JAHWI is a Hispanic acronym for Jovenes Adventistas Hispanos de Wisconsin or Hispanic Adventist Youth of Wisconsin in English. Photo Courtesy: Arody (Asbel) Barahona
What started from a small group of young people wanting to provide a quality revival experience for Hispanic young people in Wisconsin, has now grown into a full and vibrant ministry that brings many people, young and old to Jesus.
Since starting in 2000, JAHWI, a Hispanic acronym for Jovenes Adventistas Hispanos de Wisconsin or Hispanic Adventist Youth of Wisconsin in English, has been a place for youth and young adults to engage in youth Sabbaths, yearly retreats at Camp Wakonda, sports days, homeless ministries, youth evangelistic meetings.
In 2020, the ministry which is sponsored by the Wisconsin Youth department, had big plans to celebrate their big milestone. As the pandemic impacted their plans, JAHWI leaders began hosting virtual services. Throughout the months they organized a series featuring their youth as speakers on social media and hosted a virtual service for youth every Sabbath for three months featuring guests from other countries. They also hosted an online week of prayer, evangelistic series and two celebrations in the park where they could meet socially distanced.
Arody (Asbel) Barahona, JAHWI president, says she sees a silver lining as a result of the pandemic pivot. During their recent ministry elections, many youth signaled a desire to do more. “Our younger youth really stepped up and took leadership," says Barahona. "The teenagers are the ones doing the most.”
Wisconsin Youth Director, Eric Chavez, says: "We are so proud of the accomplishments that this group has made. We know that even through a pandemic they will continue to find ways to creatively celebrate and serve an amazing God.”
Katie Fellows, Lake Union Communication assistant