I arrived late this morning in San Antonio; it's been 40 years almost to the week since I was last in this city and last time I was here, it was courtesy of Uncle Sam and the memories are of a brief military career!
You may have heard that on opening day there were several highlights and a couple of major tech failures. The highlights?
35 new Union's were recognized and voted by the delegate body; that represents an enormous new
organizational governance to manage the growing membership, particularly in South America, Inter America, and Africa. Our world membership now stands in the 19 million range? Amazing!
I heard Elder Jim Gilley remark last nite that someone has crunched the numbers and suggested that at the current rate of growth, within 40 years, we will have 144 million members worldwide.
Another poignant moment from yesterday was the affirmation and recognition of a "split off" Hungarian Adventist group who, over 40 years ago, separated from the denomination, but have now asked to re-unite with the world church. Wonderful!
You have heard about the failure of the electronic voting devices. These are small hand-held instruments about the size of a small "remote" like you have for your television. Regrettably, they did not work on the first day of operation, and I have not heard whether they have corrected the problem today. Representatives from the tech company that rented them to us were en route to San Antonio to remedy the issue. Without the devices, voting is done in the old style method of holding up a colored card which works great when a vote is strongly in one-direction. If it's a close vote, it
becomes much more problematic!
The other minor tech glitch is that wireless, offered to the delegates only while in the Alamo Dome, is "spotty" at best.
Most importantly, a great spirit of fellowship, unity, and joy in coming together as a world church has characterized the start of the session. Make sure you're tuning in to Hope TV or 3ABN tomorrow, because at 6:30 pm, the Madison Campus Children's Choir will be singing for the main meeting in the AlamoDome. What an honor to have a Kentucky-Tenn group present to bless the possibly over 60,000 attendees tomorrow night!
I'll post again tomorrow following Sabbath services.