The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia (AUC) has announced a new focus for its Global Partnership program.
Following a 14-year partnership with Mongolia, the AUC will now turn its attention to the countries of Laos and Timor-Leste.
“In a similar way to how we have worked in Mongolia we will be sending teams to support the work already happening in these countries, serve in their communities and facilitate evangelism,” said AUC Ministerial Association secretary Brendan Pratt.
“Currently a team is working with the Church leaders in Timor-Leste and Laos to determine needs, desired outcomes and how we can best partner in mission.”
In Timor-Leste, which has a population of 1.26 million, there are 536 Adventist Church members and just one church. In Laos, a country of 7.1 million residents, there are four Adventist churches with a membership of 1232.
AUC president Pastor Jorge Munoz is hoping to encourage as much enthusiasm within Australian teams volunteering in the new partner countries as was the case for Mongolia.
“Since 2002 more than 50 teams have made the trek to Mongolia to work on various projects,” he said.
“Teams have come back excited and enthused about the global mission of the Church and how we can make a difference beyond ourselves.”
Projects have included building churches and schools, teaching health and cooking, working in prisons, running kids’ clubs, building community playgrounds and greenhouses. [pullquote]
“The evangelistic efforts have been successful and today the Adventist Church in Mongolia has more than 2500 members,” Pastor Munoz said.
Pastor Magdiel Perez-Schulz, assistant to the General Conference (GC) president and GC field secretary, was part of the initial conversation, along with the president of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, when the AUC was asked to refocus its Global Partnership energy and work in Laos and Timor-Leste in a similar way to how it has in Mongolia.
“We commend the AUC for such an effort and we pray God may bless their efforts in partnering with these two fields,” Pastor Perez-Schulz said.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is already working in both of these countries with a focus on providing clean drinking water and sanitation.
Leaders from Laos and Timor-Leste will be at the Australia-wide pastors convention in February 2018 to outline how the partnerships can work most effectively.
The Global Partnership offering on Sabbath, July 22 will go toward supporting teams to work in Laos and Timor-Leste.