August 25, 2023 | Miami, Florida, United States | Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News
Seventh-day Adventist business owners and professionals from throughout the Inter-American Division (IAD) were urged to seize the ‘golden opportunity’ to motivate others in sharing Christ during this year’s Adventist Laymen’s Services and Industries (ASi) convention held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Aug. 19, 2023.
Themed Reigniting the Flame for Mission, the annual convention drew more than 150 Adventist leaders and professionals who displayed their commitment during the four-day event to continue being key participants in reaching more people with the gospel.About purpose, intentionality, and urgency
“Reigniting the flame for mission gives us a sense of urgency, something that you and I have to do, it is not an option,” said Pastor Leonard Johnson, executive secretary of the IAD. The mission is clear, he said. “It’s not about programs or how we may appear, but our purpose and objective is to uplift Jesus Christ to motivate our church members so they can continue to serve Christ in their marketplaces, their homes, schools, on the busses, classrooms, so that they may see Jesus.”
It’s all about purpose, intentionality, and urgency, Johnson said. It must begin with spending quality with God. “Just like Jesus at the age of 12 understood His purpose and did not deter from it, I want to remind you of our mission your objectives, your purpose as ASiers: to connect and equip lay ministers, business people and professionals and their families to regularly share Christ in the marketplace and actively support the Adventist Church’s mission of sharing the Three Angels Message of God’s love and grace to the world in preparation for His soon return.”“As Asi members you must recognize what is your purpose. Business is about profit, but representing Jesus Christ to my customers, employees, practicing Seventh-day Adventist with purpose is the mission,” said Johnson.
Carrying a noble mission
Governor General of Jamaica Sir Patrick Allen congratulated church leaders and ASi members in the IAD during the 25th anniversary of the organization.
“ASi has become more than just a symbol. It is a beacon of hope and embodiment of opportunity,” said Allen. “Let’s not forget the journey is ongoing, the flame of that ignited ASi light should always be burning bright, nurtured and carried forward.”In a world that may seem fragmented, said Allen, “your work shines as a compelling example of how faith, cooperation and steadfast commitment can unite us, break barriers and build bridges in our communities, at the workplace, schools and homes.” Allen congratulated ASi members for illuminating a brighter path with faith perseverance and grace to create a brighter and more compassionate future for all.
Being shapers not takers
Edmund Barlett, Minister of Tourism in Jamaica, also congratulated Adventist business professionals for being mission committed as an organization for the past 25 years in the IAD. He urged lay professionals to change the world for the better.“We must be shapers of the conscience of the world but not takers of the positions of the world,” said Barlett. “If we assume that the mission is to be shapers, then we will define and redefine our own process and we will at the end be called blessed.”
ASi evangelism impact in Jamaican
As part of every year’s ASi-IAD, evangelism impact and projects take place ahead of the convention. This year, 12 evangelistic campaigns grew to 56 across Jamaica, church leaders said. For four weeks business professionals conducted lay evangelistic campaigns in coordination with local pastors in Jamaica. More than 800 persons were baptized as a result.Roger Alleyne works in the power company in Tobago. When he’s not working he holds evangelistic series. This year he led a a four-week tent campaign in St. Mary, Jamaica. Before the tent was set up, there were three murders, he shared. “There was a lot of tension during the campaign,” he said. “The first week there were three shootings in the area. Then the second week three more shootings right in the area where the tent was. The last week there was an explosion behind and around the tent, but God sent a firetruck, and the fire was put to rest.” For several days, many persons did not attend because of the ongoing violence but at pressured times, “we need to press on,” said Alleyne. “Once we keep working for God, he will do great things.” At the end, 43 new believers were baptized, he shared.
The convention featured over 20 speakers and seminar presenters on business, management, digital evangelism, project development, health and more. There were also panel discussions, ASi ministry reports, networking sessions, an awards ceremony, music and prayer segments, and more.This year’s special offering collected during the convention will help improve the conditions in Port Maria High School and provide mentorship for its students. In addition, the offering will help to fund a mission project managed by ASI Mission 2000 and Beyond.
New officers voted
ASi Convention voted in new officers for the 2023-2026 period as follows:
Rohan Riley, President
Lyndon Antoine, First Vice President
Cecil Foster, Regional Vice President for the English region
Victor Valdivieso, Regional Vice President for the Spanish region
David Poloche, Secretary
Ivelisse Herrera, Treasurer
Julius Sealy, Public Relations Officer
Yvonne Lawson, Assistant Public Relations Officer
Ian Greene, Project Coordinator
Jorge Morazán, Assistant Project Coordinator
Eugene Benjamin, Evangelism Coordinator for English region
Danny Morris, Evangelism Coordinator for Spanish regionIn a final charge during the ASi-IAD convention, Lincoln Edwards, president of the Northern Caribbean University, challenged ASiers to foster a deeper relationship with Jesus. “We must have an encounter with Christ and recognition of who Jesus really is, to understand Him more, much like the experience of Peter,” said Edwards.
“As we close, we do so with the assurance and knowledge that as long as ASI is involved in mission, ASi has the assurance that Jesus will accompany us, and the mission will be successful and accomplished,” Edwards concluded.
Next year’s ASi Inter-American Division Convention will be held Aug. 14-18, 2024, in Panama City, Panama.
To learn more about the ASi Inter-American Division chapters, visit asi.interamerica.org