Focusing on the community has helped the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Samoa record the highest growth in the Trans-Pacific Union Mission region.
Every second month the church allocates a Sabbath to community outreach, in which church members visit homes, pray for the households, and conduct family worship. If they see a need, they will return during the week to help out. Street preaching is one of the other activities held on these special Sabbaths.
The community outreach is part of the Adventist Church’s commitment to the harvest model of disciple-making in Samoa. Every Samoan church has been following this model of preparing the soil, sowing the seed, cultivating the plants, harvesting, and multiplying. And it’s having a significant impact as it encourages members to move out of their churches and into the community, where disciple-making is happening.
According to the year-end report of the Trans-Pacific Union Mission (TPUM), Samoa has recorded an average growth in baptisms of 7.4 percent over the past 10 years, the highest of all the TPUM missions.
TPUM president Maveni Kaufononga said these results are a clear sign that God is blessing the work in Samoa.
“Samoa Mission’s number of baptisms was 830 for this year,” he said. “This is a fantastic result that can only happen when the Holy Spirit is upon the work.”
Samoa Mission president Sione Ausage reiterated the importance of community outreach. Members have visited hospitals and health clinics, prisons, and aged-care facilities — wherever support is needed.
“Our ADRA [Adventist Development and Relief Agency] work is very strong, with projects to help the vulnerable people of our country,” Ausage said. “Our church is known with the description of helping people.”
Ausage explained that when the church sends out an invitation to people to come to the church’s small groups, Bible correspondence course, health talks, and evangelistic campaigns, people come. “We believe that is the reason why,” he said. “When you do your groundwork well and meet the needs of the people, they respond to our request for evangelism.”