January 19, 2023

Vanuatu Mission Leaders Are ‘Empowered to Go’

Ministerial conference offers training, connection, and inspiration.

Cecile Trief and Juliana Muniz, Adventist Record
Vanuatu Christian Council chairman and former Aore Adventist Academy student Collin Kelep speaking at the ministerial conference opening. [Photo: Adventist Record]

Seventh-day Adventist pastors, lay people, and Bible workers from across the Pacific island of Vanuatu gathered at Epauto Adventist Multi-Purpose Centre Hall for the Vanuatu Mission 2022 ministerial conference, held December 5-10. 

Under the theme “Empowered to Go,” the event featured morning devotions and workshop sessions with a wide variety of topics and presentations. 

Vanuatu Christian Council chairman and former Aore Adventist Academy student Collin Kelep, now a pastor, spoke at the event opening. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Vanuatu was represented by the advisor to the minister, Clifton Lonsdale, who gave the official opening statement.

Aiming to ensure the protection and safety of children and vulnerable people within local churches and school communities, Adsafe representatives Meri Vuloaloa and Litiana Turner raised awareness with the presentation “You and Me, Stop Abuse.” Adsafe, a service of the Adventist Church in the South Pacific Division (SPD), is committed to being a “trauma-informed” service that facilitates healing and justice pathways for both child and adult victims of sexual and physical abuse.

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Volunteer missionaries were honored by Volunteers in Action (VIA) field officer Neil Watts, who acknowledged their services and continuous support of the growth and development of the Adventist Church in Vanuatu. 

SPD Discipleship Strategy leader Danny Philip was the main speaker for the week, and he challenged and affirmed attendees in their ministry. 

“God calls and qualifies you to be His watchmen and women and He has also empowered you by His Spirit to join His quest of pulling mankind from the darkness of this world into His marvelous light,” Philip said. He reminded all present that they are “participants of the vision, mission, purpose, values and strategy in the business of ‘making disciples’ for Christ.”

The SPD leader emphasized the importance of understanding the impact of the six ministerial hats and applying them on a regular basis. He said a pastor or a minister is to be a servant, a shepherd, a watchman or watchwoman, a teacher, a good spouse, and a faithful steward. He further encouraged the team, “Thank God for what you have, and trust God for what you need.”

Also speaking throughout the event were Vanuatu Mission (VM) administration and departmental directors, and Trans Pacific Union Mission representatives — ministerial secretary Lynray Tutuo, and family, women’s, and children’s ministry director Loleth Worwor. 

The Adventist Book Center and VM health department were also present, setting up stalls to provide literature and health services to the participants. A full health screening was conducted on Wednesday morning with the assistance of Adventist nurses and doctors.

The original version of this story was posted by Adventist Record.