Top church administrators and leaders from across the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Inter-American Division (IAD) ended their annual business meetings on bended knees. Leaders pleaded for God’s protection, guidance, and providence across the territory in the weeks, months, and year ahead. The prayer session, held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, on November 1, 2022, sealed the end of the three-day annual Year-End Executive Committee meetings, with sights set on the sole mission of reaching the unreached with the gospel message and guiding the membership to remain focused on Jesus.
“We are here to ask for more unity in purpose, to let our communities where we live know and feel that we are a praying people of God, a believing people that trusts in God above all else,” IAD president Elie Henry said as he addressed the more than 160 administrators and leaders gathered. Henry pointed to seeking a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit, a clearer vision to offer hope to so many families, young people, and various people groups.
Leaders prayed for areas of the IAD that are experiencing danger and difficulties, as is the case in Haiti, Venezuela, and Cuba. They also prayed for the financial resources to continue advancing the mission in every corner of the territory.
Committee members voted a document titled “God’s Promised Gift: An Urgent Appeal for Revival, Reformation, Discipleship, and Evangelism,” vowing to carry it throughout their respective territories. The document includes placing priority on seeking God for spiritual revival and outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their own lives, families, and ministries. It calls for individually setting aside daily time to fellowship with Christ through prayer and the study of God’s Word. It also encourages the ministries of the church to spend time praying, studying God’s Word, and seeking God’s heart to understand His plans for His Church, leaders said.
In addition, committee members voted to approve and implement an initiative coined as “Back to the Altar.” The initiative seeks to encourage the daily, habitual practice of morning and evening worship in the lives of Seventh-day Adventist individuals and families for personal revival and reformation and outreach. It “seeks to safeguard the spiritual lives of members and others from the negative effects of digital media by promoting good digital hygiene and sharing healthy ways to use media for fellowship and evangelism.”
IAD Sabbath School director Samuel Telemaque said the initiative has a goal of sustaining a culture of daily morning and evening worship to spur an inside-out revolution in the IAD during the 2022-2027 quinquennium and beyond. “The ‘Back to the Altar’ initiative requires collaboration of all the ministries and institutions for effective implementation,” he said.
Part of the spiritual revival initiatives voted will strengthen the church during 2023, voted by leaders as the Year of Conservation and Soul Winning across the IAD. Each ministry and department of the church will execute initiatives designed to both conserve the members of the church and lead persons to accept Christ, following a conservation development plan that includes discipleship programs.
Leaders also went over strategic initiatives for next year, including building healthy communities, increasing discipleship programs across churches and congregations, the expansion of radio stations under the Hope Channel Inter-America network, resources to fund mission projects in the territory, and more.
A prayer session also took place among executive members for the three million copies of The Great Controversy book by Adventist Church cofounder Ellen G. White that are scheduled to be distributed next year throughout the IAD territory.
Three mission fields were upgraded to conference status, including the Alpine Mission and the Central Veracruz Mission in the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union, as well as the Campeche Mission in the Southeast Mexican Union.
IAD’s next annual executive committee meetings will be held May 1-4, 2023, in Miami, Florida, United States.