An historic ordination was held at Funafuti Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tuvalu on Sabbath, February 22.
The ordination of Minister Vaguna Satupa made history—the first time there has been an ordination of a Tuvaluan citizen. The church was packed with family, friends and members of the community, including one person who travelled from New Zealand for the special occasion. The ordination was conducted by Pastor Bob Larsen, secretary for the Trans Pacific Union Mission (TPUM).
Tuvalu has at least 11 islands that are inhabited, with three of them having an Adventist presence. For seven years, Minister Satupa has served on Niutao, a very isolated island with no airstrip and only a monthly boat service. Funafuti is being cared for by Pastor George Vann, a Solomon Islander who is also the district director, while Fijian Bible worker Patemo Lobau is serving on Vaitupu.
“For many years we have been sending missionaries from other Pacific Islands to look after the work in Tuvalu,” said TPUM president Pastor Maveni Kaufononga. “Now that we have a Tuvaluan-ordained pastor, someone who understands the local culture and context, it will help us with our goal to reach the unreached islands.”