Delegates to the Church’s 22nd General Business Session have celebrated the opening of the new headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Vanuatu.
The ceremony marked the opening and dedication of the building, which has been in use since the start of 2010, and also opened the official business session of the church which is now in its 98th year of work in Vanuatu.
This is a spiritual occasion and opportunity for our church members to come together and give thanks for God’s blessing and leading
“The opening was delayed” says Pr John Leeman, President of the Church in Vanuatu, “to allow representatives of the congregations who are supported by the administration, services and resources to be present.”
There was a conspicuous absence of Political and Christian leaders as organisers chose instead to honour pioneers of the church as its VIP’s.
“This is a spiritual occasion and opportunity for our church members to come together and give thanks for God’s blessing and leading” says Pr Kevin Isaiah. With “Proclaiming God’s Grace” as its theme the ceremony featured re-enactments by descendents of early pioneers showing the transition and transformation from Kustom to Christianity.
In welcoming guests general secretary, Pr Damien Rice says, “Our Pioneers are the people who have laid the foundation for our present work. They serve as an example and inspiration to us. Without their sacrifices this achievement would not have been possible.”
Pr Damien Rice, general secretary Vanuatu Mission
He reminded those in attendance that “we are not here to celebrate this building but rather the work across Vanuatu which it represents.”
“This building is a means to an end” says Pr Leeman, “we are building up a kingdom that will outlast this organisation and its infrastructure.”
The office building is the largest and newest in the Pacific Island Missions. It is home to almost 30 staff including ADRA Vanuatu’s Office and Hope Book Centre. Built at a cost of $A600,000 it is valued at twice that amount.
In the afternoon Tom Noka, chief financial officer reported that future consideration may be given to relocating this office to a larger compound within Port Vila which would incorporate an auditorium and accommodation for camp meetings and national conferences.