Northwest ASI Convention Highlights Youth for Jesus

Adventist-Laymen's Services and Industries Northwest chapter leadership chose a compelling theme—About My Father's Business—for their annual chapter convention held May 1–3 in Sun Valley, Idaho.

While a center point of ASI philosophy has been, and continues to be, Sharing Christ in the Marketplace, this Northwest-wide meeting also focused on what has become another hallmark of the organization—evangelism, at home and abroad.

Stories abound at ASI conventions, and this chapter meeting was no exception. Enthusiastic members voted to aid projects for Bible workers in Kazakhstan and Orissa through the Gospel Outreach program, and to publish materials for work in Nepal through Laymen's Ministries.

But the vision that really galvanized the meetings in Sun Valley strikes close to home, and potentially impacts both evangelism and Adventist education in the Northwest. Youth for Jesus kicks off this summer as an ASI-sponsored program in conjunction with Gem State Adventist Academy, in Caldwell, Idaho.

Youth for Jesus began as a summer experiment 10 years ago and made a powerful impact on communities, the churches and, most notably, young people. In the program, young people are taught how to share Jesus with others through daily conversation, Bible studies, and personally sharing a series of evangelistic meetings. More than 450 youth have gone through the program, with an average of more than 100 baptisms in each effort.

GSAA will pilot this emphasis in the Northwest based on the successful program last year at Maplewood Academy in Minnesota. This is a collaborative effort based on meetings from the Idaho Conference, GSAA, and the Caldwell(Idaho) Church along with leaders from both the national ASI organization and the Northwest chapter.

Kevin Sears, ASI Youth for Jesus coordinator, will partner with London Lee, GSAA pastor, Bible teacher and campus ministries director, in leading the project. A recent Walla Walla University graduate, Lee is excited about the Youth for Jesus potential. "A lot of youth sit on the sidelines and watch," says Lee. "What we're saying is, ‘Get in the game! Take ownership of your own spiritual journey.' It's a great opportunity for us to harness the power of our youth for positive change."

"This is the first time anything of this magnitude has been brought to the Northwest," says Dan Ross, ASI Northwest chapter president. "We will be watching and praying with great interest." As will other churches, conferences and schools throughout the Northwest, with renewed urgency to pick up the theme, About My Father's Business.

July 01, 2008 / North Pacific Union