An initiative from the 2015 General Conference session in San Antonio, Texas, is having a profound impact on countries in the Trans-Pacific Union Mission (TPUM).
The “Give Them The Keys” initiative was started to encourage young people to impact their local communities, meeting their needs and building relationships with people where they are.
Local church youth groups, primary and secondary students, and groups of tertiary students from around TPUM were given a chance to submit proposals on how they planned to reach their communities, friends, and neighbours, with funding requests up to the value of $A5000 per group being granted.
For their project, the Adventist youth in Vanuatu chose to work in partnership with council workers to repair a city access road.
A group of youth from Vailoa Adventist Church in Samoa purchased over 50 bins, labelled them with “SDA Youth”, and then donated them to Anoama’a District College. The District Hospital in the area also set the bins along their village.
In American Samoa, a group from Leone Adventist Church purchased wheelbarrows, brush cutters, rakes, and a weed blower and started a “Free Yard Clean Up” in their village. And in Fiji, several groups of young people received cleaning equipment and are currently building a toilet for the village in the Naitarisi community.
“[These projects] will help us create a common ground to share the gospel message in loving and caring relationships,” said TPUM president Pastor Maveni Kaufononga.