|First Meeting - New ASI Europe Board|
On a pleasantly warm day in December the new ASI Europe President, Angel Duo, was delighted to welcome an almost full complement of Board members to his inaugural Board Meeting in Alicante, Spain. The Presidents of the National Chapters were joined by Pastor Victor Pires of It Is Written, outgoing ASI Treasurer, Roberto Duo Ahedo, Dusan Kucera from the Czech/Slovak Chapter and Manuela Lucarelli from the Italian Chapter. Voice without vote was granted to these visitors after Audrey Balderstone opened the session with prayer.
It was with great pleasure that the Portuguese Chapter was unanimously voted into membership of ASI Europe and their President, Ruben Dias was warmly welcomed. The recently formed Scandinavian Chapter was also voted into membership, but unfortunately the new President, Claus Nybo, was unable to attend. The Presidents of the Austrian and Hungarian Chapters also sent their apologies, but we were glad to be introduced to the new President of the France/Belgium Chapter, Oliver Yenkamala. We were also introduced to Ernesto Duo Ahedo who has taken over from his brother Angel as President of the Spanish Chapter.
Changes to the Board
Roberto, the outgoing Treasurer, presented his final report and was warmly congratulated and thanked for the excellent work he has done during the past two years. Roberto was ‘forced’ into retirement when his brother Angel was elected President. We are fortunate to have another good treasurer in Patrick Lagarde of France. Mark Alt has taken over from Christiane Theiss as Secretary of the Board and we know that he will keep up the high standard set by Christiane.
Projects and Evangelism
Up until now, ASI Europe has funded a number of projects from the offerings taken at the ASI Europe Conventions. After a presentation by newly elected Vice-President for Evangelism, Radim Passer, in which he reiterated that the Mission of ASI Europe is to proclaim the Good News of Christ’s return, we were asked to consider a new strategy for Evangelism. After the presentation of a document which will be sent to the National Presidents for study during the next few months, a decision will be taken at the April Board meeting as to whether national chapters should be responsible for funding projects and ASI Europe should concentrate solely on equipping members - but mainly young people - for evangelistic outreach endeavours. This proposal has far-reaching consequences for the future of ASI Europe and so your prayers are requested that the Holy Spirit will make the will of God known to all of us.
Evangelism is always firmly on the Agenda of ASI Europe and it was thrilling to hear the plans for It Is Written to partner with ASI Europe, beginning with evangelistic outreach in Italy. It is the desire of the Executive Committee that the ‘Caravan of the Reformation’ will roll through the cities of Europe and that each national chapter will be the driving force for involving lay people in evangelism in their territories. It was recognised that the name of the project is not the most appropriate one and a new name will be chosen at the next Board meeting which will be held in Prague in April.
It was good to hear that both Division Presidents had given their whole-hearted approval to the plans for evangelism throughout Europe at a meeting held with the Executive Committee the week prior to the Board Meeting.
Marketing and Chapter Growth
Dr Gerhard Padderatz, who has a passion for spreading the influence of ASI in Europe, listed the countries, mainly in TED, which will be targeted as potential members during the next few months.
ASI Europe Convention
Gerhard also reported that the next ASI Europe Convention will be held in a German speaking country in 2011.
He shared with us his vision that an evangelistic campaign would be conducted over the next two years in the locality chosen, climaxing with a baptismal ceremony during the Convention. Beginning in 2009, this vision ties in perfectly with the Year of Evangelism which has been inaugurated by the General Conference.
Website and Newsletter
Gerhard also urged the Presidents to feed news to the webmaster, Susanne Lombart, so that it can be included in the Newsletter published on the ASI Europe website – www.asi-europe.org. Ruben Dias of Portugal has kindly offered to re-design the website.
The Presidents of the National Chapters gave brief reports of their activities and the Spanish Chapter showed a video of their recent Youth for Jesus Campaign in Seville. In 2009, Youth for Jesus campaigns will be conducted in
Santiago, Spain and Nottingham, England.
Although there is always a large amount of work to get through at a Board Meeting there is also time for worship, prayer, socialising and getting to know each other. We were privileged to worship on Sabbath in the Church in Elche where we were warmly welcomed. Pastor Pires opened God’s word to us and showed us how the bible tells us that Jesus needed to go to Samaria to meet with the woman there. Where does Jesus need us to go? Over meals and during walks, we had the opportunity to share experiences and ideas and we felt blessed by our association together. Our President, Angel, skilfully guided us through the Agenda, letting everyone have their say, but at the same time keeping us on track and to time so that our business could be concluded in the given time. We left Alicante with the warm glow of having been, not only in the sun, but also about the business of the Son.
by Audrey Balderstone