Adventist Church Baptizes
Record Number in Myanmar
ix simultaneous outreach efforts held from November 11 to 18, 2006, resulted in 903 baptisms in Myanmar. The efforts were organized by both local laypeople and church leaders, along with a 46-member support team from the United States and South Korea.
To raise awareness of the meetings, themed “Back to Eden,” some 80 cyclists distributed Voice of Prophecy Discovery Bible courses to people living in the country’s remotest villages. Their outreach resulted in nearly 1,500 individuals earning the Discovery Bible Certificate. Organizers of the event plan to return to Myanmar in 2008 to “help finish God’s work,” said Suan Sawm Sang, a local translator. —ANN/AR.
Typhoon Seniang Batters the Philippines, ADRA Responds
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has been responding to the needs of survivors after Typhoon Seniang (also called Typhoon Utor) tore through the Philippines on December 9. Typhoon Seniang is the fifth typhoon to hit the Philippines this season.
At least four people were killed when Seniang made landfall in the eastern and central Philippines. More than 90,000 people across the country have been affected by the disaster. In Mindoro province, more than 15,000 families have suffered from the typhoon, as well as some 250 families in Aklan province and 200 families in Romblon province.
In response, ADRA is providing food and shelter assistance to almost 3,000 people in the three provinces, as well as distributing food, building materials, and tarps to those in need.
ADRA also assisted people in the eastern Philippines in late November after Typhoon Durian knocked out power, destroyed homes, and killed hundreds of residents. It provided immediate relief and medical assistance to thousands of survivors in the affected regions.
This project is funded by ADRA International, the ADRA/Asia regional office in Bangkok, Thailand, and the ADRA/Philippines office. —Adventist Development and Relief Agency/AR.
ADRA Launches New Web Site Section on HIV and AIDS
To raise awareness and provide easily accessible information about HIV and AIDS, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has recently launched a new section on its Web site called “The HIV and AIDS Crisis.” Statistics indicate that in the past decade,the number of people living with HIV or AIDS has doubled to more than 40 million. According to ADRA, even though HIV and AIDS is a mega-scale crisis, many people don’t have enough information about the disease, its effects, and the possibilities for hope. With these challenges and opportunities in mind, ADRA launched the new Web site section, which focuses on this crisis.
The new site contains information about prevention and treatment, has downloadable resources, and provides direct avenues for helping the men, women, and children suffering worldwide.
To visit this site click here
. —ADRA Public Relations/AR.
Adventist Leaders Pray While Volcano Threatens Montserrat
Seventh-day Adventist church leaders at the Inter-American Division headquarters in Miami, Florida, ask church leaders and members across the region to pray for fellow Adventists as well as other residents on the island of Montserrat as a volcano threatens to affect yet again what’s left of the Adventist community there.
“We ask for your prayers on behalf of our people in Montserrat,” says Israel Leito, president of the church in Inter-America. “The infrastructure of the church there has suffered tremendously before, and they need your prayers.”
The Adventist church’s infrastructure was seriously affected in Montserrat in 1997 when a large eruption of the Soufrière Hills volcano took the lives of 19 people, including two church members, and destroyed six of the seven Adventist churches, two Adventist schools, and several church properties. The destruction left two thirds of the island uninhabitable including the capital city, the island’s airport, and crop areas.
Eugene F. Daniel, president of the church in the Caribbean Union, says that church leaders are very concerned for the nearly 500 remaining members who are worshipping in the one Adventist church left on the island. He says that the island has been warned of a possible evacuation. According to Daniel, before the 1997 eruption the church membership on the island was more than 12,000. Later most members relocated to Antigua and other neighboring islands.
“The church is prepared to respond in assisting those in need,” Daniel said. “The plan in mind is to temporarily assist in the evacuation of church members and community members to new locations with the help of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency in the region.”
ADRA/Inter-America is prepared to jump in and assist with funds, says Wallace Amundson, the organization’s director. An emergency refuge center, which was built soon after the 1997 eruption and can house 100 people, has a full kitchen and supplies to assist those who may be in need of relocation.
Montserrat is located in the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea, and is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. —Inter-American Division Communication Department/AR.