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ASI Projects Report

New Beginnings Picture Rolls

Norman Reitz


The New Beginnings picture roll project has garnered a great deal of interest, and for many church members, the concept conjures up pleasant memories.

In the hallways of my own Hayward church one person said, “That reminds me of going to Sabbath School in Samoa where we used such a roll” (most likely a reference to the initial Sabbath School picture roll sponsored by ASI some years ago). The New Beginnings picture roll, however, is not intended primarily for church use, but for public evangelism.

In Rawanda in 2016, of the many baptisms obtained through the TMI meetings, it was assessed that 20 to 30 percent of the new believers were converted at sites where there was no electricity. New Beginnings sermon manuals in the Kinyarwandan language, along with the Bible, were the only materials used. So when the Eastern African Division planned for meetings in the late spring of 2017 in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, they made a strong request for picture rolls with evangelistic content.

Health educator Dawna Sawatzky was the primary scriptwriter for the health talks, with Pat Arrabito of LLT Productions serving as the editor. The artwork was drawn by the Justinen Creative group, the illustrators for the Sabbath School Quarterly, Our Little Friend magazine and Primary Treasure. Contributions were also made by Health Education Resources. The result is perhaps the highest quality set of health materials ever produced within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Jim Wood, of LLT productions, who has served in Africa as a missionary and as a scriptwriter for Faith for Today, used his creative talents to design the picture rolls with a style that is both eye-appealing and reaches the intended audience. Early samples were vetted by some of the most active evangelists in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Based on their feedback the scripture content was enhanced, and for each sermon there is now a complete list of scriptures to track with the actual New Beginnings sermon scripts.

To ensure that the pictures are the best available to accompany the Bible stories, ASI evangelism leadership met in Sacramento, California, for three days during the first week of June 2017. Picture by picture the group evaluated the possible images from Goodsalt, Sermon View, the It Is Written archives, Nathan Greene artwork and other sources. Once selected, Joe Garza, a contract employee of ASI, began rendering the images in high resolution format for printing.

The picture rolls will likely be printed in Asia. The idea is that there will be two rolls, each containing 13 sermon sets with the accompanying health poster. The two rolls, along with the evangelism and health scripts, will be encased in large waterproof tubes. The scripts are written in simple English so they can be easily translated. A single person can carry a roll to the remote site as needed for a meeting.

We invite you to participate in helping to fund this project through the offering at the 2017 international convention in Houston. Truly we are almost home, as we see the gospel being preached in the ends of the earth through these picture rolls.