Around 80 people from across the South Pacific gathered at Fulton Adventist University College in Sabeto, Fiji, for Digital Discipleship Training 2023. Held from September 6 to 9, the event was promoted by the Trans Pacific Union Mission (TPUM) Youth Department to equip participants to connect their faith and the digital world.
Attendees hailed from nations including Tuvalu, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, American Samoa and Kiribati.
Themed “Sailing the Digital Waves with Jesus”, the training emphasised the necessity of leveraging the digital era’s tools while staying anchored in faith. The program explored the multifaceted area of technology, highlighting its potential for both advancing the gospel and posing challenges.
Expressing his satisfaction with the program, TPUM youth director Pastor Uili Tinomeneta said it was “fruitful and rewarding.” He highlighted the empowerment of participants and the wisdom shared by digital experts from various regions.
The list of speakers included Hope Channel South Pacific director Pastor Wayne Boehm; SPD religious liberty and public affairs director Dr Nick Kross; Adventist Media marketing manager Tim McTernan; American Samoa Hope Channel director Tipalelupe Tapuai; ADRA South Pacific TPUM technical advisor Ana Alburqueque; Hope Channel Philippines director Damuel Gambol; TPUM communication and digital media coordinator John Tausere and TPUM creative media producer Maika Tuima.
In addition to the presentations, participants were also inspired by the Digital Journey booth, which displayed the evolution of communication tools over the years, showcasing how the Seventh-day Adventist church has utilised these mediums to fulfil its mission.
Solomon Islands Mission communication, news and promotions officer Loanne Liligeto emphasised the theme’s importance. “Being a digital disciple requires the power of the Holy Spirit to first change oneself and then help others know God. She praised the event as an eye-opening experience.
Dr Kross noted how it brought together church leaders and youth representatives to learn practical skills for creating engaging content on social media platforms. He believes this knowledge will attract young people to faith communities.