December 9, 2012

Puerto Rico – Few in Number

By Bro. Don Luff
Bro. Edgardo Saldaña with Bro. Miguel and Sis. Aida Robles

Due to advertisements in the Readers Digest during the Year of Witness efforts in 1976, individuals in Puerto Rico have been receiving Christadelphian correspondence courses and literature since the late 1970’s.  Baptisms resulted from the efforts of missionaries and short term field workers during the 1980’s.  Nevertheless, due to a variety of circumstances, it has been a challenge to establish an ecclesial base in this country.  At present there are four members on the Island.   Three members are in the city of Ponce and one in San Juan.  Sister Jean Hunter in California handles all the correspondence work for Puerto Rico and indicates that there are many postal students, and quite a number answer their lessons extremely well, but when they are phoned, they respond to personal contact with little enthusiasm.

The churches in Puerto Rico are big business and provide entertainment.  The Evangelical and Pentecostal style churches, along with many others, demand tithes of their congregations, promising wealth and personal prosperity from God, if they give their money to the church.  Very little commitment is required as far as Bible study.  Plus, religion and politics are mixed together as natural partners.  Commitment to the Truth is extremely foreign and not acceptable in this type of culture and materialistic environment.

Brother Edgardo Saldaña never felt at easy in the evangelical “happy-clappy” churches.   He is in the photo with this article (left side) with Brother Miguel and Sister Aida Robles at their home in Ponce.  The Robles were baptized over 25 years ago.  Several years ago Edgardo found us on the Spanish website and started answering questions.  After a few years of correspondence courses and phone lessons, he was baptized on April 30, 2011 in Los Angeles.  During a recent visit to Puerto Rico at the end of September, Edgardo introduced me to Angel Garcia (one of the postal students he had looked up), from Canóvanas.  During the course of three days, Edgardo and I spent about fifteen hours studying with Angel.  He had all kinds of good questions.  He said he did not want to debate; he just wanted his questions answered from the Bible and to learn.  This was a very pleasant task indeed!  Edgardo will continue to meet with Angel and we do hope that he will make the decision to follow in the footsteps of our Lord.

Bro. Don Luff (Linkman)

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