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.

Part of the audience during ASi Inter-Americn Division annual convention on Sabbath, August 19, 2023, held at the West Jamaica Conference, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The convention was the first four-day annual event held in person since 2019, and one that marked the 25th anniversary since the territory-wide chapter was organized. [Photo: Michelle Greene/IAD]

 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.”

Pastor Leonard Johnson, executive secretary of the Inter-American Division, urges ASi members to reaffirm their purpose, intentionality, and urgency for mission. [Photo: IAD Screenshot]

“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.”

Governor General of the Jamaica Sir Patrick Allen addresses the ASi IAD convention on Aug. 19, 2023. [Photo: IAD Screenshot]

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.

More than 250 leaders and members attended the ASi Convention event on Sabbath Aug. 19, 2023, at WEst Jamaica Conference Center.  [Photo: Michelle Greene/IAD]

“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 of Tobago reports on the evangelistic tent campaign he lead in St. Mary, Jamaica for four weeks ahead  of the ASi convention. [Photo: IAD Screenshot]

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.

Hundreds gathered in St. Mary during a four-week tent evangelistic campaign led by Roger Alleyne and coordinated by ASi-IAD in Jamaica. [Photo: Courtesy of Roger Alleyne]

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 region

Several of the new ASi board members appointed for the period 2023-2026, L-R : Danny Morris, Jorge Morazán, Ian Greene, Yvonne Lawson, Julius Sealy, Cecil Foster, Lyndon Antoine and Rohan Riley. [Photo: ASi-IAD]

In 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

Top news

The God Who Sees You
Adventist Leaders Travel Through Mexico and Cuba to Double Efforts for Mission
Change of Leadership Highlighted at Momentous Antillean Adventist University Graduation