“Tell the World” was the theme of the 13th ASI (Adventist Laymen’s Services and Industries) General Session and Convention of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD), which was held Sep. 22-25, 2022. The NSD ASI is a group of Adventist laymen in the NSD territory who are gathered to share Christ in their respective working environments and to financially support church missions. The purpose of the General Session is primarily elect its leaders who will lead the coming session of three years, and to motivate the ASI members to more actively participate in this ministry.
More than two years of pandemic has changed our lives in many areas. ASI was not an exception. 12th NSD ASI Session was held in 2017 in Thailand, and the next session was supposed to be held in 2020 since the term of session is three years. However, it has been postponed by two years and finally we were able to hold it on September 2022. Philippines was chosen as a host country for the convention since the country was the least restricted in terms of COVID preventive measures, so that the delegates from the NSD countries could easily enter to attend the meeting.
Reduced Congregation Caused by COVID-19
NSD ASI leaders were not sure if we could hold the session this year for two reasons: 1) COVID-19 has not finished completely yet; and 2) the ASI Chapters of the NSD countries have been reduced for the last two years. However, by the grace of God, more than fifty members were gathered at SDA Language Center in the Philippines. Five delegates came from Mongolia and the others were from Korea. Some delegates from Japan and Taiwan planned to participate online, but it did not go as planned. Though this session was a relatively smaller size of meeting compared to the previous one, it was still God’s grace because the participating delegates were able to be revived and remotivated by various programs and activities.
Lectured by Kenneth Swansi and Kim YoHan
Two main speakers for the convention were Dr. Kenneth Swansi, dean of the Graduated School of AIIAS as well as the Business Department chairperson, and Dr. Kim YoHan, NSD president. Dr. Swansi spoke about how Adventist businesspeople need to influence people who are engaged in their businesses. He also emphasized on the stewardship that will make ASI members prioritize God in their lives. Dr. Kim expressed a sincere appreciation to the ASI leaders and members for their dedication for God’s mission. He said that the lay leaders are investing their precious time and resources for this association without anticipating any rewards. He also emphasized the importance of the role of the lay members for the progress of God’s mission, especially the ASI’s role to the Church ministries.
ASI Officers and Leaders Reelected
Elder Song JongHyun, the current NSD ASI president was reelected recommended by the nominating committee after a long discussion, and the constituency body accepted the committee’s recommendation. Elder Song recommended again all the other officers and directors as well as the audits as a whole team to be reelected. He explained that he humbly accepted the decision of the body though he felt burdened since he considered this was a call from God asking him to make up the lost two years. All the leaders also accepted the decision in the spirit of obedience.
Standing on the Starting Line
This NSD ASI General Session has the meaning of standing on the starting line of the race again for the further race. ASI leaders and all participating members reaffirmed the special mission that God has given to them and encouraged each other to do their best to complete the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. All ASI members who attended the Convention were likely to be ready to answer the call of God by saying, “Lord! Here we are. We will go.” Jesus is coming soon. Maranatha!
News article by Kim SunHwan, NSD ASI Coordinator