A family in Bureni, Naitasiri, Fiji, began to keep the seventh-day Sabbath and built a church two years before they got baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church on July 30, 2022. They were among the more than 1,400 people baptized in Fiji since January.
From Navuso Village, outside Nausori Town in the Central Division, Semi Tubuduadua Lutunacagibula, 67, was a staunch lay preacher for another Christian denomination. He was confronted by the seventh-day-Sabbath truths in a piece of literature in 1987.
Wrestling with his discovery for years, he resolved to leave his church in 2017. Two years later, Lutunacagibula took another step in his faith journey and informed his family about his decision to keep the biblical Sabbath, asking them to decide within three months whether they would like to keep the Sabbath or return to their previous faith.
“At the end of the three months, we all decided to be Sabbath keepers and become Adventists and to observe the Lord’s Sabbath,” Esala Madanavosa, the younger of Lutunacagibula’s two sons, said.
On July 30, Semi Tubuduadua, his wife, Josefini Qativi, and their children’s families were baptized in Naisilisili, Naitasiri. One of their sons-in-law, Semi Vakamoce Volau, was a former minister of another Christian denomination.
“I have always questioned why the Adventists are different and is a religion worshiping on Saturday,” Volau said. “I am blessed to have found the answers in the Bible and also to be baptized into the faith.”
Fiji Mission president Nasoni Lutunaliwa said it was a joy to witness lives changed and committed to following Jesus into the waters of baptism.
“July is our harvest month, and what a blessing to witness churches, church members, and ministers unite their efforts in soul winning,” Lutunaliwa said.
According to Lutunaliwa, the Fiji Mission had baptized more than 500 people by June this year, with an additional 938 baptisms performed in July, bringing this year’s total number of baptisms to 1,447.
Lutunaliwa explained that the Tebara and Naitasiri districts recorded the highest numbers, with more than 100 baptisms in the past month alone. Baptisms are still taking place each Saturday (Sabbath) in most newly entered areas in Fiji.