South Pacific Adventist Record
A Vanuatu youth group has donated US$5,600 toward the construction of an Adventist church building to replace one destroyed when Cyclone Pam roared through the South Pacific island nation last month.
The young people from the Portoroki Seventh-day Adventist Church in the country’s capital, Port Vila, raised the money from a gospel music DVD and presented the 600,000 vatu to grateful church leaders.
The money will be used to build a new church in Torres, the country’s northernmost group of islands.
“The youth club is setting an example for other youth clubs in Vanuatu to follow,” said Nos Terry, president of the Adventist Church in Vanuatu. “It is the first time that youth club has raised such an amount and donated it to the church.”
The powerful cyclone devastated Vanuatu, destroying 53 of the 85 local Adventist churches and leaving hundreds of church members homeless. While the local church headquarters was insured, the church buildings were not, prompting the church’s South Pacific Division and regional Hope Channel television to initiate a fundraising drive.
The youth leader of the Portoroki church, Belinda Lewa, said that the youth group was “blessed” as it raised money from the DVD produced last year and that it had even flown to Fiji on a singing tour.
The money was handed over to John Joseph, whose Helping Hands ministry works with the people of Torres, at a ceremony at the church’s headquarters.
Joseph described the donation as an answer to “my prayers and the prayers of many who are praying for this project.”
The Portoroki young people previously donated 25 bags of cement to Joseph’s rebuilding project.
More than 200 children’s Bibles were also given to Joseph during the ceremony. The Bibles were sponsored by the General Conference, the administrative body of the Adventist world church, through a Thirteenth Sabbath offering in 2014.
Joseph began working with the people of the Torres islands in 2012, offering clothes to children and the elderly on the island of Hiu. The only Adventist in the area, he offered Bibles and studies to anyone who was interested. Many village children began to gather around him on Sabbath mornings to hear stories and learn new songs.
With the donation from the Portoroki young people, Joseph believes he will be able to build a church and a pastor’s house on Hiu by the end of the year.
Young people from the Portoroki Adventist Church in Port Vila, Vanuatu, singing, “Passion for Mission,” a song that they say illustrates their love for mission.