After being locked down for more than two years, the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) Publishing Ministries Department, in partnership with the Philippine Publishing House, recently hosted its 12th National Evangelicals Convention. of literature.
With the theme “I am a messenger, I will go!” Literature evangelists from across the Philippine archipelago reviewed the reason for their calling: to share the blessed hope and to be God’s end-time messengers through literature.
In his devotional message, SSD President Saw Samuel emphasized that publishing work was essential in the early days of the Adventist Church. “Editing work will also play a huge role in completing Earth’s final story,” Samuel said.
“Thank you for what you are doing to share the three angels’ messages. You are an invaluable asset to God’s Advent movement and you are part of the mobilizing forces for Christ’s second coming,” he added.
Samuel pointed out that there is power in the printed page. As the Holy Spirit blesses every page of every book published, it will prepare the hearts of its readers and introduce the life and principles grounded in Jesus, he said.
“This dying world needs the eternal love of Jesus. There is an important message waiting to be delivered – relaying the intensity of God’s love and the promise of eternity in heaven through salvation in Jesus Christ,” Samuel said.
A Holistic Approach to Literature Evangelism
Several guests from the General Conference, SSD and the three union conference regions of the Philippines attended this long-awaited convention. Part of the opening of the convention is the parade of delegates and grand welcome hosted by the host conference, the West Visayan Conference in the central Philippines.
After the devotional service, guests in the field of various departmental ministries shared their expertise on creating more opportunities for publishing ministry.
SSD Health Director Rizaline Alfanoso stressed the importance of focusing on mental health. After most were locked down for more than two years, the World Health Organization reports that the pandemic has triggered a 25% increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide. “Mental health is just as important as physical health,” Alfanoso reminded delegates.
According to some studies, one in four adults experiences at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any given year.
“The Adventist Church is charged with the message of blessed health. This is an opportunity to be a blessing to others and to use these important reminders to serve our respective families on the importance of our mental state,” Alfanoso said.
DSS Family Ministries Director Virginia Baloyo shared valuable points about family relationships and how vital it is that we share this information with the world. Broken marriages and families are increasing day by day, she said. God’s message of hope uplifts the spirit and encourages the soul that hope can still be found in Jesus despite the most difficult situations.
“Our human capacity is incapable of resolving our battles, whether it’s a broken marriage, the loss of someone, unemployment, or even terminal illnesses. Our only way to resolve these struggles is through the faith we entrust to Jesus,” Baloyo said. “Only through him will our hope live and create influence not only in us but also through us.”
SSD Children’s Ministries Director Orathai Chureson spoke about God’s true calling to be used in any given skill or responsibility we receive from God. As in the case of Moses, as he surrendered his life to God’s direction and purpose, God’s name was glorified in Moses’ actions.
Chureson shared that we might not find it practical and comfortable in certain situations in our lives where we are called to serve or minister. Yet as we depend on God and surrender our lives to His direction, we may soon see a big picture of where the Lord would like to lead us, she said.
She quoted Adventist Church co-founder Ellen G. White, who wrote, “Dedicate your mind to spiritual things. Keep your mind from dwelling on yourself. Cultivate a contented and joyful mind. You talk too much about unimportant things. You don’t get any spiritual strength from it. If this strength spent in speaking were devoted to prayer, you would receive spiritual strength and make in your heart a melody to God.
SSD Associate Treasurer Daryl Gay Tanamal completed the series of devotional talks for the morning program. Tanamal reminded delegates of the importance of perseverance, dedication, good habits and positivity.
Tanamal shared four points in the form of an acronym spelled RISE, which stands for READ and REFLECT, INVEST, SHARE and ENGAGE. It means having a renewed spirit every day, a spirit-filled attitude that conveys a positive attitude towards others.
“[We should] read and reflect daily on the Word of God as our main source of strength and inspiration,” Tanamal said. She emphasized that the primary responsibility of followers of Christ is not service but a relationship with Jesus. “Invest in learning your message. Before we have the chance to share God’s message with others, we must first experience God’s Word so people can understand what it feels like to be immersed in His message. After spending time with God in prayer and in his words, after experiencing his presence, our goal is to share this message with the world and to engage with people so that they know, learn, taste and see that the Lord is good,” Tanamal emphasized.
In conclusion, Tanamal shared a Bible verse found in 2 Corinthians 9:6. “He who sows little will reap little, and he who sows generously will reap generously” (NIV).