4 August 2017 | Valencia, Spain [Victor Hulbert]
A record-breaking attempt at the world’s largest nail mosaic climaxed Thursday, 3 August 2017 in the centre of Valencia, Spain. A portrait of Jesus, measuring 5 x 3 metres, and comprised of thousands of nails is the result of days of hammering by many hundreds of participants at the European Adventist Youth Congress in Valencia. The project was completed by local Valencians and tourists in the city square, photographed from a nearby rooftop, and then certified by local architect, Juan Vicente Torres.
The idea for the nail portrait came from two Spanish youth leaders, Rubén Guzmán and Jonatán Contero, who saw it as a way to share their love for Christ as well as promoting what the Seventh-day Adventist Church believes. “I think it is amazing for the people of Valencia to see the face of Jesus,” Concerto enthused.
They not only saw his face, but had opportunities to talk with youth and pastors, to pick up free leaflets and books, or take their photo in front of the portrait or Guinness World Record poster. They also enjoyed Christian music as Adventist youth walked through the streets and gathered in a circle to sing in the square.
“This is very important because we can remember that Jesus did everything for us,” states Saray Martinez Fernández, a Spanish volunteer helper. “We want people to know and be more close to Jesus.”
Manel López, a history professor at nearby Sagunto Adventist college was so excited about the project that he dressed up for the occasion. “I am Martin Luther. With a nail I changed history,” he proudly announced, engaging in conversations all across the square.
“We nailed the nails because it was a nail that was used to put Jesus on a cross. It was a nail that Luther used to put his thesis on a door in Wittenberg, to testify the Good News about Christ. So it’s all about Christ,” states Stephan Stigg, Inter-European Youth director. He was delighted to welcome the nail project as part of the congress activities. He added, “This portrait can now travel throughout Spain and attract people to the story of a nail.”
With so many youth excited to participate in making an impact in Valencia, Emily Amzand from the Netherlands summed up the feeling of many. “It’s our job to reach the world and events like this make people curious, come and talk to us, and ask questions about what we are doing here, and gives us an opportunity to talk about our faith and our beliefs.”
And with a picture, even language is no barrier as Johanna Bannis from the UK explained. As most people will recognise a portrait of Jesus she saw the evening activity as a great opportunity to be able to share Jesus with local people.
“It’s important to get outside the church walls,” Nalishhuwa Ikachana, also from the UK adds. “By us coming out here right now, people can learn more about the church and who actually God is.”
The papers authenticating the dimensions for this record breaking portrait have now been signed and submitted to the Guinness World Records authorities. The congress leadership now wait for their adjudication. The current 2015 record is currently held by Federico Delgado Heredia of San Carlos, Uruguay.
Congress continues until 5 August. Find out more on the Congress YouTube channel, on Facebook, and on the Congress website. Youth continue to post their comments and photos on social media using the hashtag #AYC2017 and #TheJourney. [tedNEWS]
tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojkovic, associate editor
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tedNEWS is an information bulletin issued by the communication department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Trans-European Division.