Adventist Church mourns Kiribati ferry tragedy

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The Seventh-day Adventist Church has released an expression of support and condolence to the people of Kiribati following last month’s ferry disaster, which claimed more than 80 lives.

Travelling between the island of Nonouti and the township of Betio, the loaded ferry failed to arrive on January 20 as scheduled.

According to the Guardian Australia website, there was no list of passengers, so the Nonouti council had to go from door to door on the island to establish who was on board.

Of the 88 people believed to be on the MV Butiraoi, 22 were school children on their way to start the new school term. Seven survivors are all that have been found.

Pastor Luther Taniveke, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Kiribati, released this statement:

On behalf of the Seventh-day Adventist church members of Kiribati, we wish to share our sympathy with the nation of Kiribati and particularly the Nonouti island community for the loss of their family members and relatives in the recent tragedy of the sunken ferry. Our prayers are with you in this time of sorrow and sadness and we still hope to find others alive somewhere in the Pacific. May our good Lord comfort you in this time of sorrow.

Pastor Maveni Kaufononga from the Trans-Pacific Union Mission, also offered his condolences to the people of Kiribati. “My heart fills with sadness with the news of what happened in Kiribati. I offer my sincere love to the families who have been affected and want them to know that you are in our prayers. We believe that Jesus coming is very soon where He will end all pain. May we hang on the blessed hope of Jesus soon return and may God give you strength and courage as we face the reality of living in a sinful world.”

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