Lake Union Conference Vice President, Carmelo Mercado (with microphone), introduces the new Lake Union ASI leadership team. Left to right: Gill Chapman; Chuck Randall; Manuel Alva, Lake Union ASI president; Carmelo Mercado; Joy Kauffman, Lake Union ASI vice president; Julia O'Carey, Lake Union ASI vice president of Evangelism; Kathy Morrisy, Lake Union ASI vice president of Communications; and Trudi Starlin.
On April 19–20, the Lake Union chapter of Adventist Laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI) met for their spring fellowship in Benton Harbor, Mich., under the theme of “All In. All Out.” This year marked a new term in leadership and featured emerging ministries along with the advancement of previous projects. Nilton Garcia, Hispanic coordinator for the Michigan Conference and pastor at the Berrien Springs Spanish Church, spoke on the principles of prayer for the Friday seminar. Also, Andrews University professor and Leadership Department chair Duane Covrig presented the seminar, “Who Made You a Moral Judge?”
Taurus Montgomery, pastor of the Harbor of Hope Church in Benton Harbor, Mich., opened Friday night with his testimony “Attending AU — Adversity University.” He detailed his journey from Mobile, Ala., to Andrews University, and how God provided growth and development through various hardships and complications, all beginning with the loss of his childhood home. “The reason I thank God my house burned is because when we were homeless, there was a Seventh-day Adventist family that heard about our situation that called my mom and said, ‘You can live with us.’” Montgomery explained, “For the first time in my life, I discovered there were people on earth who didn't eat meat.”
“Adversity University” became somewhat of a sub-theme at the conference, as different ministries explained how their difficulties were utilized. This year, eight ministries were featured, including Your Story Hour, the Orphans’ International Hotline in Haiti, Adventist Frontier Mission (AFM) Mali Project, It Is Written, Advocates for the Southeast Asian and the Persecuted (ASAP), and the fledgling Adelante Community Health Center in Berwyn, Ill.
Offering collected totaled $21,106, eclipsing the projected goal of $16,826, were allocated as follows: $6,126 for equipping FARM STEW with a health and farming educator in Jnja, Uganda; $4,500 for assisting Orphans International Helpline's with land and equipment for a chicken farm; $1,200 for AFM's support of George and Teresa Tooray in Mali, Africa; $5,000 towards advertising and programing for the Adelante Community Health Center, a grassroots outreach program that provides health instructions. Headed by the physician team of Manuel and Esther Alva, along with other ASI members, the Center aims to provide education on preventing, treating and reversing chronic conditions.
Additionally, this ASI convention marked a change leadership, which introduced the following new officers and board members for the upcoming term: Manuel Alva, president; Joy Kauffman, general vice president; Julia O'Carey, vice president of Evangelism; Kathy Morrissy, vice president of Communications.
The next international ASI convention will be in from July 31 to August 3 in Louisville, Kentucky, with the theme “Business Unusual.”
Attendees of the Lake Union ASI spring fellowship at the Hilton Garden Inn, Benton Harbor, Michigan