Marston Thomas, a regional vice president for ASI Jamaica, reports that the current recession has deeply affected Adventist-run enterprises in the country. Some have experienced a 50-percent downturn in business. Responding to the situation, ASI Jamaica organized a symposium featuring local bankers and business people who offered information on surviving the economic downturn. Some 200 Adventist business owners attended. To follow-up the event, Thomas has organized a group that is researching various economic issues facing church members who are considering launching businesses.
ASI Inter-America will hold their 2009 convention in Bridgetown, Barbados, August 22-25. For more information, visit www.asi-interamerica.org.
ASI Europe continues to grow and expand. A new chapter, ASI Scandinavia, was formed in December 2008 and includes members from Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Claus Nybo is serving as the first president of ASI Scandinavia.
Continuing the evangelistic mission of ASI Europe, ASI Switzerland hosted both a revival weekend and a subsequent evangelistic series in the city of St-George. The revival event was themed “Are you ready?” and featured pastor Alden Ho and Dr. Gerhard Padderatz. Sabbath attendance reached 300, and at the conclusion of the event, 35 people responded to the call for commitment to Christ. Another 30 individuals made the decision to become active in lay ministry.
Following the revival weekend, a group of 85 people canvassed the local area, inviting residents to the upcoming evangelistic series, which also featured pastor Ho and was themed “Are You Ready?” Turnout was strong, with approximately 90 people attending nightly, some driving for up to four hours to hear the message.
As the meetings ended, two young ladies were baptized and another five individuals requested baptism. An additional 40 people made commitments of renewal.
More than 50 young people participated in a weeklong Youth for Jesus program conducted by ASI Hungary in the town of Balatonlelle. Three meetings were held during the week and were well attended by non-Adventist guests. In addition, ASI Hungary’s YFJ participants also distributed more than 10,000 pamphlets, 2,000 books and a number of DVDs.
Southern Asia-Pacific Division
A unique microcredit project is one of the latest efforts undertaken by the Southern Asia-Pacific Division ASI. The project provides minor loans to small, mostly female-owned businesses in the Philippines. Such loans allow the recipients to firmly establish and expand their businesses as well as provide adequate care for their families.
The microcredit project is being conducted in cooperation with local Seventh-day Adventist Church leadership, and outreach efforts through the project have resulted in more than 70 baptisms. Plans are now in the works to expand the microcredit project to more than 10 times its current size over the next three years.