Adventists in the region hold first major in-person meeting in more than two years.
After two years of lockdown and travel restrictions, the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) decided to hold its annual mid-year meetings in person in May 2022. The meetings took place in the Life Hope Impact Center, Cavite, Philippines.
During the devotional services, Adventist leaders underlined the value of living with hope and trusting God’s leading despite the circumstances. Max Langi and Rudy Baloyo, current treasurer and executive secretary of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, shared inspirational messages to attending delegates, reminding everyone of each leader’s divine responsibility.
During the two-day mid-year meeting, Adventist church leaders from SSD shared their spiritual journey and how the Lord has led them to where they are right now. Speakers reminded delegates about the value of dependence and trust in God’s leading. No matter how uncertain the future, our faith in God will help us be resilient and overcome challenges in leadership, decision making, and organization, they emphasized.
Living with Hope
With devastating events happening in various parts of the world, hope seems to be unclear and doubtful, Langi said. However, despite the uncertainties, there are moments when we are reminded about hope and how valuable it is to hold on to it steadfastly.
Langi reminded delegates that life is not an easy journey. “As sin continues to cripple humanity, life will remain uncertain,” he said. Despite having an unclear future, we are reminded that we should not fear. We should remember that the Lord has led us, and His teaching will be our strength, he emphasized.
As Langi pondered his retirement, he acknowledged that age is just a number. “Age comes with different perks and responsibilities. There comes a time when age becomes a burden as we encounter struggles in various aspects of life. These struggles encourage us to look forward to the blessed hope. A reminder that though this life has its limits, the blessed promise from God will remain alive even after death as we wait for the soon coming of our Savior,” he said.
He reminded the delegates to accept the present and to pursue the future.
“Live in the present. Enjoy God’s presence each day. Keep the past behind you, and do your best to reach what is ahead. Fix your eyes on the goal; fix your eyes on Jesus. Finish the race and win the prize through Christ Jesus,” Langi said. “Pursue the future. Look forward with enthusiasm and hope. God has prepared life eternal for those who accept His salvation.”
God’s Providence and Leading
In his devotional message, Baloyo reminded delegates that where we are right now is a reminder of God’s leading. “As we place our confidence in God, we learn to rely on Him, no matter what circumstances we experience,” he said.
Baloyo acknowledged that there are moments when we are not comfortable where we are placed. “These inconveniences are God’s ways of developing a spiritual character that will be utilized to further His work in His perfect timing,” he said.
He added that God is developing patience and humility in us as we trust His plans for our lives. “Often, trusting the Lord comes with sacrifices. When we commit ourselves to His leading, we are not entrusting our lives to God halfway but wholeheartedly,” Baloyo said. “Express your trust in God, and you will see firsthand how the Lord works in your life.”
Baloyo reminisced about his journey from being a hard-headed rascal to becoming a church leader for the division. He shared that these extremes in his life reveal how God is interested in leading us to where he would find us helpful.
“If not for God’s providence, I wouldn’t be where I am right now,” Baloyo said. “His footsteps led me to a life living in confidence of His promise.”
The original version of this story was posted by the Southern Asia-Pacific Division.