"Tell the World” is the ongoing evangelism initiative of the world church. But members of Adventist-laymen's Services and Industries (ASI) are ready to take the next step. Their dedication to a wide variety of evangelistic ministries both here in North America and around the world was clear in the theme of the 2006 ASI International Convention: “Tell the world. Tell them now!”
ASI members met in Grapevine, Texas, Aug. 2–5, for a wonderful time of fellowship, sharing and inspiration, all with a distinctive southwestern flavor. Each of those members are involved in ministry, but those ministries take forms as different as the individuals who comprise them. Whether it is a doctor looking for literature for her waiting room, a school looking for funding, an artist looking for venues, or a publisher looking for exposure for its sharing material, the ASI convention showcases the breadth of ministry going on within the Adventist church.
As part of the focus on evangelism, ASI’s Youth for Jesus program placed young people in nine different sites in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex to hold evangelistic series with local congregations. These series ended on Aug. 1 with 115 baptisms and many other ongoing Bible studies.
The convention featured 20 seminars on a variety of topics as well as meetings for youngsters of all ages. Many of the kids were involved in mission projects as part of their daily meetings. The Primary class knitted caps for babies while the Earliteens spent part of each day serving meals at a local food kitchen.
Yet the high point of the convention was the reports from the previous year’s mission projects, where it is clear that ASI members are making a difference. On Sabbath, a crowd of more than 2,000 members and guests heard stories of the amazing evangelistic work being done with ASI funding and volunteers. Shawn Boonstra, It Is Written speaker/director, reported that baptisms from the evangelism funded by ASI members exceeded 10,000.
This year’s ASI project offering was $1,815,271.74, which will fund the projects chosen—projects including ministries such as Wildwood Sanitarium and Young Disciple Ministries in the United States, Springs of Life Foundation in Poland, Eden Garden Orphanage in Haiti and Frontline Builders in Mongolia. The overflow offering in excess of $400,000 will fund two projects: a picture roll/DVD project and an Ellen G. White Internet book project.
One of the highlights of every ASI convention is the exhibit hall. More than 300 booths were filled with products and programs designed to make personal evangelism more effective or to offer information about mission or ministries that need funding. As always, the exhibit hall was a meeting ground for old friends and colleagues and a beehive buzzing with great ideas for reaching out with the gospel.
As a fitting conclusion to the convention, General Conference general vice president Mark Finley, shared a statement of commitment and called for every person present and every viewer at home to make a complete commitment to serve God.
Next year’s ASI International Convention will be a special anniversary celebrating God’s blessings through 60 years of sharing His love. Make plans now to be there on Aug. 1–4 in Louisville, Kentucky.