The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Fiji held a historic ordination service on Sabbath, January 30, during its 16th quinquennial session.
The special service saw 16 men and women dedicate their lives to gospel ministry. The commissioning of two women, Kelera Rokeva and Melissa Vakaloloma, was a historic occasion as they are believed to be the first women commissioned as ministers by the Church in Fiji. Fourteen men were ordained: Maika Vakamelei, Jolame Soqo, Brian Tabuariki, Jovilisi Leitabu, Mesake Lutunaivalu, Maikeli Nakasamai, Marika Valetini, Timoci Caginikaibau, Raj Kumar, Bola Mataitini, Inia Tuinakelo, Inoke Qio, Joape Naroba and Paula Toroka.
Trans Pacific Union Mission president Pastor Maveni Kaufononga presented a special message and offered the prayer of dedication.
“It was a historical event for us,” he said. “I am happy that we are starting to recognise that God can use anyone for His work.
“And when God calls someone, who are we to stop them? God has blessed our women with many gifts and it’s about time for us to recognise that women can do great things for the Lord.”
Dr Danijela Schubert, who leads women’s ministries for the South Pacific Division, offered her congratulations to the women.
“May this be a year of acknowledging many women for the ministry they do,” she said. “May there be many more women ordained as elders and women commissioned as pastors, chaplains and departmental directors.”
Pastor Rokeva started her ministry journey in 2004 as a school chaplain, and today ministers to six churches. Pastor Vakaloloma started her ministry in 2007 and has been pastoring churches ever since.