By Rohan Riley. Public Relations Officer, ASI- Inter-America Division
The annual ASI Inter-America Division Convention was held in Puebla Mexico, August 13-16, 2014. The Convention was held under the theme ‘Involved in the Mission’ and opened on Wednesday with a moving address by Pastor Elie Henry, Executive Secretary of the Inter-America Division of Seventh-day Adventist.
Over 10 seminars were conducted during this convention, and were equally divided between health and business development. Dr. Elmo Rodriguez did a presentation on how to take care of our health by focusing on the 3 main areas of degeneration as we age. One of the other great seminars focused on how we can use technology
to enhance both our business as well as the mission of the Church. This was presented by Abel Marquez, the Associate Communications Director for the Inter-America Division. With lack of funding being identified as one of the causes for some ASI chapters not being successful, Pastor Theodore Jaria conducted a seminar on ‘How to raise Funds for Projects’. He pointed out that one of the ways to gain funding for a project is to get the involvement of outside individuals or agencies. However in order to do this projects must be properly planned and presented, so that donors can have confidence that the project will be executed efficiently and honestly. Dr Manuel Alva made a presentation on ‘Reaching the mind of the Post Modern’ with the Gospel. He traced the history of religious thinking from the pre modern era to the postmodern where almost anything goes and there was no established standard of morality.
One of the best received seminars was one conduct by Dr Roy Adams entitled ‘13 Things I’ve Learned and wish I'd Learnt Earlier’, where he itemized various self-development and self-fulfillment concepts which all of us need to adopt much sooner in our lives. Some of these included being yourself,; developing a sense of self-worth,; recognizing that we can make something of our lives even from humble beginnings; recognizing the importance of setting goals among other things.
Tracey Johnson, daughter of Vice president Victor Johnson and a communication expert trained us on how to ensure excellent customer service in our organization and thus exceed our client’s expectations.
Two of the seminars focused on very serious medical concerns that were gender specific and so the males and females were divided to hear Dr. Elmo Rodriguez speak on the Prostate while Dr Esther Garcia spoke on breast cancer. The opportunity was provided for the attendees to have their questions answered and this proved very useful to many.
One of the highlights of the convention was the Market Place Ministry where the various chapters made presentations on the different projects and programs which they had executed during the year. Each delegation marched up in their national dress, proudly parading their flag as they took to the podium and made their presentation. For this Convention most of the reports were in the form of a video production and Pastor Leon Wellington, Executive Secretary of ASI-IAD commented on the high quality of many of the multi-media work. It was evident form the various reports from all over the region that ASI is making an impact in their communities many engaging in relevant and meaningful projects. It was announced that the ASI initiated project “Good Samaritan Inn”, In Kingston Jamaica had been selected as one of the beneficiaries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s thirteenth Sabbath Offering. Many other projects have caught the attention of their National bodies and are being recognized for their impact in the various countries.
One of the initiatives which was started at the Convention was the hosting of four networking sessions, where individuals involved in similar industries or vocations were able to formalize contact with ech other and register for a joint database which will be administered through the website. (www.asi.interamerica.org ).
Dr Roy Adam, former Editor of the Review and Herald gave the closing address during which he spoke of his dream for a day when the power of the Holy Spirit would be poured out in such copious measures that the whole world would be riveted to the amazing work which the Lord was doing through His people.The program ended with a rallying charge by Pastor Everett Brown as he challenged us to be bold and passionate and conquer our fears as we cease every opportunity to share Christ with all those people who need to know him. He urged us to grab every opportunity, with every business contact and with every business deal, to let desperate and hopeless sinners know that Jesus saves and He satisfies.
For the year 2015 there will be no ASI- IAD Convention as the General Conference Session will be held in San Antonio Texas, July 2-11.