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Global Mission

Reaching Uruguay for Jesus

Matias Vigil, the face of the urban center of influence in Montevideo, always has a smile and friendly word for busy urbanites.

Located in South America, Uruguay has one of the largest urban populations in the world with more than 75 percent of its people living in cities. Like many countries, Uruguay is highly secular, yet after years of decline, the Adventist Church there is experiencing sizable growth, thanks, in part, to church planting and urban centers of influence.

Matias Vigil manages an urban center of influence on a busy street in Uruguay’s capital city of Montevideo, where people who may never visit a traditional church are drawn to its friendly, informal atmosphere.

“Many of our guests don’t attend church,” says Matias, “but they still have needs, and they’re still hungry for hope. Urban centers of influence are the perfect answer to reaching out to them, because they focus on meeting people’s needs and connecting them with God.”

Matias and his team of volunteers offer free classes on topics of interest to the community, such as stress management, music and language lessons, health and wellness seminars, and Bible studies.

As the people feel loved, their lives are changing. Many of them have found hope in Jesus and are now reaching out to others.

Please pray for Matias as he reaches the unreached in Montevideo and for all our urban centers of influence around the world.

Urban centers of influence

Because most of the world’s population now live in cities, Global Mission is reaching out to urbanites with an unprecedented focus. One way we do this is by providing start-up funds for urban centers of influence, wholistic ministry centers that connect the church to the needs of the community.

The concept for these centers comes from Ellen White, who had a vision to “establish in all our cities small plants which shall be centers of influence” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 115). She envisioned that these centers would include lifestyle education, treatment rooms, bookstores/reading rooms, restaurants, literature ministry, lectures, and instructions on preparing wholesome food.

Today’s urban centers of influence may look different and offer some different services and ministries, but the principle remains the same—to connect with people’s needs.

If you would like to help start urban centers of influence, please visit, click Make a Gift, and select Centers of Influence (#9730)-GM in the Fund drop-down box. Thank you!