It is a wonderful experience to begin the day united in singing, praying, and sharing God’s Word with the brethren from all around the world. The Bible text from Psalms 133:1 says, “Behold how good and how pleasant for brethren to dwell together in unity.”
The presence of the Lord could really be felt this morning as the delegates gathered for prayer meeting early in the morning followed by morning worship. All joined their voices in rich melodies as they sang the Hymn “Nearer my God to Thee”. Br. P. Brovchenko delivered a touching message entitled “Surrender to Christ”. He spoke concerning the experience of Peter who, before his conversion, was spiritually unstable and often would run ahead of the Lord or assume the position of observer. The Lord appealed to Peter to follow Him. This required total surrender. How are we? Are we running ahead of the Lord, or are we following the Lord?
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23
“How many profess to be servants of Christ; but how loath are they to bear reproach and shame, for His sake. The cross is not to please self; it lies directly across the path of the pleasure-lover, and cuts through our carnal desires and selfish inclinations.” Lift Him Up 245.4
Let us all surrender our will to the Lord today as we carry out His business. May we all put aside self-will, and let the Lord’s will be done today.
Business of the Day
The meeting started at 9:00am in the morning with the singing of the Hymn “Give me the Bible.” Br. Peter Lausevic addressed the session and spoke about success. He asked the questions: “What is success? Do we want to have success as individuals?” He also prompted the delegates to reflect on what our goals are as individuals and as a church. We are here to discuss many aspects of the work, to discuss doctrinal matters. But we need to ask ourselves continuously: “What is our goal?” In the book of Joshua, we have the definition of success.
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” Joshua 1:8
If we look at the pledge the Adventist Church took right at the beginning of the Advent Movement it was one promising that they would be faithful to the law and never depart from it.
Brother Peter continued his sermon stating:
“My brethren, this is my 6th delegation session. We made pledges at all of these sessions to keep the law of God and to lift up the standards, but have we? When we look back, we find failures along the way. We still have not succeeded. Ok, we opened new areas, and we see there great success, but have we kept the law? Have we maintained the standards that were established at the beginning of our movement? We need Jesus as our personal Saviour. Have you consciously surrendered your life to Jesus? If not, when we come together again in four years, we will analyze our resolutions, we will make more resolutions and declarations, but nothing will change. We need to surrender our heart to Jesus today, my brethren. If the message of Christ our Righteousness by Jones and Waggoner was accepted in 1888, we could have been in heaven two years after. Please consider this as you carry on with your work today.”
One hundred and seventy-five delegates were present at the roll call this morning. Br. Eli Tenorio, the re-elected General Conference Secretary, presented the Minutes from yesterday—August 30, 2015. The session divided into various committees for their work.
New African Regions
The session recommenced with all committees present at 11:00am. Two Prayers were offered. In order to facilitate the expanding work of the African Region, the delegates have voted to divide Africa into two regions. There will now be a North African Region and a South African Region, each with its own Regional Secretary. As it was, Africa was considered one region with a regional secretary and an assistant.
The new Northern African Region will include: Burundi Mission, Central Nigerian Mission, East African Union Mission, East Nigerian Mission, Ethiopian Union Mission, Ghana Mission, Liberian Mission, Madagascar Mission, North Kivu Mission, Rwandan Union Mission, South Kivu Mission, Seychelles Mission Field.
The new Southern African Region will include: Angolan Union, Botswana Mission Field, Congo Union, East Zambian Mission, Mozambique Mission, South African Field, West Zambian Field, Zimbabwe Mission.
It was voted by a great majority of the delegates that this point be in effect as of now September 1, 2015. The session paused for a lunch break.
After lunch, the session resumed discussion on various details of the new sections of the Working Policy, which is being adopted at this session. Just before the evening worship, the various regions gathered together for the selection of names for the office of regional secretaries given to the Nominating Committee for approval. The day closed at 6:30pm, however some of the regions had to stay longer in order to finish their nominations.
The Bulletin Committee,
Olivine E. Uy