Lake Union is supporting Kosrae, an island more than 6,000 miles from its territory.
Several years ago, each union conference in the North America Division (NAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church adopted one of the nine major islands that make up the Guam Micronesia Mission.
In January 2019, I joined a team from the Lake Union Conference that traveled to Kosrae on a fact-finding mission with one major idea in mind: How could we help this small church and growing Adventist school where more than forty students were attending?
When we expressed our desire to help, some things became very clear: the church had a mission to help the community; the school was growing; and the campus needed help. After much discussion and brainstorming, we established a clear vision to build a gymnasium that could double as a recreational facility, could be rented to the community, and could also provide shelter for the students when it rained — which happens frequently on this tropical paradise!
Fast-forward four years. Generous donations from the NAD Thirteenth Sabbath offerings and collective fundraising efforts enabled us to raise more than US$100,000 to cover the cost of the building. COVID-19 delayed plans for a while, and the parts of the gymnasium remained in steel shipping containers for many months while they waited for the go-ahead to get started.
The Gym Is Built
Finally, ground-breaking took place in summer 2022, and now the final steps are in place to finish the gymnasium. After the concrete floor had been partially poured, some delays in equipment and materials delayed the finish longer than expected, so February 2023 is the projected date of completion.
Superintendent of the Guam Micronesia Mission Churchill Edwards thanked the Lake Union constituents for their generosity and commitment to the project, with especially the schools in mind. Many of the union’s school students held fundraisers, such as 5K events, to raise money for a portion of the gym. The students of the Kosrae Seventh-day Adventist School are excited to use the new facility and have been watching the construction with eager anticipation.
What are some other ways that the Lake Union will continue to support Kosrae? An NAD accreditation team visited the island in January 2023 and reported that some help with curriculum resources is still needed, so the Education Department of the Lake Union will follow up with those needs.
Before 2022, the Education Department had also coordinated Sabbath speakers to preach via livestream for the fourth Sabbath of every month. Now that someone has been appointed to run the technology for the service in Kosrae, we will resume scheduling speakers and sharing the Word with these beautiful island people.
The next great need that they have expressed is for an adequate fresh water supply system. The current system of water collection is no longer sufficient or efficient for the church and school’s use, with more than seventy students in attendance. Plans are in place to begin a new fundraising campaign to help put this needed system in place.
The original version of this story was posted on the Lake Union Herald news site.