Pastors, members, and candidates weathered the heavy rains and winds to proceed.
Published on: 03-25-2023
Despite heavy rain and wind brought by Cyclone Kevin in Vanuatu, 24 people were baptized in Nayaca Village, Nadarivatu, Fiji, on March 4.
The baptism was a result of a three-week evangelism series conducted by Josateki Tabaka, assisted by Lewa Seventh-day Adventist Church members.
The baptism ceremony itself took place during a storm, with the waters of the Wainiura River swollen and overflowing onto the roads leading to the village. This did not stop people from neighboring villages — such as Naga, Nadrau, Navai, Nadala, Koro, Marou, and Buyabuya — from walking many kilometers across flooded and bush roads to witness the baptism.
Among those who were baptized, the headman of Buyabuya village shared that Tabaka and his team’s teachings have been transformational and given him a new perspective on life. The village leaders expressed gratitude for the opportunity to be baptized and “to be part of a community that is grounded in faith and love.”
“The baptismal ceremony was a testimony to the power of faith and perseverance in the face of adversity,” Fulton theology student Ravulo Pauliasi Dawn said. “Despite the unfavorable weather conditions, people still made their way to the ceremony to witness their loved ones committing their lives to Christ.”
Dawn added that the event “was a celebration of the spirit of community and the power of hope.” It was “a reminder that even in the darkest of storms, there is still a light that shines bright,” he said.
After the ceremony, Lewa church members expressed their gratitude to everyone who made the baptism possible, “including the members of the Nayaca Village community, who opened their hearts and homes to the participants of the evangelism series, and the volunteers who braved the storm to make sure that everything was in place for the ceremony,” they said.
“As Fiji continues to face the impact of Cyclone Kevin, the baptism ceremony in Nayaca Village serves as a beacon of hope and a reminder that even in the midst of adversity, there is always a reason to celebrate and hold on to faith,” Dawn said.
The Fiji Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is committed to “know, experience, and share our hope in Jesus,” church regional leaders said. “In a world where it often seems that things are out of control and many are struggling, we want to share the good news that Jesus loves each one of us and has a plan for our lives,” they said.