Inter-America’s Adventist-layman’s Services and Industries Annual Convention opened with a cultural array of colors, sights and sounds from Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico on Aug. 8, 2018. The event drew more than 300 business and professionals from Inter-America to celebrate 20 years of ASi growth  Photo by Libna Stevens/IAD

August 9, 2018 | Cancun, Mexico | Libna Stevens/IAD

“When God blesses you, do not raise your standard of living, raise your standard of giving,” said Zukisani Mxoli, as Inter-America’s Annual Adventist Services and Industries (ASi) convention opened in Cancun, Mexico, on Aug. 8, 2018. “Use your skills, use your business, use your blessings for God’s kingdom as you serve Him,” said Mxoli, evangelist, an architect and property developer in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Mxoli, who also served as an associate director of the General Conference Development and Construction Consulting Service and is a member of the General Conference Executive Committee, challenged the more than 300 Adventist entrepreneurs, professionals and church leaders from throughout Inter-America to commit what they have to God and see it multiply.

Committing to God in sharing Jesus in the market place through projects and supporting ministries will take strong faith to move forward in the midst of trials and difficulties, said Mxoli.

Evangelist Zukisani Mxoli of South Africa delivered the keynote address during the opening night of the ASi Inter-America Convention. Photo by Libna Stevens/IAD

“Trials are present so that your faith can be tested and remain strong,” said Mxoli as he quoted 1 Peter 1:17 and pointed to the example of the three Hebrew boys who stood before the king with not just strong faith but pure faith fully trusting God amid the danger they faced.

Much has taken place during 20 years since ASi Inter-America chapters was organized said Mxoli, but more needs to be accomplished, as he highlighted this year’s theme “20 Years Transforming Lives in the Market Place.”

“After you have displayed strong faith for 20 years, it is time now that you display pure faith,” said Mxoli. It’s about looking beyond what is in front and stepping into difficult places, in cities and harder-to-reach towns and communities.

Mxoli encouraged ASi-ers to think outside the box, think outside tradition and do what has never been done before where they live. “We must do the work of God, even in the difficult areas, using our skills and resources, not waiting for something big to happen before we take part on it.”

ASi Inter-America chapter members will see three more full days of presentations, seminars and marketplace reports until Aug. 11. Photo by Libna Stevens/IAD

It will take a stronger lay involvement partnering with pastors and church administrators, just like it took so many to help Peter and his friends when their nets were bursting with fish, said Mxoli.

“Pastors, God has blessed your ministry but you need partners, you need lay members to work hand in hand to catch and collect these blessings because if you do not partner, you will lose the fish,” added Mxoli.

Mxoli reminded chapter members that ASi is not a place where they can advertise their business. “ASi is not a place where you show the cleverness of your business. ASi is where business listens to God, is where business meets God.”

“Whatever you have if you keep it, it will be just what it is, but it will multiply more when you give it to God,” concluded Mxoli.

Multiplying efforts together is what is going to finish the work, said Steve Dickman, president of ASi North America.

Steve Dickman, president of ASi North America challenged the chapter members to be fully engaged and committed to the work of God without reservations or conditions. Photo by Libna Stevens/IAD

“The coming of Christ is near even at the door and we as laypeople have a certain responsibility to engage with the church,” said Dickman, who is president and general business manager at Harbert Hills Academy in Savannah, Tennessee, United States. The work will never be finished until church members join hands with pastors and administrators to advance the work of God, he said.

Perhaps, said Dickman, “maybe we have not fully engaged in God’s work.” Many find themselves comfortable sitting in the pews, he said, allowing others to do the work, pointing to the pastor or another member that seems to have more gifts.

“God is calling every single one of us, it doesn’t matter how old you are, how young you are, how many things you can’t do. What is important is that we do what we can do.”  It’s about being fully engaged and committed to the work of God without any reservations, or conditions we set forth with God.

Dickman challenged the audience to ponder what God is calling each individual to do and dedicate their lives 100 percent to God’s cause to advance the mission of the Adventist Church around the world.

Inter-America’s ASi annual convention will continue until Sabbath, August 11, 2018.

To view a photo gallery of the event, click HERE

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