Southern Asia-Pacific Division (coded SSD) is one of the thirteen regional organizations (called Divisions) of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It oversees the work of spreading the saving truths of the Gospel in the Southeast Asian countries of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam, as well as the Southern Asian countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
There are over 1.3 million Seventh-day Adventists worshipping in more than 7,000 churches, in the territory with a population of over a billion. Almost 90 percent of the Division’s membership live in Indonesia and the Philippines.
SSD has 11 regional offices called Unions in the central Philippines, east Indonesia, north Philippines, south Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Singapore, and west Indonesia; as well as mission outposts in Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste.
Although Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam are predominant in the territory, Christianity is present in most SSD coverage countries. One of the greatest challenges SSD faces is to share Jesus with the people in these countries in a way that they can understand and appreciate.
In 2002, membership rose to its highest - 1.25 million - but the membership audit (a process by which the church purges the list with missing and apostatized members) brought the number down by more than 300,000. In September 2009, however, membership was back to its more than 1-million mark where only one member existed in 1888-Abraham La Rue.
Abraham La rue, a 60-year-old self-supporting missionary, established his mission headquarters in Hong Kong. At the 1909 General Session of the Adventist world church, the Asiatic Division Conference was established in Shanghai. Ten years later, in 1919, it was reorganized into Far Easter Division with territories covering Japan, China, Mongolia, Tibet, Malaysia, Dutch Indies, Siam, and the Philippines. In 1930, the Far Eastern Division headquarters was moved to the Philippines and annexed Korea and the French Indo-China territory. Since 1936, Singapore became home to the Far Eastern Division until 58 years later, when it changed its name to Asia-Pacific Division (APD) and it expanded to include Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. The short-lived APD was divided into two in 1996 - Northern and Southern Asia-Pacific Divisions - with the latter moved to the Philippines in 1997 and into its present location in June 1999. In 2012, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marian Islands, United States territories of Guam and Wake Islands were brought under the North American Division territory and the country of Pakistan became a field territory under SSD.
The name "Seventh-day Adventist" highlights two of the distinguishing characteristics of this Christian denomination. "Seventh-day" refers to the day of the week, Saturday, on which Adventists worship God as instructed throughout the Bible. "Adventist" refer to the hope Seventh-day Adventists have in Jesus' soon return to this earth. The Church's mission is to communicate hope by focusing on the quality of life that is complete in Christ.
Seventh-day Adventist beliefs are meant to permeate your whole life. Growing out of scriptures that paint a compelling portrait of God, you are invited to explore, experience and know the One who desires to make us whole.