The Year-End Meetings of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church took place in the headquarters located in Paju, South Korea, November 3-7, 2022.
According to church leaders in the region, it was a special event in many respects. Most of all, it was the first-ever year-end meetings held in those facilities. Also, it was meaningful since the meetings were held onsite rather than via Zoom.
There was excitement in the air as leaders from various parts of the world gathered and enjoyed fellowship, worship, reports from organizations and institutions, and business sessions.
Leaders held pre-meetings on November 1-2. During this time, they held officers’ councils and department and institution interviews with leaders from the Japan Union Conference (JUC), the Korean Union Conference (KUC), the Taiwan Conference (TWC), and the Mongolia Mission (MM). It was an opportunity for the department directors to meet face-to-face with the officers of the four organizations.
Two leaders from the General Conference (GC) attended, including GC vice president Audrey Andersson and GC assistant to the treasurer Brent Burdick. Also, 42 delegates and 25 invitees were present. What was more special was that directors from KUC and theology students from Sahmyook University participated as observers. Despite the COVID-19 situation, God worked many miracles to allow almost all of those invited to join.
“Mission Refocus” was the keyword throughout the 2022 event. From beginning to the end, all programs and testimonies were geared toward mission refocusing. The morning of the first day of meetings was spent in a Mission Refocus program with testimonies and music from JUC, KUC, TWC, and MM. A special prayer meeting was also held for North Korea. It reminded the participants that representation of one flag was missing in the auditorium. Mission Refocus brought together a sense of urgency and importance in carrying out NSD’s mission.
Every morning was a blessing to start the day with worship. Special items from every church region brought joy and thankfulness to all. Special messages were shared by Sun Hwan Kim, Hiroshi Yamaji, Yo Han Kim, Ginger Ketting-Weller, Audrey Andersson, and Brent Burdick. “Each day was special, but it was truly a great blessing that all the messages were connected, challenged the participants to be one in carrying out God’s work, and most of all led to the love of Christ,” leaders said.
The Nominating Committee voted to recommend Tae Seung Kim as the new NSD treasurer. Edgard Leonel Luz was voted to serve as the new NSD Education director. The officers of Mongolia Mission were voted to serve for the next three years: Suk Hee Han for president, Adiyakhuu Oktyabri for secretary, and Young Sik Kim for treasurer.
A prayer room was set up just outside the auditorium and open to anyone at any time to pray for three specific areas: Healing Prayer, Salt and Light Prayer, and Seed Prayer. Also, a profile picture booth was setup in the media center and health checkup station in the library. Participants enjoyed taking professional profile pictures and getting health checkups.
On Sabbath morning, a dedication service of five Pioneer Mission Movement (PMM) missionaries and a Public Campus Ministries missionary took place, in the year PMM celebrates 20 years. On Saturday (Sabbath) afternoon, delegates visited institutions such as the Adventist Language School, Sahmyook Seoul Hospital, and Sahmyook Health University. They spent time listening to mission reports and dedicating a special prayer time for each of the respective institutions.
North Korea Mission
On Sunday afternoon, November 6, Executive Committee members and invitees had a unique opportunity to get a glimpse into the special mission field in the NSD territory. Separated by a river and more than half a century–long ceasefire are South and North Korea. At the narrowest point, a less than 500-meter (around 0.3 mile) gap stands between the two. Yet, the longing for the reunion with loved ones and yearning to visit their hometown continues.
Adventist leaders hope that despite the long period of darkness, the flame of the gospel has survived. “It is our hope and prayer that the doors would open soon and when they do, we will be ready to share the eternal hope with our brethren in the north,” leaders said.