Adventist Journal Online | Gifts, songs and many baptisms
In the South Pacific Islands, teachers and students celebrate Education Week.
STrans-Pacific Union Mission (TPUM) schools in the South Pacific Division (SPD) celebrated Adventist Education Week with gifts, songs and dozens of baptisms.
“Looking Beyond” was the theme of the week, with hundreds of students, teachers and members of the wider community participating in the programs.
An evangelistic series at Navesau Adventist High School in Fiji culminated with the baptism of 40 students on August 15, 2020.
At Funafuti Adventist Primary School in Tuvalu, activities took place over two weeks. The first week was designed for teacher enrichment, while the second week saw teachers leading evening presentations and students involved in community singing. Director Kima Pedro said the church was packed every night and many non-Adventist parents faithfully attended. The students also visited retired teachers and gave them gifts.
Betikama Adventist College in the Solomon Islands concluded its Adventist Education Week with the baptism of 19 young people on August 22. Principal Partinson Bekala said the week’s Bible readings helped strengthen students’ position for baptism. There were 69 baptisms in college this year.
Students at Beulah College held their Education Week Sabbath for all churches in Tonga. [Photo: Adventist Record]
Students at Naha Adventist Primary School in Solomon Islands were encouraged to testify in their local community. [Photo: Adventist Record]
Baptism of a student at the Navesau Adventist high school in Fiji. [Photo: Adventist Record]
Samoa Adventist College hosted a Combined Adventist Education Sabbath on August 23. Over 200 parents joined in the celebration, the majority of whom are from other faiths. Director Tepora Fuimoano said there had been a lot of positive feedback from parents.
In Fiji, a teacher from Suva Adventist College, who organized the Educational Week of Prayer in her local church, said, “I have never felt so blessed, inspired and impressed in my entire Christian life. Please pass on our sincere thanks to the principal, Encie Donie, and her team at BekaBeka Adventist High School for the readings. They were truly an inspiration.
Beulah College held its Adventist Education Sabbath in all local churches in Tonga on August 30. With teachers and students sharing the Word of God, they raised more than they had budgeted for a special offering for the running of the school. Mission Education Director Fatongia Hopoate said, “The school… received more. God is working in a mysterious way during this pandemic – to God be the glory! “
Hopoate said the amount of money raised shows the tremendous support church members have for Adventist education in Tonga. Two weeks earlier, 24 students and two teachers were baptized. Over 60 percent of Beulah College students come from homes of other faiths.
In Solomon Islands, on August 18, staff and students from Naha Adventist Primary School visited Sunrise Adventist Primary School. Sunrise School is located in the center of a community of another denomination and is also surrounded by churches of other Christian denominations. Almost all of the children who attend Sunrise School come from families of other faiths, most of whom live near the school.
The students were encouraged to testify in their local community, and one of the residents they encountered was an elderly man named Iro. As the students sang songs about God’s love, tears rolled down her cheeks. He listened to students pray, recite memory verses, read biblical promises, and share a little reflection on God’s love based on John 15:13. Iro mentioned that the students were the first group to visit him and give him gifts. He asked for prayer so that he could join the small group worshiping every Sabbath at school.
“Adventist education aims to prepare students for the joy of serving in this work, and for the greater joy of a wider service in the world to come,” said Mele Vaihola, associate director of education at the. TPUM. “So the role of Adventist education is to plant the ground of service in the hearts of our students, and the community at large and God gives the harvest. “