After being in lockdown for more than two years, the Publishing Ministries Department of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD), in partnership with the Philippine Publishing House, recently hosted its 12th National Convention of Literature Evangelists.
With the theme, “I Am a Messenger, I Will Go!” literature evangelists from all across the Philippine archipelago reviewed the reason for their calling: to share the blessed hope and be God’s end-time messengers through literature.
In his devotional message, SSD president Saw Samuel underscored that the publishing work was pivotal in the Adventist Church’s early beginnings. “The publishing work will also play a huge role in completing earth’s final history,” Samuel said.
“Thank you for what you are doing to share the three angel’s messages. You are an invaluable asset to God’s Advent movement, and you are part of the mobilizing forces of Christ’s second coming,” he added.
Samuel emphasized that there is power in the printed page. As the Holy Spirit blesses each page of every published book, it will prepare the hearts of its readers and introduce life and principles founded in Jesus, he said.
“This dying world needs the everlasting love of Jesus. An important message awaits delivery — relaying the intensity of God’s love and promise of eternity in heaven through salvation in Jesus Christ,” Samuel said.
A Holistic Approach to Literature Evangelism
Several guests from the General Conference, the SSD, and the Philippines’ three union conference regions attended this long-awaited convention. Part of the convention opening is the parade of delegates and the grand welcome organized by the host conference, the West Visayan Conference in central Philippines.
After the devotional service, guests in the field of various departmental ministries shared their expertise on creating more opportunities for the publishing ministry.
SSD health director Rizaline Alfanoso emphasized the importance of focusing on mental health. After most have been on lockdown for more than two years, the World Health Organization reports that the pandemic triggered a 25-percent increase in anxiety and depression prevalence worldwide. “Mental health is just as important as physical health,” Alfanoso reminded delegates.
According to some studies, one in four adults experiences at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any given year.
“The Adventist Church is entrusted with the blessed health message. This is an opportunity to be a blessing to others and utilize these important reminders to minister to our respective families about the importance of our mental condition,” Alfanoso said.
SSD family ministries director Virginia Baloyo shared valuable points on family relationships and how vital is it that we share this information with the world. Broken marriages and families are increasing day by day, she said. God’s message of hope lifts the spirit and encourages the soul that hope can still be found in Jesus despite the most challenging situations.
“Our human capacity is incapable of resolving our battles, whether it be a broken marriage, losing someone, unemployment, or even terminal illnesses. Our only way to resolve these struggles is through the faith we entrust in Jesus,” Baloyo said. “It is only through Him that our hope will live and create an influence not only in us but also through us.”
SSD children’s ministries director Orathai Chureson talked about God’s genuine call to be utilized in any given skill or responsibility we receive from God. As in the case of Moses, as he surrendered his life to God’s leading and purpose, God’s name was glorified in Moses’ actions.
Chureson shared that we may not find it convenient and comfortable in certain situations in our life where we are called to serve or to minister. Still, as we depend on God and surrender our lives to His leading, we may soon see the bigger picture of where the Lord would want to lead us, she said.
She quoted Adventist Church co-founder Ellen G. White, who wrote, “Devote your mind to spiritual things. Keep your mind from dwelling upon yourself. Cultivate a contented, cheerful spirit. You talk too much about unimportant things. You gain no spiritual strength from this. If this strength spent in talking were devoted to prayer, you would receive spiritual strength and make melody in your heart to God.”
SSD associate treasurer Daryl Gay Tanamal completed the series of devotional talks for the morning program. Tanamal reminded delegates of the importance of persistence, dedication, good habits, and positivity.
Tanamal shared four points in the form of an acronym spelled RISE, which stands for READ and REFLECT, INVEST, SHARE, and ENGAGE. It means having a renewed spirit every day, a spirit-filled attitude that transmits a positive outlook toward others.
“[We should] read and reflect on God’s Word daily as our primary source of strength and inspiration,” Tanamal said. She stressed that the primary responsibility for followers of Christ is not service but a relationship with Jesus. “Invest in learning your message. Before we get the chance to share God’s message with others, we must experience God’s Word first so that people may understand how it feels to be immersed in His message. After spending time with God in prayer and in His words, after experiencing His presence, our goal is to share that message to the world and engage ourselves with people that they may know, learn, taste, and see that the Lord is good,” Tanamal emphasized.
In closing, Tanamal shared a verse in the Bible found in 2 Corinthians 9:6. “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (NIV).
The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division news site.