Remote church rededicated in Kiribati

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Taribo's new building, one of the first churches opened by pioneer Adventist missionaries in Kiribati.

One of the first churches to be established by early missionaries in Kiribati, Taribo Seventh-day Adventist church on Abemama Island, was rededicated on March 12.

Originally made of local bush materials, it has taken changes over many years to reach the point of becoming a permanent brick and timber building.

During the rededication, Kiribati Mission president Pastor Luther Taniveke and his wife Florence were joined by the Kiribati government’s Minister of Lands, leaders of other denominations, chiefs and local people.

Florence Taniveke has just cut the ribbon while Pastor Karebwa Roroa invites members into the church.

“Church pastor Karebwa Roroa and the church members put on a beautiful program which ended with a big feast and presentation of gifts in their cultural ways,” said Pastor Taniveke.

COVID-19 has had only a small impact on the remote nation. The government moved to ban international flights early, and no cases have been recorded there, meaning church services can continue. However the church in Kiribati still faces plenty of challenges, according to Pastor Taniveke.

“Kiribati Mission is the poorest mission in this Union. We have less members supporting the work through tithes and offerings but a very big area of responsibility with islands scattered over a quarter of the vast Pacific Ocean. To reach these islands is very difficult and costly.”

Young people in Kiribati are currently preparing for the planned harvest program. They are visiting homes to find out who has been listening to Hope Radio and offering Bible studies. Some have taken up the offer.

“Please pray for Kiribati Mission,” said Pastor Taniveke.