Kiribati is a small island nation that straddles the equator in the Pacific Ocean. Adventists first came to Kiribati—then called the Gilbert & Ellice Islands—in 1948, and since then the work has grown and extended to many of the islands through the influence and outreach of Kauma Adventist School on the island of Abemama. There still remain, however, a number of unentered islands where strong traditional religions prevent easy access for evangelism.
Four years ago, the Kiribati Mission decided to launch a Global Mission initiative to enter some of these islands using a culturally appropriate way of making friends and getting close to the people through their traditional lifestyle by organizing fishing clubs. The first fishing club began on the island of Nikunau. As a result, this island has a group of families who are studying the Bible, and the first baptism was held in 2008.
This method was so effective that last year a second fishing club was organized on the island of Onotoa. Global Mission funds helped to purchase a small aluminum dingy, an outboard motor, fishing tackle and nets, and several families were invited to join the new fishing club. The Global Mission pioneer, Toaea Tokirua, is the leader of this club and operates it as a small business enterprise for the families, while at the same time befriending them and sharing Christian and biblical principles. The friendship that develops through fishing together is opening the hearts of people.
Last October, Pastor Titau, the Global Mission coordinator and his wife, spent two weeks visiting the fishing club, sharing health videos on smoking and HIV-AIDS, and running programs on health and parenting. Titau’s wife also gave training for two pre-school teachers and the mothers. A house for the pioneer was built, and several families joined the visitors to celebrate Sabbath for the first time. Land has been identified for a future church building, and we pray that God will continue to soften the hearts of these seafaring people so that they will be ready to meet Jesus when he comes.
KazakhstanBakyt serves as a Global Mission pioneer within an ethnic Kyrgyz group in the northwestern part of Kyrgyzstan. For the past six years he’s tried to start a congregation without much success. Traditionally the Adventist Church has grown within the ethnic Russian communities, while it has faltered among the Kyrgyz people—which make up 65 percent of the population.
Last year Bakyt, who’s a Kyrgyz himself, decided to change his method and started to approach people in a more traditionally Kyrgyz manner. He rearranged his worship hall from a Russian-style setup to be more comfortable for the Kyrgyz, who prefer to sit on the floor. Within a couple months things changed.
Two months ago Bakyt held his first evangelistic series of meetings. More than 60 people came. People are now more willing to meet with Bakyt and pray with him. He finds that people are also much more open to stopping by his home to eat and talk to him and his family, many times for hours on end.
Although no one in Bakyt village has accepted Christ yet, he prays that one day soon he will see the results of his work.
Some three million people live in Norring Mandi, an agricultural town in the eastern part of Pakistan. Only 2,000 Christians call this place home. Earlier this year the Adventist Church in Pakistan sent an evangelistic team to Norring Mandi to hold a series of meetings and—hopefully—establish a new congregation in this unentered community.
At the end of the meetings 73 people accepted Jesus as their personal savior and were baptized. A building was donated to the Adventist Church, which is now being used as a house of worship for this new congregation. A plot of land was also donated which will be used to build a church in the future.
After 3 months of training a total of 109 missionaries from the 35th class of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division’s 1,000 Missionary Movement training center left for their respective mission fields last month. These young people from seven different countries left eager to serve. Among them was one who went to Mongolia, one of the most unreached places in Asia.
The center aims to take young adults from throughout Northern Asia, who want to serve, and prepare them to go back out into their communities and start new congregations. The intensive program gives them the tools to be self-sustaining for at least a year.
Thanks in part to the Adventist Church’s frontline mission programs, already many of the 1,000 Missionary Movement pioneers are holding evangelistic meetings and starting small groups.
In the near future the training center expects to start another class that will go out to even more parts of Asia. Thank you for your ongoing support.
Mission 360° features inspiring stories about mission work.
One day while Rajah was holding a Bible study, a mob approached his house, brandishing sticks and swords.