By Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission
A group of church members gathered in a Puerto Rican park at 5 a.m. Sabbath to pray, read the Bible, and eat a light breakfast. Little did they expect to be watched by homeless people when they were ejected from their usual spot one Sabbath and forced to meet in the city’s central square instead.
The one-off move, however, changed the meetings permanently. Their monthly gathering has transformed into a weekly worship and breakfast for the homeless. Last Easter, a pastor led a special communion service with grape juice, bread, and foot washing.
“We call it the Church Without Walls,” said Raquel Marrero Torres, the 52-year-old university math teacher who organizes the meal.
The Church Without Walls is one of the ways that Seventh-day Adventists are seeking to share Jesus’ love in their communities in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory measuring just 100 miles by 35 miles (160 kilometers by 55 kilometers) in the Caribbean Sea. Some churches organize weekly meals on their premises, and others send members to clean and repair homes during the week.