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In Inter-America, Church Leaders Look into Expanding Adventist Possibility Ministries – Seventh-day Adventist Church


September 24, 2020 | Miami, Florida, United States | Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Inter-America wants to ensure all of its churches are caring and ministering to the most vulnerable in their congregations and communities. It’s a plan that began several years ago when Special Needs Ministries was established throughout the Adventist Church around the globe, bringing awareness, initiatives, and activities designed to cater to the deaf, blind and physically impaired. Today, the ministry has adopted a new name, Adventist Possibility Ministries (APM). APM will expand to specific vulnerable groups in society that the church must target, leaders said.

APM leaders across Inter-American Division’s (IAD) 24 major church regions met during a recent online advisory meeting to discuss expanding the ministry to orphans and vulnerable children, widows and widowers, and mental and emotional challenged persons, as well as their caregivers.

“We must expand the vision of possibility, making churches all inclusive,” said Pastor Samuel Telemaque, Sabbath school and APM director for the church in Inter-America. “We are all gifted, all needed and all treasured, and it’s time to cast a new vision for this ministry in the Inter-American Division so we can minister and prepare every member to have an equal place in the Kingdom of God,” said Telemaque.

Pastor Samuel Telemaque, Sabbath school director and possibility ministries director for the church in Inter-America, says it’s time for Inter-America to expand the vision of possibility.  [Photo: Screenshot/IAD]

That inclusiveness must incorporate new ministries that fall under the APM umbrella, he said. For years, there has been much awareness and ministering to the blind, deaf and physically disabled, but it’s time to cast a larger vision as the new quinquennium has begun, added Telemaque.

APM now includes: the Bereavement for Spousal Loss Ministry, The Blind and Low Vision Ministry, The Caregiver Ministry, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministry, The Mental Health and Wellness Ministry, Orphans and Vulnerable Children Ministry, and the Physical and Mobility Ministry.

Pastor Larry Evans, APM director for the Adventist world church, said each of the ministries will have co-leaders that will provide guidance, vision and structure to assist in its development across the divisions, its unions and its regional territories. “We know that the real work comes from the grassroots, the members themselves,” said Evans. “Possibilities ministries is not a department of the church, but complements every department of the church.”

Each ministry is guided by 3-A strategies, said Evans. These include (1) awareness of the need, increasing awareness in the most vulnerable people in the community; (2) acceptance of different languages, races, and abilities, bringing about a sense of belonging, and, (3) action plans that are attainable in the church and the community.

Adventist Possibility Ministries Director for the Adventist World Church Pastor Larry Evans lists the new ministries that will support persons with different needs in the church and the community. under the min[Photo: Screenshot/IAD]

“We must develop plans and create momentum, even starting with small ones at your local church,” said Evans. “You must create motivation and excitement and people will see things are taking place.” It’s about being a center of influence showing compassion to all people, he said.

APM aligns with the I Will Go strategic plan of the Adventist world church, added Evans. Together with its Key Performance Indicators, each of the seven ministries will support leadership, spiritual development and mission aspects of the plan. Evans challenged each APM leader to commit to the plan of “I Will Go to each person looking for their possibility and let them know they belong; I Will Go and share with them a spirit filled life as an example to follow; and I Will Go to provide training service and ministry opportunities for those often neglected and pushed aside.”

There is much to learn still, said Pastor Elie Henry, president of the church in Inter-America.

“We recognize that we have a lot to do still,” said Pastor Henry. “Continue to be there in the community for in the times we are living, we need to be the hand of God, the voice of God and show the power of God transforming lives for eternity.”

Steve Avakov, co-leader of the Orphans and Vulnerable Children Ministry [Photo: Screenshot/IAD]

During the six-hour advisory meetings, Audrey Andersson, executive secretary for the Trans-European Division and co-leader of the Bereavement for Spousal Loss Ministry, spoke on how the church can offer practical help and support when someone in their congregation or community loses a spouse. Steve Avakov of Russia and co-leader of the Orphan and Vulnerable Children Ministry spoke on how the church could assess needs, decide what steps to take to bring awareness, and planting the new ministry locally.

Pastor Jeffrey Jordan, co-leader of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministry, also encouraged leaders to get to know the deaf culture and how they can mentor and empower them be involved in ministry.

Leaders agreed to accept the new APM document to be voted by the IAD Executive Committee in November, as well as bring about awareness during the Special Emphasis Day for Orphans and Vulnerable Children on Nov. 21, 2020.

In addition, church leaders took time to pray for the vulnerable groups in the community and for the success of the Possibility ministries across the territory. In addition, several IAD unions reported on the development and success of ministries across the territory during the last four years.

David Maldonado, possibility ministries director for the church in North Mexico, reports on the advancement of the deaf ministries across the territory since 2015. [Photo: Screenshot/IAD]

To learn more about the initiatives and resources for Adventist Possibilities Ministries, click HERE


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