Last Tuesday, April 21, in the afternoon, President Dr. Alberto Fernandez received the leaders of Argentina’s Christian Alliance of Evangelical Churches, led by its president, pastor Rubén Proietti, VPs Christian Hooft (Internal Relations) and Osvaldo Carníval (External Relations) and pastors Bernardo Afranchino (member of the National Board) and Miguel Pereda (from Centro Familiar Cristiano church).
These leaders visited with the President, who was accompanied by Guillermo Oliveri (Religious Affairs) and Julio Vitobello, Secretary General of the Presidency, to share the progress in the #Seamosuno initiative, that has already delivered 150,000 boxes with food and hygiene products.
“Seamos Uno” is an initiative of organizations from different religious organizations, small firms and NGOs that work jointly with the Ministry of Human Development and Habitat of the city of Buenos Aires, and the Ministry of Social Development of the Province of Buenos Aires.
“We are at your disposal in this titanic struggle against coronavirus, praying for the country’s authorities from our homes through the digital media”, said Proietti. And he added, “the Alliance reiterates that we are ready to multiply our efforts, offering our resources: churches and other facilities, as we said in our letter from two weeks ago”.
The President confirmed the continuation of the quarantine and remarked the results obtained so far. He referenced noted epidemiologist Omar Sued, who had commented that due to the quarantine, the lives of approximately 800 people had been spared. He understands the present situation and eagerly requested the pastors’ help. He also commented on his letter to the people on the first month of preventive and compulsory social lockdown in our country due to the pandemic, acknowledging what each person is doing for the good of all. “Some call it a sacrifice, but I say, how can you call a sacrifice what you do to save your and other people’s lives? We are talking about life, which cannot be recovered after it is lost. This virus has shown us that nobody can save themselves alone”, said the President.
Pastor Osvaldo Carníval, Alliance representative for the #Seamosuno project, updated him on the present status of this initiative and offered the President a chaplainship ministry for seriously ill people and their families. Dr. Fernandez acknowledged the initiative and expressed his appreciation.
ACIERA leaders also showed the President a report on the situation of congregations due to the impossibility to hold meetings, and how pastors are suffering, prepared by Christian Hooft, VP of Internal Relations. Fernandez expressed his understanding and directed the Secretary of Religious Affairs to work in order to help solve the situation.
Pastor Bernardo Affranchino, a member of the Initiative Against Hunger, told from his own experience how he had assisted people in terrible life conditions while delivering food boxes.
Pastor Miguel Pereda shared his experience about transforming the facilities of the church he leads into a 250-bed admission center and encouraged the President to believe that God will see us through.
The leaders also shared God’s Word with the President, citing Bible texts such as Proverbs 21:1 and Isaiah 41:13: “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, DO NOT FEAR; I WILL HELP YOU”.
The churches of ACIERA reiterated once more their defense of life in the first place and the social, psychological and spiritual ministry to needy people during this quarantine, strengthening the family unit.
At the end of the meeting, pastor Carníval prayed for the President (who appeared very touched) and his work team, and asked God for the end of the pandemic.