By Mikemachris Bentley
A weekend excursion by young people from the Lau valley SDA church has helped heal a long-standing division within a village on Ngella, Central Islands Province.
On Thursday, the Youth and Pathfinder missions of the Church travelled across the waters with the theme ‘reflecting God’s love’ to Vunuha village, an Anglican dominated community.
With the mission of reaching out to the small SDA church in the community, the turnout was unexpected as days of mistrust and division that exists between the two denomination was buried and both seeking ways to work together going into the future.
Village Chief and SDA minister, John Kara was all smiles as he reflected on the blessings that the Lau Valley SDA church youth and pathfinder mission has brought to them.
“This is the first time for our SDA and Anglican Communities here in Vunuha to unite and work openly together with each other to ensure our guests are feel welcomed into the community.
One of such gestures was during heavy rain on Saturday and the chiefs from the Anglican Community approached the campsites and invited all of them to come into their homes.
Chief Kara said the community in the past had only allowed the SDA church to set up in the village, but relations have not been cordial.
On news of the proposed visit, the Anglican community was approached and the visit was allowed.
The SDA community were grateful that despite the busy weekend with easter celebrations in the Anglican calendar, they are able to assist during the duration of the programme.
Mr Kara said apart from mending relations, the trip had also been a learning point for him as the leader of the new Vunuha SDA church in the community.
“It is a spiritual and physical awakening as my community are able to participate with our brothers and sisters from the Lau Valley SDA church.
He said there are needs within the community and if there are lending hands it would go towards completing the work of God in this place.
Among the activities conducted by the youth and pathfinder missions were trainings on marching drills, camping skills, visitation to the sick and old people in the community and social games where the Vunuha kids came to enjoy.
He would like to acknowledge youth leader of Lau valley church, Edwin Mark, Pathfinder group leader, Hilton Bekepio, organizer of the trip, Ben Waitara and the administration office of the Lau valley church for allowing the group to travel across.
To seal the new found relationship, the Lau valley church donated some gifts to the community at Vunuha to show their commitment towards fostering the relationship.
Anglican Church member and Community chief, John Selwyn thanked the young people of Lau valley church for visiting their community.
“We look forward for a bigger programme than this where you can come and visit or we come to visit you.
He made mention of the need to refurbish the old Anglican Church in their community and is looking for assistance, given the news that the Adventist men of Lau valley church have been involved in building churches in communities within Ngella and around the provinces.