Photo of the Week, Album 2
Mission in Pictures

Traditional Prayers
This Jewish man is praying a traditional prayer in Jerusalem. More
    Nose Kiss
Charlotte Ishkanian, editor of the Mission magazines, receives a traditional greeting in New Zealand called a hongi or nose kiss. More
Mountain Citadel
The awe-inspiring ruins of Machu Picchu are nestled high in a remote area of the Andes mountains in Peru. More
      Beach Treats
The dried fish at the beaches in the Kyrgyz Republic make a colorful sight. More

Dome of the Holy Sepulcher
This dome sits, it is believed, over the site of the tomb where Jesus was buried and lay for three days. More

      Radiant Joy
Kleber Gonçalves, founder of a church plant in Brazil that focuses on reaching secular people, is as joy-filled as those he baptizes. More
J. N. Andrews: Letter to Mother
Immediately upon landing in Liverpool, England, pioneer missionary J. N. Andrews composed this letter to his mother. More
      Church's First Mission Ship
Probably the best known of Seventh-day Adventist missionary vessels, the Pitcairn has a rich and fascinating history. More
Red Scarf
This young girl stands near the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Agra, located near New Delhi, is a big tourist stop in Northern India. More
      Over the River to Camp Meeting We Go
Every year some 3,500 people travel by boat on the Amazon River to attend the Mutuca camp meeting in northern Brazil. More
Nana's Memoirs
Norman and Ruby Ferris were pioneer Adventist missionaries to the Solomon Islands. Read Ruby's inspiring memoirs.
    Whole Lot's Hoppening Down Here!
Wallabies aren't the only thing hopping along in Australia. So are some exciting mission projects. More
Celebrating God's Special Day
The brightly-colored clothing must have been the first thing to greet visitor’s eyes in this church in Mirzapur, India. More
      Meet the Driver of
"The Big Yellow Truck"

Pastor Eric Juriansz, the truck driver who crashed down the mountain in Eric B. Hare's beloved story, The Big Yellow Truck. More
Days of War
This 53-foot-long canoe is on display at the South Sea Island Museum in Cooranbong, Australia. More
      Prayer Flags
"I have seen prayer trees in a number of countries with cloths tied to their branches." More
South Pacific Kids "Flip" for Jesus
Many children's Sabbath Schools on the South Pacific islands have no pictures to illustrate Bible stories. But we're about to change that! More
      Touching the "Untouchables" 
Within the caste system of India, this man, who is most likely a beggar, would be part of the lowest caste, Chandala, the untouchables. More
Karen Refugee Boy
This small boy is the son of Karen refugees in Northern Thailand. More
      Quechuas Boy Weaving
This Quechuas boy is weaving at a cultural center in Ecuador called Mitad del Mundo. More
Fun at Camp Meeting
These Aboriginal girls are enjoying a weekend camp meeting in the bush of Western Australia. More
      Fernando and Ana Stahl
For nearly 30 years pioneer missionaries Fernando and Ana Stahl worked among the Indians in South America. More
Taming the Brute
It's not every day you get to baptize three rodeo champions! More
      Honey Seller
This street market vendor in Taiwan is selling candies made of honey. More
Menacing Mountain
Rabaul is one of the most active and dangerous volcanoes in Papua New Guinea. More
      Grandfather Hare
Eric B. Hare inspires his grandchildren Carol and Calvin with stories from the mission field. What was it like to have Eric B. Hare for a grandfather? More
Begging for Life
A child beggar in India plasters himself against a car window hoping for a handout. More
All Smiles
These Haitian children were attending Sabbath School at one of the Seventh-day Adventist churches in Port-au-Prince prior to the earthquake. More
Maori Welcome Dance
These students at the South Auckland Seventh-day Adventist Primary School in New Zealand are performing a traditional Maori welcome dance called a haka. More
      Church's First Mission Plane
The Andrew Stewart, first mission plane officially owned and operated by the Adventist Church. More
Little Church Planter
Every week Vitoria paddles her canoe along the Amazon to share Jesus with her friends. More
      Small Packages
Elbert Kuhn stands beside an 80-year-old woman whom he baptized while serving as a missionary in Mongolia. More
Woman on Reed Boat
This woman is standing on a reed boat on Lake Titicaca which is located high in the Andes, bordering Bolivia and Peru. More
      The Children She Loves
Surrounded by children she loves and serves, Sarah Andersen is a nurse working at Béré Adventist Hospital, in Chad, with her physician husband, James Appel. More
Cute Thing Down Under
"Have I ever seen anything cuter? I wondered as I gazed at the baby koala." More
      A Harvest of Hearts
Heriberto Muller can’t resist a sweet juicy apple. And there is no end to them in Kyrgyzstan, where he and his wife, Mabel, serve as missionaries. But there is another harvest here as well. A harvest of hearts. More
Girl From Madeira
This girl is wearing the national costume of Madeira, a beautiful tourist island off the coast of Portugal. 

Gimbie Girls
Every time Adventist Volunteer Service missionary Mark Pierson walked into town, these little girls came running to shake his hand. More

Can Pandas Play Flutes?
China is home to the giant panda and some 1.3 billion people.
One of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offerings helped produce Adventist television programs in Mandarin. More
      First Adventist Missionary to the Pacific
John Tay, founder of the mission schooner, the Pitcairn, brought the Advent message to the Pacific Islands. More
J. N. Andrews: "Covenant Concerning the French Language
 J. N. Andrews and his children signed this "Covenant" in 1876, vowing to "use only the French language in our conversation with one another." More
      Kayan Woman
Kayan women in northern Thailand wear brass coils around their necks as a sign of beauty. More
Children of Madeira
Children at the primary school in Madeira are full of energy and smiles. More
      The Grand Place Flower Carpet
This flower carpet in the main square of the Grand Place in Brussels was created with 700,000 begonias. More
Listen to the Music!
Ariunza is playing special music for a church service on a traditional Mongolian instrument called a huuchir. More
      Turkmenistan Woman
This lady, and hundreds like her, sit day by day in a bazaar in Turkmenistan, waiting for someone to buy their carpets, clothes, or fresh vegetables. More
Tramelan Adventist Church
First Seventh-day Adventist Church outside North America. More
      The Wonder of Hope
Desperately poor, surrounded by Animistic Buddhism, this little girl finds that she also can be held on the lap of the Savior. More
Slow Travels
Dr. Elmer Ribeyro often flies to a nearby island to treat patients. It's a short flight but a long trip when his journey begins on a tractor. More
      Old Ways, New Hearts
Strahil and Tonka are new church members in Bulgaria, partly due to an answered prayer that saved their horse. More

Steep Thrills
For more than 100 years men on Madeira Island have guided these sleds from a park near the top of the capital city down the steep and windy streets. More
    Beads for Life
Maasai women in Kenya enjoy a breeze outside an Adventist church after attending an AIDS education seminar. More
A Mine-blowing Experience
"I received horrifying news: the land mine had been found—in the middle of the path I had walked the entire time going back and forth to my clinic!" More
      New Year's Dreams
"At the end of Chinese New Year, Taiwanese write their wishes on lanterns then light them and watch them rise in the sky." More
The Best Sabbath I Ever Had
“I expected to sit on the ground. And I expected the sermon to be in Khmer. But I didn’t expect a silver bowl to touch my heart.” More

      On the Air
Nine year old Vitoria lives on an island in the Amazon River where she helps her father produce a radio program. More

Smiles and Schools
An Adventist missionary dentist in Bangladesh gives destitute children something to smile about. More
    Photos of the Week
Album 1
Album 3


Traditional Prayers, Israel
This Jewish man is praying a traditional prayer in Jerusalem. The small leather boxes strapped to his forehead and arm are called Tefillin. Tefillin are an important part of traditional Judaic prayers.
Four sets of biblical verses, (Exodus 13:1-10, 11-16; Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 11:13-21) are handwritten by scribes and inserted inside the two boxes. Jews who wear Tefillin interpret these versus as a literal command to wear them. Because each pair of Tefillin is hand-written and hand-crafted, it is relatively expensive, and a well-made pair costs several hundred dollars.

According to historians, the Wailing Wall, or Western Wall, is considered the holiest location in Judaism that is easily accessible. It is special to the Jews because of its close proximity to the spot where the Holy of Holies once stood on the temple mount. The wall dates back to 516 BCE when the Temple was rebuilt by Cyrus the Great during the Babylonian captivity. It was part of an outer courtyard which was left standing after Titus sacked Jerusalem in 70 CE. Jews often come to the wall to pray and place scraps of paper with prayer requests in the wall's many cracks. There is a very small Seventh-day Adventist presence in Israel, less than 1,500 in the entire country, but growth has been strong in the past 10 years. Political and social unrest continues to make it difficult to spread the gospel in the Middle East. Please pray for the church members and Global Mission pioneers working in Israel.

Photo Credit: Rick Kajiura, communication director, Adventist Mission



Nose Kiss, New Zealand

Pastor Jake Ormsby greets Mission magazine editor Charlotte Ishkanian at the Auckland, New Zealand Seventh-day Adventist School with a traditional greeting called a hongi (nose kiss).

The person doing the greeting extends his hand/hariru and nose/iho to complete the welcome. The visitor accepts the offer of friendship by reciprocating.

This act of two heads/personalities coming together in an attitude of acceptance and openness through sharing the same breath/space/thoughts is basic to any Maori encounter and is encouraged at an early age.

“There is something disarming about coming into someone else’s space so closely,” says Pastor Jake. “Many, particularly those of European background struggle with this greeting. At first they are uncomfortable but most, with a little encouragement, become experts.” 

Pastor Jake Ormsby, a Kaumatua-Maori elder, is the school chaplain of the South Auckland Seventh-day Adventist Primary School in Papatoetoe, Auckland, New Zealand. 

Photo credit: Charlotte Ishkanian, editor of Mission, Adventist Mission. 


Mountain Citadel, Peru

Machu Picchu is Peru's most recognizable landmark. Situated proudly at 2,400 feet atop a ridge in the Andes Mountains, the ruins of Machu Picchu are the last remnants of the powerful Inca Empire. 

The mountain citadel was built sometime around 1450 A.D. as a retreat for Inca aristocracy. Machu Picchu was built in a very defensible location. The mountain plateau is only accessible by means of a narrow entry point, and the natural fortifications made it possible for just a small number of men to guard the city against surprise attacks.  

Machu Picchu was only inhabited for a little more than 100 years before being abandoned. Archaeologists are divided as to why the aristocracy left the city, but it was likely because of the Spanish conquest of the Inca during the 16th century.  As the years passed the remote fortress was largely forgotten. Since it was used by the upper classes, most common people didn't even know it existed. 

Machu Picchu remained largely undisturbed for several hundred years until researcher Hiram Bingham re-discovered it in 1911. The media of the day called it the "Lost City of the Inca," and over the past century it has become the most popular tourist attraction in Peru.

Peru is a mountainous country stretching along the west coast of South America. Christianity is the predominant religion among Peruvians. Although the practicing Christians are mostly Catholic, there are more than 700,000 Seventh-day Adventists in Peru.  In fact, 1 out of every 39 people in Peru is Adventist.

Photo credit: Mike Ryan, General Vice President, General Conference.


Beach Treats, Kyrgyzstan

The dried fish at the beaches in the Kyrgyz Republic make a colorful sight. These fish are sold and eaten as delicacies in the country.

The fish being sold in this picture are at the beach in Kyrgyzstan, where many vacationers go. Literature evangelists go to the same places to sell books to the people there on vacation.

The Kyrgyz Republic has 1,426 Seventh-day Adventist church members in the country, and the numbers are growing. Since the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the Kyrgyz Republic has remained a secular state, but there have been many influences from other religions, Russian Orthodox Catholics, Muslims, and Seventh-day Adventist missionaries. 

Thank you for the support of the mission work in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Photo and thoughts by Homer Trecartin, former missionary and associate secretary of the General Conference.

Read a blog from a missionary in Kyrgyzstan 


Dome of the Holy Sepulcher, Israel

Looking up at the awe-inspiring dome in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Old Jerusalem, many thoughts come to mind. This dome sits, it is believed, over the site of the tomb where Jesus was buried and lay for three days. 

There are three different major religions in Jerusalem, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism and each regards specific sites as holy for their own particular reasons. At the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, people come daily to view what is believed to be the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, the place where Jesus' tomb was, Golgotha, and the prison cell Jesus was held.

Thinking of something like this, it is remembered that it's not really the spot and what
happened there that makes a difference, but knowing God makes the difference.

Israel is in the Trans-European Division. The last Thirteenth Sabbath Offering to go to Israel was in January 2004 and helped to set up 12 new Seventh-day Adventist churches and congregations.

Photo credit, Homer Trecartin. Thoughts by Kati Pettit, student intern for Adventist Mission.


Fancy Footwork, Papua New Guinea

Brooks and Susan Payne are Adventist missionaries serving in Papua New Guinea. Recently they visited a local cultural center where they were greeted by Asaro mud men who performed traditional dances.

The men's bodies are smeared with clay from the Asaro River. Their masks are also made of the same clay and sun baked. 

Brooks, a mechanic for Adventist Aviation Services, couldn't resist donning a mask and trying a few moves of his own. 

According to legend, the Asaro warriors were once defeated by an opposing tribe and fled into the Asaro River for safety. Later, covered with dried mud from the river, they again encountered their enemies. But this time their opponents were terrified. They may have thought the Asaros were spirits. The enemy fled, leaving the Asaro warriors victorious.  It is said that from that point on the Asaro men always covered themselves in mud for battle. 

 Photo courtesy of Brooks and Susan Payne.  

Check out Brooks and Susan's blog. 

Your mission offerings help support the Paynes and other Adventist missionaries around the world. Thanks for your support! 



J. N. Andrews: Letter to Mother

Click on image for larger view

The Seventh-day Adventist work started on the European continent in 1874 when Christians in Switzerland asked the church in North America to send a missionary. John Nevins Andrews was the logical choice. He was not only a minister and evangelist but the leading Adventist scholar of his day.

Immediately upon landing in Liverpool, England, Andrews composed this letter to his mother. He writes, “we were taken seasick the second night and were sick about 24 hours. Then helpless 24 more.” Yet Andrews thanks God for a safe passage, noting “that the angel of God was with us on the ship.”1

In October 2006, Jeanne Andrews, a great granddaughter of J.N. Andrews, donated an extraordinary collection of Andrews' letters and artifacts to Andrews University's Center for Adventist Research. This letter was included in her donation. 

1 Photo and quote credit, Focus, Winter 2006



Church's First Mission Ship, South Pacific

The Pitcairn is probably the best known of Seventh-day Adventist missionary vessels and was used for transporting missionaries across the Pacific Ocean from 1890 to 1900. M. C. Wilcox, who was present at the Pitcairn's dedication described the schooner as followers: "The length of the ship is 100 feet, breadth of beam 27 feet, depth of hold 10 feet; and it is of about 120 tons burden. It is made of the very best timber, and the workmanship is of the best character. The ship has two masts, foremast and mainmast, each 79 feet long. She is capable of spreading to the breeze 1,576 square yards of canvass."

The decision to build a missionary ship was made at the General Conference session of October 1889. The schooner was paid for by Sabbath school offerings. It set sail from Oakland, California, on October 20, 1890, with missionary John Tay and his wife aboard. It arrived at Pitcairn Island November 25, 1890.

Photo courtesy of South Sea Island Museum, Cooranbong, Australia
Copy source, Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia


Red Scarf, India

This young girl stands near the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Agra located near New Delhi, is a big tourist stop in Northern India. 

Along with being home to the famed Taj Mahal, Agra houses the Agra Fort, or the Red Fort, the mausoleum of Itmad-ud-Daulah, and Siskandra, the mausoleum of Akbar.

In the town of Agra, there are many different tombs, mausoleums, and memorials for those who have died. This seems to be a town that remembers their dead. It is also considered to be a hopelessly romantic town, because of the story that accompanies the Taj Mahal.

From the things I have learned in my life, I can have the hope of resurrection and seeing again those whom I loved who died.

While the monuments are beautiful, they represent so much sadness. Thank you for your support of Adventist Mission and the hope that they are bringing to other people. Please continue to pray for the mission work in India and around the globe.

Photo credit: Esti and Miroslov Pujic. Thoughts by Kati Pettit, Adventist Mission intern.


Over the River to Camp Meeting We Go,

Every year between 3,500 and 4,000 people travel by boat on the Amazon River to attend the Mutuca camp meeting in the Amazonas-Roraima conference of northern Brazil.

Members from each church travel together on one boat or more, and it’s not uncommon to see 50 boats or more with one to three floors each docked at the camp meeting site.

Thousands of Adventists live along the Amazon River and many are descendants of the first converts from the work of missionaries Leo and Jesse Halliwell.

At sunset on Sabbath there was a special baptism. Hundreds of people boarded the boats to get a good view. Notice how the boat is tilting!

Evangelism in northern Brazil is strong and there are large and frequent baptisms. This occasion was made extra special by outlining the baptismal area with a beautiful floating floral arrangement in shape of a cross.

Photo credit: Ivan Samojluk, Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Director, South American Division.



Nana's Memoirs, Solomon Islands

Born in 1899 in rural Australia, Rubina May Ferris (pictured on right with her husband Norman, daughter Norma, and son Ray) lived a life of great adventure, heartache, and joy.

Together she and Norman pioneered the Adventist work in the South Pacific on a tiny string of islands called the Solomons. It was dangerous, demanding work. Yet Ruby never felt that she had accomplished much for the gospel.

Then in 1989 she was invited to an anniversary celebration where she and Norman had labored hard to start a congregation many years before. “Here Mother saw the results of her service,” says her son, Ervin. “She was thrilled to find 7 churches with 1,800 members.”
In 1995, at age 95, Ruby visited the Solomon Islands again.  As her boat docked in Guadalcanal, more than a thousand uniformed church members formed an honor guard to greet her. Tears filled her eyes as she said, “It must have been worthwhile after all.”
When Ruby passed away at 103, she left behind a diary. Called Nana’s Memoirs, it provides an intriguing glimpse into the heart of a missionary whose passion for souls knew no bounds.

To read Ruby's memoirs, click here.

Photo courtesy of Ruby's son, Ervin Ferris 



Whole Lot's Hoppening Down Here!

This wallaby is dining on a salad of leaves and flowers in lush North Queensland, Australia. There are 30 some species of wallaby, grouped loosely by their preferred habitat--rock wallabies, shrub wallabies, brush wallabies. And all of them, without exception, are irresistibly cute!

If you've ever wondered what the difference is between a wallaby and a kangaroo, here's your chance to hone your powers of discernment.  It's not always easy for amateurs. Both wallabies and kangaroos carry their young, called joeys, in a pouch. Both are grouped by scientist in the same order, family, and subfamily. But, for the eager learner, there are clues. 

For starters, there's size. While sources offer conflicting information regarding the height and weight range of wallabies, they do agree that wallabies are generally smaller than kangaroos. Fur color varies as well. Wallabies sport brighter coats that commonly combine two or three colors. Kangaroos opt for understatement, dressing in solid muted gray or brown. 

But, if you want to be absolutely certain which creature you've encountered, you'd have to check their teeth--a certainty you may wish to forgo since both creatures can deliver impressive kicks. Wallabies, which are forest dwellers, require flat molars for grinding leaves. They are, however, in possession of a single cutting tooth on the top of their mouths so as not to starve should menu options be reduced to grass. Kangaroos, which live in open treeless areas, have curved teeth with cross-cutting ridges for cutting and shearing grass. 

What do wallabies have to do with mission projects? Admittedly, not much, except that both are hopping along quite nicely in the South Pacific Division, our featured division this quarter. Check out the challenges and opportunities facing mission in SPD. They're every bit as fascinating as the odd little creatures that live there.

Photo and thoughts by Laurie Falvo, communication projects manager, Adventist Mission..



Celebrating God's Special Day, India

The brightly-colored clothing must have been the first thing to greet visitor’s eyes on this special Sabbath in Mirzapur, India. On this Sabbath, members of the church come to celebrate God's holy day, and so do other people who reside in Mirzapur who are not Adventists.

On this day, the Global Missions Study Center directors were discussing and planning for new centers in and around the Mirzapur area. The townspeople all came to give input and find out what was going to happen.

Along with being considered one of the most holy districts in India, this area is home to many of the most renowned carpet and brassware industries.

The Adventist church is growing faster all the time, and many more people still need to hear the word of Jesus in this area. Thank you for your support of the work in Mirzapur.

Photo and thoughts by Homer Trecartin, former missionary and associate secretary of the General Conference.



Meet the driver of "The Big Yellow Truck," Myanmar 

When Pacific Press granted us permission to put the audio recording of The Big Yellow Truck on our Web site, the classic story brought back memories for Rick Kajiura, our communication director at Adventist Mission. When he was a boy growing up in Ontario, Canada, Rick discovered that his pastor, Eric Juriansz, was the driver of the big yellow truck that fateful day. Rick recently did an interview with Pastor Juriansz.

As you know, Pastor Juriansz, Pacific Press recently published Curse-Proof, a newly-discovered manuscript by Eric B. Hare. Since its release, there’s been renewed interest in this much-loved church missionary, author, and storyteller. I remembered that you were the driver of the big yellow truck. Can you tell us how you met Pastor Hare? 
Pastor Juriansz
I knew Eric B. Hare when he was in Burma (also known as Myanmar). When the Japanese invaded Burma, Pastor Hare walked 1,000 miles to come to India. He came to Vincent Hill College where I was a student and he became the dean of men. I was a monitor there. I had responsibility for all that happened on the second floor of the boys’ dorm. He and I became good friends.
Tell me about the story of the big yellow truck.
Pastor Juriansz (pictured on right)
When I was working at an Adventist school in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), we had this truck that we used to drive to the city to purchase goods. We were in the process of building the school, we had just brought the property, and one day I was going out to buy food for the school. My wife (pictured below with their children) said, “I’ll come along with you, too.”
I said, “If you come, then the children have to come too.” And so the four children and three of their friends came along and got into the back of the big yellow truck. We put a bench in there for them to sit on and two staff members joined us.
While we were going down from the school we had to go down a mountain before we got to the main road that took us to the city of Kandy, our destination. We had to take some hairpin curves, and sometimes we had to back up before we could make the turn. But just before we got to the hairpin curve, a bus was coming up the mountain side. It wasn’t a very big bus. It had room for about 40 or 50 passengers. But it was loaded with about 70 passengers because it was the season of the special festival for the Buddhists. They were squeezed in. I was going down. It was a very round bend. And he was coming up. I noticed as I looked at the bus that the driver was talking to the passenger next to him.
The bus came right across the road, hit our truck on the right fender, and pushed us toward the precipice. When my wife, who was feeding the baby, looked up and realized we were about to crash, she screamed, “God save us!”
I had the steering wheel in my stomach and I was looking at the ground coming up to meet me. We went down 171 feet. When we hit the bottom, I tried to open the door—I couldn’t—because when it bumped the doors got squashed. I took my shoe out and I broke the window and then jumped out to see if the children had fallen out. But they were in there. All of them!  
We looked up to the top to see everybody in the bus standing along there watching us. And that was the story Pastor Hare told of the big yellow truck.
It took us three days to haul that thing up. Once we got it up but the wire we used to pull it up snapped in two. We went down again and pulled it up. Got it fixed. And nobody at all, out of all of us in the truck, could find a spot where it was hurting or there was any pain.

How did Eric B. Hare hear about your story?
Pastor Juriansz
He came along to visit after a few years and the principal took him to the place and showed him the site where the yellow truck went down. And he looked and said, “Impossible for anyone to be alive after going down there. Impossible!” They said, “Well, they came up without a hurt anywhere.” God heard my wife’s cry and, thank the Lord, not even one of us was thrown out. It was a big ¾ quarter ton truck. The back was open. Nobody fell out. They hit the back of the front and stayed like that until we hit the bottom.
How many years ago was this now?
Pastor Juriansz
That took place in 1953.
When did you first hear Eric B. Hare’ story, The Big Yellow Truck?

Click on video clip below for Pastor Juriansz' response.

Pastor Juriansz

Well, one day after we moved to Canada, my wife and I took our children to the Adventist Book Center. We were looking around for something for them for Christmas. I saw this big recording, The Big Yellow Truck. And I said, “Oh, it’s like that big yellow truck we had,” and I bought it. I didn’t know it was about us. So, I took it home and we played it to the family. And there we got the story that he had! 


 Days of War,

This 53-foot-long canoe is on display at the South Sea Island Museum in Cooranbong, Australia. The museum houses one of the world's best private collections of artifacts from tribes in the South Pacific.

This canoe has been dug out of a large tree. The bow and the stern sections are sewn and glued to the "tree" section as are the sections of timber surrounding the gunwale. Countless holes are bored through the beveled edges. A tough cane is used for sewing. The vessel is then made leak-proof by using the remarkably tenacious crushed teita nut.

Many of the artifacts in the museum, including the canoe, were used in war and donated by the South Sea tribes people when they converted to Christianity.

Photos courtesy of South Sea Island Museum, Cooranbong, Australia.



Prayer Flags

I have seen prayer trees in a number of countries--trees with cloths, pieces of  plastic, sometimes even clothes or pictures of people tied to their branches.

I don't know what made people think a particular tree was holy, but now many will make long trips to add their request to its overloaded branches.

Usually it is Christians who seem to feel that somehow, as the rag blows, their prayers will be sent on their way to heaven.

But I have also seen people from other world religious saying a prayer and tying something on in hopes that good luck, or blessing, or some miracle will come their way.

I am thankful that I can go directly to God without needing the help of a tree and the breeze to take my prayers to Him.

Photo and thoughts by Homer Trecartin, former missionary and associate secretary of the General Conference.


 South Pacific Kids "Flip" for Jesus

Imagine being a child and hearing Bible stories without seeing any pictures. No Sabbath School lessons, no felts, no picture rolls! For many Sabbath Schools on the islands of the South Pacific Division there simply aren't enough funds to provide children with these basic materials that go so far in helping them to understand the Bible and learn about God's love.

Part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering for fourth quarter 2009 is providing these children with flip charts. To learn more about this exciting project, click here. And thanks for your generous support!

Touching the "Untouchables,"

This man is sitting on the sidewalks of Delhi, India with what appears to be all his worldly possessions around him. Looking at this picture, you can see glasses and a glasses case, two pots, a pillow, and a mat.

Within the caste system, this man, who is most likely a beggar, would be part of the lowest caste, Chandala, the untouchables. Since 1959, there has been a law in Delhi called the 1959 Beggars Act, which prohibits people from giving money to beggars.

Thanks to your support of mission work in India, we are able to reach out to help people like this man; give them hope, and teach them about Jesus. Thank you for your prayers and all the support you give to Adventist Mission for places like India and around the world.

Photo credit, Esti and Miroslav Pujic; thoughts by Kati Pettit, Adventist Mission intern.


 Karen Refugee Boy, Thailand

This small boy is the son of Karen refugees in Northern Thailand. His parents are from Myanmar (Burma). The Karen Tribe spreads across Thailand and Myanmar. 

About 400,000 Karen refugees reside in Thailand and around 8 million are in Myanmar, making it the largest hill tribe. They are facing a world of problems, including poverty, disease, cultural change, and lack of opportunities.

The refugees have to run from Myanmar to Thailand for safety from the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). Many of them want to go home to their villages, not keep running forever. 

About 20% of the Karen people are Christian, passed down from Christian missionaries in the early 1900s.

From the help of Adventist missionaries, there have been schools set up in the camps and
people later go on to the Mission College to return to the camps and help others. Most of the Karen people would prefer to stay in their home country and choose to stay in the camps instead of go to a new country and learn a new way of life, although some do choose to learn new ways.

Both Myanmar and Thailand are located in the Southern Asia-Pacific Division.

Photograph by Rick McEdward.  Rick served as a missionary in Sri Lanka and the Philippines. He is currently an associate director at the Institute of World Mission in Berrien Springs, Michigan, U.S.A. 



Quechuas Boy Weaving,

This Quechuas boy is weaving at a cultural center called Mitad del Mundo. Located near Quito, Ecuador, the museum depicts the traditions of the Amerindian people who live in and near the Andes.

Mitad del Mundo means "middle of the world” in Spanish. Between the years 1979 and 1982, a 30-meter-tall monument was built to mark the point where the equator was thought to pass through the country. It is now known, through GPS technology, that the structure is about 240 meters south of the true equator. 

13th Sabbath Offering Projects in Ecuador

The Ecuador Adventist Technical Institute shared classrooms and dormitory facilities with the Adventist secondary school in Santo Domingo, Ecuador. In order to be accredited, the church needed to upgrade the school buildings to meet government standards. Part of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering for third quarter 2008 helped renovate these buildings. 

The Adventist Church in Ecuador has several radio stations called Radio Nuevo Tiempo. Part of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering for third quarter 2008 helped improve the broadcast capabilities of these stations and link them into a more effective network, so that programs could be produced at a central location for use throughout the country.

Thanks for your support of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering!

Photo credit: Charlotte Ishkanian, editor of Mission, Adventist Mission. 


Camp Meeting Fun, Australia

These Aboriginal girls are members of the Wiluna Seventh-day Adventist Church who are enjoying a weekend camp meeting in the bush of Western Australia. 

Part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering for fourth quarter 2009 helped purchase land on which to build Mamarapha Bible College, an Aboriginal Bible college outside Perth.

Photo credit: Charlotte Ishkanian, editor of Mission, Adventist Mission. 

â–ºAboriginal Australians are the original people of Australia. They lived in small, family-based groups, surviving on food they could hunt or dig up with basic tools.
â–ºThe Aboriginal Australians invented the boomerang, a curved, carved piece of wood that they used as a hunting weapon. 


Fernando and Ana Stahl

Pioneer Adventist missionaries to South America.

For nearly 30 years Fernando and Ana Stahl shared their medical and educational skills with the Indians of the Andes and Amazon of Peru.

Working among the oppressed indigenous people, they founded chapels, clinics, markets, and the first indigenous and first coeducational school system in the highlands. The education system grew to comprise 200 schools surrounding Lake Titicaca and, within one generation, the highlands people were able to elect a graduate of the schools to represent them in Peru's National Congress.

There is an interesting story behind one of the missions established by the Stahls. According to the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Broken Stone Mission, built near the town of Umuchi, was so named because Fernando suggested that a broken stone be used as a means of identifying a promised teacher to the village chief. When the piece given to the chief fit perfectly with the piece given to the promised teacher, the chief would know that this was the man sent by the Stahls to teach his people.  

Photo courtesy of GC Archives.


Taming the Brute, Australia

Over the years a number of pastors had the privilege of studying with the Jones family from Woodford, South Queensland, including David  Lamb, Murray House, Michael Worker, my Global Mission pioneer, Steven Groom, and me. It reminded me of Jesus’ words recorded in John  4:37 about one sowing and another reaping.

Taking the Plunge
Dale and Patricia Jones had had enough sowing, it was decision time! Finally yielding to the convicting voice of the Spirit, Dale sussed out a good waterhole on the Stanley River at the rear of his farm and they took the plunge in baptism, conducted by Steven Groom and me.

It was all too much for Dale’s brother, Darryl, watching from the riverbank. When I issued a call for others to be baptized or rebaptized, Darryl plunged in too, boots and all.

The three candidates between them hold impressive achievements on the rodeo circuit: Dale was rookie bull-riding champion of the National Rodeo Association for 1993 and Senior Champion for 1994 and 1995. The list of championships he’s won goes on and on. These days he’s into tamer pursuits, he and Patricia break-in horses for a living.

Limping in Public
“I was such a stubborn and proud man because the rodeo scene is a tough and proud world," says Dale. "Even if you’re injured you don’t show it to the crowd. You don’t limp in public. I was far too proud to ask for help, and I thought I would be showing weakness  to even admit that I needed help. God needed to soften my proud heart, which He finally did, and brought an end to my rebellion. It’s still a constant struggle, and sometimes if I’m breaking  a horse and remember that I haven’t given myself to God for that day, I’ll just stop and ask Him to take over the rest of my day. Finding God has certainly made me a much better husband and a better dad.”

Patricia was 1993 National Rodeo Association Queen, Miss Photogenic of the Association the same year, 1994 Rookie Breakaway Roping Champion, and a Bull-Rider in her own right. As Rodeo Queen she rode a (tame) bull in a procession down the main street of Caboolture, which certainly stopped traffic!

Darryl Jones won the National Steer-Wrestling Championship in 1994, Circuit Champion in 1998 and 2000, Australian Circuit Champion in 2001, Mt. Isa Champion 2006, and is currently leading the Sunshine Circuit, encompassing Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales. He’s accomplished all this
without ever attending a rodeo on Sabbath.

Holy Boldness
“I felt the need for rebaptism because I was losing some of my fearlessness in witnessing for my Lord," says Darryl. "Since the baptism I’ve regained that holy boldness and joy in the Lord."

Between them the family has won nearly every title in the association. Even as little children the brothers were champion poddy riders. They owe their love for the rodeo to their father, Bill Jones, who in his time was Queensland Champion Bull-Dogger and Calf Roper. (For the uninitiated, that means jumping off a horse, wresting a steer to the ground, and tying up its legs.) They all reckon they’ve broken more bones than they can count—arms, legs, noses, ankles, fingers, shoulder blades, ribs, and the list goes on.

Bill and his wife, Bronwyn, have been praying for their sons and daughter-in law for years, and saw the fruit of their prayers down by the riverside recently.

Lapping Up the Things of Christ
Patricia’s comment on the day summed up their combined feelings, “Now that I’ve decided to follow Jesus it’s all totally different. We’re both lapping up the things of Christ. It’s an indescribable experience that wells up from within. You feel like you’re on a high while you’re still walking around in this sinful world.  It leaves being National Rodeo Queen for dead!”

Dale and Patricia, along with their daughter, Courtney, and son, Billy, now worship with the new Seventh-day Adventist church plant at Woodford, a Global Mission initiative that commenced in 2005 and now averages around thirty in attendance.

Pastor Mike Brownhill, Global Mission project coordinator, South Queensland, Australia.

1. National Rodeo Champion, Dale Jones
2. Patricia Jones riding the Barrel-run
3. Baptismal group (from left): Pastor Mike Brownhill, Global Mission pioneer Steve Groom, Darryl Jones (brother), Dale and Patricia Jones with children Courtney and Billy, and Pastor David Lamb.


Honey Seller,

Street markets are the primary form of shopping in Taiwan.  Street vendors like this honey man, use their crafts and skills for their primary income.

If you look carefully, you can see that he has created the candies in all kinds of fun shapes such as fish or dragonflies!

This photo was taken by Rika Meyer who is serving as a volunteer missionary with her husband Aaron in Taiwan. To read their blog, click here.




Menacing Mountain, Papua New Guinea

Rabaul is one of the most active and dangerous volcanoes in Papua New Guinea. In 1994 an eruption destroyed nearly two thirds of Rabaul, the largest town on the island of New Britain. According to records, nearly two thirds of the buildings were destroyed, including the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church's New Britain New Ireland Mission.

A special offering taken in Australia and New Zealand helped relocate the mission administrative office the town of Kokopo, home of Sonoma Adventist College.

Your weekly mission offerings help fund the worldwide mission work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, touching hearts eternally for Jesus. Thank you so much for your generous support.

Photo credit: Charlotte Ishkanian, editor of Mission, Adventist Mission. 





Grandfather Hare

Carol Hare, 6, and her brother Calvin, 4, listen as their grandfather, Eric. B. Hare shares intriguing stories from his medical missionary service in the jungles of Burma.

What was it like to have Eric B. Hare as a grandfather? "It was wonderful!" says Carol. "My grandparents lived close by so we were able to hear stories for sundown worships, birthday parties, and weeks of prayer in grade school. 

"One of my favorite memories of my grandfather was the many mission stories he told us over the years and how we always enjoyed them. Not long before we got married, my husband actually heard in person the last story my grandfather ever told. His stories have been enjoyed by continuing generations. My kids enjoyed his stories on tapes growing up and I am looking forward to sharing them with my grandson on CD when he gets a little older."

This photo was taken of Pastor Hare at his home in Takoma Park, Maryland, when he was in his mid sixties. Carol Pack (formerly Hare) has worked at the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters for more than 20 years. 

Photo courtesy of Carol Pack




Begging for Life, India

A child beggar in Agra, India, plasters himself against a car window hoping for a handout from the westerners inside.  The beggars in Agra are known for their persistence.

Beggar children are often controlled by criminal organizations known as the "beggar mafia."  Beggars are forced to give their day's earnings to the mafia and they face severe beatings if they don't bring in their quota. Mafia groups have even been known to maim and amputate arms or legs of children in order to gain sympathy and increase profits. Human rights organizations are currently working to bring attention to the plight of beggar children throughout India.  Pray for the street children of India.  They desperately need someone to show them the love of Jesus. 

With more than 1.1 billion people crammed into a geographic area roughly a third the size of the United States, India is the second most populous country in the world. 

Photo credit: Esti & Miroslav Pujic.


All Smiles,

All smiles, these children were attending Sabbath School at one of the many Seventh-day Adventist churches in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, prior to the earthquake. In the background you can see Andrew King, a video producer for the Office of Adventist Mission at the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters. Andrew was filming footage for the first quarter 2009 Adventist Mission DVD.  You can watch the video below.

According to an article featured on the Inter-American Division website by news editor Libna Stevens, damage to Seventh-day Adventist property includes the destruction of two of Port-au-Prince's largest churches. There are some 100,000 church members living in Port-au-Prince, more than 120 church buildings, a hospital, and dozens of schools.

 If you would like to help Seventh-day Adventist families in Haiti and churches that are ministering to their communities, Hope in Crisis provides funds in times of tragedy and disaster. To give to Adventist Mission's Hope in Crisis, click here.




Church's First Mission Plane

The Andrew Stewart was the first mission plane officially owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church anywhere in the world.

This photo was taken at the plane's dedication service at Bankstown Airport in Sydney, Australia, June 2, 1964, The Andrew Stewart was named after a pastor who went as a pioneer missionary to New Hebrides (Vanuatu) in 1907.

Pastor Len Barnard, pioneer medical missionary to Papua New Guinea for 30 years, initiated the establishment of the Adventist Aviation Association. For years Len had hiked days to reach a single village in the highlands. But when the church bought the Andrew Stewart in 1964, he could reach many villages in a single day.

The Andrew Stewart served the church for 21 years, flying safely for 5,000 hours without a single accident or insurance claim, mostly in remote areas of Papua New Guinea and the North New South Wales Conference in Australia.

In 1987 the Andrew Stewart became a static display mounted on a pedestal at Ellen White's former home, "Sunnyside," and the adjoining South Sea Island Museum in Corranbong, Australia. But by 2008 it was badly deteriorated and only the shell of the aircraft remained. A restoration project, overseen by Rose-lee Power, curator of the Lake Macquarie campus-based Adventist Heritage Centre, has included several former pilots, including Len Barnard.

Today Adventist Aviation Services continues the tradition of mission planes. In 2006 your Thirteenth Sabbath Offerings helped purchase a 12-seat aircraft, which is making an incredible difference in their work. They now transport missionaries, pastors, teachers, and nurses to remote villages. Move evangelistic materials and building supplies for churches to isolated areas. And transport the sick to town for treatment.

Thank you for your support of mission!

Photo credits: Adventist Heritage Centre




Little Church Planter,

Nine year old Vitoria lives on an island in the Amazon River in Brazil. A year ago she started a small group for children called the Heroes the Faith club. Every week she paddles her canoe to a friend's house to help the kids in her community study the Bible and discover God's love. This video story is from the fourth quarter 2009 Adventist Mission DVD. For more information about the DVD, click here.



Small Packages, Mongolia

"This is an elderly lady I baptized last year in a city in Mongolia called Bulgan," says Elbert Kuhn, former missionary to Mongolia.

When I visited the group of believers in Bulgan recently for another baptismal and communion ceremony, the woman was there, still faithfully attending each Sabbath.

I was so excited to see her that I had a picture taken of the two of us together.  She is almost 80 years old."

As Adventist missionaries, Elbert and Cleidi Kuhn shared the love of Jesus with the Mongolian people. To meet the Kuhns and read their blogs, click the links below.

Meet the Kuhns
Welcome to Mongolia
How Everything Started



Woman on Reed Boat,
South America

This woman is standing on a reed boat on Lake Titicaca which is located high in the Andes, bordering Bolivia and Peru.

Lake Titicaca is reportedly the highest navigable lake in the world, sitting at 12,530 feet, and is also the largest lake in South America, covering 3,100 square miles.

The Uros, a pre-Incan people, live on more than 40 floating islands which they make from totora plant. They also use the totora plant to make boats.

The purpose of the island settlements was originally defensive, and if a threat arose the people could move them. The largest island retains a watchtower almost entirely constructed of reeds. The islands last about 30 years.

Thank you for your support of mission work in Peru, Bolivia, and around the world.

Photo credit: Charlotte Ishkanian, editor of Mission, Adventist Mission. 


The Children She Loves, Chad

Surrounded by children she loves and serves, Sarah Andersen is a nurse working at Béré Adventist Hospital, in Chad, with her physician husband, James Appel. More


Cute Thing Down Under, Australia

Have I ever seen anything cuter? I wondered as I watched a small ball of gray fluff slowly emerge from behind a curtain of green leaves. I'd been photographing koalas feeding for nearly an hour and had caught a glimpse of what I thought might be a baby. Finally, the mother turned my direction, revealing a sleeping infant cradled by her hind limbs.

Then it happened. That magical moment when its eyes fluttered open and locked on mine.

This joey, as koala young are called, was only the size of a jelly bean at birth. After only a 35 day gestation period, it crawled from its mother's birth canal to her pouch where it finished developing over a period of about six or seven months. 

The joey was still nursing, but occasionally it reached for a nearby eucalyptus leaf. It smelled like cough drops!

Koalas have soft, thick gray fur with white on their chest and inner arms. Their noses are black and leathery and their ears are huge and furry. They spend most of their time in the fork of a tree, eating and sleeping.

Koalas live in in eastern and southeastern Australia. Australia is a fascinating country with many unique animals. To watch inspiring stories of what's happening in Adventist mission in this part of the world, click here.  

Photo and thoughts by Laurie Falvo


A Harvest of Hearts

We can all be laborers in Central Asia!

Heriberto Muller can’t resist a sweet juicy apple. And there is no end to them in Kyrgyzstan, the Central Asian country where he and his wife, Mabel, serve as missionaries. When they shop at the street market, the vendor tables are mounded with apples of all different shapes, colors, and sizes. And not only apples, but pears, apricots, cherries, melons, nuts, and berries as well.

Many scientists believe apples originated in Central Asia and were brought west by traders along the Silk Road. This vast network of trade routes linked Europe with Asia and was named for the lucrative Chinese silk trade that began during the Han Empire.

Today this ancient route marks a path where Christianity is hardly known and that for Seventh-day Adventists still represents the least reached area of the world. It travels through places such as China, Central Asia, the Middle East, Turkey, Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan, where millions have never heard the name of Jesus.

This spring thousands of wild apple trees will burst into bloom in Central Asia.  And this fall laborers will harvest the deep red apples for market. But there is another harvest here as well. A harvest of hearts.

In recent years exciting opportunities have opened for our church in this region. Missionaries Heriberto and Mabel Muller share some of these success stories in their blog. “A Dream Comes True,” reveals how years of prayer helped establish a new Global Mission pioneer school in Kyrgyzstan that trains dozens of people each year and sends them to unentered territories and unreached people groups. 

"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few,” said Jesus (Matthew …. “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers in to his harvest field.” We can each let God use us to answer that prayer. We can help light a path of hope along this old trade route that leads to a new life in Jesus and eternal life in His kingdom.  Please give what you can and help turn the flicker of dreams into the dazzling light of hope.

To support Global Mission pioneer work in countries of the Euro-Asia Division, such as Kyrgyzstan, please support fund 6240.
Muller Blog
2010 General Conference Session Offering
Adventist Church Approves 10-Year Initiative in Central Asia  



Girl From Madeira

This girl, featured on the cover of the second quarter 2010 Children's Mission magazine, lives on the island of Madeira. She is wearing the Madeiran national costume. 

Madeira lies about 700 miles (1100 km) southwest of Portugal. Most of the people who live on Madeira are Catholics, but some 300 Adventists live on the island and operate a primary school (preschool through grade four). The student body is roughly 90 percent non-Adventist, making it a true mission school. Teachers at the school make every effort to instill in these children a sense that God loves them and wants to be their friend for life.

In spite of the crowded conditions, parents are eager to enroll their children in the school, which is known for its strong academic and social training. Part of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering for second quarter 2010 will help renovate and enlarge this school to meet government standards and increase the church's impact on the island.

Photograph and thoughts by Charlotte Ishkanian.



Gimbie Girls, Ethiopia

"These girls live across from Gimbie Adventist Hospital (GAH), so I saw them almost every day. Their names are Hana and Ayantu and their parents work at the hospital.

Every time I walked into town, which was almost every day, they would come running to me and we would shake hands and say, "Faayaata" which means health to you in Oromifa. I miss them very much.

Hana and Ayantu are playing with some rope and an old broken flashlight.

I was a volunteer at Gimbie for eight months, supervising construction. I am going back again this October to volunteer again.
When I see photos of my friends in Gimbie my heart aches because I miss them, but it is happy too because I am returning to Gimbie soon. Our Jesus is so good to us humans, how can it be?"

~ Photo and thoughts by Mark Pierson, former Adventist Volunteer Service missionary, Gimbie Adventist Hospital, Ethiopia. To learn more about Adventist Volunteer Service, click here.


First Adventist Missionary to the Pacific

John Tay, an American who accepted the Advent faith in 1873, became the first Seventh-day Adventist missionary to the Pacific Islands. Working his passage on six ships this retired carpenter arrived on Pitcairn Island in 1886 and gave Bible studies to the islanders. The islanders had received Adventist literature 10 years before from preachers J.N. Loughborough and James White, and now they eagerly accepted the Sabbath.

Tay's journey inspired Adventists in North America to raise funds for a mission boat for the South Pacific. Aptly named the Pitcairn, this schooner soon carried the Advent Message throughout the islands.

Sailing upon the schooner in 1891, Tay became the first Seventh-day Adventist missionary to Fiji. Within several months of his arrival he became ill and died.

The headstone of his grave in Fiji reads:

John I. Tay
Born U.S.A. 1831
Died Jan 8 1892
Photo credit: Charlotte Ishkanian, editor of Mission, Adventist Mission. 


J. N. Andrews: "Covenant Concerning the French Language

Click on image for enlarged view.

In 1874 John Nevins Andrews and his children Charles and Mary sailed for Europe as the first Seventh-day Adventist missionaries to serve outside North America.

Andrews started a small French version of Signs of the Times called, Les Signes des Temps. Charles and Mary worked alongside their father, translating, editing, and setting type.

The Andrews family effort to bridge the language barriers they faced in Europe reached a high point when John and his children agreed to (and signed) a "Covenant concerning the French language" on Christmas Eve, 1876. In it, the family vowed to "use only the French language in our conversation with one another," and that they would "not depart from this arrangement except by mutual consent."

The covenant included an ambitious and telling exception--they would be allowed to use "the German language whenever we can speak a word or sentence of it."

Photograph and commentary courtesy of Andrews University Center for Adventist Research.




Kayan Woman, Thailand

Kayan women in Thailand have worn brass coils around their necks for generations. Contrary to popular belief, the coils don't actually stretch the vertebrae in the neck. Instead the heavy brass coils, sometimes weighing up to 40 pounds, compress the women's clavicles and rib cages over time making their necks appear longer. The coils are sometimes inaccurately described as "rings." But what at first glance appears to be a stack of brass rings is actually a single brass coil, wrapped tightly about the neck.

Girls often begin wearing a coil as young as 5 years old. For the Kayan these coils are a traditional and very normal ornamentation. Although not mandatory, most young women choose to wear them.
Located between the present-day countries of Myanmar and Cambodia in southern Asia, Thailand has existed as a unified kingdom for 700 years. The 65 million people in Thailand are 95 percent Buddhist and less than 1 percent Christian. There are currently more than 10,000 Seventh-day Adventist members.


Can Pandas Play Flutes?

He's doing a great impression, isn't he!

Giant pandas live in the mountains of China. They are endangered and are protected by the government.

Their diet is about 99 per cent bamboo but they will also eat honey, leaves, oranges, fish, yams, and bananas.

Males can weigh up to 253 pounds (115 kg ) while females occasionally weigh as much as 220 pounds (100 kg). At birth they are about the size of a stick of butter.

Home to the giant panda and the 2008 summer olympics, China also claims more than 1.3 billion people, 353,000 Adventists, and 930 Adventist churches.

In the past your mission offerings have helped to build churches and produce radio broadcasting in China.

The fourth quarter, 2008, Thirteenth Sabbath Offering helped produce Adventist television programs in Mandarin Chinese. It was a wonderful and rare opportunity to share the message of God's love with the people of China.

Please pray that the Spirit of God will be poured out upon the Chinese, preparing them to embrace His message of hope and love.




Maori Welcome Dance, New Zealand

These students at the South Auckland Seventh-day Adventist Primary School in Papatoetoe, Auckland, New Zealand, are performing a traditional Maori welcome dance called a haka.

The haka can be a war dance or a welcome dance. The kids try to look as strong and fierce as they can, crouching as if to pounce, stepping side to side in a wide-footed stance, and beating their chests.

The Maori (pronounced mah-OH-ree) people are the descendants of the original settlers in New Zealand who came from surrounding islands. A generation ago a deliberate move was made to encourage the learning of the Maori language through total immersion kohanga reo kura or kindergartens. Today more than one thousand of these kindergartens exist and children can complete their studies in the language at primary and high school levels.  

Photo credit: Charlotte Ishkanian, editor of Mission, Adventist Mission. 

Please Pray!

There are more than half a million Maori in New Zealand yet less than 300 of them are Seventh-day Adventists. Pastor Jake Ormsby, a Maori elder and the school chaplain of South Auckland Primary School, requests our prayers for the work in New Zealand as our church strives to share Gods love with the Maori people and provide Adventist Maori leaders with much-needed resources and encouragement.


Listen to the Music!

Ariunzya is playing special music for a church service on a traditional Mongolian instrument called a huuchir. She was baptized four years ago during the winter season by Adventist missionary Elbert Kuhn. As Mongolian winters are extremely cold and there was no access to a baptismal tank, Ariunzya was baptized in a bathtub. 

The hymn Ariunzya is playing is based on Psalm 42:1, "As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
so panteth my soul after thee, O God" (King James Version).
To read Elbert and Cleidi Kuhn's inspiring blog on the mission work in Mongolia, click here.  







The Grand Place Flower Carpet, Belgium

The Grand Place, the main plaza in Brussels, is considered one of the most beautiful town squares in Europe. In the Middle Ages it was a mere marketplace surrounded by small wooden houses, but by the 1400s it had grown into the administrative center of Brussels. Work began on the Town Hall in 1402 and wealthy families erected stone mansions around the square in the fourteenth century.

In 1695 much of the Grand Place was destroyed by French gunners executing orders from King Louis XIV. Over the next four years craftsmen rebuilt many of the buildings.

The Grand Place attracts thousands of tourist who come to admire the Gothic and Baroque architecture, enjoy concerts, or attend the Grand Place Flower Carpet, an event held once every two years in August, when as many as a million flowers are used to create a magical tapestry.

The Belgium-Luxembourg Conference has 28 churches and fewer than 2,000 members. A number of these churches are foreign-language (international) churches serving immigrants from throughout Europe and South America.

One of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering projects for third quarter 2010 helped renovate the first floor of a building in Belgium to accommodate two churches, for the Romanians and the Spanish-speaking groups, the fastest growing congregations in Brussels.

A total of 700,000 begonias were used to create this flower carpet in Grand Place in 2004.   



Children of Madeira

These children at Madeira Adventist Primary School are posing for a class photograph. Most of the students attending the school are from non-Adventist families, making it a true mission project.

Madeira is a tiny island group about 400 miles west of Morocco on the coast of northern Africa. Discovered by Portuguese explorers almost 600 years ago, the main island looks like a rock jutting from the sea.

The capital city, Funchal, lies around the only navigable port on the island. About 250,000 people call Madeira home, and nearly all the residents are Roman Catholic. But about 600 Adventists are members of the Adventist Church. However, many members have moved off the island in search of work or to study. About 300 active Adventists remain on the island.

The church has one organized church and a few small congregations in isolated areas of the island. But Madeirans know the Adventist Church because of the Madeira Adventist Primary School located in the heart of the capital city. Children are on waiting lists to attend the school, which has a good reputation in spite of its cramped and outdated facilities.

In order to meet government standards and to accommodate the children who wish to attend this school, the school must renovate and enlarge its facilities, including new bathrooms and a cafeteria. Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help update the school so it can continue to be a light shining for God.

Photograph and thoughts by Charlotte Ishkanian.


Turkmenistan Woman

Turkmenistan is a fascinating land where Cyrus the Great once established his administrative headquarters in an attempt to control the trade routes passing from Asia to what is now Europe. Today, modern buildings raise their gleaming towers to the sky not far from where people still live much like they did during the time of Cyrus and Daniel.

Back then melons were shipped from Turkmenistan in lead boxes on the backs of camels. Today they are shipped by truck, but people still pick them by hand and load them on donkey carts to get them to the markets. Cotton is picked by hand. Bread is baked in traditional ovens in the back yard (which are often located next to the satellite dish) and eaten on plush Oriental carpets on the floor (while watching the latest TV programs from around the world).

This lady, and hundreds like her, sit day by day in the bazaar waiting for someone to buy their carpets, clothes, or fresh vegetables. They talk about the weather, their children and grandchildren, and the amazing things they see happening around the world. And they wonder what it all means. They wonder what the future holds. They wonder what and who they should believe.

This GC Session Offering will help to bring the gospel to people all along the ancient silk roads. And who knows, maybe this lady will be in heaven as a result of what you give.

To donate, mark "GC Session Offering" on your offering envelope or give online. 

For more information visit gcsession.adventistmission.org

Photo and thoughts by Homer Trecartin, former missionary and associate secretary of the General Conference.


Tramelan Adventist Church, Switzerland


This is the first Seventh-day Adventist chapel in Europe. It was built at the personal expense of Georges-Gustave Roth, one of the first Adventist converts in Europe. Adventists in Tramelan still meet in the upper room on Sabbath. 



Here in our first Seventh-day Adventist overseas' meetinghouse, Ellen White preached a sermon dedicating the small house of worship to God. This was but the first of many beautiful Seventh-day Adventist churches found today throughout the continent of Europe.

Photographs and historical information courtesy of Andrews University Center for Adventist Research. 




The Wonder of Hope, Cambodia

“This little girl is standing in a Cambodian church. I took this photography about four years after Pol Pot ended his genocide where more than three million Cambodians were murdered.

If I had to provide a title to the picture it would be, “The Wonder of Hope.” Desperately poor, surrounded by Animistic Buddhism, this little girl, day by day, finds that she also can be held on the lap of the Savior.”

Photo and thoughts by Mike Ryan, General Conference vice president.





Slow Travels,
Solomon Islands

Elmer Ribeyro is a missionary doctor serving at Atofi Hospital which is located on Malaita Island, one of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. His work requires him to frequently travel to the nearby island of Honiara. It's only a short flight. But the journey usually starts on a tractor and takes tedious hours to complete. In this humorous account, Dr. Ribeyro describes one of his typical "flights."

"Traveling to Honiara from Atoifi Hospital is a very interesting experience! It can be very stressing and frustrating as well. Atoifi Hospital is one of the Solomon Airlines agents and it probably has the only airstrip on the east coast of Malaita. 

To start your airstrip adventure, you have to be psychologically and physically fit or you may not succeed. First you have to book your flight. They always tell you that the flight is fully booked and that they'll place your name on a waiting list. I recommend you do this. Many times I was put on a waiting list and then traveled on an almost empty plane.

The check in counter is the hospital reception and I sometimes joke that this is the only agency in the world with a hospital attached to it. The airstrip is located approximately one kilometer from the hospital compound and can only be reached by walking or riding a tractor. 

The first time I saw the hospital’s Web page I thought, Why in the world do they show a tractor when there are so many interesting things they could show? However, after staying in this place for some time I surely say that the tractor HAS TO BE on the Web page because of its importance to Atoifi Hospital's daily life.

There are two scheduled Honiara-Atoifi-Honiara flights per week. In theory they take place at noon. The reality is that they can fly as early as 7 a.m. or as late as 6.30 p.m., depending on many factors, the most common being the number of passengers and rainy weather.

On the day you are supposed to fly you need to contact the office to confirm the flight time. To do so you have to go to the “check in lounge.” Confirming your flight may take a few minutes or a few hours, since the person in charge has to contact the airline in Honiara by radio and that depends on conditions. If you can't reach them by radio, you use the phone. You may ask why the person in charge doesn’t use the phone in the first place. The problem is that many times people DO NOT answer the phone although it might ring for hours. If the telephone fails, you need a good dose of patience, faith, and humor. And if that fails . . . 

Once your flight time is confirmed you have to continuously check the sky because it may suddenly start raining. If it's raining you need to check the direction the rain is coming from. If it's coming from the mountains it may not last long, but if it's coming from the seaside it may be a terrible and lasting storm.

Once the rain has stopped, you have to ask to the person at the counter to reconfirm the flight time (again it may take anytime from a few minutes to a few hours) because the airline may have postponed or canceled the flight. Once your flight time is confirmed, you wait for the transport (a tractor ride if it's not broken down) from the waiting lounge to the airstrip.

The flight from Honiara to Atoifi may take 25 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the plane and the itinerary. Then you need to plan for the time it takes the tractor to reach the air strip. 

Once you reach the “departing lounge,” which is a shade with a hard wooden bench, you have to relax because it has “all weather full air conditioning" with a magnificent view of the mountains. Besides, you get nothing by becoming anxious about the plane, it will come any time either the same day or the same week.

If it's raining in Honiara, the plane may skip landing at Atoifi and go on to its next destination or return to Honaira. The worst thing that can happen is that you wait for the plane until 6:30 p.m. By then your eyes are red and painful because you've been straining to catch a glimpse of it all day. Then you must go home because the flight was postponed for the following day or the next, or it was canceled till the next Friday or Tuesday of the following week. If your flight was not REALLY urgent you just shrug and smile.

However if you flight was urgent, you have to start executing Plan B. This involves traveling north by boat one hour to a place called Atori. There you will take a truck, if available, for approximately three hours on a terrible road to Auki. The trip is actually very scenic but you won't notice because you're worried about the next leg of the trip from Auki to Honiara.

If you can't find a truck waiting at Atori, you HAVE to wait till 9 or 10 p.m. or later when the last truck for Auki departs. The waiting time gets more interesting if it's raining. After three hours of bouncing along on a terrible road you arrive at Auki. There you may take the morning flight to Honiara. If you miss the morning flight you just wait for the afternoon flight (if it's not raining), or you may take the fast boat or the regular boat to Honiara.

However you get to Honiara, it's always an adventure!"

To meet the Ribeyros and read their blog, click here


Old Ways, New Hearts,

Strahil and Tonka Angelov are Romani (Gypsies) who live in Chirpan, a small city in central Bulgaria. Many Romani prefer using horses and wagons to automobiles (they’re cheaper for one thing—they run on grass, which is ample).

Romani are a close-knit ethnic group, and when one discovers something good for the group, he/she shares it with others. This is one reason our church has grown rapidly in several Romani enclaves such as Kyustendil, a city in the far western region of Bulgaria, where the Adventist members number one in every 10 Romani, and many “friends” attend worship services aimed just to them. 

The photo below shows an afternoon meeting at the central Romani Adventist church in Kyustendil . Church members are “kindly requested” to not come to the Sabbath afternoon services, so that the “friends” can come. And the church is packed and overflowing into the courtyard.

Part of our Thirteenth Sabbath Offering last quarter will help build a church in Montana for Romani believers in northwestern Bulgaria.  

To read Strahil's story of how God answered his prayer to keep his horse from drowning, click here

Photo credit: Charlotte Ishkanian


Steep Thrills,
Madeira, Portugal

For more than 100 years men on Madeira Island have guided sleds like this one from a park near the top of the capital city of Funchal down the steep and windy streets. Several of the streets are still cobblestone, and are steep enough that the sleds get moving quite fast. The men jump off and push when they have to, steer when it’s necessary (pushing against one side or the other of the sled to get it around corners). In olden days these same men would have had to carry the sleds back up the hill for the next group to ride down. Now a truck carries them up.

Madeira is the tip of a volcano, and Funchal sits on the only non-vertical land on the island, which surrounds the bay. But even here the streets are quite steep. 

While 600 Seventh-day Adventists hold membership in the church in Madeira, many have left their homeland in search of work. About 300 Adventists remain on the islands. The Adventist Church operates one primary school in Funchal, the capital city. The student body of the school is roughly 90 percent non-Adventist, making it a true mission school. In spite of the crowded conditions, parents are eager to enroll their children in the school, which is known for its strong academic and social training.  

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help renovate and enlarge this school to meet government standards and increase the church’s impact on the island.

Photograph and thoughts by Charlotte Ishkanian.




Beads for Life,

Maasai women in Kenya enjoy a breeze outside an Adventist church after attending an AIDS education seminar by the Adventist - AIDS International Ministry (AAIM). In addition to encouraging testing, AIDS awareness and education, the program includes income generation programs for the Maasai including supplies for beadwork. Other projects include a charcoal-heated oven for baking, hair cutting equipment and kitchen gardens. AAIM is run by missionary doctors Oscar and Eugenia Giordano.

Photo Credit: Rick Kajiura, communication director, Adventist Mission



A Mine-blowing Experience,

"Just days before my birthday I received horrifying news: the land mine had been found—in the middle of the path I had walked the entire time going back and forth to my clinic! My chest felt heavy as I recalled the rainy days, when the dirt in the path was soft and slippery.

"When the mine was detonated, the sound of the explosion was horrifying and the hole left behind set my hair on end. It measured one meter and a half in both diameter and depth. This was because the mine had been buried along with a number of grenades."
Excerpted from Thankful for Life, by Marlise Schneider, as told by her brother Raul Schneider.

To read about Raul's harrowing experience with the land mine, click here



New Year's Dreams,

"At the end of Chinese New Year, Taiwanese write all their wishes for the new year to come on big lanterns and then light the lanterns and watch them rise and float away into the sky," says missionary Rika Meyer. "This is a sign of good luck, and usually there are one or two HUGE lantern festivals when everyone does this at the same time."

This photo was taken by Rika Meyer who is serving as a volunteer missionary with her husband, Aaron, in Taiwan. To meet Rika and Aaron and read their blog, click here.




The Best Sabbath I Ever Had,

by Nancy Kyte

The Sabbath I had been looking forward to finally arrived.  This was the day I would worship with a new group of believers who met in the outskirts of Phnom Penh, the capitol of Cambodia.  What would their church be like?  Would they be friendly?  I could hardly wait to meet them. 

Even the trip to church was an adventure.  Although it was sunny and steamy outside, heavy rains had flooded some areas and left muddy roadways with deep ruts.  Cyclists would stop to wash the mud off their bikes when they got to higher ground.  Children played in puddles in front of crowded shops and food stands.  There was so much to see!  We passed vendors headed to market with their bicycles and motor scooters loaded with everything from furniture and tires to feather dusters and fresh vegetables.  Throngs of people were hurrying here and there.  In the garment district, men and women worked at rows of sewing machines, turning out masses of clothing at factory speed.  Where the pavement was dry, workers swept the street with brooms.  It seemed like everyone had a job to do.

We drove past mansions and shacks, rice paddies and fisheries, ponds with water lilies, new construction, and endless carts and motor scooters.  Finally, we turned down a muddy lane that led us past rickety houses through a little village to the church.  I had never attended a church like this before.  Tarps had been spread on the ground, and additional tarps were propped on poles to protect the congregation from the glaring sun or a sudden downpour.  Following the local custom, we removed our shoes before joining the others who were already seated on the ground.  A wooden pulpit and a battery-operated organ were the only pieces of furniture.  There was a gate and a wall that surrounded the property, but the church itself had not yet been built.

As I looked around, I saw people who smiled and nodded in greeting.  Soon I was smiling and waving back.   How easy it was to feel comfortable there!  But my strange foreign face must have frightened one baby.  She took one look at me, burst into tears and clung to her mother.  The Global Mission pioneer was hurrying around, greeting each person individually and welcoming them to church.  Many of them walked or rode their bikes to church, and some came with their entire family balanced on a motor scooter.

The lilting sounds of Cambodian hymns and prayers were so beautiful.  At first glance, their Bibles looked a lot like mine.   The pioneer who preached spoke with such enthusiasm and conviction, I was inspired even though I didn’t understand a single word. 

But the thing that touched me the most was when the offering was collected.  Passing around a silver bowl with a traditional hand-hammered design, the members generously gave their riel (Cambodia’s currency.)  And that’s when it hit me.  Along with the peace and comfort of being part of a global church family, we share the privilege of giving our offerings.  I was reminded that when all of us do our part, we help to make it possible for pastors, church planters, and Global Mission pioneers to take the gospel to areas where people have never heard about Jesus.  On this Sabbath, so different from my church at home, I realized anew that we had the same faith, the same God, and the same desire to share the good news of salvation with others.

It was the best Sabbath I’ve ever had.

Nancy Kyte is the marketing director for the Office of Adventist Mission.


Smiles and Schools

Smiling faces and shouts of joy greet a white-coated man as he stoops to enter the rough corrugated-metal shack. Wall to wall students are seated on the dirt floor as he gingerly makes his way to the front of the classroom and launches into a story. He deftly weaves a message of hygiene and obedience to mother into the story. The students listen intently, drinking in every word. Without this school, without this man, most would not be getting an education.

The man in the white coat is Dr. Milan Moskala, a dentist. He heads the Adventist Dental Clinic in Bangladesh.

More than Dentistry
In the late 1990s, Dr. Moskala was operating from a mobile dental clinic in Bosnia fulfilling his childhood dream. “It was my desire to be a missionary since childhood,” he says. “I wanted to work for God full time, to be His servant, and be used by Him for salvation. I wanted to unite health, medical and gospel ministry.”

In Bosnia, Dr. Moskala traveled from village to village and refugee camp to refugee camp with the mobile dental clinic providing dental care to returning refugees. Although the war was over, there was sporadic shooting in the area and people still lived with fear. “God protected us,” he says of that time. He distributed toothpaste and toothbrushes, but also food and medicine.

One day, he recalls people stopping the dental van and asking for help. “They used exactly the same words Paul heard in his vision from Macedonia,” he recalls. Even though he wasn’t scheduled to visit their village, Dr. Moskala prayed, “Please Lord, show us how to work in this place.” Before long he started work there.

Dr. Moskala saw needs that went far beyond dental care. He began writing home about the needs and soon churches in the Czech Republic started sending help. Soon he was holding stop smoking seminars and classes on coping with stress. He also started holding evangelistic meetings. After one of his early meetings, a teacher came to him and said bitterly, “It’s impossible for us to forgive our neighbors because they killed our family members.” When the series ended, this same woman came to him and asked, “Do you see changes in me?”He responded, “I see in your face you are thinking differently.” She replied, “I see now it is possible to find peace.”

For many children, their short lives had been filled with fear and violence. Dr. Moskala started camps for children with races and prizes, games, singing and stories. His first camp for children made such an impact, the community begged for something similar for older youth. Dr. Moskala ran three camps before leaving Bosnia.

Mission Bangladesh
Dr. Moskala came to Bangladesh in 1998. He was joined by his wife, Eva, a registered nurse who assists at the dental clinic, and 13-year-old daughter Gabriela. Dr. Moskala studied at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. This part of the world was very different from his home country.

Once known as East Pakistan, Bangladesh is home to some 174 million people. Eighty-three percent of the population is Muslim. Some 16 percent are Hindu. Less than 1 percent are Christians.

The Adventist Dental Clinic is a modern facility with five dental chairs, x-ray capabilities and a dental lab. The clinic’s patients include business people, foreign embassy staff, and government workers. Each day the staff of seven sees some 20 patients. A satellite dental clinic with a second dentist and one chair operates in Mirpur. The two dentists also have a portable dental chair that allows them to visit neighborhoods.
Operating this dental clinic is more than a full-time job. But Dr. Moskala still finds time to do more. In 2001, he and his wife started holding English language church services in the dental clinic waiting room. And he started schools for children in the poorer districts of the city. He coordinated with various volunteers, Global Mission pioneers, Gospel Outreach workers, and 1000 Missionary movement workers.
One day after preaching at an Adventist church, Dr. Moskala was talking with a group of church members. Two young men, recent graduates of the Adventist school were looking for work.

“God inspired me,” Dr. Moskala says. “I had never before thought like this. I said, ‘you have a building empty during the week. There are so many children who have no education. You don’t have to sit home doing nothing. Use your education.”

Dr. Moskala was expecting to start the school in a few months, but the two young men had caught his vision. Within a week, the two young men had started a small school for neighborhood children. On the first day, 30 children showed up for school. Dr. Moskala paid the teachers’ salaries out of his own pocket. The children started learning reading, writing and basic math skills. They charged nothing for the children to attend the school.

With Dr. Moskala’s encouragement, some 10 schools were opened this way. Most of the schools have more than 50 students.
“Dr. Milan Moskala is not only a good professional dentist here in Bangladesh, but also a committed and people-oriented missionary,” says Siegfried Mayr, president of the 17,000-member Bangladesh Union Mission. “He can mingle with individuals from a high-level of society, but at the same time, he has a rare sensitivity and a special sympathy for needy people including the outcasts of society.He naturally blends health and spiritual ministry as part of his lifestyle.”

Dr. Moskala’s love of mission is also known back in his homeland. “We are really grateful to God for brother Milan Moskala and his important mission in Bangladesh,” says Pavel Simek, president of the Czecho-Slovakian Union. “We are enormously interested in his work and experiences. His work is an encouragement for our churches in our Czecho-Slovak Union. His work as well as the work of other missionary workers and pastors in mission work makes us connected with the whole world Adventist movement.”

Dr. Moskala is one of the nearly 800 Seventh-day Adventists around the world supported by your mission offerings. Thank you!


On the Air, Brazil

Nine year old Vitoria lives on an island in the Amazon River. She likes to be busy for God. Every week she leads a children’s small group meeting at a friend’s house. But  she does more. She helps her father produce a radio program.

When her father started the program four years ago, he wanted to talk to grownup people about God. Then he asked Vitoria to tell a story for the children. Now they do the program together.

The radio station reaches the islands around Vitoria’s home, and many people listen. The local pastor says that the radio program has helped many people living on the islands near Vitoria’s home know about God and the Adventist Church.

If you'd like to help mission ministries, such as Vitoria's, please click here. And thank you for your support!
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