Yeehaw! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Amen!

Yes, I know I’m geographically Down Under, but, wow, am I flying high right now! It’s the Monday after the final weekend of the ARISE Australia program, and I’m sitting back to soak it all in, and, hopefully, to write down something about it.

Where to start? My mind is spinning with joyful thoughts. Here are some of the mountain tops.

First, and most obviously, my family and I moved to Kingscliff, Australia on March 4th, just over two months ago. We’re here to help run the ARISE Australia program and to pastor the Kingscliff Seventh-day Adventist Church. This represents a fairly significant change of scenery for my family and me, as I’ll be traveling much less than I have been the last several years. I’ll still be traveling some, especially to events like the Light Bearers Convocation and ARISE, but on the whole we’ll be putting our roots down for the next several years while our little boys turn into, gasp, teenagers. (Seriously, you blink and your kids are teenagers!)

Honestly, I’m so excited to be a full-time pastor again that I can barely contain myself. I’m all about depth, and not just breadth, for the next several years. Discipleship is my watchword right now, and I just can’t stop thinking about it. The church is ready (and a little scared). I’m ready (and little scared). Let’s go with God!

Twelve decisions for Jesus on the graduation day of the twelfth class from ARISE’s twelfth year!

Second, we landed right in the middle of the second ever ARISE Australia program, and what a class it was! Energetic, enthusiastic, engaged, and even a little crazy—that pretty much sums up the 2014 class. I basically landed after 36 hours of travel and walked straight into the classroom to teach on the covenants. I then taught for three weeks straight, with barely time to catch my breath. Ty and Jeffrey had already been here, and the class was clearly loving it and soaking it all in. James arrived about a month later to put the final stamp on things, and send the students out in the name of Jesus.

As part of the ARISE program, we always conduct full evangelistic presentations of Christ-centered messages to the public. This year meetings were presented by our outreach coordinator, Ashley Smith. It was his fourth meeting ever, and he did a fantastic job. Just a young man of 23 years, Ashley is without a doubt a committed and Spirit-filled preacher. And here’s where things get very cool.

Twelve people made decisions to follow Jesus into the waters of baptism (one by profession of faith) as a result of these meetings and the ARISE program. (Actually, there were many more decisions, but twelve were ready by the ARISE Graduation, Sabbath, May 10.) And guess how many years ago ARISE was founded? Twelve! From 2003 (back in Michigan) to 2014. You can use your fingers to count if you need to: that’s twelve years. But there’s more, guess how many classes had graduated before this one? Eleven. That makes the 2014 ARISE Australia class the twelfth ever ARISE class!

Twelve decisions for Jesus on the graduation day of the twelfth class from ARISE’s twelfth year!

David Asscherick
Speaker/Director at Light Bearers

David is a speaker/director for Light Bearers and ARISE co-founder and instructor. Since his baptism in 1999, David has traveled the globe preaching and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. He and his wife Violeta are the happy parents of two boys, Landon and Jabel.