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Logo of ASI 2016: Called. Chosen. Committed.

Unfinished Business: A Conversation with Our World Church Leaders


In this special Sabbath afternoon feature, we will sit down and visit heart-to-heart and face-to-face with church leaders from around the globe.  Our eyes will be opened and our hearts deeply stirred as we learn more of the challenges they face, the obstacles before them, and the great needs that still remain.  Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear from these world division presidents of the Seventh-day Adventist Church during these thought-provoking discussions. 




  • August 6, 2016
    4:00 PM


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Good afternoon brothers and sisters. What a marvelous opportunity we have this afternoon to understand a little bit better about our world a family and what a marvelous A.S.I. this has been. I have felt God's spirit in a very special way. This afternoon. You're going to hear from representatives from around the world. Now you might or you might wonder why the presidents of the divisions have been attending this particular A.S.I.. About ten eleven months ago I made a special appeal to these division presidents to attend this particular A.S.I. convention. In order for them to understand better how the world church can relate to those who have specialized ministries and how God can use our organized work to work with the supporting ministries in a more powerful way. And what a privilege it is to have almost all of the division presidents with us. You know we belong to a very large world family. I just received word just a few days ago that the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Now as of the information we have received official information has now passed nineteen point five million brothers and sisters. What a blessing. This has been and that is interesting taking into consideration that many of our divisions have been very careful about the statistics of membership and they have been going through and making sure that things are accurate. We praise God for this number. However seven point. Four billion people. When you take that into consideration you might feel really discouraged but I want to tell you. God has not promised that we will accomplish everything through our own efforts and power but he is going to accomplish it through the Holy Spirit and we're going to see incredible things happening and already are. The south after noon. You're going to have the opportunity to hear from division presidents or a representative from a particular division tell about what is happening in their particular territory and region. We have thirteen World divisions and one attached Union mission the Middle East North Africa Union just to give you a little example of how big. Everything is. In the Middle East North Africa Union. We have about five thousand miles from Morocco to Iran. From Turkey to Siddhant Sudan. Five hundred million people in that area three thousand five hundred seventh day adventists what a challenge. In other divisions we have a great and wonderful opportunities and many church members. Listen this afternoon as God impresses you with how he is working and what he is doing in these vast division territories. You know that powerful Great Commission now through twenty eight one thousand and twenty go make disciples baptize them in the name of the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit teach them to observe all things. That I have commanded the Lord says I will be with you always listen to our leaders in a few moments tell about how God is using your brothers and sisters around the world to reach the seven point four billion in preparation for Jesus soon coming. Good afternoon and happy Sabbath once again and welcome to this very special Sabbath afternoon program entitled Unfinished Business A conversation with our world church leaders. Truly we are blessed to have representatives from every division across the world the leadership of our seventh heaven his church and we're looking forward to a tremendous couple of hours together we're divided up into four different groups this afternoon and our moderators Steve Dyckman our president of A.S.I. and Andy Hunsaker our general vice president will be leading out in the questions. And I'm going to be introducing each of the leaders that represents the divisions of the world field first this afternoon in our first group going to begin with Elder Jai wrongly who is the president of the Northern Asia Pacific Division. The Northern Asia Pacific Division is one of the most challenging divisions in the world it comprises the countries of China Mongolia Japan Taiwan North and South Korea. It is the most populated division in the world with about one point six billion people living in that region. The administers membership of N.S.T. is about seven hundred thousand that ratio between Adventist Adventists and the general population. Turns out to be one in every two thousand two hundred people. The mission challenges are everywhere in this area. We need to work together literally says to spread the three angels messages to the millions of unreached people in this vast territory it is a land of men. Challenges and at the same time it is a land of great opportunities. Next to him is pastor saw Samuel who is the president of the Southern Asia Pacific Division pastor Samuel you've only been in office for four months. But that division headquartered in the Manila in Manila Philippines consists of four countries with nine unions and two attached missions one point three million members out of the one point three billion in population more than fifty percent of the population are Muslim thirty percent are Buddhist followed by many other religions. There is an interesting distribution of membership in S S D as over eighty six percent or one point three million of your members are from the Philippines and Indonesia and the rest of the twelve countries have only fourteen percent of those members. Their focus is to reach the unreached people groups the Muslims the Buddhists the Hindus the and the Chinese the secular Chinese in the vast territory. And they want to reach especially the urban cities and the remote territories in the country. Next to Pastor Samuel is Pastor as who is the president of the Southern Asia Division. This division comprises of the countries of India Nepal Bhutan and the Maldives Islands one point three three billion people live in this division. And various religions Hindus Islam sic Buddhism create account for ninety eight percent of the people living in that territory Christians account for only two percent of those living in that area there are one point seven million Adventists. There are three hundred fifty languages and three thousand people groups in this vast territory in India is the largest democracy in the world their greatest mission challenge is to reach the Muslim and Hindu populations and the current government restrictions that restrict evangelism their greatest need is to have. More churches in which they can house their believers and their vision is to reach all of the different segments of their society especially in the large urban centers to share the good news of Jesus with the millions of people that still need hope in that vast territory and finally in S. group elder Glen towne town and is the president of the South Pacific Division and the South Pacific Division is the smallest division by total population but it has the most Adventists per person of the population. One interesting fact that he told me it's the only division that you can be in today and yesterday or in today and tomorrow at the same time in case you didn't get it. That's the International Dateline. OK membership four hundred fifty thousand countries seventeen countries. The church is growing rapidly in the Pacific Islands and among the immigrant populations their greatest mission challenge. Are the people living in the secular urban centers the vision of the S.P.D. is that they become a disciple making movement before Jesus comes. Thank you. Kyle what a blessing. It is to be here today with the some of the leaders the administrative leaders of our world church and this afternoon and as you listen to this program as you are here watching and we're asking that you would be praying about a response that the Holy Spirit would convict hearts today. And we have talked ahead of time with the world church leaders and we have asked them to share their heart with us because we believe that if they share their heart with us and we've opened our heart to the Holy Spirit that God can use that to do something amazing and it's our desire as a result of the conversation that we will have today. To see God at work all around the world doing something amazing. So that his work can be finished. And we can be in God's eternal heavenly kingdom. Instead of here in this earthly kingdom. This afternoon. Our first question that we would like to bring to this panel from the area of the world generally known as Asia to us is we would like to ask the question what do you see as the things that may prevent your members from fully engaging in the work of spreading the gospel. And what solutions do you see that might be possible to help our members engage more completely We have nineteen about nineteen million members in the Seventh Day Adventist Church and if all of those nineteen million members were fully engaged. It seems as if we would be like a vast army marching forward and finishing this work and so this afternoon speak from your heart. Tell us what do you see that might be preventing some of that and how could we work to address those problems and just give us your heart today. One of you would like to start and we will just open the floor or I think all of us that would be very special people of God in the last days. And God has does God has chosen us and the Holy Spirit has led us to make a commitment to the mission of the church. So today we the people are mission and our mission is to spread the gospel message to the entire would. As soon as possible but you know Satan does not like this idea. He is trying to bring all kinds of challenges and problems and difficulties to us. No wonder when you go out to the. Mission field you can face with all kinds of Tal in this out there for instance in our territories in China in Mongolia in Japan. We have all kinds of challenges there. What at the same time I think we also have problems internally. Well and why I pointed out that our church members out in Lao dish and condition is same stead we are lacking the confidence in God's work and then the mission spirit is selected but that this upturn and I want to tell you that we don't have to worry about or days because we believe that this is a God church and we are engaged in God's business and as long as we trust in the Lord and then he will help us he would empower us. So by the grace of God and some of the power of the Holy Spirit. Certainly we will overcome all discharged in days and we certainly finish the work in our generation. L A Times is thinking and really reflecting one of the external factors is probably consumerism materialism trying to gain more toys. Because the most people with the most toys when we believe that law I think that's one of the external factors that have fixed the church and I think sometimes internally even leadership at every level can be too restrictive and sometimes we don't allow people the freedom and airplanes they sell they too difficult. We don't understand them and we need to make more simple planes and I I can say yeah I got to look at myself and say sometimes maybe. Here the way I want to do these things in mind. But you have also people want to do it and who am I to say I I have a sign and some people know I would in any part of the world. It takes there's more than one way to skin a kangaroo. And as long as the kangaroo gets its skin off and as long as we get the message yet there I think. Let's encourage the variety of ministry and that's what I see here and I think that's a really good thing. What would you say I also find a lot of challenges that we have particularly I think often in the course and suddenly the reason we have the vast population and. You know as has been read one point three three billion people different cards creed different languages. Of course we have challenges you know as has been said is the largest democracy and as well as I would say is the largest the Constitution in the world because we have a different segment different society different language the mentality different culture and we find it really difficult that way to get into and to bring them together and you know when we have it when the politically. We we find difficult to really be so free to spread the gospel and of course as far as the our administration is concerned and we find a challenge internally to that we have. You know sometimes the people the lows the confident on us we try our best and that we be accountable and that's what this concluding and we feel that we should win the confidence of the lay members who who are able to contribute their trust on us and you know there may be some areas we may not able to cope with what the think of but we are as much as we do it that we transparent in our dealings and loving them calling them inviting them. And now what we see of a lot of blame members they come forward and that's the sign of the changes that we could see it and it is difficult for us because I know as. I have come here for A.S.I. but unfortunately we do not have the I.C. I in our country because of a lot of challenges that we have but I'm going through this and after learning the excitement that I have that we could start because you know we are not able to win the confidence of the layman. But we will see it and order God's grace the Holy Spirit that is working in among the limbers and who have the confidence now and they are coming up we have one point seven million members we have and out of that annoyed. We plan to make it double as what we. We want to involve the limbers moral fools and I then begin to have a confidence on us in spite of some challenges that we have thank you very much. Yes. Miller Samuel thank you so rather Steve I want to touch on the very fundamental issue like Dr Lee has mentioned that in turn X. and the factors and then the intern effect I want to focus on the individual I think what and why has this council as a revival or true gotten as among us as the Great has and the most urgent needs. This is the point said that their personal revival is the key that it is so needed as I look at a look at in my division and as. We have for one point three billion of our population but we are membership to one point three million of that one point three seventy six eighty six in the two countries alone the Philippines and then the Indonesia but this also we have a problem with them the distribution of a membership but that they don't so blessing in a challenge that we face everywhere but one thing is that the another issue is that what is our war values. You know what is our perspective that is a very important. I have to admit that I have a bias and a prejudice against the Muslim because the way that I was treated by my own father who is a Muslim. And that I have nothing. I want to do with Muslims until the last year that during the devotion of the part of the trust God who came and talk about it and then that I committed then and last year I went and I talked to my father in order never I wanted to talk to him always up like talking to him but I changed my mind and then I talked to him and as a result. My father fifty years and he gave his life and then he's going to get back to. This year I met a man that is one thing that many times that you know we have to personally break down some of the prejudices of the bias that we have. And then in the seek the help of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we are focused on our own people. Our own tripe in our own country. But today that we have learned that the calling the calling. It's not only the place where. Andy. You know we've talked about some various some pretty serious internal and external issues here and I preach pastor Samuel said and sometimes it's in our own heart isn't it. Where we need to resolve some things before we can fully have that burden for souls that we need and and so that God can really do that and summarize what you heard here this afternoon in terms of those challenges for our audience. I'm actually very encouraged because it's interesting I have that quote that you mentioned a revival of the greatest looks and so I really appreciate that fact I think oftentimes we tend to look out there at something else rather than looking at our hearts and I think that. Daniel nine gives us a great example of how we should be looking at things we have sinned and done wrong. And so I think if we begin there. Revival I think the message will go as far in the stubble The other thing that you mention elderly is that we've lost the mission spirit. Certainly as we look at the early pioneers in the mission we can see that and one of you mentioned you did with the saw no luck. I'm sorry. And so I really think that you gentlemen to hit on these points. I pray that. Time have heard the points that are made and take those to heart. Just one last point I think that. One thing is that we have a need to be reminded that we do the work we will furnish him. The instruments that we finish the work. So sometimes we get confused when well yes dear but I think it is true that we may have even more challenges see the future as we come nearer to the end of the age of eighty. We may have a mortality is a mission is so easy but as Ellen why I said this is not I would work. This is God's work and God has a started his work and God will finish his work using dedicated and men and women saw what I'd like to encourage all I would and Ole people who are you know that engaged in missionary work but don't be afraid of anyone anything in the word you know in advance of work him and let us work together with the United heart and let's move forward together and by the grace of God through the power hope of the Holy Spirit. So we can finish the work. So in the near future and I'm in. Well this afternoon as part of our feature one of the things that we'll be bringing to you is some short stories about how things are working in some areas where the lay people and the administration of the church are working shoulder to shoulder and this afternoon. Now we'll have one of those stories for you now and afternoon and it's so nice to be with you today. I have the privilege of having Elder Robert Falkenberg Jr with me. He's the president of the Chinese Union. Hello good afternoon and tell us a little bit about the work that you are doing in China. Well we are trying to continue the work started in China by a layman back in one thousand nine hundred eight Abram's Leroux left California with a burden for the Chinese and traveled all the way. Hong Kong and begin a life long work. He's actually buried in Hong Kong to reach the Chinese who for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. You know China is a very unique situation elder Falcon Bergen how are you able to share the gospel message in China. Well it's unique on many fronts number one it's the largest population in the world we have one point four billion people in China. And one can't help but ask how in the world can we reach that now. I appreciate what all the Bradshaw said this morning. You can look at the glass half full or you can look at it half empty and we prefer as seventy evidence to look at it as half full. Amen. A man and in this case the Lord is doing amazing things amongst the Chinese. Yes there are one point four billion people to reach for a fork for Christ in China but the Holy Spirit is working and up to now we have almost a half a million members all across China which is amazing given the fact that we're in a country that does not believe in or support belief in God or in religion at all. That's amazing. And you know I know that you were mentioning when I was talking with you a little bit about some of the experiences in the testimonies that you have absolutely one of the things that we are we realize in China is that traditional methods of evangelism are not easily accomplished we cannot hold public evangelists to meetings. But if you look at the writings of L. and white over and over again probably twice as much as anything else she talks about personal work personal work and personal work works everywhere in the world that is one person reaching out and connecting with another person and making friends for eternity and the Chinese church has been doing this for many many years at the beginning of the communist revolution in one hundred forty nine. We only had twenty thousand members in China when the church began to emerge from. Those difficult years over two hundred thousand members were there and all of that took place through personal work and so one of the ways that we're doing this in China is through setting up many centers of influence as we call them but in China we don't call them Centers of Influence. We call them service centers and in the span of the last three years we've started over fifty of these centers and these are small store fronts and every single one of them. Barbara have a couple two people whose job is to make friends and get bible studies. Can I share a story about one of the centers. Just last week I was talking to our coordinator for the centers and he said Bob You won't believe what I just heard from one of our centers you know what they do at that center they sell health foods they sell whole grains brown rice all kinds of a vegetarian options in juices and so forth and they order all this health food from a wholesaler in this big city that they're in and this wholesaler was curious why is it this this little store orders all these bags of whole grains. So he made a trip over to this little storefront one of the service centers and talked to them and found out what they were doing and before their visit was over they began Bible studies with this wholesale manager. Yeah but that's not the end of the story. What happened next was every day every week the wholesaler is sending material over you know sending the whole grains in the rice and all this through a courier and the Gospel worker pioneers that are in there began to feed this courier every time he came there they would sit him down and give him great food and before you know it. He is also studying the Bible with him. Praise the Lord. This isn't has been a wonderful wonderful Americal you know I know for a fact there are many of our lay ministries that are able to get into China. Through the videos and other materials tell us a little. That about that. Absolutely. We're using media all the time. In fact this we have the Chinese hope T.V. that is covering China through satellite we do the same programs over the Internet we work very closely with amazing facts. We're starting to work with it is written to put their programs but what is amazing is that even though it's not OK maybe I shouldn't say this on television but anyway. We have satellite dishes all across China now in all our churches. So they're getting all this wonderful material. Secondly we are using the Internet every single day nine million people download our message through podcasts and nine million people and it also administering the radio and admin is Will radio podcasts. Yeah we produce programs which go through from Guam. Through haven't for radio but then they take those same programs in put them on podcasts and they are download via podcasts. Praise the Lord. You know God is going to do everything he needs to know to finish this work and you know there's many many more stories of the older folk and we're just going to be able to share. Tell us you're both Number seven to one in Chinese seven to one. So please be sure to stop by there and he were to share with you many many more stories and also give you some information if you want to get more involved. Thank you. Thank you so much Barbara. Elder Falkenberg. How many of you are going to pray for China. The Lord is going to do miracles in that part of the world. Well we have a wonderful line up at our next group group number two is Europe and the Asian continent and. As they're going to be coming out. Just now I'm going to introduce the trans European division whose president is Elder Rafah. Come all and the trans European division which encompasses. Twenty two countries was first organized in one nine hundred twenty eight last reorganized in two thousand and twelve. From the breathtaking glaciers in the north of Europe to the sun washed shorelines of the South from the lush Glen's of Greenland to the in the West to the great ice cap mountains in the east the trans European division sparkles with diversity wrote that just want you to know. Europe is the world's second smallest continent by a landmass covering only about two percent of the earth's surface. In terms of population however it is the third largest continent. After Asia and Africa with a population of some seven hundred and thirty three million people or about eleven percent of the world's population. Amid a population of two hundred five million there are about eight in the T.D. there are eighty six thousand Seventh Day Adventist members worshipping in one thousand one hundred and sixty five churches across the division. Most of their inhabitants live in a highly secular region of the world their ministries focus on evangelism and outreach to those in secular thinking their vision is that their one thousand plus churches will be salt and light to their communities next to him is Elder Mario Brito who is the president of the enter European division. The enter European division is made up of twenty countries with a total population of over three hundred fifty million people there is a great diversity of languages historical backgrounds cultures and traditions that may be seen as a great challenge but more recently these countries have been confronted with the arrival of a great number of immigrants and refugees with their own languages beliefs and cultures. This very complex and apparently challenging situation. Is being understood by the leaders of our church in the E.U. D. as a fertile ground for the advancement of the mission that God has entrusted them. Some of the immigrants and refugees are completely open to receiving the Gospel me. Ssage many of our churches are being greatly blessed now as they minister to these newcomers and several church members are feeling the desire of even having a closer relationship with God as they minister to them a growing number of young people are also willing to recommit their lives to Jesus and be involved in missions throughout the E.U. D. the leadership of the E.U. D. is confident that the tremendous challenges with which they are confronted are concealed opportunities for the prosperity and the growth of the something of an his church in this region of the world next to him is Pastor Michael Kaminski The president of the Euro Asia Division the Eurasia division is a vast territory with a small number of church members ninety five percent of them came into the church as a result of the large Of Angeles to campaigns that took place in the fall of communism in one nine hundred ninety. There are thirteen countries including the large Russia which we know and Afghanistan that make up this division one hundred thirteen thousand members with a population of over three hundred twenty million people they are very dedicated to the Lord. But now they are praying for a positive example of how they can reach their territory even without being able to hold large public meetings. Their challenge. They need places of worship. Congregations in cities are worshipping in rental facilities and the new laws that have been put in place restrict such practices. They also need church schools and their vision. Surely is to spread the gospel among the many non christians in the ten forty window. Thank you very much for the introduction. Thank you for joining us. We were led very nice to second session. By a first group one of whom mention a very important quote that a revival of true God among this is the greatest and most urgent of. And you gentlemen I'm sure feel the same and I wonder you know most of us. Keep awake at night sometimes just thinking all sorts of things and I wonder what keeps you up at night or what drives you in the middle of the night on your knees before the Lord. What is it that you're grappling with for the Lord as you see all the work that's before us and a world in need. Usually when I come home. I am tired I sleep at least three hours and many times I wake up wake up in love and pray pray for the church that God may wake us up. We are so busy running from one place to another that sometimes we don't have enough time to think about what is the most important life. We are just visitors. We are passing by here. Our home is heaven and while we don't understand this. Clearly we too much emphasis in our life here. The material and we forget that the most important thing is to invest in people and I would like that our church in general may have this understand. I also pray for the people outside of the church because they also are busy and for many people in our territory they don't think about these important. But it has introduction into the challenges through which we are going now making many people think and seeing that our. Stay here is not so sure. S. it may appear so what keeps me awake and bring is that God may help us understand that this will this coming to it when I see us the church and the world. At a committee and very often the we as the church themes of the status quo war we have now in many countries. I mean their peace in the freedom religious freedom will last forever. But that is not the saw for example in the rush where a few weeks ago all the sign of the new legislation the world has three QT very severely missionary activities of the troika leaders are going to zation on that part of the world. But I think very often. Why we as the church. Many times one bass a late her in our activities seen these world for last twenty five he urse after the nineteen ninety S. we in the Russian are the countries of the former Soviet Union has had the golden time twenty five ers we can go to any country preach to anybody in the white anybody to the Troy church and now when we have the news illiterate suasion when we can openly in the why to the trigger on this three people. When in the big C.D.'s Our biggest congregation can lose their places of their warship we start to ask of the Lord why the War two We are inside of the conditions and for sure we will do all possible in these new situations and I would like to appeal to the troika where we still have. Very open possibility to preach the gospel. These will not last forever use of the possibilities of the moment. Today you have very openly to come to the people and share the law of the God that canal. People asked me How do I sleep at night. My answer is I see it like a baby and I know that Jesus Christ is building His Church. So I am at peace when I wake up in the morning I wake up with a lot of excitement because God has put plans for us for all of us and I guess the thing that occupies most of my time my thoughts. My hearts is to discover where the Holy Spirit. Is working especially on the local church level that's where I believe where the rubber meets the road in this where the Holy Spirit is working. So when I think about our one thousand plus communities. They're operating in a regulated social environment in Europe and the secular environment. I'm just thinking about my town when I drive to work in the morning and I witness the cathedral which is not very far from us the Anglican Cathedral there the bishop of the cathedral is a practicing homosexual and then you drive up the road and you see hundreds and hundreds of students making their way to school and we know that in the schools. The idea of concept of creation the story of creation is not being taught. It's almost a taboo. So how do you operate as acceptance Day Adventists Christian with that identity with that important message living at the end of time in such a secular regulated society. So this is where I go on my knees and I say God help it takes a miracle. We're not exceptional every single generation of Christians from the early disciples they had their own challenges. Once you put the challenge. Plus the power of the spirit you get the medical you get the opportunities and I believe we are living at a time where it is a time for parties for us. That's what excites me. That's what occupies my time. My thoughts something positive that God has put in motion a miracle and God is raising the leaders. God is bringing to this momentum. We're going to see people flocking to come to Jesus Christ as they await this on his resources so any time. You know I'm excited today when I hear the burden of the hearts of our leaders really the burden for the idea that sometimes we have forgotten our sense of mission and the burden for the idea that sometimes we're not understanding the open opportunity we may have right now and I hear them praying for their members and praying for even those in their community that they see that need Christ. I'm encouraged by that. And I think you know what an opportunity for us. I'm just thinking now as we're pondering the maybe another question if a lay person is in your division or maybe someone's even outside of your area. How how how is it that the administrative structure of the church is functioning in communicating those plans to the to the people that sit in the pews it seems like sometimes there might be a little disconnect in there and what what things could be done to improve that. How can the laypeople help to in that area to maybe improve where so that the plans that are being made are the plans that the the church members understand and can help to implement. This is a very important question already in the time I was working in the union in Portugal I was always with my team to see how can we go. When you create. We the People. Today we have many electronic means that allows us to have direct assess to the people but we still are trying to find ways of being able to communicate. We if you see. That we can go through all the levels of our structure with a very clear and fast message. This is something we have to discuss because I know it's not always easy but for me. What is most important is to empower Lelie this to empower local pastors that they know exactly what God is expecting from them that they don't depend so much from a structure but the pen directly or directly from God they receive the guidelines. We are going to have the sea year in September an advisory all departments together. Telling them that we have to work as a team at all levels. Giving them the main lines that they may by themselves follow. We don't depending too much on these heavy structures that these hours. I think we need to add me to that. These multiple instruments so we have today and we use to bring the information to our congregation the first one disconnect asked as the pastors and leaders from the real life of the church. Sometimes we seeing that we send a letter or put the letter on the church board or give their telephone call to somebody and we finish or complete our drop that is NOT saw at the beginning of the we tell to our church as the leaders of the church and pastors that will not propose anything to the Troy. If we personally not in war in debt in the church. Therefore I personally and this stand that even we together was George preach the gospel. There will forget all the other things we are not highly doing in our way administration our pastoral job preaching the gospel that the reason of the church in this war to and our common Come existing in this world. I guess the communication used to be two ways. Junot only be from the leaders and the pastors down I think we need to encourage to create safe spaces and spaces for the dialogue that goes on between Latey and leadership and pastors I like the model here where we see young people at the front. They are members taking a leading roles in the shaping of the ministry shaping our minds. There's a Holy Spirit receptivity there and we're working together as one team. I feel a bit on conference sometimes when people talk about laity and or A.S.I.O. reaching to the church. My understanding is that we are all one and we are all one body of Christ and somehow we need to work. Also on our language to detox from us and them but we are actually one. And so one. I'm trying to encourage that kind of language inclusiveness at least in my division that we actually want family is in groups and because the devil wants to distract us and creates a scan of barriers between us and somehow we need to mitigate against that and create that inclusiveness. That's where that we are one brothers and sisters in Christ doing focusing on the mission we one church where United. You know that actually is one thing we were talking about even in putting these questions together. We had used the word division which we understand is a corporate word that describes how we organize the church but we said you know that word. Has kind of a negative connotation doesn't it. And so Andy and I were going through the questions and we were trying to strike that word from our questions and come to the point where we could talk about ourselves even and even ask questions and dialogue without using the word division because I think that's God's plan is that we be unified shoulder to shoulder working together and so thank you. Certainly. Thank you for that comment. I know we're out of time again it's impossible. It seems that clock just keeps on running questions about the division and what we are divided. You know I believe that. We need to be united in a man if we want to accomplish the mission we can see that in the early church they received the Holy Spirit when they knelt down and prays we need to receive the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit can unite us can help us set our priorities. If we don't go if we don't feel that we will never be able to accomplish the mission is the Holy Spirit that will bring conviction to our hearts that will help us be lights on this world. It's not just the oral message is the leaving message what does my example my influence a man only through the powerful the speechless. Thank you so much for joining us today. And now we have another story about somewhere in the world where things are being done to advance God's work working shoulder to shoulder wonderful wonderful testimonies. I can tell you these next two gentlemen if we could be here all afternoon but we know we only have a few short minutes so I would like to introduce Dr Barry Otto Ferrera. And Klaus. And they're working in the A.S.I. euro. So please tell us first of all how did you first start this ministry. Well it was a year ago more or less that we were all surprised by something that happened in Hungary in the city of Budapest. It was an A a psych Europe convention at the same time with thousands of people at come that were fleeing from the Middle East where in the city of Budapest. They were in the train station they were walking in the streets there and there was tremendous pain in their faces and there was a lot of hurt because they had to they were refugees. And so the year of convention was taking place at that time. And the A.S.I. members were walking past the station every day to go to the meetings when one A.S.I. member said to us came to Europe and they said Look here is one hundred thousand euros. You need to do something for these people. And that's how it all started. So within five weeks with the help of organizations. Even including the Church like the Romania one of the Romanian conferences. There was a medical bus. It's was equipped it was a medical bus on an island of Lesbos which was the main island that was receiving where people were fleeing to from Turkey up to ten thousand people a day that they were coming to that to that island. It's wonderful and I know that you have some pictures that you're going to be showing us and that's one of those pictures is what is happening right now on the island of last posts. Yes well close you were there. Tell us tell us what happened was we came then started establishing a medical facility to receive these refugees. We were able to place a bus right on the beach as we see in this picture here and receive refugees and they were coming in and they. Thousands this is in the fall a year ago. And so at the height in October two thousand and fifteen. We would have fifty boats that whatever arrived just on the beach where we were at here every single day and you see as we go on these boats that are coming in they were full of people they would be fifty people typically on a boat as they were coming in and some of the places were rocky beaches as you are seeing here where they have driving in and where they're getting help people were cold it was cold water and a lot of people were high with the media and so the medical team was there helping assess the needs looking through all of these thousands of refugees coming in and just simply showing them love and acceptance. Wonderful. Well I know that you were telling me a story about a young man Dr tell me a little bit about this young man that came in. Well just tell you that in three months where these was happening over two thousand five hundred people were held at the medical bus and one of them was these young men we had Dr Michael Johns on the horse and one of the volunteers there. These young men arrived it was hurting you had a broken food swollen food. And and Michael. Dr Michael started you seeing him and so the young man took you cell phone and was looking at was showing some pictures of some children and then he just started crying and crying uncontrollably and so that through the translator. Dr Michael got the story of this young man he was I believe he was in Syria. And two children were killed and these wife was taken by ISIS militants. You managed to escape. He jumped from a very high place when he landed he broke his food but he couldn't stop. So for one month he had been traveling through. To reach us at that point. And with this still with this broken foot stool and completely swollen broken food trying to escape. These are some of the people that we were meeting there. I remember waking up one morning early and we were listening to our boat woken up by screams and whistles blowing from the sea and as we looked out the window. We saw the picture of what you see here of a boat coming in have sunken and hundred and fifty people on the most of them standing outside trying to balance this boat and we started then a rescue effort to try and get people off this boat and we will see hand the video how desperate people to get off before this is sinking inside of the boat or even more people of women and children that are all trying to get out of this that these people have paid to get on these boats they pay two thousand two hundred euros a person you do the math and figure out how much the smugglers earn on one boat like that this should never have been at sea. These people have gone through a lot of things and a desperate when they come here and as this situation that we're meeting close I'm just looking at the clock. We are now in the second phase of these work and they do in mainland Greece because now they are thousands and thousands of refugees in Greece the stranded there and the Greek government has to look after them. Basically these a new camp one of the refugee camps the capital an officer and just two weeks ago they were up to almost seven hundred or more people there and they asked Europe to be responsible for the medical services in that camp. So we've got a medical facility there which is going to be a scribe these container were inside this forty foot container that's all a medical clinic that is a range that here we have. Doctors and nurses working all day long to serve these people to work with them and so make friends and introduce them in that way to the love of Jesus. They have a lot of facilities they have and we need doctors we need nurses that can come. And we're looking for volunteers we have people come from around the world to be part of this and you know what you're doing nothing else and then this right. No no this is not my work. OK I've got a full time work somewhere else. This is we when do we do these clothes you also have your full time work and this is at night it's sometimes in the middle of the night but we have meetings to organize and to do these and you know what these can only be done if we work together a man when you see the needs. Even if we have more than enough to do We haven't been able to ignore these people coming in and what we're asking is if any of you can help go there for one or two weeks we could use people like a Coke and other practical things as well. Contact us at the booth and talk to us. You can go to our website as well and let us know how you could help be part of reaching these people. Thank you all so imagine you know those are minute number please and come and say hello thank you and God bless there's so many more stories they'll share has a been a blessing. So far our program this afternoon. We are going to introduce to you now the third group of division presidents that are with us today. Africa and the Middle East. Our first division president that I will introduce as he comes out in just a moment. Following Steve is Elder Blassie S. the president of the East Central Africa division. The E.C.V. is comprised of the eleven countries in East and Central Africa Burundi Ethiopia Eritrea Djibouti Kenya Tanzania Uganda the D.R.S.. The South Sudan Rwanda which you heard about this morning and Somalia these countries have a population of over four hundred million people and the Seventh Day Adventist Church membership is approximately three point three million with three union conferences and eight union missions. There are seven Adventist universities in the E.C. and it's the home for the admin is University of Africa a graduate school serving the entire African continent the city is also very proud of its Maxwell admin is to Cademy that has been a great blessing for missionaries and their kids for quality administration cation for many many years the city has seven hospitals serving the people. And an interesting fact I was actually at their division headquarters just a few months ago with brother Steve and elder Gary tells me that the division office on the grounds has over fifty gazelles at least three to four pythons I'm glad I did not meet them and a few other beautiful animals living in the compound very close to the division office. Their greatest challenge is to break the culture of members thinking that the work is mostly done by the pastors their vision is to saturate the whole territory of the division with the advent message and to get everyone involved in mission. Next to elder agree is. Elder elder samei Vincent who is the Sabbath school and personal ministries and evangelism director he is representing their president. Ellie week veto who could not be with us this afternoon but elder Vincent you told me that there are twenty two countries in your division with four languages spoken primarily French English Portuguese and Spanish they have a population overall of over two hundred and fifty million people and a membership of seven hundred thousand the biggest challenge in the West Central African Division is that they want to reach those countries that are in the ten forty window their vision is evangelism though and they want to double the membership. By two thousand and twenty Amen. And to do that they are going to have a special mission focus in two thousand and eighteen where they aim to have twenty thousand evangelism sites division wide with preachers coming from all over the world their vision is to encourage their members to take place take part rather in total member involvement that each member will do their part to reach their neighbors for Christ. Next to him is Elder Solomon mafiosa who is the president of the southern Africa Indian Ocean division S ID operates in twenty three countries and the islands it comprise it is comprised of ten unions and one attached field and the Lord has blessed this division with a membership of three million five hundred fourteen thousand and sixty worshipping in twenty three thousand churches twenty three thousand nine hundred seventy two churches throughout their territory. Now their greatest mission challenge pastor told me is in South Africa where they see the people struggle with many challenges drugs human trafficking economic woes and violence. And in this area they are praying for a breakthrough in the South African Union there is a population of over fifty five million but the membership is only one hundred fifty thousand. This is an area in need of urgent prayer. They want to see South Africa catch the same fire that the other unions have found across their division like in Zambia where the membership is over one million in that country alone in two thousand and eighteen they plan to have a major mission focused on South Africa with church members partnering together with church leaders to reach the rainbow nation with the Gospel their vision is to get every member involved and participating in the mission of the church. And finally next to him is Elder Rick McEdwards the president of the Middle East and North Africa Union now Mehta is not a division but it is a special special area of the world as elder Wilson referenced in the beginning. It has the most vast territory and the Middle East and North Africa Union formed in two thousand and eleven is comprised of twenty countries with. Over five hundred million people ninety nine percent of Mina is Muslim the geography of the church ranges from Morocco on the west to Iran in the east and includes countries of the Arabian Peninsula and Turkey in addition to the northern parts of Cyprus and Sudan. It includes the biblical lands of Babylon Egypt Persia which are made of today's Iraq Iran Lebanon Syria and Egypt plus many locations in Jordan the church has three thousand five hundred members Middle East university is operated by men in Beirut in Mina there is one administers for every one hundred and forty eight thousand five hundred and seventy one people there mission challenges pastor McEdwards told me there are forty eight cities of one million people or more some of which have never had one Seventh Day Adventist set foot in them and they have four countries that are war torn and completely unstable the church is either illegal or unwelcome in almost all of their countries and their lack of human resources means that they rely on people from other nations to come and join them so that they can be a light in a dark place but nevertheless past McEdwards courage is strong and he asked me to express his appreciation especially to her home or to carton for his sacrificial leadership in this field and to say thank you to you. The worldwide Seventh Day Adventist Church for your tremendous support of the mission in the Middle East and North Africa Union. Thanks Kyra. Well I want to tell you before I tell you before I start my question. I discussed with my group here. The question I was going to ask them just a few minutes ago and they all got great big smiles on their faces they were very excited about the question is when my favorite questions in fact all the Solomon said Oh good. It's not a scary question. So they're all relieved and relaxed and I'm looking forward to hearing the answers to this question on what has said in several play. Is that we should be home here this. And I want to know. Why do you think we're still here is there something we can do. Now to signal. There is a problem is in Scripture. And all of us on our way of life promised that. This gospel of the kingdom. Must be preached. To the whole world and then the end shall come. If the end has not come yet it is because we have not preached this Gospel to the whole I would start with my own situation back in the East Central Africa division where just announced that the population of the countries that form is over four hundred million people. Then he said we are only three point three million members of this seven day Adventist Church in these countries when if you cut rate their issue. You don't want to even say one more thing. Then you feel like we have not to started our work in these territories. And I think this question your posting to us and it is a question that begs for all of us to read it can see the way that we are in the serious loans business or not. For me and my division. We do not want to think we can ever rest again. Until we have covered this great population of four hundred million people. Now I don't know what I can say for the past but I need to tell this assembly and those who are watching us wherever. They are. That it is possible for us to do exactly what Jesus said about finishing this work. We tried with one of our unions by involving all the members in that union and I would tell you even though we wanted to do that we were not able to do it but we were able to involve quite a number of lay people something that we have not done in the past and just in two weeks we have been able to generate this report that has been going around where we baptized one hundred thousand plus people in two weeks. Now my common sense tells me that if we did that all of our countries in Central Africa division. It will be a surprise and I think if this happens all around the world in a few years we will have for fear there is a desire our Lord expressed before he left that this message would have reached the whole one and then he can come. Thank you very much. Thank you so much for the the comment of his so whites as you know we have because we like stories. Not too long ago my wife got the message. Somebody was that in this story it Buster was driving. The Percy of on or person was stopping him. He stopped a big tip is in the sky. One day a person into the person says such as saying yes to the part of was what I'm really. We want the SAPIEN in the world that Georgie's us let us drop everything. Let us and the world and you just said. Not now father because my own friends are not all afraid. Some of my friends are not afraid. It just me. If we asked still here is because they want us to be ready because for that if I ever because for the formation. It is time for us at Adventist. To really be what we see we are. To really be what we are preaching with need not only to reach where we need to leave the little life of Jesus Christ. And because Christ want those to be like him. If we allow Him if we belong to him if I were hearts can't change if we cannot allow the Holy Spirit to really take off everything that we do. Then we will be best at last for Christ and as ambassadors for Christ. We will go there. Not only to talk but during the replays and Christ as he was we were able to do so not only we as members of the chair would be ready. But more people or we act that to deal. Us the this mission message that is given to a British man is so proud to be Adventist is to be a seven The Advent. That is the shot of got went got groups that do it. He is police have people who are Several of the Adventist Church. So he formation revive a real Christian living then the time of it you know what division. This is the message of the leadership all of us some beauty of us have to go out and walk before you. Thank you so much of the Solomon. Well next time I'll be very careful when they ask me questions before I come to you you get to meet your question here. But I believe very very strongly that one of the reasons that Christ has not come is maybe that we is leaders have not led the church the way God expects us to lead the church. We have tried to do all the work ourselves while the church members just sat and watched us fail to do the work. I believe and when I read. Ellen wait. I don't hear her saying that. It is us the powerful ministers who will finish the work while the members sit. I hear her saying I saw the Saints Saints is more than just a pastor she saw the members going from city to city from village to village with the spirit military in that we are praying for maybe why the lettering has not yet fallen it's because we are still doing it wrong. I am happy for what the church is now doing to try and help the church to. This business the rate way to take Minister way it belongs. Remember to also know that their role is to share equal spill in our division three point five million members. You have members who are active and you may be some of them feel guilty that they are playing a role that is not there as you know but they shouldn't be feeling guilty if because we have even called ourselves ministers and they are the lame members and yet the Bible in Ellen way it did not say that we need to take the ministry pact with the members. So that they know that they are the ministers and that they give two of the spirit that is given to us is to train them and eat them for ministry. According to the word of what I believe when we do that and we pray I don't believe the Holy Spirit will come or come later in place us as we sit in our living rooms and enjoy watching television. I don't think it will happen that way when the Spirit of God to fail on the day of Pentecost. They did something they stood up they did the talked about they did something for court three thousand conversions one day. The spirit of court will not fall upon a church that's just sitting. You cannot arm your soldiers for them to just sit home and do nothing you arm them to go to petal I want to believe God operates on the same principle wrong I hope I'm not going to be censured but that's the past the point. That's the point I believe you do with all my heart. We're not doing great list to change the way a court wants it done all of us toward our member involvement in our division we. One member one song then they make you. Now the Macand would in at least two of the divisions that have spoken. They have a thousand times the membership that we have in our union. Oh boy and yet our union I think is probably double the size of the divisions in terms of population we could sit here and count to one hundred and forty eight thousand people one by one before we find one Seventh Day Adventists and our problem about. The coming of Christ is not an extra No problem it's not about the challenge it's an internal problem. It's about us in our hearts and whether we are willing to stand behind God's call in each of our lives to go where he sends us instead of repeating the message over and over again to those who have already heard that challenge is mine and it's yours and my heart is very tender for the seventy percent of five hundred million people who never have met a Christian person of any denomination. We need prayer. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We need to poor resources from the World Church as is happening. But even more into territories like the Middle East and North Africa and we need every member of the world church saying what can I do for those that do not yet know Jesus even in the most basic message form. I think it's us here. It's our duty our responsibility to respond to God's call and just say Lord what can I do. And thank you so much. I have. I appreciate your candor this answers and certainly I think we can all take the challenge that the problem is is within ourselves. And so I appreciate your answers I put appreciate your participation and I just pray for each one of us that we will examine our own selves and figure out why is it that there is indeed a delay. Thank you gentlemen. Thank you very much. We have another wonderful testimony to share today Roy a young woman by the name of Elizabeth. Now some of you may be looking at this young lady and saying wait a second. That's not a little bit. Well Elizabeth is a pseudonym for her real name because she is going to be working in the Middle East and representing the Middle East North African Union. So Elizabeth tell us a little bit about how did your ministry begin. All right very good. How many of you all went to see Jesus come a man many of you all went to see the Gospel go to the Middle East North Africa region. OK here's the real question how many of you all are willing to move to the Middle East North Africa region get a job and scared Jesus with your workmates and your community not very many hands. All right so I work with the Middle East North Africa Union of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and I work with an exciting and initiative called Total employment and basically my job is to prayerfully recruit mission minded spirit filled Seventh Day Adventists from around the world to the Middle East North Africa Union not to be pastors Excedrin but to be lay members to be doctors dentists engineers science teachers high school teachers artists musicians graphic designers start a business be entrepreneurs' businessmen to reach out to the. Community. So this is called Total employment and we need you. We need you in the audience when you do you who are watching on T.V. because the gospel has to go to all the world before Jesus comes Amen. You rarely men in our lives are rip it's very very difficult obviously recursion What is the major religion in your area that you will be going into. The dominant religion is Islam in our area of the world but I am here to tell you that the people of this region are beautiful. They have wonderful hospitality and they are searching for something more just like everyone else around the world and also here to tell you that if you focus on Fox News and C.N.N. and what's happening. You will not go. But if the Israelites had focused on Jericho and said it. The God that could bring down the walls of Jericho they wouldn't have walked around seven times in the wall fell down. So I'm calling you to focus on God for example a lie Shia and behave the way they were surrounded by an army but a lie ship create that their eyes would be open and they had an army of angels around them. We can go anywhere where guide leads us and while Betts wander from dollars a rope sure a little bit. Now obviously you're married and your husband were profession history. My husband is a tent maker my and he's part of the total employment an issue to we call a members tent makers as Apostle Paul he did tents. Well and supported him self while he was ministering to the local people still my husband and I we I had a great job at a university in the United States but we saw that there was this region of the world where the people needed to learn about Jesus Christ and so through prayer and our family support God led us to the men a region and my husband this last year for. A year and a half we were at an Adventist institution but my husband was convicted to be a tent maker. So he is going to be a science teacher and North Africa. God has clearly led us to this place and I challenge you to get on your knees and pray is God leading me to the Middle East North Africa region. I want to tell you after we made the decision to transition from one country in North Africa to another I was a little bit nervous. I had gotten comfortable in the first country that we were in and I didn't want to have to buy new furniture and this that the other learn a different a dialect of Arabic. So my husband and I we had a special day of fasting and prayer and on this day God led me to the book Christian service and to a quote by Ellen White that says Avon's is need to move out of the Avonex Macca I'm paraphrasing but the avenues and Macas in the United States and other places in goal into dark communities as families as single individuals and make friends with neighbors in work in these different professions as laypeople to share Jesus. So we first read that quote on the day that we were fasting in pray. Secondly about an hour later I got a phone call from my dad my dad works at a small clinic in the southern part of the United States and on the day that we were fasting and praying I heard that he had had a patient and she was from the exact town and country that we are going to and here and in my hometown and we've been able to meet with her twice over the summer and were able to connect with her family that still live in the country and city that we're going to so I challenge you guys pray ask God. Where is he calling me. Could it be the Middle East North Africa region because the Bible says the gospel has to go to all the world perfect love casts out all fear we are NOT have to be fearful we do not have to be dismayed. So I challenge you to join our minute team. Thank you thank you Elizabeth and tell us in the last few seconds share with us your website so that people can contact you if they are interested or anyone that's out there in the viewing audience. How can they contact you what your website our website is for total employment which again is lay members coming to the Middle East North Africa and we help you find a job. We help you learn the language we are here to support you but it's T E M E E N N A dot net C E M E E N A dot net and you can also come to our booth which is booth seven hundred God bless you God bless thank you. All right thank you Barbara thank you. Mandy praise the Lord for what's happening in matter how many of you are going to pray for that region of the world. Let's pray for them. We are ready for our final group of our division presidents this afternoon and now we're going to turn our attention closer to home to the Americas and our first division leader is going to be brother elder Leon Wellington who is the vice president and secretary from the enter American division. He is representing pro about President Israel later who could not be with us today. But the enter American division consists of thirty eight countries including Mexico Central America Venezuela Colombia and all the beautiful islands of the Caribbean. The I.A.D. has twenty four unions with a membership of three point eight million members and growing in more than twenty one thousand congregations they speak many languages but they operate principally in English Spanish French and Dutch their members are actively embracing T.M.I. through the divisions emphasis on Lord transform me. They have fourteen active A.S.I. chapters that are impacting their countries and communities in positive ways. In fact there is like invention is just two weeks away and. There lay members are very involved in mission and are enthusiastically working and waiting for the return of Jesus Christ. Next up is Elder Urton Koehler the president of the South American division the South American division is the church office that coordinates the work in eight countries Brazil Argentina Europe Europe why Paraguay Chile Peru Bolivia and Ecuador. There are three hundred and twenty million people that inhabit these countries and the South American division is a family of more than two point four million members with twenty seven thousand churches and companies. They have five thousand pastors. And an educational system with three hundred twenty thousand students in eight hundred eighty eight schools academies and universities. The South American division is also a very young and dynamic division their membership of their membership under just almost sixty percent of them are under thirty five years old so they are strongly focused on communication to present the gospel over five hundred people work in their media center which is actively promoting the gospel through television radio and the Internet their greatest challenge is to involve every member with the mission of the church. They accomplish this through a vision for discipleship that encompasses three key areas. Number one communion with God spiritual life that's the foundation number two integration and relationships they focus on small groups as the bridge in number three the focus is their mission. And their initiative my talent my ministry is that everyone finds their talent to reach others for Christ it's another way of saying T.M.I. the vision is that each member each church and eats and each institution works together to prepare disciples to meet the Lord in the clouds of heaven and finally I'd like to introduce to you. The president of the North American division. My boss. Elder Dan Jackson and he is there next to Steve and I will say only good things because he is my boss. And we love him and we pray for you all to Jackson. The North American division includes the countries of Bermuda Canada Micronesia and the United States of America. It is home to more than one point two million Seventh Day Adventists who represent every major cultural and ethnic group in the world worshipping in six thousand congregations the N.A.V. has sixty hospitals twelve hundred schools with fifteen universities and colleges and over six thousand congregations recently USA Today recognize the Seventh Day Adventist Church in North America as the most most ethnically diverse religious denomination in the United States even though the North American division was the birthplace of the Seventh Day Adventist Church it wasn't fully recognized as a world division until one thousand nine hundred five. But for more than one hundred fifty years the in eighty has joyfully participated in the mission of the church around the world as it has spread the gospel to more than two hundred countries countries. The mission statement of the North American division is to reach North America and the world with a distinctive Christ centered Seventh Day Adventist message of hope and wholeness and elder Jackson's vision for the in eighty is to mobilize every member of the church in North America to participate in the final thrust of God's great evangelist enterprise on planet Earth. Thank you. I have mixed emotions here this afternoon. I hear these reports I see that we have twelve hundred schools in the North America division and eight hundred in and something in South America and and two point four million and one point two million in these numbers are wonderful. But we're talking today the thrust of our discussion today is about the unfinished work. The unfinished business. Gentlemen. Day is we are kind of closing out maybe one of the challenging questions that could be pondered and we would like to seek for your answer is to what is that unfinished work. Yes we've made a lot of progress yes we have a lot of churches and schools but there's something here. That's unfinished and besides the numbers are statistics. What would you say is that unfinished work that we really need to be focusing on. We have to see that in the context of the mission that this church has been given. We have a real work to do and our role as leaders is to facilitate this work by allowing our members to become active participants rather than spectators in our region. We have long realize that this work is not going to be finished by the employ employed workers of the church. We have to engage the members the members at the local level. And we do have some challenges there as well although the into America vision is growing and growing pretty fast. We do have challenges. Because in some areas we have gatekeepers. And for whatever reason we don't know. But we have to we have to move the gatekeepers so that our members can become even more involved that that's why we are so happy for this T.M.I. member involvement which we have placed that within that larger context of Lord transforming we want each. All Misha. And so what we are driving is that person transformation and we use as our text Romans twelve and verse two. That's what we're using now to motivate. Let me try to use my powerful English not. And I think that when I least in these numbers in ministries in a that we have. I can imagine that we are doing our best everyone laypeople the church but we need to do more. In my mind. We need to thinks. First of all we are working alone. We need the Holy Spirit in the life of our church. We are doing in in a lot of thanks. But we've the power of the Holy Spirit we reach the people in we can finish the work that we receive it. In the second we need to involve the church. That's a challenge. We need to take up the people from the call forth in invite them to go all to the church to share the gospel. I know that we need to forget the numbers but please allow me to say just one thing. Some years ago I started to do some mathematics and I discovered that insult America. I use our example if every member works if one bears some ear even bible studies or preparing that bears fruit to bring their life to do this in one years we can reach all our territory in they did the same mathematics for the global church. If every seven the Adventists night the median seven the Adventists that we have prepared one person to be but buys it or we study the Bible if one person in one years we can reach more than seven. People in the planet. We have a huge work to do but we've the Holy Spirit in the participation of every member in the church we can finish that work. You know Steve I don't think that the work of God will be finished anywhere until it's finished everywhere. And I think that as I look at what is the unfinished business in the church. Obviously it is true we need to develop the liaison the strongly a zone between our pastors and our lay members. We need to revisit especially in North America because I love feeling that these brother in their divisions here have advanced a little more rapidly. Down this this area than we have in North America we need to revisit our theology. Now that sounds horrible. And people get worried. But I think we need to revisit second Peter or first Peter chapter two. And that is the whole idea that every single person is a minister called by God when you were baptized you become a minister of the most high God that you know that is that's a fundamental step. But I also believe. When I begin to think of what it is what what is it that really needs to form a basis of that I I think of Pastor John Bradshaw's sermon this morning where he quoted the statement out of acts of the Apostles that the church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ. And through the church. Will be manifested even the Prince of palivizumab powers. The final and the full display of the love of God You know when you look at the first Peter four passage. That we should show forth the praises of him who called us out of the darkness into his marvelous light. We haven't done that we need to be lovers of man and lovers and lovers of God and lovers of man and we need to love each other in the church in spite of our deficiencies in a man. You know and the I'm really I've been blessed today as we have visited with our world division presidents and we've heard their heart cry as well and I've seen them this afternoon in a little different light than maybe I had before and I appreciate what we've heard today and you know it is true that we have some challenges and I believe if I have to look at it honestly. I'll say that that unfinished business should probably begin with each one of us. Each one of us getting ready and willing to get down on our knees and ask God to show us in our own hearts. What he wants to do. And to cry out for the Holy Spirit because over and over again today. I've heard that we need the Holy Spirit and we're told that God wants to give us that gift even more than we like to give good gifts to our children but do we really want the gift. Am I really ready to receive that gift and what it means to me personally. So today is we're here together I'm just challenging you to think about that we're out of time with our division presidents we're not done yet. With the program but with our division President thank you so much for joining us today. And we have another story now about working shoulder to shoulder. Well we have a wonderful wonderful testimony here. This afternoon we have Pastor Stephen Oren. And we have are here is the president of the Arkansas Louisiana conference. And then we have Magda Rodriguez She's the president of Ouachita Hills college. Now tell us Magna what event happening on your college campus there presented a little problem for you. Yes Barbara as we presented this morning out of Washington. Here let's call it a scene it goes beyond selling books. You know order to pay tuition for our students. Come to see music and essential component off the creation of the creation of our students and one of the things that we do is that we organize five canvassing programs throughout the year. And we as a leader. I never like to set goals for our students in tangible goals like number of books or how much money we want to bring the goal that I set in front of this to the end says I want them to be faithful at each store that they know and I want them to be faithful to each person that they meet and that they do their best to leave a message book you know every single hand and one of the things that we do also is we try to make sure that we call over every single time around in that territory that we are targeting. And in this state of Arkansas. We had as shyly as we once home for multiple years. We went to the town and they will not allow us to come us in. And last year we decided to go to the same territory and they we found that they came up with a ordinance that require. I.R.S. that is to feel out an application to be able to come by us for each student and fifty dollars for each application. And not only that they criteria for evaluating that up a show they were not given to us they guidelines nothing it was actually up to this chief of police to the side if we were going to be allowed to go to that town. And. Even though that town is really as it is a small town is only five thousand people you know we felt the sense of responsibility when we go out we want to make sure that we bring light to those people that are in darkness and we failed that we needed help and that was at that point that we reached out to the Arkansas Louisiana. Tell us just briefly pester Orian How did you get involved in this and what were the results you know the church works best when the church works together. And what effects a. Self-supporting institution supporting institution of the church also affects the ministries of a local congregation. The impact in one community can have impact in other communities within the state and so we felt it was extremely important that the situation and White Hall Arkansas be resolved favorably on behalf of the students and washed our heels college. So with the support of the North American division the attorney serving the division Todd McFarlane intervened with us in behalf of the conference and to the students who are engaged as literature evangelists and filed a suit against the city of Whitehall. To make a long story short. As the date was approaching for the court hearing to take place the city revised its ordinance. So that it would accommodate the literature evangelist and for that matter any other religious organization or charitable organization that would desire to do a work such as that. So we consider that a tremendous victory in behalf of the church. And as that case was proceeding and news within the cities of the state heard about what was happening in Whitehall the city of faith Bill we were told did some revision of their city ordinance so that it would also accommodate literature evangelists and other such similar work so we consider that a tremendous victory in behalf of the church the ability to do ministry to be able to serve not only by the literature evangelists at the college but also all of our churches as well. Praise the Lord. Well also just in the last few minutes the last few seconds tell us what were the results and how did the students were able to do their. Yes their week after it that change was made our IT. Students when to Whitehall and we were able to come as the whole CD end up with. And we left actually fourteen hundred message books behind so I know that the Lord bless our efforts. In man will have a blast and wonderful evening God bless. It's a blessing in this afternoon that we've had the opportunity to hear the heart of our world church leaders out there. Wilson I was personally blessed as I was able to talk with our division presidents and to understand. The heart that they have for mission and this afternoon to our A.S.I. family. I'd like to say just how much we appreciate you inviting your world church presidents to join us here. And what that means to us but I would invite you to give us a challenge today. Just lay before us what God has put on your heart as we look forward to the work that needs to be finished. We are called to proclaim the three angels messages we are chosen for a unique purpose as God's Advent movement and we are committed to Christ and His mission and you heard this afternoon from these wonderful reports and the heartfelt yearnings of these division leaders how God can use all of us to accomplish this work around the world as you tune into your own favorite news cast or website you will see that the world is literally disintegrating around us what a time for God's people to step forward in a powerful called chosen and committed way the Seventh Day Adventists message is a unique message a unique movement on a unique mission. We have many things that we have offered our church in terms of activities to reach the millions of people around the world mission to the cities. My heart and I hope yours. Burns heavily for the people of these large metropolitan areas such as were in right now here in Phoenix. What are we doing for the people of the cities. How are we using comprehensive health ministry or medical missionary work to reach people we've heard wonderful reports here at A.S.I. pathway to health and so many others who are involved in this wonderful outreach of health all of us need to become involved in every possible way to reach people. I want to make an appeal and appeal to each of us to remember who is in charge. The General Conference is not in charge. The divisions are not in charge. A.S.I. is not in charge. The Lord Jesus Christ is in charge. I want to stick give God the glory for all the good things the do happen. And never to take to ourselves that that which God has done for us briefly in that interesting story in Second Chronicles Chapter twenty six the king who was twenty who was sixteen years old when he became King reigned for fifty two years in Jerusalem did what was right in the sight of God and it says in verse five as long as he sought the Lord God made him prosper. Unfortunately it says in verse fifteen that after he had many interesting and creative people skillful people who created all kinds of things that shoot arrows and large stones his fame spread far and wide and he became very strong. And the next verse tells us when he was strong. His heart was lifted up. He. To accompany himself. To burn incense before the Lord and only the priests were to do that. May we recognize where our strength is to accomplish all that you have heard this afternoon needs to be accomplished. When Paul was praying Lord take away this problem three times the Lord told him my grace is sufficient for you my strength is made perfect in weakness and finally Paul understood and my appeal to you as we move forward into the enormous challenge of reaching the seven point four billion people. Is that Paul finally admitted and we need to admit it. When I am weak. Then I am strong. Our weakness in Christ is made strong and so I appeal to you. Humble yourselves. I want to humble myself I want to be part of revival and reformation. I want to take part in Bible study and prayer. I want to personally and I appeal to you to have a focus on mission. Don't be distracted by side issues focus upon the mission of the church the three angels messages. The Fourth Angel of Revelation eighteen. Allow the Lord to use us as we lift up Jesus and His righteousness. As we are faithful to him and to his word and as we become. Involved in total member involvement. Total youth involvement total family involvement. The other day right here at A.S.I. I spoke to the juniors. I told them told tool junior involvement. Everybody involved for Jesus. A beautiful statement in Volume nine page one seventeen. The work of God in this earth can never be finished until the men and women comprising our church membership rally to the work and unite their efforts with those of ministers and church officers. What a beautiful way to be shoulder to shoulder with A.S.I. with our lay people all of us working together to accomplish the one goal of proclaiming Christ's great salvation. To the world. And the second coming of Jesus Christ. Just a few Sabbaths ago. A number of us in this group stood on a promise. Next to the Sea of Galilee. And as we look down on the Sea of Galilee we watched about twenty two new believers being baptized and becoming members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. You see God intends for his people everywhere including Israel to become members of this great family and as we close this session of A.S.I.. And as you go to supper and then as you continue to be part of this convention. Just before we leave. I want to appeal to you to be part of this great collaborative effort. God's. People. His paid workers his lay members everyone united in God's great effort to reach this world and as an act of consecration as an act of commitment to this appeal. We're going to ask. That the division leaders come a little bit closer in a little tighter circle and our A.S.I. administrative group has the privilege of laying their hands on these leaders a symbol of how all of us wish to work together shoulder to shoulder in a powerful way called chosen and committed as we finish God's work through the Holy Spirit's power and live us pray for the latter rain. I ask all of you to stand as we pray our gracious and loving father. Your church has been here for a long time. Officially organized in one conference in eight hundred sixty one in Michigan and two years later the General Conference was organized in one thousand nine hundred sixty three but that's a long time ago. Lord. We want to go home. You have called us. You have chosen us and Lord. You have committed us to a task and we commit ourselves tonight to that great calling. Now Lord you see before you the leaders of your world divisions. They represent over one thousand. Million brothers and sisters. And yet the task is so great. Over seven billion people on this earth. Everyone needs to hear the message. We plead with you. Lord to prepare our hearts and to send the Latter Rain of the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit. Fill us lead us guide us we humble ourselves. Tonight. And now Lord you see these wonderful leaders from A.S.I.. Placing their hands upon the shoulders of these leaders in a symbolic act that we are working shoulder to shoulder side by side in every way possible. Lord we commit ourselves to this future work. Not by might nor by power but by the spirit of the Lord. Now Lord all of those who are standing throughout this auditorium those who are members of a aside those who are watching. Those who are members around the world. We also commit ourselves into your care as we unite Hedley work towards the one goal of seeing our Lord and Savior appear in the clouds of glory Lord. Even so come. We long for that day. Thank you for hearing us bless in a very special way and bless your people around the world we are ready. We are called we are chosen by you and we commit ourselves to your hands in Jesus name yes this media was produced by audio for. Yes avenues Lehmann's services and industries. If you would like to learn more about please visit the site minister or if you'd like to listen for free online sermons visit W.W.W. body averse.


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