Southern Asia Ministries Now Formally Organized in NAD
By Maricel P. Felarca
Selected representatives of the NAD Southern Asia language groups met for the first time at the NAD Headquarters on June 9, 2014. The purpose of this historic meeting was to formally organize the Southern Asia Ministries and Southern Asia Ministries Advisory and to plan and strategize on how to reach out to Southern Asia congregations in the NAD territory.
The meeting was convened and chaired by R. Ernest Castillo, NAD Vice President for Multilingual Ministries, and co-chaired by VicLouis Arreola III, NAD Asian/Pacific and Southern Asia Ministries Director. During the meeting, three SAM coordinators were appointed: Mehbub Khan for Western Region USA, Franklin David for Eastern Region USA, and George Ali for the SDA Church of Canada.
VicLouis Arreola III felt positive about this initial event: “We had a very productive meeting and I’m looking forward to working with our team in achieving our goal of nurturing and growing Southern Asia churches and reaching out to our Southern Asia brethren in the North American Division. . . .”
Countries in the Southern Asia region include Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Burma. The Southern Asia Ministries Advisory is comprised of R. Ernest Castillo and VicLouis Arreola III as chair and vice chair respectively. Members of the advisory include George Ali (Alberta Conference), Rick Bacchus (Ontario Conference), Franklin David (Columbia Union Conference), Mehbub Khan (Pacific Union Conference), Daniel Khokhar (Pennsylvania Conference), John Satgunan (British Columbia Conference), and Paul Dean (SDA Church of Canada).
“Southern Asia Ministries will be a bridge in bringing the Three Angels’ Messages to all Southern Asia communities in the end time. I see a bright future for this new ministry,” Arreola concluded confidently.
Members of the Southern Asia Ministries Advisory
Seated (L-R): VicLouis Arreola III, R. Ernest Castillo
Standing (L-R): Franklin David, John Satgunan, Mehbub Khan, Daniel Khokhar
VicLouis Arreola III, director of the newly organized Southern Asia Ministries