Division-Wide Congress Draws More than 28,000 Delegates

‘Jesus Is Coming: Get Involved’ event in the Philippines calls members to urgency, power, and courage.

Gladense Panuelos and Lyn Lucero, Southern Asia-Pacific Division, and Adventist Review
Division-Wide Congress Draws More than 28,000 Delegates
Delegates from various countries of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division display their national flags to mark the opening of the division-wide congress on June 10. [Photo: Southern Asia-Pacific Division]

Under the banner, “Jesus is Coming: Get Involved,” more than 28,000 delegates from the Southern Asia-Pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SSD) gathered at Mountain View College on June 10. This event brought participants together for the division-wide Sabbath School/Personal Ministries (SS/PM), Nurturing Discipleship Retention/Integrated Evangelism Lifestyle (NDR/IEL), and Children’s Ministries (CM) Congress.

In anticipation of the congress, delegates began arriving at the venue a week early to set up their accommodations and prepare for the week-long gathering. At the congress opening, registration reached 28,000 delegates, organizers said.

The grand opening ceremony began with a Parade of Nations, showcasing a sea of colors as thousands of delegates from diverse organizations and institutions participated. Represented in the parade were delegates from the union conferences of Malaysia, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, East and West Indonesia, Southeastern Asia, and North, Central, Southeastern, and Southwestern Philippines. The parade also featured representatives from the General Conference, the SSD, and distinguished guests.

The delegates’ enthusiasm was palpable as they shouted and cheered, showcasing the vibrant spirit of their respective conferences. Before the parade, organizers creatively embodied the theme “Get Involved” by arranging delegates to form a captivating artistic display, setting the tone for the event.

Roger Caderma, president of the Adventist Church’s Southern Asia-Pacific Division, shares counsel to more than 28,000 delegates about getting involved in missions and living a life that moves the lives of others to a deeper relationship with God. [Photo: Southern Asia-Pacific Division]

Several officials from the Philippine government attended the opening ceremony. They voiced their support and offered words of encouragement to the Adventist community. The ceremony also featured the official opening declaration of the congress by the SSD’s Arnelio Gabin, vice president for NDR-IEL; Segundino Asoy, SS/PM director; and Danita Caderma, children’s ministries director.

SSD president Roger Caderma delivered the keynote address for the June 10-15 event. In his address, Caderma emphasized the congress’s theme, “Jesus Is Coming: Get Involved,” by discussing three key elements: urgency, power, and courage.

“Urgency is exemplified in Luke 10:2-4, where Christ dispatches His disciples with urgency, urging them to focus solely on their mission,” Caderma said. “While mingling with others is integral to their task, the paramount need for urgency cannot be overstated in preparing communities for Christ’s imminent return.”

However, Caderma explained, urgency alone is insufficient; it must be complemented by power, as illustrated by the narrative of Gehazi in 2 Kings 4:29-37. Caderma underscored the indispensable role of the Holy Spirit in empowering believers to fulfill their divine mandate effectively.

Furthermore, courage is indispensable alongside urgency and power, as elucidated through the account of Ahimaaz in 2 Samuel 18:22-23. “Despite reaching King David first, Ahimaaz faltered in conveying the news of Absalom’s demise due to a lack of courage,” Caderma said. He urged attendees to embrace courage as they engage in the Lord’s work.

In concluding his message, Caderma challenged every delegate and guest to actively participate in the Lord’s mission, equipped with urgency, power, and courage. “Every member must actively contribute to the collective mission of heralding the imminent return of our Savior, Jesus Christ,” he said.

The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division news site.

Gladense Panuelos and Lyn Lucero, Southern Asia-Pacific Division, and Adventist Review