At the height of the global health crisis, when church activities and programs are still severely limited, the South Philippine Union Conference (SPUC) of Seventh-day Adventists is welcoming new members to its growing family of believers.
SPUC, the Mindanao church region of Seventh-day Adventists that comprises six missions and two conferences, added 37,061 people to its roster of believers in the first and second quarters of 2021. Out of those, 22.75 percent was brought to faith by North Eastern Mindanao Mission, with 8,434 baptisms. Another 19.6 percent, or 7,267 baptisms, come from Southern Mindanao Mission. Western Mindanao Conference received 5,354 new members through baptism, and the North Central Mindanao Conference brought in 4,865. The other four missions added a combined 11,141 members, regional church leaders reported.
They also shared that the 12,714 new members who joined in April alone have almost equaled the 14,542 total baptisms of the first quarter.
Church leaders believe these results include the regional emphasis on online revival and evangelism activities and the faithful commitment of the people in the media ministry.
SPUC union president Roger O. Caderma shared his gratitude to all of those actively working in every mission and conference. “We praise God, and to Him, we bring all the glory and honor,” he said. “The outpouring of the Holy Spirit never ceases to guide, inspire, teach, and give wisdom to our ministers, to their respective small group leaders, and every working man and woman in the Lord’s vineyard.” Caderna added, “It is a delight to know that each member has become a partaker in bringing more souls back to Christ.”
The global pandemic has prompted churches to adapt to new ways of sharing the gospel. Rather than surrendering to despair, members continue to faithfully come together virtually with their phones and computers to continue the work of love, leaders emphasized.
“Restrictions may have closed the churches down for a while, and the new social distancing rules may have made worship and evangelistic activities difficult,” they said. “However, our Care Groups, church elders, district pastors, mission and conference leaders, and the internet ensured that no health crisis can ever stop God’s under-shepherds from gathering His sheep back to His fold.”