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February 2014

ASI Connections

The official monthly enewsletter for Adventist-laymen's Services & Industries, bringing news, information, and important announcements to ASI members and supporters everywhere.

Bulletin Board

The ASI website Bulletin Board is a networking tool for ASI members to share ministry needs, job postings, training, events, services, and special offers. Check for recent updates!

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Download the ASI Evangelism app, which includes the full New Beginnings presentation materials, sermon notes, full set of Discover Bible lessons, New Beginnings training materials with Mark Finley, inspirational sermons by leading evangelists, and links to other helpful ministry apps.

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Bookmarks

"I make bookmarks with Bible verses or Ellen White quotes and then pass them out. People love it! I carry bookmarks with me wherever I go and give them out whenever I come across a 'divine appointment'."

-Monique De Oliveira
 

12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904
301-680-6450
asi@nad.adventist.org

 

 

 

 


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DVD Training in Island Churches:

The Inter-American Division is the largest division in the world church. As a result of the division’s strong emphasis on evangelism, the Caribbean island countries of the IAD contain a high ratio of Seventh-day Adventists.

ASI members Norman and Gail Reitz have participated in New Beginnings training programs in ten IAD countries over the past seven years. This past January, they joined Dr. Samuel Telemaque (IAD assistant personal ministries director) and Jonathan Kuntaraf (GC vice president for personal ministries and Sabbath school) to train laypersons in St. Thomas , the Virgin Islands, St. Maartens, and Dominica.

Revised New Beginnings and Abundant Living health talk DVDs in English, Spanish and French were produced at Ouachita Hills Academy in Arkansas. The Reitz’s transported the DVDs in their personal luggage. The manuals for both New Beginnings and Abundant Living were produced in the Ukraine and shipped by the Adventist church directly to the training sites via DHL air freight. Unfortunately, DHL does not deliver to St. Thomas, so the Reitz's traveled with eight additional overweight bags, which meant extra luggage expenses.

An all-day Sabbath seminar was held in the National Guard Armory at St. Thomas for 200 selected lay leaders. Instruction was given on how to organize a meeting using the DVD materials, as well as  how to make appeals, gain decisions, and use the equipment. Various laypersons of all ages, including children, were given the opportunity to practice preaching and teaching. The designated delegates received the DVDs, manuals, and a DVD player with the understanding that ownership was still held by the local church.

On St. Maarten, a major cruise ship destination, mini-seminars were held at the Spanish and the French Haitian churches. At the main Phillipsburg church, the revised English language New Beginnings was distributed while DVD players were still awaiting customs clearance.

The central auditorium at Dominica State College--which had high quality AV facilities--was made available to the 400 church members who came in from around the island of Dominica. Budding evangelists and public health leaders practiced preaching. Jonathan Kuntaraf even shared many inspirational stories of soul winning from his years as an evangelist in Indonesia. 

Church members on these islands are highly integrated into the community. Some serve as lawyers and health workers in high-level government positions. Even ordinary lay persons are well known and highly regarded by their neighbors. May they bless the locals through witnessing and evangelism! 

DayStar is an Adventist academy in Utah, a predominantly Mormon state. Six days a week, both staff and students, work at DayStar's organic farm industry. Here on campus, the school's farm has a small walk-in store for the local community. The campus store has been in existence for a number of years and has served many in the surrounding area.

It was here that a seed of a different sort was planted in the hearts of an atheist husband and wife, who live locally here in the valley. These folks are not only regular customers at the school's produce store, but are also my patients at a local dental office in town where I work part-time. They both know that I am connected with DayStar. Over the years, they have shared with me what they appreciate about the school and its farm. During our last appointment, the wife told me about her past experiences with religion, and that she is the great-great-granddaughter of Brigham Young, one of Mormonism's most esteemed prophets. Her mother, who was raised a Mormon, chose to raise her without any religious influence. Knowing this, I told her, "With your background I would have thought you were Mormon!" 
She responded, "I am not a Mormon, but if I were to ever join any denomination, it would be the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I have been so touched by the warmth and caring atmosphere I have felt when visiting your campus and with you as my dental hygienist."

Her response to my question left me speechless. She answered me so sincerely, beyond what I had expected or imagined. 

We can plant the seed, but it's the Lord who makes it grow! 

-Martin Hernandez, RDH and campus nurse


Immediately after acquiring a Master’s degree in counseling in 2008, ASI member Jennifer Jill Schwirzer began a private practice. Her practice, which includes distance counseling and intensives, has steadily grown over the last five years. Recently she expanded to include a partner, Marissa Smale, and the two named the practice Abide Counseling.

Originally, she expected to provide Bible-based counseling mainly to Adventist clients. “The surprising piece is how God has used this practice to reach beyond Adventism,” said Jennifer. “Christians from local churches hear that there’s a biblically-based counselor in the area, and one thing leads to another.” Jennifer prays with each of her clients, even those without a strong spiritual foundation. Preaching to them is forbidden by the professional code of ethics, but if they ask, Jennifer takes the opportunity to share her faith. One day, a client said, "I want to earn God’s forgiveness, but it’s not working!" When Jennifer asked if he wanted to see what the Bible said about that, he did, so she gave him a Bible study on the gospel.

Jennifer suggests, “One of the most important aspects of evangelism is simply breaking down prejudice. I believe we must combine teaching carefully with disinterested benevolence. We’re told that ‘Christ's method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, 'Follow Me'” (The Ministry of Healing, p. 143).


Despite the difficulties that Protestant organizations face in the formerly communist nation of Russia, 3ABN has begun broadcasting on the Russian cable company Tele-Networks, through the Yamal-300k satellite. Tele-Networks covers the city of Pskov and eleven other cities in Northern Russia. Julia Outkina, 3ABN Russia’s executive director, gives praise and glory to God. With tears in her eyes, she wrote, "I want to thank all those who have helped bring about this miracle of the Lord!”

Many other cable companies that 3ABN has contacted are looking forward to receiving sample programming. Even those who initially said, "No," have asked to be contacted again when other current contracts expire. 3ABN is currently working on agreements with nine more companies, actively pursuing the largest. They are also showing church leaders how 3ABN Russia can easily be used for evangelism in large cities. Jim Gilley said, “The response and support we’ve received is tremendous, and it is truly inspiring to see God’s people become involved in fulfilling the Great Commission. It has helped us realize once again how serious our Lord is about bringing His children home!” 

 

In 2013, the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID) requested five containers for a project in the large city of Luanda, Angola. They needed Bible studies for the 50,000 people expected to attend the first evangelistic campaign to be held that February. The literature was used in pre-evangelism and follow-up evangelism surrounding the numerous campaigns that took place that year.

Light Bearers Ministry shipped literature to Angola and eight other countries. Over the course of eight months, hundreds of frontline gospel workers utilized this material to engage many thousands of Angolans in Bible study. Multiple evangelistic campaigns were held in conjunction with the literature distribution, culminating with meetings in September at two stadiums. These meetings drew about 60,000 people. James Rafferty, one of the speakers, was able to see firsthand the impact of Light Bearers’ literature. Over 23,000 precious souls have been baptized so far from this fusion of preaching and literature distribution. Each container of literature held over two million publications covering the whole message of the gospel. The total amount of Portuguese literature sent was 6,422,520 pieces. Each tract is written to provide a complete message, a full sermon. We are blessed to partner with the SID and the Angolan leaders in this project. 

Due to the overwhelming success of this outreach, Light Bearers was asked to send another container of literature to Angola for follow-up. The money from ASI Special Projects allowed us to respond with another shipment to be used to solidify these new members and for further evangelistic attempts. Thank you, ASI, for making this possible! 

 

 

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ASI Connections
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, Maryland 20904
US

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