Jean-Marie Hnamano is from the island of Lifou, New Caledonia. He is 42 and was born a Catholic. The island of Lifou has a very strong religious culture: 40 per cent of the population are Catholic and 60 per cent are Protestant.
Jean-Marie became a drunk in his teens. He was in a football team of youths who used to party all the time. He eventually became a drug addict who sold and consumed marijuana with his friends and enjoyed worldly pleasures. He didn’t really sleep well at night, suffering lots of nightmares. At one point he started to doubt the existence of God.
In January 2018, my wife and I decided to settle on Lifou island with another church member, Victorine, and we started a group. It was very challenging as we were the first Adventists on the island. We had a mini evangelistic campaign with my brother, Pastor Jean-Noel Adeline, who shared the good news for a whole week.
Jean-Marie was invited to attend the meetings by his cousin Marie-Helen. He was touched by the message and never missed any meetings. After the evangelistic meetings he accepted all the truth he discovered in the Bible, including the seventh-day Sabbath. He has not missed a Sabbath since.
We did deep Bible study and I was blessed to see Jean-Marie accepting the truth. More than that he obeys God’s commandments.
Almost at the end of the series of Bible studies, a miracle occurred. Jean-Marie told me that he didn’t want to wait any longer—he had a burning desire in his heart to give his whole life to Jesus through baptism.
He was the first one to ask for baptism in the new territory. We were so happy about his decision and determination to follow Jesus. God was with him all along and transforming him daily. He stopped the alcohol, drugs and other worldly things and is growing to become a true disciple.
He has influenced his friend Theodore who also attended the Bible studies and asked for baptism.
They both were baptised on June 29, the first two baptisms—two pioneers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Lifou island.
Here on this island people are afraid to leave their religion because if they do, they will be rejected by their community and even their families.
Today Jean-Marie and his friend Theodore are true disciples and deacons in our group of 15. They are free from their weaknesses and are growing every day with Jesus.
I invite everyone who reads this testimony to please think of them in your prayers and the island of Lifou.
Danick Adeline is a pastor on Lifou Island, New Caledonia.