On September 1, 2020, the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) launched its Corporate Bible Reading and Writing Project involving 1,189 young people to read 1,189 chapters of the Bible on video.
When the project was first promoted on July 6, 2020, young people signed up, showing their willingness to participate. The aim of the project is for young people to read the whole Bible corporately by assigning one chapter per young person, encouraging the youth to read the Bible daily, and writing, hearing, and keeping the Word of God.
The project, which is being facilitated by the young people themselves, follows the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s published Bible reading schedule. Thus, the first youth, Shem Mariano from the North Philippine Union Conference, was assigned to read Isaiah 11 on September 1. Each day from this date, a video of a young person reading the Bible will be uploaded to the “Bible Reading” Facebook account.
A Word from the Leaders
SSD executive secretary Rudy Baloyo congratulated the Adventist Youth Ministries (AYM) department for initiating the project that will encourage the youth to read the Bible corporately. He also shared a devotional entitled, “The Bible’s Transforming Power.” According to Baloyo, reading the Bible helps readers to “listen to God to reveal His plans, His direction, and His will for our lives. And we allow Him to give us instructions, corrections, and training so that we will be equipped for every good work, as mentioned in 2 Tim 3:16, 17. And when we follow His directions, our lives will be transformed. I believe the Word of God is the single most powerful agent for transforming lives.”
In his message addressing the youth, SSD president Saw Samuel quoted Adventist Church president Ted Wilson, who has said, “It is only through connecting to the Bible that we can be fruitful and faithful in this age of faithlessness.” Saw then quoted Isaiah 55:11, where God says, “So My Word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I sent it” (Berean Study Bible). He concluded by saying, “As we live in this world, the Word of God must be our foundation, our guide, our strength and leading us to have a deeper, stronger, closer relationship with God. As we embrace the Word of God by reading and hearing, meditating, and participating in this worthy project, may our faith become stronger, our hope become brighter, our love become deeper, sympathy become broader, and our actions become purer. May we become resolute to do God’s will.”
In his message to the SSD youth, Adventist Church youth director Gary Blanchard shared a message called “Secrets to a Smart and Successful life.” Quoting Joshua 1:7, 8 and Adventist Church cofounder Ellen G. White, he emphasized that the initiative of reading the Bible will make the youth smart and successful. Blanchard also congratulated the initiatives of the SSD AYM to lead youth in fervent prayers through its prayer network and the earnest reading of the Bible corporately.
Rebecca Biak Za Hnem, a 23-year old youth from Myanmar, said, “The chapter that was assigned to me in Jeremiah 4. This chapter that I got is absolutely a timely message for me. I feel like God was about to leave me while I was reading Jeremiah 14:11-14. Because at that time, I had sinned and I still did not want to repent. But the last verse of the chapter gave me hope again. I thank God for giving me a message and a warning through this Bible reading and writing project. And I also thank our leaders for initiating this project. Now, I read the Bible every morning and evening.”
Jeremy Hutajulu, 23, from Indonesia, was assigned to read Ezekiel 14. According to him, “Reading the Bible daily helps me to understand God’s love and salvation. When the Bible taught us about our God and the salvation He brought to us, we will not remain silent. Once His love touched me, He gave me the strength to witness how gracious and loving our God is.”
Cherry Beulah L. Vidayo, Bible Reading Project coordinator for the North Philippine Union, said, “Reading the Bible makes me grow in Christ. To coordinate the Bible Reading Project is not easy. However, it is a fulfilling experience, knowing that I’m doing this for the Lord.”
Geronimo Viernes, a youth director from the Central Luzon Conference, agreed. “[Reading the Bible] leads young people to a deeper understanding of their mission in life. It makes them more positive as they encounter different challenges along the way. Above all, it gives them more assurance of God’s love for them.”
This Bible Reading Project is part of the SSD Adventist Youth Vision 2020, which looks to develop “healthy young people who are enjoying a saving relationship with Christ and loving the Scriptures as their standard of living to reflect a Christ-like character.”