May 29, 2023

A Different Way of Celebrating the Adventist Church’s 160th Anniversary

South Asia-Pacific congregations organized compassionate outreach.

Edward Rodriguez, Southern Asia-Pacific Division, and Adventist Review
As part of the 160th anniversary of the organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, members in the South Asia-Pacific Division offered acts of compassion. [Photo: Southern Asia-Pacific Division News]

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) celebrated the world denomination’s 160th anniversary of its organization with a series of compassionate events. The celebration, which took place May 20-21, focused on benefiting various communities within the division territory.

It included efforts aimed at delivering necessary supplies, health care services, and compassionate care to those in need. These initiatives showed the church’s dedication to its mission, regional leaders said.

As part of the anniversary, the Adventist Church in the SSD handed out 160 sacks of rice to 160 residents. The goal was to relieve the stress of food scarcity for vulnerable persons and families, leaders explained. The effort “represents the church’s commitment to supporting the real needs of those it serves,” leaders said.

Community members were asked to join in the celebration and fellowship. They were physically nourished but also spiritually elevated via messages of hope and inspiration.

The anniversary celebrations stretched beyond the immediate surroundings of the SSD headquarters in Silang, Cavite, Philippines, to the entire region. Several union offices organized medical missions and other compassionate activities. These initiatives “embodied the spirit of the church’s 160-year journey of service and outreach,” leaders said.

Medical missions in Myanmar provided free health care services to impoverished populations, including medical check-ups, consultations, and various medical treatments. These programs sought to meet the pressing health care needs of marginalized people while also promoting well-being in places with inadequate access to competent medical treatment.

Aside from medical missions, organizers planned a variety of activities. Church members in Indonesia and the Philippines assisted in the distribution of hygiene kits and food staples as well as the hosting of health workshops. According to church leaders, these initiatives displayed the church’s commitment to wholistic ministry, which includes physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

To mark this occasion, several churches in the Philippines arranged a motorcade. The event not only remembered the church’s pioneering years but also provided an opportunity to inform the community about the presence of the Adventist Church in their area.

“The 160th anniversary of the Adventist Church is a significant milestone that reminds us of our enduring mission to serve and uplift humanity,” SSD associate secretary Mamerto Guingguing said. “Through these compassionate activities, we hope to reflect Jesus Christ’s love and extend His healing touch to those in need, just as He did during His earthly ministry.”

“Chosen for Mission,” the theme of the church’s 160th anniversary, captured the heart of the Adventist Church’s purpose and calling, leaders said. “It promoted the notion that each individual is called to be a channel of love, compassion, and constructive change in the world,” they said.

They added, “Anniversary celebrations motivated church members and officials to renew their commitment to participate in transformative mission efforts. The Southern Asia-Pacific Adventist Church strives to carry on its tradition of compassion by giving a helping hand to the underprivileged, bringing hope to the despairing, and inspiring long-term transformation in the areas it serves.”

As the Adventist World Church celebrates its 160th year, leaders said they remain committed to its essential ideals of love, service, and purpose. “The anniversary activities highlight the church mission’s long-lasting impact, inspiring individuals and communities to come together in compassion and unity for the improvement of society,” they said.

The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division news site.