June 23, 2015

Inter-American Division Prays Ahead of GC Session


Leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s the Inter-American Division prepared for the upcoming General Conference session by setting aside a week for spiritual reflection.

The week of spiritual emphasis brought more than 80 church employees and their families to division headquarters in Miami, Florida, to worship together from June 13 to 18.

“We are so focused on the 'go, go, go' and 'do, do, do' with work projects, initiatives and strategies that we want to finish this quinquennium with some time of spiritual reflection,” said Israel Leito, division president.

“This may be the last time we are all together as a family,” Leito said as he reminded leaders that the church’s General Conference session will be held in San Antonio, Texas, from July 2 to 11. The session can bring about change or relocation for many leaders and staff members.

“This is a time to concentrate on our relationship with the Lord and remember that we are God’s children always,” Leito said.

Read related story on how the British Union Conference is preparing for General Conference session

Ron C. Smith, left, president of the Southern Union Conference, speaking to division leaders as Jaime Castrejon, president of the Inter-American Adventist Theological Seminary, interprets. (Libna Stevens / IAD)

Ron C. Smith, president of the Southern Union Conference, part of the North American Division and headquartered in Norcross, Georgia, was the keynote speaker at the annual event. Smith, who has more than 35 years of denominational service, challenged church leaders to remain faithful even living in the unsettling world of today, and reminded leaders to remember who God is as found in Revelation 1.

“We must have a pure faith. Faith that cannot stand upon trial is not faith and we have to be the kind of people that stick with God even when we don’t understand God,” Smith said.

“Think of the love of God and how he feels about us,” he added. “You’re His best investment: He’s warring everyday for you and has not given up on us yet. With murders and rapes and kidnappings and dishonesty and debauchery, God still feels good about the human race.”

Smith encouraged leaders and staff members, who oversee a church membership of more than 3.7 million members in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and Colombia and Venezuela, to continue to be attentive in hearing the call of God, and to fight to set aside things that keep believers from that communion with the Lord.