New church dedicated on remote island

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Oneroa Church, Mangaia.

A new church complex was officially opened on the island of Mangaia, Cook Islands, on December 28, 2016.

Pastor Eliu Eliu, president of the Cook Islands Mission, officiated at the opening. Officials and members of the public were invited.

“We do not have a lot of members on the island but there is a lot of drive and belief to grow the Church there,” Pastor Eliu said.

On the day of the opening, Aitau, a man who recently returned from New Zealand to Mangaia, shared with the Mangaia pastor his intention to become a Seventh-day Adventist. After reading the Bible he discovered the Sabbath truth and told contractors building his new home not to work on his house on that day. The builders were shocked and did not understand. He told them of his discovery in the Bible.

Aitau is having Bible studies with the pastor every Sabbath afternoon. His wife, who is still to arrive from New Zealand, has heard about the decision of her husband. The plan is for the two of them to join together into the church.

“There is a strong visiting program on the island . . . It is true the Holy Spirit guides, teaches, comforts and empowers,” Pastor Eliu said. “The opening of the church was a great witness to God’s leading and blessing. People spoke positively about the good singing, great message and the presence of God was obvious.

“We now have a very beautiful building, which was also built with cyclonic specifications. It was built with the community in mind.”