Adventist News

Asian/Pacific Pastors Gather For Workshops And Fellowship

BY GERRY CHUDLEIGH, editor, Pacific Union Recorder

In February, 148 Asian/Pacific pastors and 59 spouses gathered in Ontario, California, for training and inspiration at the North American Division Asian/Pacific Pastors Convention. It was one of the largest gatherings of Asian and Pacific Island church pastors in NAD history. In his opening remarks, NAD President Dan Jackson commented, “Someone has said we no longer have to worry about how to reach people in the 10/40 window* because the 10/40 window has moved in next door to us.”

The pastors came to the convention from congregations across North America and from as far away as Guam, but 127 came from the Pacific Union. A brochure distributed at the convention reported that there are 99,162 Asian/Pacific members in NAD, which includes the Guam/Micronesia Mission. Asian/Pacific members conduct worship services in 25 languages and meet in 801 Asian/Pacific churches. In 2013, those churches welcomed 2,257 new members through baptism, and donated $87 million in tithe.

The convention featured 19 presenters, including administrators, ministry directors, seminary theologians, evangelists, marriage counselors, educators, and ministry trainers.

“These meetings have been great,” said Sonatane Vunileva, pastor of the Los Angeles Tongan church, “I especially liked the presentations on how to have a good marriage [by Soon Ja Lee], and the presentations by Stan Patterson [Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University] on how to be a Christian leader. I had never heard those things before.”

Five times during the convention, pastors’ spouses met for separate presentations. Speakers for that group included Soon Ja Lee, licensed psychologist; Imelda Arreola, wife of VicLouis and registrar and coordinator of Christian Ministry Academic Affairs; Heather Knight, president of Pacific Union College in Angwin, California; and Donna Jackson, wife of Dan and director of the NAD Ministerial Spouses Association.

VicLouis Arreola III, Asian/Pacific Ministries director for both the NAD and the Pacific Union, was pleased with the number of pastors and wives who participated, and with the presentations. “Our theme was ‘All Power is Given,’ and the power we have is the power of the Holy Spirit," he said. "I pray that all our pastors will be full of God¹s power.”

*The 10/40 window refers to parts of the eastern hemisphere, plus the European and African part of the western hemisphere, located between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator. In general, those areas have enormous populations, high levels of poverty and very low numbers of Christians.

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