21st General Conference in Sibiu, Romania 2011

:: The 21st General Conference Session

Bulletin #4, September 1, 2011

Business of the Session

Once again on another sunny day we began our delegation session with the morning worship conducted by Edison Custodio. He is the President of the North Brazilian Union and gave his very first presentation in the English language. It is great to see so many ministers taking seriously the decision of the General Conference (Resolution 27) taken in 1987: "Resolved that our ministers be called to learn the English language." You can find his presentation at the end of this Bulletin in written form and at Session Daily Worship page for the audio version of the same message.

After the morning spiritual message from Davi Paes Silva followed by the seating of the newly arrived Marcelo Gines (President of the Philippine Union), the brethren were divided into their respective temporary committees.

The evening worship was conducted by Joel Ramos, the president of the South Brazilian Union. His topic was "Blessings . . . the Watchful Ones" based on Luke 12:37.

Departmental Directors

On Thursday afternoon the Nominating Committee continued putting the working team together for the next four years. The first department to be elected was the Colporteur/Missionary Department. Adrian Finaru, originally from the country of Romania (born in Ploiesti in 1974) is currently the president of the Western North American Union. He was converted by the efforts of two canvassers knocking at his door. A week later he was invited to go canvassing with them. Ever since that time, the canvassing and missionary work were a part of his life. He was baptized in 1993 and was ordained as a minister in 2007. He speaks, English, Romanian, Spanish, Portuguese and understands German. He will be a great help in developing this work in areas where the canvassing work has not yet been established and working with the church membership as a whole in helping them become active in the missionary work of the church.

Colporteur & Missionary Dept./Adrian Finaru


Marius Stroia was elected as the Education and Family Department Director. He was born in 1973 in Sibiu, Romania, and was baptized in 1991. He began helping the church first as a translator and was involved in various departments of the Romanian Union (publishing, secretary, youth) and is currently the director of the missionary school. Because of his extensive involvement both as an employee and in many voluntary capacities; he was ordained an elder in 2004. He is married and now has two children. His goals for this term is to publish some books on holding seminars on Christian education and counselling in general and premarital counselling in particular. He plans to organize seminars and conventions for educators and establish a network of SDARM educators to share ideas and resources so that they can work on projects together.

Education & Family Dept./Marius Stroia


Dragan Ivanov is the outgoing Medical Missionary Department Director and was re-elected today. He was born in 1957 in Serbia and was baptized in 1978. He has been quite active during the past four years and has regular Medical television programs all across the former Yugoslav countries. He finished his medical studies in 1984 and completed his thesis in "Lipid Levels in Vegetarians" and later specialized in internal medicine. He worked in the emergency room and is now in private practice in Novi Sad as well as a professor at a teachers' college preparing preschool teachers. The goal of the Medical Department is the uplifting of the health of the members to a higher level, the prevention of modern diseases, and preparing church members as medical missionaries by introducing the physical laws of health in connection with their spiritual health for the preparation of souls for eternal life.

Medical Missionary Dept./Dragan Ivanov


Paul Chapman was today elected as the new Sabbath School Department Director. He was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1967 and was baptized in 1986. He entered the Lord's work in 1988 and was ordained a minister in 1999. He was married in 1992 and now has three children. "As a member for many years, I have realized what a blessing the Sabbath School has been in our local church. I am sure this department has been a blessing to all our brethren throughout the world. We have more than 37,000 baptized members and 65,000 attending the Sabbath School. The Sabbath School is a wonderful opportunity for missionary work. Imagine if in the next four years 15,000 Sabbath School members became church members. This is what the Sabbath School Department is to be—a missionary tool in the conversion of souls to the Lord and hastening the second coming of Christ."

Sabbath School Dept./Paul Chapman


A Heaven to Win

Edison Custodio—President, North Brazilian Union

Good morning. I am very happy to be here on this nice morning. I thank the Lord for this opportunity that I have. I want to speak about a heaven to win.

Luke 21:36 says: "Watch ye therefore, and pray always." He gave two conditions, "watch and pray." I have a heaven to win. You have a heaven to win. We have a heaven to win! Would you like to win heaven? If we want to win heaven, we need to watch and pray. When do we need to watch and pray? We need to watch and pray every day. We need to watch and pray all day long. We need to watch and pray every month, all month long. We need to watch and pray every year, all year long.

Dear brethren, we need to watch and pray all the time. What does it mean to watch ? What does it mean to pray? These two conditions are very important for us. The days in which we live are solemn and important because the Spirit of God is gradually, and surely being withdrawn from the earth.

The condition of things in the world shows that troublous times are right upon us. The daily papers are full of indications of a terrible conflict in the near future. Bold robberies are of frequent occurrence; strikes are common. Thefts and murders are committed on every hand, and men are possessed with demons taking the lives of men, women, and little children. Men have become infatuated with vice and every species of evils.

Everything in the world is in agitation. The signs of the time are ominous. Coming events cast their shadows before. The Spirit of God is withdrawing from the earth and calamity follows calamity by sea and by land. There are tempests, earthquakes, fires, floods, and murders of every kind.

Who can read the future? Where is security? There is no certainty in anything earthly. Rapidly men are aligning themselves under the banner they have chosen. Restlessly are they waiting and watching the movements of their leaders. There are those who are waiting and watching and working for our Lord's appearing. Another class is falling under the generalship of the first great apostate.

Few believe with heart and souls that we have a hell to shun and a heaven to win. By the way, do you believe that you have a hell to shun and a heaven to win? Brethren, I believe we have a hell to shun and we have heaven to win.

"The crisis is stealing gradually upon us. The sun shines in the heavens, passing over its usual round, and the heavens still declare the glory of God. Men are still eating and drinking, planting and building, marrying, and giving in marriage. Merchants are still buying and selling. Men are jostling one against another, contending for the highest place. Pleasure lovers are still crowding to theaters, horse races, gambling hells. The highest excitement prevails, yet probation's hour is fast closing, and every case is about to be eternally decided. Satan sees that his time is short. He has set all his agencies at work that men may be deceived, deluded, occupied and entranced, until the day of probation shall be ended, and the door of mercy be forever shut." Desire of Ages, p. 636.

Solemnly there come to us down through the centuries the warning words of our Lord from the Mount of Olives: "Take heed to yourselves, let at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and cares of this life and so that day come upon you unawares."

A heaven to win this is our goal. Satan does not want this to happen and he works untiringly so that you may be defeated. What is your choice? Joshua said: "As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15.

Paul said: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13.

He still said: "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:57.

This is our experience. I hope that God give us the victory that we wish so much in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Bulletin Committee: Peter D. Lausevic, Paul Chapman, and Daniel Lee

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