More than 3,000 people marched through the capital city of Port Vila in Vanuatu on August 12, 2022, to celebrate 150 years of Seventh-day Adventist education.
Vanuatu Mission and Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) staff, students, parents, and staff from all five Adventist schools based on Efate, along with leaders of other denominations and national and local government officials joined the celebrations.
Leading out the parade were the Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF) and the Comforters brass bands, which played marching tunes of hymns well known to Adventist church members.
Participants were impressed by the number of people present, most of whom had their lives impacted by the Adventist educational system.
“The values of Adventist education — taught and lived in our Adventist schools — are second to none,” Vanuatu Internet Governance Forum director Jackson Miake said. He is a former Aore Adventist Academy student. “I am a proud product of Seventh-day Adventist education.”
Continuing the celebrations on Saturday (Sabbath), August 13, a special program emphasized how God leads His people through the ages. Educators and pioneers who have served as staff members, teachers, and school administrators in various schools over the years were honoured with a Certificate in Honour of Service and a Medal of Recognition.
“Back then we had to wait for three months to receive our salary due to transportation issues,” one of the honored educators said. “But we had nothing to fear, because the God of yesterday is the same today and tomorrow.”
Former Vanuatu Mission president Nos Terry Mailalong highlighted the positive impacts of Adventist education on students, as “many of them have become church leaders in their respective communities across Vanuatu.”
For Olwie Primary School principal Leah Mahit, also a Fulton Adventist University College (FAUC) graduate, choosing an Adventist education was the best option for her future. “I had several opportunities to attend other schools, but I chose to attend an Adventist school. In 2018, I was accepted by FAUC, although with not much finance in savings. God provided for my financial needs, and I give back the glory to Him for Adventist educational institutions.”
The day ended on a positive and emotional note as mission president Charlie Jimmy reinforced the commitment to God’s command. “Be strong, be very courageous as we continue to uphold biblical and eternal values in our schools, especially for these last days,” he said.
Adventist schools on Sanma and Malekula islands also held celebrations in their respective territories.