Adventists from the South Pacific Division were among the 250 attendees at the 2018 Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN) conference held last week at the Korea International Exhibition and Convention Centre, Seoul.
The three-day conference—designed for those working in the areas of communications, media and technology—had participants from 39 countries, including four from Australia and three from Fiji. It explored some of the new and innovative digital technologies and projects being developed around the world to reach people with the gospel message. There were also discussions on a diverse range of topics, from crisis communication to copywriting, augmented reality to chat boxes.
This year, for the first time, a news summit was held the day before GAiN began. The joint initiative of the world Church’s communication department and Adventist Review Ministries brought together about 40 Adventist journalists and communicators to share ideas and discuss opportunities for collaboration. One of the presentations focused on the South Pacific Division and how news gathering happens so effectively in such a large and diverse region.
The General Conference’s communications team revealed plans for a global news collaborative platform and a global translation service. The goal, they said, is to create a culture in which Adventist news and developments from every part of the world are available to a global audience in multiple languages on a consistent and timely basis.
This year GAiN was held alongside the Northern Asia-Pacific Division International Mission Congress (IMC), which brought together about 4000 missionaries and gospel workers from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan and Korea. GAiN participants attended the IMC morning worships and evening programs, being inspired by the music presentations, stories and testimonies from the mission fields.
Seventh-Day Adventist world church president Pastor Ted Wilson, who arrived in Korea on Friday for the IMC, stopped by the GAiN meetings on Friday afternoon.
He thanked the attendees “for taking your personal and professional time to focus upon how to touch the lives of people through the internet”.
“You will have no idea how many lives you have touched until you get to heaven,” he said.
First-time GAiN attendee Pete Navosailagi, communication and media assistant for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Trans Pacific, said it was a privilege to be part of the event and have an opportunity to network with other communicators from across the world.
“One of the things that I learned is that mission comes first and not your church entity or your department. And make mission a personal thing in your life,” he said.
“[GAiN] has really help me both personally and [in] my field of work—[it] will boost my work and rewire the use of media as a powerful tool to reach out to people and align them to the Word of God for Bible study and lead them to baptism.”
South Pacific Division communication director Steve Currow also found the conference helpful.
“GAiN 2018 was a great opportunity to refine communication strategies, enhance professional skills and be challenged by technological opportunities with representatives from most of the world divisions.
“It was an added bonus to meet in conjunction with the NSD International Mission Conference, and be inspired by the working of the Spirit amongst people in Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan, Korea and other territories.”
The next GAiN conference will be held in Jordan in February 2019 in partnership with ADRA International.