Two Seventh-day Adventist families had been living in high-rise apartments in north Noumea when their local pastor challenged the whole church to serve those around them. These two families visited everyone in the apartments. This took months but as they visited, they took people shopping, cared for children so parents could make appointments, listened and helped.
On the ground floor of one of the apartments they befriended an older man who had disabled grandchildren. The man was so thankful for their support he wanted to have regular prayer. He asked spiritual questions and the Adventists were able to give him good biblical answers—just by reading the Bible with him. This man knew everyone in the high-rises and offered his house as a place for Bible study on Sabbaths—he invited everyone to participate.
When I visited this group named “Jerusalem”—because it is reaching people at home (Acts 1:8)—they’d been meeting for 14 months. The local police said that crime has gone down. Four people, including the man who opened his home, have been baptised. An elder, trainee elder and local people are leading this new church that is largely full of the local indigenous Kanak people.
Sione was a pianist for an Adventist church in American Samoa because they did not have one. They paid him well to lead in the music part of worship. Sione always stayed for the sermons and as he listened he began to question his beliefs and explore what the Bible said about the truth in Jesus. As he read and talked with the Adventist members and pastor he decided to give his life to Jesus in baptism and become an Adventist. The church he played for was a long way from his home. He continued to play for other denomination church services on Sundays. Eventually he and his family donated some land to build a new Seventh-day Adventist church where they live. Today, because of a weekly visitation program in the local neighbourhood and strong biblical preaching, this church has grown to more than 70 members. I don’t have space to tell you about all the new churches I’ve recently visited in many of the countries of the South Pacific. God is definitely creating a church planting movement in places. I am humbled and grateful when I see this.