Hispanic senior adults celebrate God’s protection during first conference since COVID-19

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MIAMI – More than 250 senior adults from all regions of the Sunshine State met for fellowship, and worship while celebrating God’s protection during the “Años Dorados,” statewide ministry at the Florida Baptist Convention’s Southeast Regional Center in Hialeah, Oct. 9.

The “Golden Years” meeting, with the conference themed, “Al Abrigo del Altisimo”– In the Shelter of the Most High, was the first time the group met since the COVID-19 pandemic hit and gatherings were cancelled.

Participants said the turn out reflected the longing of Hispanic senior adults to fellowship and worship together once again. The last event was held in 2019 and even as life returned to normal for most, senior adults were considered a vulnerable population and took more precautions for their safety and the health of others.

“We were not expecting such a large number in attendance,” said Enrique Gonzales, volunteer organizer. “I had to make follow-up calls to the catering service to update the number of meals we would be needing,” he said.

“We even had folks travel from as far as North Florida to the event. We had some from Jacksonville, another group from Gainesville and a few more from Orlando,” he added.

“It was a pleasant surprise to see so many come to the event because the situation is not entirely clear given the new variant.”

At the gathering, the group heard a video message from Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention.

“I want to thank you for your ministry and commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ,” said Green. “We pray that God will continue to unite you as brothers and sisters in Christ, continue to unite the church across the region, that more people may be reached for Christ Jesus the Lord.”

Retired pastor Nilo Dominguez shared a biblical message.

Vladimir Cabrera, pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista de Hialeah, spoke on the conference theme from Psalm 91, which begins: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Gonzales said the meeting reminded him once again that “independent of circumstances, God is going to shepherd, cover and protect us.”

“We all stood and shouted a loud and united ‘amen’ when we were asked from the pulpit if we felt we were in the shelter of the Most High”

The next Años Dorados event will be held on Feb. 19, 2022, in Orlando. The 27th Congress of Años Dorados will be held May 12-14, 2022 at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center.

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