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8 July 2015 | San Antonio, Texas, USA [Katie Allen, tedNEWS] The last Division report of the evening at General Conference Session, on Wednesday, 8 July, came from the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD), whose representatives illuminated the stage with a rainbow of coloured lanterns to emphasise how one person's light can make a change.

Outgoing SSD president, Alberto Gulfan Jr., who was unable to attend in person, introduced his report via video. The visual report outlined challenges in their fourteen countries, noting that even though it is difficult to reach out, they are reaching.

Highlights include witnessing 10,000 baptisms, from one of the Mission to the Cities initiatives, and seeing how in the midst of darkness and despair, Jesus is transforming the region and beyond. One person's light can change a home, a neighbourhood, a country and, eventually, the world.

After witnessing the day-long debate surrounding women's ordination, Reverend François Clavairoly, President of the French Protestant Federation, addressed the Alamodome at the beginning of the programme saying, "I was very impressed by the way you led the discussion today. I was impressed by the respect you have for each other and the way you listened to everyone's different opinion."

His comments were followed by the Southern-Africa & Indian Ocean Division's (SID) report, presented by President Paul Ratsara.

A video report highlighted how members in the region are on fire for God. With 3.4 million Adventists in the SID territories, the Division has charged each man, woman and child to bring one person to Christ, encouraged by the theme, '1 Member, 1 Soul'.

The involvement of every member is inspiring; age and physical appearance are no barrier in serving God in the SID. A man, 113 years of age, the oldest Adventist in the Division, teaches summer school, encouraging everyone to get ready for Jesus' soon-coming.

Vitalina, disabled through a disease, is the only Adventist in her family. She holds Bible studies in the community and seventeen people have been baptised through her efforts. She reminds people that God can use anyone to do His work.

John Nix, with his presentation on 'Yesterday's Voices', briefly touched on the lives of a handful of early Adventist Missionaries. Using examples of William Spicer, who went on an assignment to England, and John Burden, who used his own money to secure Loma Linda, Nix highlighted how the call to mission service has long been a hallmark of the Adventist Church.

The second report of the evening was from the South Pacific Division (SPD) and was introduced by retiring president, Barry Oliver. He noted how Papua New Guinea has recently celebrated 100 years since the first Adventists arrived and highlighted how much of a historical impact the country's people have had on Adventists across the territory.

A documentary-style video looked at how early Adventist pioneers had affected the tribes in the area, without realising the extent of their reach. The tribes-people were changed and it was because of their Christian passion that many Australians were, in turn, touched by the message of God's love. It is this history that has brought the SPD to their theme, 'Changing History, One Heart At A Time'.

To see more photos, please visit our Facebook page. [tedNEWS]


tedNEWS Staff: Miroslav Pujic, director; Deana Stojkovic, editor
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