ASI Dhaka

By Lucky Elizabeth Gomes

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Lucky Elizabeth Gomes holds a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Secretarial Science from Bangladesh Adventist Seminary and College (BASC) and a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Prime University. It was during her studies at BASC that she was converted to Adventism. Gomes served as a teacher at Dhaka Adventist Pre-Seminary and School, and Volunteer coordinator for Adventist Mission Department and office secretary for Education, Sabbath School, Personal Ministries, and Stewardship Departments at Bangladesh Union Mission (BAUM). At present, she is a Volunteer coordinator for Adventist Mission Department and Stewardship at BAUM and ASI secretary of Bangladesh Adventist Union Mission of the Seventh-day Adventists.

Organizational History of the Ministry

Adventist-laymen Services and Industries (ASI) in the territory of Southern Asia-Pacific Division was first organized in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2013.1 Bibek Halder was the first elected ASI coordinator of Bangladesh Adventist Union Mission (BAUM) in 2013.2At that time, David J. Tan, former president of ASI of Southern-Asia Pacific Division of Seventh-day Adventists who had come from Thailand, and Patrick Choo, presently the vice president of ASI of SSD, had come from Malaysia to conduct a Week of Prayer at Bangladesh Adventist Seminary and College (BASC), at the same time they were the speakers of the Spiritual Revival Camp Meeting at Mirpur SDA Church in Dhaka, Bangladesh.3 They were to visit other mission headquarters in the Bangladesh Adventist Union Mission as well to promote and organize the ASI in BAUM. They were also to promote ASI among the mission headquarters in BAUM but, due to the political strikes that were going on during that time, they could not go to other Missions, so they just visited South Bangladesh Mission in Dhaka under East Bangladesh Mission.

Some of the businessmen and professional brethren of the Church met with them as well as with Pr. James L Brauer, president of BAUM, Pr. Timothy Roy, Exec. Secretary, & Mrs. Sweetie Ritchil on March 2, 2013, at BAUM Conference room to know about the mission and activities of ASI. So, the resource personnel and BAUM officers had a long meeting that day. All were encouraged by the presentations of David J Tan and Patrick Choo regarding the opportunities ASI could provide in the expansion of the Adventist ministry in the country of Bangladesh.

After that, the election of ASI for the ASI Dhaka Chapter took place on March 9, 2013, in Mirpur SDA Church to form officers of ASI Dhaka Chapter, where former BAUM president James L. Brauer and Sweetie Ritchil, Treasurer of BAUM were present. BAUM officers supported the program to form ASI Dhaka Chapter. It was during this time that ASI Dhaka Chapter was formed.4

From the inception of the ASI ministry, it was under the Sabbath School & Personal Ministry Department of BAUM. However, from 2019, it was placed under the supervision of the Stewardship Department on the Union with Pastor Daniel Falia as the coordinator.

Ministry

ASI is a membership-based organization of Seventh-day Adventist laypeople who are enthusiastic about actively participating in the Church’s worldwide mission: to spread the gospel of Christ to the world who own or work in businesses, in professional vocations, in self-supporting ministries and in private and public sectors. This unique and diverse group of members ranges from business owners to individual professionals to supporting ministries.5

ASI is the organization of Seventh-day Adventist lay persons involved in professions, industry, education, and services. It exists to provide challenge, nurture, and experience in sharing Christ in the Marketplace as well as support the global mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

ASI and its members will be known for their unswerving honesty in business principles and practices, unflagging participation in the various ministries of the Church, unwavering positivism toward Church leadership, unhesitating provision for the needs of others, and untiring focus on the Christ they represent in the marketplace.6

ASI Ministry in Bangladesh

1. Jalchatra-North Bangladesh Mission (NBM) NEWSTART Ministry. (December 1-3, 2016)ASI Dhaka Chapter conducted a NEWSTART ministry at Jalchatra (JASS) in North Bangladesh Mission. The theme was “Health and Happiness.” The purpose of the NEWSTART practical ministry on Health and Dental camp for the needy community of the 10 churches. Dr. Robert Rema and Dr. Soma Rema served the community with medical health, and Dr. Lorna Das provided dental ministry to the people.7

The Friday vespers message was shared by ASI team. The Sabbath day divine message was shared by ASI Dhaka Chapter’s Coordinator Daniel Falia. It was a tithe promotional day, so it was an opportunity for the team to invest their tithe for the area to flourish God’s Ministry. Further, ASI team visit two more churches at Baribaid and Thanarbaid.

2. International Health Expo (March 10, 2017)

It was a rare opportunity for ASI Dhaka Chapter to participate in International Health Expo jointly with other partners on March 10, 2017. Health and dental professionals participated, including a team of 20-25 members of the Korean team who were experts on oriental medicine and beauty. School guardians, local community, and church members benefited from the program. The International Health Expo operated by Health Department of BAUM under the leadership of Benjamin Raksham, health director, BAUM.8

3. Health Professionals Workshop on NEWSTART (March 17, 2017)

There are more than 50 medical health professionals, medical doctors, dentists, and nurses working outside of the church in various positions in country’s renowned government and private medical hospitals. A workshop was organized inviting them at Dhaka SDA Church at the BAUM campus. Twenty-three participants attended the seminar. These participants benefited and inspired by the presentation of Dr. Cho, Choon Ho.9

4. Mongla-NEWSTART Ministry (March 24-26, 2017)

ASI Dhaka Church was delighted to report that they could sponsor revival meetings for four days and that they could have NEWSTART Ministry/health and dental camp. The theme was “Health and Happiness,” and it was conducted at Mongla, South Bangladesh Mission, which is about 320 km from Dhaka. Dr. Lorna Biswas, Dr. Robert Rema, Dr. Soma Rema, Dr. Edison Falia and Dr. Cho Choon Ho were directly involved. Three hundred people in the community received medical treatment advice and received free medicine. Also120 community members received dental treatment of scaling, teeth extraction, filling, and free consultation. Appreciated were the Church administration, BAUM President Dr. M. J. Lee, all ASI Dhaka Chapter board members and Dr. Cho, Choon Ho for their participation in the health camp.10

5. The Organizing meeting of 2018 Convention elected Yew Lip Sin as president of SSD (13 April 2017). It was a wonderful meeting with ASI Dhaka Chapter and elected president Yew Lip Sin. More than 40 organizing officers attended the meetings. The main purpose of the initiative was to talk, discuss, and share challenges regarding the organization of the upcoming convention in Bangladesh in from August 16-20, 2018. Later on, they visited some venues as feasibility studies to plan and make decisions with Pabon Ritchil and Donald Bapi Das, who was to accompany with Yew Lep Sin. During the meeting, there were extensive questions-and-answer sessions and good interaction about the challenges of organizing international convention. Thirty-five committee members attended the first organizing meeting of the convention.11

6. Lifestyle Medicine for health professionals working outside of church (May 12, 2017)

Dr. Charles David conducted a seminar for medical health professionals working outside of church on NEWSTART and Life Style Medicine on May 15, 2017. More than 40 health professionals attended the initiative. There was good interaction with health experts. Those who attended appreciated those who had organized such a valuable and resourceful seminar. Dr. Charles David explained from the Bible what was original diet of human being. Also, he shared how diseases are being invited and people are suffering as a result of bad lifestyles and food habits. Moreover, he shared from his lifelong medical experience how these challenges can be reduced and prevented. The participants appreciated the practical valuable message for healthy living.12

7. Lifestyle Medicine seminar for church members

Dr. Suranjon Baroi and Dr. Charles David combined to present an interactive message on Life Style medicine. Dr. David strongly feels that there should be cooking demonstrations about how to retain food values through healthy food preparation. Also, he emphasized that it is our church’s health values and principles that we must preach, practices, and share with others for action. Dr. Suranjon Baroi strongly discussed “Love of diabetes.” In his message, from his lifelong medical practice, he shared how to reduce and prevent health challenges and how to live a healthy life with happiness.13

8. Lifestyle Medicine seminar at Bangladesh University of Health and Science (BUHS)

For the first time, on May 16, 2017, the ASI Dhaka Chapter introduced NEWSTART outside of church to health professionals by Dr. Charles David. The University treasurer was present as a chair and moderator. The initiative was attended by 75 medical students. Dr. David initiated the seminar with a quote from a Bible message; the real food that God offered us to consume in order to live healthy life. Further, he explained how to reduce and prevent health risk challenges. At the end of the seminar, students were very interested in the topic, and there was an interactive question-and-answer session. University administration requested to have more seminars for learning and educating for junior health professionals. Further, they asked if there could be joint venture research initiative on food security and health issues.14

9. ASI Local Convention at Hope Foundation

Through the initiative of ASI President Pabon Ritchil and committee members, an ASI Local Convention was organized on April 12-14, 2018, at Hope Foundation at Baroipara. The theme of the local convention was “Facing Challenges for His Ministry.” There were 62 participants from ASI and Bangladesh Adventist Seminary and college. Dr. Myun Ju Lee, BAUM president, Mrs. Sweetie Ritchil, BAUM treasurer, Dr. Moses Cho, Mr. Pabon Ritchil, Mr. Donald Bappi Das, Pr. Daniel Falia, and Mr. Watson Halder delivered the interactive message in Convention. 15

Some other activities that ASI Dhaka Chapter conducted:

1. Free dental checkup and treatment camp in Ambari, Gopalgonj on January 25-27, 2018.16

2. Health Screening and NEWSTRAT Program in Monosapara Adventist Seminary and School on February 21-23, 2018.16

3. Health Screening Program for North Bangladesh Mission leaders, district pastors and for all the employee of Section office.

ASI Convention Participants of 2013-2018

In 2013 the ASI Convention was held in Johor Baru, Malaysia, from September 4-8, 2013. The total number of participants were nine under the leadership of Mr. Chitto Halder, president of ASI.

In 2014, the ASI Convention was held in Cambodia from August 20-24, 2014. From Bangladesh, three participants were attended.

In 2015, the convention was held in Vietnam from June 3-7, 2015. From Bangladesh, four participants were attended.

In 2016, the convention was held in Venue: Bali, Indonesia, from June 8-12, 2016. The total number of participants from Bangladesh were 16 under the leadership of Pabon Ritchil, ASI president.17

In 2017, the convention took place in Davao City, Philippines, from August 16-20, 2017. The total number of participants was 26.18

In 2018, the convention was in Bangkok on April 12-14, 2018. The total participants from Bangladesh numbered 11.

Leaders

In 2013, there were 24 members who joined in ASI Dhaka Chapter, and the first elected officers joined in a ASI rally on March 9, 2013.

The ASI Dhaka Chapter’s officers and board members were as follows: President, Manik Chitto Halder; Vice President, Pabon Ritchil; Secretary, Bibek Halder; Treasurer, Donald Bapi Das; and three members: Amor Mridha, Swapon Ritchil and Luther Das.

The second election of ASI Dhaka Chapter took place on March 25, 2016. Daniel Falia, ASI Coordinator, Myun Ju Lee, President, Timothy Roy, Executive Secretary and Sweetie Ritchil, Treasurer of BAUM who conducted that election committee. Through the balloting, the elected officers and board members of ASI Dhaka Chapter officers and board members were the following: Pabon Ritchil, President; Amor Mridha, Vice President; Donald Bapi Das, Treasurer; Daniel Falia, ASI Coordinator; Kajol Adhikary, Board Member; Mithun Adhikary, Board Member; Swapon Ritchil, Board Member.

Sources

ASI Board Minutes No 2013-002, held on March 12, 2013, at SS/PM Director’s Office, BAUM, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

ASI Board Minutes 2016-003, held on February 13, 2016, at ASI Coordinator Office, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

ASI Board Minutes No 2016-018, held on October 28, 2016, at ASI Coordinator Office, BAUM, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

ASI Board Minutes No 2017-001, held on February 21, 2017, at ASI Coordinator Office.

ASI Board Minutes No 2017-004, held on February 21, 2017, at ASI Coordinator Office, BAUM, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

ASI Board Minutes No 2017-003, held on February 21, 2017, at ASI Coordinator Office, BAUM, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

ASI Board Minutes No 2017-011, held on March 31, 2017, at Mrida Dental Arts & Suppliers, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

ASI Board Minutes 2017-022, held on May 1, 2017, at Mrida Dental Arts & Suppliers, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

ASI Board Minutes No 2017-023, held on May 1, 2017, at Mrida Dental Arts & Suppliers, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

ASI Board Minutes No 2017-024, held on May 1, 2017, at Mrida Dental Arts & Suppliers, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

ASI Board Minutes 2018-002, held on March 2, 2018, at ASI Coordinator Office, BAUM, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

ASI Board Minutes 2018-003, held on March 2, 2018, at ASI Coordinator Office, BAUM, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

ASI Board Minutes 2018-013, held on April 6, 2018 at Food Unlimited Restaurant, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

Bangladesh Union Mission Archive documents paper of forming ASI in Bangladesh.

www. asiministries.org/about-asi/mission.

Notes

  1. Bangladesh Union Mission Archive documents paper of forming ASI in Bangladesh, Bangladesh Union Mission archives, Mirpur 1, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

  2. Ibid.

  3. ASI Board Minutes No 2013-002, held on March 12, 2013, at SS/PM Director’s Office, BAUM, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216, Bangladesh Union Mission archives, Mirpur 1, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

  4. Bangladesh Union Mission Archive documents paper of forming ASI in Bangladesh.

  5. www. asiministries.org/about-asi/mission.

  6. Ibid.

  7. ASI Board Minutes No 2016-018, held on October 28, 2016, at ASI Coordinator Office, BAUM, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216, Bangladesh Union Mission archives, Mirpur 1, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

  8. ASI Board Minutes No 2017-004, held on February 21, 2017, at ASI Coordinator Office, BAUM, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216, Bangladesh Union Mission archives, Mirpur 1, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

  9. ASI Board Minutes No 2017-003, held on February 21, 2017, at ASI Coordinator Office, BAUM, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216, Bangladesh Union Mission archives, Mirpur 1, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

  10. ASI Board Minutes No 2017-001, held on February 21, 2017, at ASI Coordinator Office.

  11. ASI Board Minutes No 2017-011, held on March 31, 2017, at Mrida Dental Arts & Suppliers, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

  12. ASI Board Minutes No 2017-023, held on May 1, 2017, at Mrida Dental Arts & Suppliers, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

  13. ASI Board Minutes No 2017-023, held on May 1, 2017, at Mrida Dental Arts & Suppliers, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

  14. ASI Board Minutes No 2017-024, held on May 1, 2017, at Mrida Dental Arts & Suppliers, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

  15. ASI Board Minutes 2018-013, held on April 6, 2018, at Food Unlimited Restaurant, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

  16. ASI Board Minutes 2018-003, held on March 2, 2018, at ASI Coordinator Office, BAUM, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

  17. ASI Board Minutes 2016-003, held on February 13, 2016, at ASI Coordinator Office, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

  18. ASI Board Minutes 2017-022, held on May 1, 2017, at Mrida Dental Arts & Suppliers, Mirpur 1, Dhaka 1216.

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Gomes, Lucky Elizabeth. "ASI Dhaka." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. December 01, 2020. Accessed December 02, 2020. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=8IHB.

Gomes, Lucky Elizabeth. "ASI Dhaka." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. December 01, 2020. Date of access December 02, 2020, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=8IHB.

Gomes, Lucky Elizabeth (2020, December 01). ASI Dhaka. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved December 02, 2020, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=8IHB.