to establish possible fields of action. The agency’s efforts were planned to extend beyond the drought period. The goal was to implement effective sustainable development programs across the affected area.

One of the projects carried out was the adoption of poor municipalities by cities in wealthy regions of the country. Thus, contributions were collected in the municipalities of Curitiba and Maringá, in Paraná, and Porto Alegre, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Together, the collected donations in the three municipalities reached 54 tons of food, whose distribution reached 2,500 families. The population of the municipality of Tatuí, in the state of São Paulo, also participated in the action, collecting 30 tons of food. In addition to these activities, ADRA opened an account for anyone who wanted to make donations. Until the month of November, 190 tons of food were distributed throughout the blighted region in the northeast.46

At the beginning of 2000, the organization developed a campaign of prevention against hypothermia in Curitiba, in which the “space blanket” was used. This item was developed by NASA. Besides being a very resistant material, it was light and small and helped retain 95 percent of the body’s heat, reflected the sun’s rays, and served as a stretcher. The project was launched in January and around forty thousand blankets were distributed to homeless people.47 Also in 2000 ADRA aided thousands of flood victims that happened in Minas Gerais, in the center of the country. During this time 1,000 emergency kits were delivered, and dental care was also provided.48

At the beginning of the 21st century, ADRA continued to carry out its actions. In 2003, in the city of Nossa Senhora do Livramento, 30 kilometers from Cuiabá, state of Mato Grosso, the first Adventist baptism was realized. This achievement began with social services provided by the agency, and due to this influence, six people were baptized, starting the Adventism in the municipality of 273 years of existence.49 This shows that the social work provided by the agency can fully help in the transformation of people. And with that in mind, ADRA created the project “Mãos Ajudadoras” (Helping Hands). This program consists of voluntary assistance by professionals from different areas that offer medical, psychological assistance, and nursing care, including promoting blood donations to blood centers. An example of this intervention took place in Ji-Paraná, state of Rondônia, on September 25, 2005, in which there were about five hundred medical services in some needy neighborhoods in the city in a few hours.50

Another social action in this format, coordinated by the agency, took place on February 12, 2006. The action helped a slum in the capital of São Paulo, and brought together psychologists, physiotherapists, speech therapists, and other professionals who carried out 816 medical services until the end of the afternoon.51 In the following year (2007), ADRA held a training meeting focused on serving the poor communities. Within April 7 and 9, the meeting, that also happened in São Paulo, concentrated around five hundred leaders of the segment.52 That same year, on July 17, the deadliest aviation accident in the Brazilian history happened, in which 199 people died in the capital of São Paulo. ADRA was present and aided in the identification of bodies and in supporting the families of those involved.53

As it was being structured, the agency expanded its range of actions. In an environmental campaign, ADRA contributed to the construction of a municipal forest in Teresina, in the state of Piauí. The campaign happened within 2009 and 2010, in partnership with the City Hall. During the construction period, the agency mobilized around three hundred volunteers, managed to donate 2,500 polyethylene bags, and also took care of 1,200 seedlings of native plants for two years. The program became known as “Teresina: verde que te quero” (Teresina: greener than never).54 The following year (2011) inaugurated a new phase for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International in Brazil. For 27 years ADRA services in each point in the country had been managed by the ADRA SDA headquarters, which also provided support in the other seven countries served by the South American Division. In 2011 the SAD formally established the ADRA Brazil headquarter, which together with agencies in other countries on the South American continent continued under the leadership of ADRA SAD.55

ADRA Brazil’s first challenge was precisely a natural catastrophe that happened in 2011. The agency managed an action in favor of the victims of a flood that devastated the Teresópolis region, Rio de Janeiro, at the beginning of the year. Several SDA institutions were involved providing aid. Around US $100,000 were donated by The United States ADRA, and a bank account was opened to receive financial donations in Brazil. The agency was also present in the state of Roraima, also due to strong floods. At the time the Branco River, which cuts through the state, rose almost eleven meters above its normal level. Many municipalities were declared in public calamity conditions, such as Caracaraí. There, around one thousand three hundred people and 321 families directly benefited from the actions of the agency that distributed food and carried out cleaning and painting works in the houses of the homeless who were in temporary shelters.56

Still in 2011 other disasters happened in the south and southeast regions of Brazil, such as in the municipalities of Nova Friburgo, Teresópolis, and Petrópolis, in Rio de Janeiro. Due to rains many landslides left 900 dead and 400 missing. ADRA once again took an action, and through the distribution of 70 tons of food, 30,000 liters of drinking water, clothes, shoes, toys, as well as personal hygiene kits, helped hundreds of families.57 The agency was also present assisting the victims of floods in Santa Catarina, where about fifty thousand of the sixty-two thousand inhabitants of the municipality of Rio do Sul were affected by the flood. The organization distributed 500 food baskets and 500 hygiene and cleaning kits and helped cleaning buildings and houses. The institution also trained volunteers in the states of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro to assist in situations of disaster.58

Although 2011 was a difficult year, due to the many natural disasters, two ADRA projects were awarded. In the city of Maringá, Paraná, a project in partnership with the city received an award. This project consisted in the development of community gardens, in which combined income and resources for a healthier diet were generated. Around twenty areas like this were built in this municipality. Near the end of the year, the Adventist architect Ricardo Rossi, from the city of São Paulo, honored ADRA. As one of the agency's emphases is sustainability, Rossi designed a miniloft using only sustainable materials, and used his space to exhibit the prototype on Casa Cor (Color Home), considered the largest decoration fair in South America.59

In February 2012 the state of Acre suffered another major flood. More than one hundred forty-four thousand people were affected, and of these, 8,656 were assisted in public shelters. The agency mobilized itself to help, having collected nearly forty-three tons in donations, including food and clothing for the victims.60 In the same year, ADRA participated in the first ONG Brazil. This is an important annual event of the third sector,61 and on that occasion the institution consolidated partnerships with several Brazilian organizations. During the meeting a summary of the previous year’s activities was made, as follows: 59 community development projects and 30 assistance projects had been carried out, including actions in response to natural disasters. During this period the agency directly benefited more than four hundred forty-four thousand people, involved 656 employees, and hundreds of volunteers, and moved about US $8.5 million in donations, alliances, and partnerships. In other words, it was a year of many activities.62

In May 2013 ADRA Brazil held a meeting of leaders of the SDA social and community service segment in the country. On the occasion topics were discussed such as the volunteer program, which could be organized and expanded throughout Brazil; and the review of the Plano Nacional de Gestão de Emergências (National Emergency Management Plan). During the meeting the Online donation systems were also released, and the Manual do Voluntário (Volunteer Manual) was approved, in addition to an exchange program for volunteers to participate in South American projects.63 In the same year, ADRA Brazil opened a donation channel to help victims of a typhoon that happened in the Philippines.64

The following year (2014) marked an important moment for ADRA in Brazil, as the agency celebrated 30 years of operations in the country. The celebrations happened on May 14, in the national capital, Brasília. The ceremony was attended by Adventist leaders, ADRA partners, and diplomatic representatives, as well as the UN delegates.65 That same year major floods affected again the states of Santa Catarina and Paraná, in the south of the country. Around one and a half million people were affected by the catastrophe, whose losses were estimated at US $660 million, in addition to 13 confirmed deaths. ADRA coordinated some emergency actions, and about four hundred mattresses, twenty-eight thousand pieces of clothing, blankets, besides hygiene and cleaning items, were distributed in the affected cities. Around US $4,000 was donated to assist in aid.66

In the beginning of 2015, the biggest flood in the history of Acre happened. This flood reached 18.40 meters above the normal level, surpassing the 1997 flood, which had reached 17.66 meters. This overflow reached 40 of the 212 neighborhoods in the capital Rio Branco and left 10,000 people homeless, besides directly affecting 87,000 inhabitants. In response to this calamity, ADRA Brazil distributed 1,300 hygiene kits, 45 food baskets, and 500 blankets. The volunteers helped with the logistics of the transfer of the donated funds.67 A year later, in March 2016, ADRA signed an alliance with the government of Rondônia, receiving US $52,000 for the purchase of musical instruments. The amount was also used for the purchase of a dental care mobile clinic, with the goal of serving needy communities.68

From 2018 on ADRA Brazil also began to assist the Venezuelan refugees. Brazil, due to its geographical proximity to Venezuela, has received around ninety-six thousand Venezuelans in the last years.69 Since 2013 they have left their country for border countries, fleeing from a humanitarian crisis. With nothing to eat or where to work, they occupy more and more the streets of the cities of Manaus, Amazonas, and Boa Vista, Roraima. To assist migrants the agency created the Centro de Apoio e Referência a Refugiados e Migrantes (Refugee and Migrant Support and Reference Center) (CARE), based in Cachoeirinha neighborhood, South Zone of Manaus. It was inaugurated on December 16, 2018, and offers services such as legal advice, scheduling asylum requests, psychological counseling, translation of curriculums, Portuguese classes, and international calls. The project is coordinated by ADRA Brazil, in partnership with the Alto Comissariado das Nações Unidas para Refugiados (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) (UNHCR), the Fundo de Populações das Nações Unidas (United Nations Population Fund) (UNFPA), the European Union, and the Manaus City Hall.70

In 2019 a new disaster shocked Brazil, this time in the state of Minas Gerais, in the center of the country. In January of this year, the municipality of Brumadinho, countryside of the state, was hit by the rupture of a tailings dam from Córrego do Feijão (Beans Brook) mine. More than twelve million m³ of iron ore residues were spread over hundreds of kilometers, burying houses, people, and entire communities. On the occasion, one of ADRA’s mobile units went to Minas Gerais in order to assist the population with psychological and assistance services, in addition to preparing and distributing meals to the homeless. About nine hundred meals were distributed daily to the population.71

Role in the Country

Around the world Adventists have been recognized as a Christian community that practices social charity.72 And ADRA has played an important role in this testimony. As a result, in 1997, the Adventist Agency received Status Consultivo Geral (General Advisory Status) from the United Nations (UN). This recognition brought an opportunity that allowed ADRA to have an active voice in the international community. The agency continued to strive to fulfill its mission of reflecting the love of God, contributing with humanitarian service actions and in emergency situations, or in search of developing the capacities of people reached by humanitarian projects anywhere in the world.73

Following this principle, in 2001, ADRA Brazil was selected as one of the best philanthropic organizations in Brazil. The agency was listed among 500, out of a total of more than two hundred twenty thousand institutions operating in the country. These organizations were listed because they offer superior quality in social and humanitarian services.74 Factors like this make ADRA one of the leading non-governmental humanitarian aid corporations in Brazil. And as they work in an integrated way, the ADRA agencies in South American territory help each other coordinated by ADRA SAD, which in turn works under the coordination of the ADRA general office in the General Conference. This integration has enabled good results on international, national, and local levels.

At an international level, it can be mentioned, as an example, the aid provided to the Philippines. In November 2013 the Haiyan typhoon, with winds of 315 kilometers per hour, hit the Philippines, bringing an extensive catastrophe to the country. This was the second largest typhoon in the history of the country, causing destruction throughout the national territory, above all in the city of Tacloban and in the area of the Samar and Leyte islands, places where thousands of people died or were left in a state of calamity. ADRA Brazil immediately organized a campaign (SOS Philippines) to obtain donations and send them to the Philippines. Until November 30, around US $39,000 had been raised to join other aids from around the world to the Filipinos.75

At a national level, the help provided to refugees in the Brazilian territory can be mentioned. In partnership with worldwide ADRA, ADRA Brazil has established a series of projects in order to help this group of people. It is highlighted as a partnership with the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance – OFDA, an organization responsible for disaster response, connected to the United States Agency for International Development – USAID.76 The main Brazilian region of immediate focus of actions is the state of Roraima, for which the USAID offered US $600,000. In addition to financial assistance, personal hygiene kits, mattresses, bedding, slippers, and kitchen kits were also delivered. Educational activities are also developed to meet the inclusion and work needs of migrants. The goal is always to help minimize the suffering conditions in Brazil: without money, without food, or even without shoes.77

This partnership between ADRA, the OFDA, and the USAID has already promoted numerous assistances to refugees. The projects carried out together with these organizations, regarding the aid offered in Brazilian territory, already added up to a total of US $500,000 donated by the OFDA and another US $100,000 destined for ADRA.78 In 2019 the agency helped many Venezuelans to restart their lives in Brazil. In June the SWAN program was implemented, which represents the concepts of accommodation, water, sanitation, hygiene, and non-dietary assistance for migrants. By then more than fifteen families had been incorporated into the project. The program consists of relocating refugees elsewhere in Brazil, and in this sense, ADRA had the collaboration of the Força Aérea Brasileira (Brazilian Air Force) (FAB). Refugees registered on SWAN were relocated to cities like Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, and Porto Alegre on FAB flights. In these locations ADRA supports them for three months. They also receive financial assistance, and the agency even looks for job opportunities to stabilize these families.79

Another important contribution of ADRA Brazil, at national and regional levels, has happened during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in 2020. The disease advance brought with it a national-scale economic crisis. In this scenario low-income families are the ones that were most impacted. To serve this needy population, ADRA Brazil carried out campaigns to collect food and resources for an emergency response. 80 Lives were performed in partnership with Adventist musicians, and regional headquarters also acted in its sphere of action.81 One of the actions carried out by ADRA, at a national level, was the “Compartilhe Esperança” (Share Hope) campaign, with the goal of distributing 10,000 food baskets to more than three thousand needy families.82 Many other actions have been carried out at regional and local levels. In the southeast, for example, ADRA Espírito Santo launched the “Vitória Solidária” (Solidary Victory) campaign to collect donations for local communities. The action was the result of a partnership between ADRA, the Associação Capixaba de Supermercados (Capixaba Supermarket Association) (ACAPS), the Instituto Federal do Espírito Santo (Federal Institute of Espírito Santo) (IFES) and the state Civil Defense. As a result of the campaign, around five tons of food were collected.83

In its 36 years of operation in Brazil, ADRA has fulfilled its mission of aiding the needy. During this period the agency has planned and executed development projects designed for needy groups and communities and acted strongly together with victims of emergency situations. In these three and a half decades, the country has faced many calamities. There were countless floods, large landslides, intense drought seasons, devastating storms, economic crises, and many other contingencies. In each of them, ADRA was present, always looking for effective ways to bring relief to those involved. And so, in contexts of normality or adversity, ADRA has been steadfastly playing its role contributing to the development and salvation of lives; and will continue its mission witnessing hope by spreading love and justice in the form of acts of compassion.84

List of Directors85

ADRA SAD Directors

Werner Mayr (1984-1990); Luis Schulz (1991-1993); Haroldo Moran (1994-1999); Ronald Kuhn (2000-2002); Ruy H. Nagel (2003); José Coelho de Melo (2004); Urias Pires Chagas (2005, 2006); Gunther Marvim Wallauer (2007-2015); Paulo Lopes (2016-present).

ADRA Brazil Directors

Paulo Lopes (2012-2015); Jefferson Fabian Kern (2016, 2017); Fabio Salles (2018-present).86

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Da redação [By the Editors]. “Organização não governamental (ADRA) lança campanha contra fome” [Non-Governmental Organization (ADRA) Launches Campaign Against Hunger]. Unasp (Online), April 13, 2020.

Da redação [By the Editors]. “Refugiados venezuelanos receberão mais de meio milhão de dólares em ajuda” [Venezuelan refugees will receive more than half a million dollars in aid]. Notícias Adventistas [Adventist News] (Online), April 20, 2018.

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Notes

  1. ADRA, “Sobre” [About Us], accessed on February 10, 2020, https://bit.ly/2YcC4i7.

  2. ADRA, “Projetos” [Projects], accessed on February 10, 2020, https://bit.ly/3dh70SN.

  3. Ibid.

  4. ADRA, “O que Fazemos” [Our Work], accessed on February 10, 2020, https://bit.ly/2YcC4i7.

  5. “A ASA em Socorro dos Flagelados” [ASA in Relief of Disaster Victims], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 5, year 72, May 1977, 19.

  6. ADRA Brazil, “Conheça a ADRA Brasil” [Get to Know ADRA Brazil], ADRA Brazil institutional video, December 17, 2012, accessed on February 13, 2020, https://bit.ly/3cKyjpt.

  7. Heron Santana, “Uma História de Amor Pelas Pessoas” [A Love Story for People], Mais Destaque Leste [East Highlights], no. 16 (April-June 2017): 3, 12.

  8. The word “welfare” has been replaced by “world”. Seventh-day Adventist Church (Brazil) Website, “ADRA,” accessed on June 18, 2020, https://bit.ly/32Kab1E.

  9. “Bom Relacionamento” [Good Relationship], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 12, year 78, December 1983, 23.

  10. “ASA: Novas Perspectivas” [ASA: New Perspectives], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1, year 79, January 1984, 36.

  11. “Mais um brasileiro na Associação Geral” [Another Brazilian in the General Conference], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 9, year 79, September 1984, 29.

  12. ADRA, “Quem Somos” [About Us], accessed on February 10, 2020, https://bit.ly/2PYh75Z.

  13. “ASA: Novas Perspectivas” [ASA: New Perspectives], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1, year 79, January 1984, 36.

  14. “Em Busca do Amor do Próximo” [In Search of the Love of Others], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 10, year 79, October 1984, 20.

  15. “ADRA realiza Concílio” [ADRA holds Council], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 4, year 80, April 1985, 25.

  16. “Fardos e Roupas” [Bales and Clothes], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 6, year 80, June 1985, 21.

  17. “Mordomos Fiéis” [Faithful Stewards], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 10, year 82, October 1986, 33.

  18. “Diversos” [Miscellaneous], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 12, year 82, December 1986, 34.

  19. “No Planalto Central” [On the Central Brazilian Highlands], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 11, year 83, November 1987, 24.

  20. “Bíblias para Apocalipse” [Bibles for Revelation], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 2, year 83, February 1987, 26.

  21. “Cultura, de graça” [Culture, for free], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 6, year 83, June 1987, 24.

  22. “Missão Costa-Norte” [North Coast Mission], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 3, year 84, March 1988, 22.

  23. “Agência de Desenvolvimento e Recursos Assistenciais da Igreja Adventista do Sétimo Dia” [Seventh-day Adventist Church Adventist Development and Relief Agency International], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 6, year 91, June 1995, 10.

  24. “Na Necessidade, a ADRA Esteve Presente” [In Need, ADRA Was Present], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 4, year 84, April 1988, 19.

  25. Ibid.

  26. Ibid.

  27. “ADRA: servindo e salvando” [ADRA: Serving and Saving], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 8, year 85, August 1989, 47.

  28. “ADRA constrói no Nordeste” [ADRA Builds in the Northeast], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1, year 87, January 1991, 17 and 20.

  29. “ADRA,” Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 11, year 87, November 1991, 35.

  30. “ADRA e evangelismo são destaques” [ADRA and Evangelism are Highlights], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 2, year 88, February 1992, 21.

  31. “ADRA e TELEPAZ” [ADRA and TELEPAZ], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 7, year 88, July 1992, 28.

  32. Ibid.

  33. “ADRA relata suas atividades” [ADRA reports its activities], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 9, year 88, September 1992, 30.

  34. Ibid.

  35. “Concentração reúne dez mil em Manaus” [Concentration gathers ten thousand in Manaus], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 6, year 90, June 1994, 29.

  36. “Diretor da ADRA visita a Casa” [ADRA Director Visits the House], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 3, year 91, March 1995, 15.

  37. Ibid.

  38. “Prefeitura e ADRA promovem colônia de férias em Teresópolis” [City Hall and ADRA promote summer camp in Teresópolis], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 3, year 92, March 1996, 25.

  39. “Colônia de férias” [Summer Camp], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 4, year 95, April 1999, 28.

  40. “Juventude carioca vibra com Supermissão” [Carioca youth get excited about the Supermission], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 9, year. 92, September 1996, 15.

  41. “Evangelismo movimenta MSA” [Evangelism moves the MSA], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 2, year 93, February 1997, 17.

  42. “Presença sempre oportuna” [Always a Timely Presence], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 3, year 93, March 1997, 21.

  43. “Vida e Saúde” [Life and Health], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 12, year 93, December 1997, 30.

  44. “Evangelizando através da ADRA” [Evangelizing through ADRA], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 4, year 94, April 1998, 19.

  45. “Estenda a mão ao Nordeste” [Reach out to the Northeast], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 7, year 94, July 1998, 20.

  46. “Força-tarefa adventista” [Adventist Task Force], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 11, year 94, November 1998, 22.

  47. “ADRA previne casos de catástrofe no Sul” [ADRA prevents catastrophe cases in the South], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 3, year 96, March 2000, 24.

  48. “ADRA socorre vítimas de enchentes em Minas” [ADRA helps flood victims in Minas Gerais], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 3, year 96, March 2000, 24.

  49. “Cidade alvo de Missão Global tem seu primeiro batismo” [Global Mission Target City Has Its First Baptism], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], No. 8, Year 99, August 2003, 31.

  50. “Projeto ‘Mãos Ajudadoras’ auxilia comunidade carente” [‘Helping Hands’ Project Helps Needy Community], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], No. 11, Year 100, November 2005, 34.

  51. Débora Carvalho, “ADRA lidera ONGs em projeto comunitário” [ADRA leads NGOs in community project], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 4, year 101 (April 2006): 29.

  52. Guilherme Silva, “ADRA realiza encontro de capacitação para 500 voluntários” [ADRA holds training meeting for 500 volunteers], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 5, year 101 (May 2006): 26.

  53. Sinval Aragon, “Cristianismo em Ação” [Christianity into Action], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1192, year 102 (September 2007): 22.

  54. “Rápidas” [Brief News], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1222, year 105, March 2010, 41.

  55. Felipe Lemos, “DSA define tema do evangelismo 2011 e aprova criação da ADRA Brasil” [SAD defines the 2011 evangelism theme and approves the creation of ADRA Brazil], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1225, year 105 (June 2010): 27.

  56. “Quando tudo desabou” [When all collapsed], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1245, year 107, February 2011, 28-29.

  57. “ADRA em ação” [ADRA in action], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1239, year 106, August 2011, 31.

  58. “Na hora certa” [At the right time], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1241, year 106, October 2011, 33.

  59. Patricia Ferreira and Christina Zaiback, “Credibilidade” [Credibility], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1244, year 107 (January 2011): 27, 36.

  60. “Embaixo d’agua” [Underwater], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1247, year 107, April 2012, 26.

  61. “Third sector is a sociological term used to define private, non-profit organizations that provide public services.” BHBIT, “O Terceiro Setor – Significado e sua história no Brasil” [The Third Sector - Meaning and its history in Brazil], accessed on June 16, 2020, https://bit.ly/2BfSgGk.

  62. Felipe Lemos, “Expansão” [Expansion], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1256, year 108 (January 2013): 28.

  63. “Abrigo para os refugiados” [Shelter for refugees], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1262, year 108, July 2013, 35.

  64. “Tufão nas Filipinas” [Typhoon in the Philippines], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1267, year 108, December 2013, 30.

  65. “30 anos de ADRA” [30 years of ADRA], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1273, year 109, June 2014, 26.

  66. “Socorro na tempestade” [Help in the Storm], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1275, year 109, August 2014, 38.

  67. Jessica Fontella, “Socorro Imediato” [Immediate Help], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1296, year 110 (April 2015): 32.

  68. Vanessa Lemes, “ADRA Brasil recebe doação de clínica móvel odontológica” [ADRA Brazil receives donation of mobile dental clinic], Noticias Adventistas [Adventist News], March 16, 2016, accessed on February 19, 2020, https://bit.ly/39yO7ts.

  69. “Número de refugiados e migrantes da Venezuela no mundo atinge 3,4 milhões” [Number of Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela in the World Reaches 3.4 Million], Nações Unidas Brasil [United Nations Brazil] (Online), February 27, 2019, accessed on March 4, 2020, https://bit.ly/2TCIeEL.

  70. Cígredy Neves, “Centro de apoio a refugiados” [Refugee Support Center], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], December 21, 2018, accessed on June 18, 2020, https://bit.ly/37OM0So.

  71. Leonardo Saimon, “Da tragédia à esperança” [From Tragedy to Hope], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1343, year 114 (March 2019): 42.

  72. José Carlos Ramos, “Relações Públicas e as feições positivas da Igreja” [Public Relations and the Positive Aspects of the Church], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 3, year 90, (March 1994): 32-33.

  73. ADRA, “Who We Are - Our History,” https://bit.ly/2ubJS7G.

  74. “Retrato da Filantropia Brasileira” [Portrait of Brazilian Philanthropy], Revista Veja [Veja Review], December 12, 2001, 58.

  75. Da redação [By the Editors] “ADRA na América do Sul envia recursos arrecadados para Filipinas” [ADRA in South America Sends Funds Raised to the Philippines], Noticias Adventistas [Adventist News], December 3, 2013, accessed on February 10, 2020, https://bit.ly/2ILa7pr.

  76. Julia Bianco, “Refúgio para os venezuelanos” [Refuge for Venezuelans], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 1334, year 113 (June 2018): 44.

  77. Julia Bianco and Mauren Fernandes, “ADRA Brasil age em resposta a crise de refugiados venezuelanos” [ADRA Brazil acts in response to the Venezuelan refugee crisis], Notícias Adventistas [Adventist News], June 25, 2018, accessed on February 10, 2020, https://bit.ly/2Q2kSrb.

  78. Da redação [By the Editors], “Refugiados venezuelanos receberão mais de meio milhão de dólares em ajuda” [Venezuelan refugees will receive more than half a million dollars in aid], Noticias Adventistas [Adventist News], April 20, 2018, accessed on February 19, 2020, https://bit.ly/2Q3iaBI.

  79. Vanessa Arba, “Venezuelanos contam com ajuda da ADRA para recomeçar a vida no Brasil” [Venezuelans count with ADRA’s help to start life in Brazil], Notícias Adventistas [Adventist News], October 2, 2019, accessed on February 10, 2020, https://bit.ly/2P7GSjq

  80. Chrissye Bettoni, “ADRA realiza entrega de 250 cestas básicas em parceria com o Projeto Vitória do Bem, no ES” [ADRA delivers 250 food baskets in partnership with the Good’s Victory Project in ES], ADRA, April 8, 2020, accessed on July 14, 2020, https://bit.ly/3fr5Aa1.

  81. ADRA, “Home,” accessed on July 13, 2020, https://bit.ly/3flQD9n.

  82. Da Redação [By the Editors], “Organização não governamental (ADRA) lança campanha contra fome” [Non-Governmental Organization (ADRA) Launches Campaign Against Hunger], Unasp, April 13, 2020, accessed on July 13, 2020, https://bit.ly/309GDth.

  83. Chrissye Bettoni, “ADRA realiza entrega de 250 cestas básicas em parceria com o Projeto Vitória do Bem, no ES” [ADRA delivers 250 food baskets in partnership with the Good’s Victory Project in ES], ADRA, April 8, 2020, accessed on July 14, 2020, https://bit.ly/3fr5Aa1.

  84. ADRA, “Sobre” [About], accessed on March 10, 2020, https://bit.ly/2YcC4i7.

  85. “ADRA/OFASA,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Hagerstown, MD.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1985), 293; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Nampa, ID.: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2018), 223; Jessica Fontella, “Nomeado novo diretor da ADRA Brasil” [Appointed New Director of ADRA Brazil], Notícias Adventistas [Adventist News], Oct. 31, 2017, accessed on March 4, 2020, https://bit.ly/2TF9baW. For a more detailed check of all administrative leaders of the ADRA Brazil, see the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbooks from 1985 to 2020.

  86. More information about ADRA Brazil can be found on https://adra.org.br/ and through social networks: [email protected]; Instagram and [email protected]; and YouTube--ADRA_Brasil.

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Silva, Renato Ferreira. "ADRA Brazil." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed September 23, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AIFF.

Silva, Renato Ferreira. "ADRA Brazil." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access September 23, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AIFF.

Silva, Renato Ferreira (2021, April 28). ADRA Brazil. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved September 23, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=AIFF.