Vanuatu growth

A thriving disciple-making movement doesn't happen overnight.

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Newly-baptised members at Emua, Vanuatu, in July this year.

In the lead-up to a citywide evangelistic program, two Port Vila (Efate, Vanuatu) churches committed to a prayer walk around the venue for a whole year. One church walked around Fresh Water Oval mid-week and the other at opening Sabbath.

When the program began in September 2014, thousands came to listen to Pastor Jean-Noel Adeline preach and Dr Chester Kuma teach on health. By the program’s end, 12,000 were attending. Others connected on Hope Channel TV and radio.

During this time, Pastor Adeline led a 5am prayer meeting in Epauto church. More than 1000 people participated, singing praise and praying as if God was right there with them.

A revival broke out. Leaders of an independent Sabbath-keeping group who left the official Church in the 1990s attended the prayer meetings to criticise. However, they experienced the power of God and repented, asking to re-join the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Dozens of churches and thousands of people were reconciled.

On the program’s final weekend, 2957 people were baptised. The Church then focused on discipling these new members, providing workshops and World Changer Bibles.

Then, in March 2015, Cyclone Pam struck, devastating Efate Island. Adventists were quick to respond—taking water, tarpaulins, food, clothes and other necessities to people in need. Practical ministry became the focus. At the time, about one-third of Efate villages had an Adventist presence. Today, every village has one. The revival has led to ongoing Church growth and personal discipleship.

On Friday November 2, I had the privilege of opening the largest building in Vanuatu. The new Epauto Adventist Multipurpose Centre seats more than 5000. On Sabbath morning, it was packed (see photo below). God is certainly creating a thriving Adventist discipleship movement in Vanuatu.

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