Subject: ASI Columbia Union Members Share Hope

September/October 2020 ◊ Issue 21
Mark Brown, ASI Columbia Union president (above, left), and ASI member Lawrence Rykard (below) were among the volunteers working with Steve Brownell of Revival Plan to share The Great Controversy and other materials on the National Mall in Washington, D.C, during the Washington Prayer March on Sept. 26.
 Members Share Hope
ASI Columbia Union members have been busy praying together and spreading the gospel. 
They began with the Prayer Summit 2020 on Sept. 20, hosted by Sharon Pruitt, ASI Columbia Union’s vice president for spiritual development. More than 60 families joined the five and half hour event where participants “intentionally invited the Holy Spirit to intervene in our homes, ministries, churches, businesses, and our country,” Pruitt said.
Keynote speaker Dr. Hugh Carrington, ASI Atlantic Union’s vice president for membership, said in the midst of the racial, economic, political, and health tensions in our society, the prayer summit was an awesome reminder of what God can do.
"As we trek through these final days in Earth’s history, it is important that we be encouraged, knowing that we’re overcomers—victory is guaranteed,” he said. “Prayer is one of the things, I dare say the main thing, that keeps a Christian focused in these last days.”

Prayer and a desire to share the story of God's love and work to redeem man led  
to ASI Columbia Union members distributing excerpts of The Great Controversy at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 26. Mark Brown, ASI Columbia Union president, and member Lawrence Rykard Jr. joined forces with Revival Plan to pass out more than 65,000 copies and excerpts of Ellen White's writings during the Washington Prayer March. 
 “I have never in my 15 years of being a Seventh-day Adventist seen so many Great Controversies and excerpts from it enter the hands of those who were not Seventh-day Adventist so willingly,” said Rykard, owner of herbspice. “I’m earnestly praying that these precious souls will take full advantage of the present truth they have received! Only in eternity will we be able to measure the impact.”
The event attracted people from “all walks of life, nationalities, denominations, and ethnicities,” Brown said. “I was impressed by the spirit of oneness that was preached, prayed and displayed during this event.”
— Michele Joseph, managing editor, ASI Columbia Union newsletter
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Hello ASI – Columbia Union family. I pray that the Lord is blessing each of you real good during these very interesting times in which we live. 

We have been navigating this pandemic environment for many months now, and while the challenges we have faced and the adaptations we have had to make are still very real, I encourage each of us to embrace what I have discovered to be an unexpected benefit being realized. As I have reviewed the pandemic experience for myself and others, I have discovered that just beneath the surface of what had become our normal way of life, which has now been significantly disturbed and disrupted by the shock and challenges of this experience, there has arisen a previously unrealized reservoir of creativity, resourcefulness, tenacity, and grit that has been forced to the surface. New business and ministry ventures have been initiated, new skills realized and developed, new ways of connecting with those near and far identified. And in pursuing these things many have been stretched beyond their limits of comfortability, yet have fearlessly pressed forward, persisted, and succeeded. 

I have also shared the pain of those who lost jobs, lost loved ones, and experienced more intense separation and isolation during these times.  And in responding to these things many have come close to their breaking point, barely hanging on to survive. But what has become more evident during this time, whether managing the thrilling vistas of newly discovered possibilities, or the chilling valleys of loss and despair, is that God has shown Himself to be more than enough to meet all the needs of His children. Isaiah 35 offers the glimpse of an experience that includes what the prophet describes as "streams in the desert." I hope you get the visual. The devotional under this same title by L. B. Cowman paints the picture of God’s people being led by His mighty hand through desolate places to the waters of the river of life … and beyond, to their very source, which is God Himself. This is the unexpected benefit that I pray we are all experiencing – new views of our God as Provider, Sustainer and Friend.

My prayer for you is that whatever you are experiencing, you will seek the face of God, allow His Spirit to lead you through the desolate places of your life, that you may find the streams of living water that will refresh your soul. 

Check out our recent and upcoming events in this issue. Looking forward to seeing or speaking with you soon.  Blessings to you all.

Your fellow servant,
Mark A. Brown, ASI Columbia Union President

"But now, this is what the LORD says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: 'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.'"
— Isaiah 43:1, 2 NIV
As we take on new challenges and opportunities, let’s be sure to try God. As we seek to do His will, let’s pursue those things that may seem difficult, out of reach, even far-fetched. When we go beyond ourselves and put our trust in God, we give Him room to reveal His power and we will see that the Lord is truly good.

— Mark Brown, 
ASI Columbia Union president

To share a prayer request, email us at
Call 570-354-0272 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. to pray with Sharon Pruitt, ASI Columbia Union vice president for spiritual development, and other ASI Columbia Union members.
October 29, 2020  — Online Evangelism Workshop, 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29. ASI VP of Evangelism Rodney Bowles will review several tools available for sharing the gospel from home with ASI Columbia Union members. For Zoom information, contact Daniel Reed at
Our mission is to obey the Holy Spirit’s call to encourage, empower and equip Adventist members of Columbia Union to work together to finish God’s work in these times in harmony with the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
ASI Columbia Union Board: Mark A. Brown, president; Zubin David, vice president for membership; Sharon Pruitt, vice president for spiritual development; and Daniel Reed, vice president for projects, missions and evangelism
ASI Columbia Union Staff: Nicole Labiche, administrative assistant
Sponsor: Celeste Ryan Blyden, vice president, Columbia Union Conference
Newsletter Managing Editor: Michele Joseph

Now you can read earlier editions of our newsletter by visiting the archive. Catch up on our news and learn about the variety of ministries, businesses and jobs held by our members.
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