Religious news from around the world.

News from around the world

Leonardo Asoy, Southern Asia-Pacific Division president, succumbs to rare bone marrow disease

Silang, Cavite, Philippines— Leonardo R. Asoy, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD), passed away at age 56 on January 12, 2016, from complications due to myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a rare bone marrow disease in which the bone marrow is unable to produce adequate healthy blood cells.

Asoy was raised in Mindanao, Southern Philippines, and graduated from Mountain View College in 1983 with a degree in theology. His dedica­tion and commitment for the Lord led him to serve as a district pastor and then youth director in the church’s Western Mindanao Conference in Ozamis City. He served in the South Philippine Union Conference (SPUC) as youth director, Sabbath School and personal ministries director, and ministerial secretary.

Asoy accepted a call to serve as the director for the Southern Asia-Pacific Division Sabbath School/Personal Ministries in 2007. Beginning in 2011 until July 2015, he led SPUC as its president. Under his vibrant tenure, evangelistic initiatives and practical member programs flourished. At the 2015 General Conference Session, he was elected SSD president.

His wife, Elma Vasques Asoy, their grown children, and countless family members and friends mourn his passing and look longingly to the resurrec­tion.

[Southern Asia-Pacific Division Communication Department]

Adventist digs included in top TEN biblical archaeology discoveries of 2015

Collegedale, Tennessee, United States—Two of the top ten bibli­cal archaeology discoveries of 2015 reported by Christianity Today came from excavations sponsored by Southern Adventist University.

“Archaeological discoveries made public in 2015 have given us new information about biblical events and people,” reported Christianity Today, a leading Christian magazine in the United States.*

Number five on the list is the Eshba’al inscription found at Khirbet Qeiyafa, located in the Elah Valley in southern Israel. The inscription dates back to the days of Saul and David and mentions a man by the name of Eshba’al, the same name as one of King Saul’s sons.

“This name only occurs in tenth-century B.C. contexts in the Bible, which means that the biblical text fits very well with the archaeological data in Judah,” said Michael G. Hasel, professor of Near Eastern studies and archaeology at Southern Adventist University and a director in the excavation. “It also confirms, with the other inscriptions found at the site, that Hebrew writing was well established in Judah by the early tenth century B.C.”

Khirbet Qeiyafa has become the crucial site in the ongoing debate about the early history of Judah. New data from the site, including this inscription, have established an early date for the monarchies of Saul and David, which some scholars wish to dismiss from history.

Number four on the journal’s list is a Canaanite ostracon found at Tel Lachish. This is the first time a proto-Canaanite inscription was found in the past 30 years of archaeology in Israel. The context of the inscription was a Late Bronze Age Canaanite temple at Tel Lachish, one of the most important cities of Canaan during the period of the judges. “The fragmentary inscription is very difficult to read but provides important information about the development of the proto-Canaanite alphabet as it progressed from Hebrew, Greek, and then Latin,” Hasel said.

[Southern Adventist University/ Adventist Review]

In the Dominican Republic, Adventist radio station is nationally recognized for its daily family program

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic—The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s radio station in the Dominican Republic was granted a national award by the government last month for its positive contribu­tions to health on the island. The National Medical Award, a recognition granted once a year to doctors and institutions who perform positive contributions to society, was the first that the church’s Radio Amanecer received for its daily program called Let’s Restore the Family.

The one-hour daily morning segment consists of a panel of family therapists who speak on issues affecting the modern family and take live questions on the telephone and social media comments and concerns from listeners. The program has been running for ten years.

Radio Amanecer has been operating through the radio waves for 33 years on the island, reaching 85 percent of the country, with 7.9 million estimated listen­ers, says Miqueas Fortunato, director of Radio Amenecer.

[Libna Stevens/IAD]

* Gordon Govier, “Biblical Archaeology’s Top Ten Discoveries of 2015,” Christianity Today, December 30, 2015, /ct/2015/december-web-only/biblical-archaeologys-top-ten-discoveries-of-2015 .html?start=1.

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March 2016

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