Ministries in the Spotlight
Highlights from the exhibit floor

BY Evan Knottore than 200 exhibits taking up approximately 200,000 square feet dazzle the imaginations of thousands of Adventists attending the 2010 General Conference session in Atlanta.

Union College: The Lincoln, Nebraska-based, Adventist tertiary school features a 25-foot-high climbing wall, a major attraction for kids and young adults. [Austin Ho/Adventist Review]
Dean Rogers, exhibit manager for the session, reports there has been a similar number of exhibits at previous sessions. “I think the biggest difference this time is the quality of the exhibits,” he says. “We have some outstanding displays that are very inviting to the people who come through.”

Among the impressive displays is Union College, whose exhibit features a 25-foot-high climbing wall. The wall is a major attraction for kids and young adults, but according to Union College student and exhibitor Karla Navarrete, it’s not just the usual suspects who are enjoying climbing the wall. “We had a lady who was 69 years old!” she laughs. “She was climbing, and the crowd was rooting for her!”

Navarrete says the cheering and encouragement accompanying persons attempting to climb the wall are representative of the kind of atmosphere one can expect at Union College. “We support our kids; we stick together.”

Also on display is La Voz de la Esperanza, or “Voice of Hope,” a media ministry that aims to spread the gospel to Hispanic people all over the world. Manager and treasurer Charles Garcia says the purpose of the booth is to promote awareness of their Spanish television ministries, as well as their more than 1,300 radio stations.

“We’re trying to expose ourselves to the world, let people know who we are, and try to reach out for help—not only financially but also in terms of getting people to know there’s actually a program in Spanish almost everywhere in the world where they can tune in and listen to the Word of God.”

Trans-European Division: The TED exhibit demonstrates “Life Connect,” a new online ministry that works like Facebook. [Austin Ho/Adventist Review]
The Trans-European Division (TED) exhibit is demoing a new Internet ministry called “Life Connect,” an online ministry that essentially works like Facebook. In addition to the HTML format, a 3-D virtual space called “Life Connect World” is launching this September. Life Connect World will allow people to explore a virtual world where they can interact with other users in a variety of ways, ranging from sharing recipes in virtual cafés to previewing Christian media to having Bible studies at the Life Connect University.

“We’re encouraging people to be digital missionaries,” says Jemina da Silva Macedo of tedMEDIA Productions. “We’re not forcing Christianity or Adventism down anybody’s throat. We’re trying to connect to people by finding common interests and then leading them into spiritual concepts.”

Long a fixture at General Conference sessions, the exhibition hall offers a chance for Adventist organizations to bring their message to tens of thousands of visitors and attendees, and to build support for their unique roles in spreading the three angels’ messages.

Evan Knott is a sophomore religion and communication major at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States.

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