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ASI Collects Record $8 Million Offering at Convention

By Steve Hamstra
Photos by Gerry Chudleigh and Ron Quick

Some said inspirational while others said uplifting to describe the 61st annual Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI) Convention. The event this year was held in Tampa, Fla., and themed “By Knowing Him.”

Between Wednesday evening and Sabbath, the ASI Convention was attended by more than 2,500 people, including 500 youth and young adults. A full schedule included nine main meetings, 20 seminars under five different themes, and complete programs for children and youth.

A highlight at convention each year is the ASI Special Projects Offering, and this year the offering supported 41 projects chosen from approximately 100 submitted to ASI. A wide variety of undertakings and locations made up the 2008 projects, including construction, evangelism, archaeology, lay outreach, and media projects. The response was overwhelming; an offering of $8,034,672 was pledged, more than quadruple the 2007 offering. “It’s just fantastic,” says a beaming Dwight Hilderbrandt, interim ASI secretary-treasurer.

Not only was evangelism part of the offering projects, it was a powerful premise throughout the convention.

Electrifying the convention, however, was the One-Day Church project. A joint effort between ASI and Maranatha Volunteers International, the One-Day Church will provide prefabricated steel church buildings to “homeless” Adventist congregations around the world.

On Sabbath morning attendees were given a special ASI Convention edition of the “New Beginnings” evangelism DVD, providing them with an attractive, user-friendly means to become evangelists in their communities.

Involving young people in evangelism is an integral tenet to ASI, and a special presentation was made about Youth for Jesus (YFJ). An ASI-sponsored youth evangelism program, YFJ reaches out to the community where the ASI convention is to be held each year.

All told, 52 youth participated in YFJ 2008 along with 19 Bible workers. And from their efforts in the Tampa area, 103 people chose to keep the Sabbath, and 94 requested baptism.

Asked if she enjoyed the convention, attendee April Tracy replied with a big smile, “I called my granddaughter and told her, ‘Next year you’re coming with me.’”

Then there’s Kyle Tumberg. He and his wife spent their honeymoon at ASI Convention. “And,” he glowed, “I don’t regret it!”

For more information and photos, visit asiministries.org.

 

Robert Wallace, president and CEO of Bithgroup Technologies in Baltimore, presents the seminar "God is an Entrepreneur: Kingdom Principles for Building Wealth and Your Business, at the recent 2008 International ASI Convention in Tampa, Fla.

During the convention, Michelle Pauliah from Ashton, Md., shares about an evangelistic project that excited her.

David Kanna, from Williamsburg, Virginia, tells about an evangelism project that excited him.

Rafael Scarfullery, who teaches music at three colleges in Virginia, plays "Hover O'er Me, Holy Spirit" on the classical guitar.

Joyce Christman, chaplain at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, Md., presents the topic "Ministering to Those Experiencing Grief and Loss."