During the first weekend in March, the Guam/Micronesia Alumni Missionaries brought a taste of the islands to Loma Linda University's annual Homecoming Weekend. On Saturday, March 5, our annual Guam/Micronesia Alumni Reunion was held at Linda Hall on the campus of Loma Linda University in California. The evening event was well attended with about 130 guests.
The fifth reunion, it is a wonderful time of reconnection amongst alumni as they talk over a meal together, become inspired while listening to reports and updates from current missionaries in leadership, and then are given the opportunity to give financially to worthy projects that help spread the gospel in Guam and other islands in Micronesia.
Alumni Committee President Dr. Ed Holm welcomed the attendees back to the in-person reunion after the event went online in 2021. This year’s reunion was a successful hybrid that invited remote viewers to join virtually. Dr. Bevan Geslani, Alumni Committee Treasurer, recognized the 65th anniversary of the Guam Seventh-day Adventist Clinic.
The highlights of this year's reunion included encouraging reports which updated the audience on how God’s work is moving forward through the region despite the pandemic. Guam-Micronesia Mission's new president, Matthew Kirk, described the progress of GMM’s mission departments and ministries in furthering the gospel.
Dr. Michael Robinson, medical director for the Guam SDA Clinic, shared updates on the mission trips and programs provided by the Guam Seventh-day Adventist Clinic – from mentoring “future medical missionaries” from the Guam Adventist Academy through the Introduction to Healthcare Class to enter with Total Community Involvement visits.
Guam SDA Clinic CEO Victor Shepherd quizzed the audience’s memory as he reviewed the past alumni reunions and projects: GAA worthy student fund; Saipan School housing; Chuukese radio station. Enthusiasm and joy erupted as they learned the result of last year's donation for the new Chuukese radio station, Pwipwi Soulang 630 AM. A video illustrated the progress of the station's programming and transmitter installation. Mr. Shepherd encouraged the audience to continue supporting the work of the mission, as he announced that total donations collected over the last five reunions has amounted to over $300,000!
Our financial giving project this year is to raise money for a cone beam scanner for our Guam SDA Clinic's dental department. This equipment would deliver three-dimensional images of the jaw and mouth to provide high quality health care to our Guam patients and help in diagnosing any needed subsequent treatment. Dr. Wes Youngberg, who served at the Guam SDA Clinic from 1994 to 2008, testified of his outreach experience ministering in the outer islands of Yap and appealed to the generosity of the audience in donating to the clinic, which supports the health outreach ministry as the right hand of the gospel.
A special tribute was given to this year’s honored alumni, Dr. Richard Parker and wife Bonnie. Serving on Guam between 1968 and 1973, Dr. Parker was a dental pioneer while Mrs. Parker taught at the then-known Guam Mission Academy. The Parkers were some of the first Adventists to serve in the outer islands of Micronesia, providing dental care to islanders in Chuuk, Pohnpei, Majuro, Yap, and Saipan.
Earlier in the day, during Loma Linda University’s Adventists In Missions Service (AIMS) Luncheon, the AIMS Global Service Award was bestowed on Dr. Michael Robinson. The honor is given in recognition for “significant contribution to their profession and the church”.
In addition, we honored Dr. Ed Holm for his service as the committee president over the last five years, and look forward as the Alumni Committee elected Dr. Ken Pierson, previously the committee secretary, as the new president.
The true highlight of the event was watching the delighted alumni reconnect and the spirit of mission work illuminated. May we continue proclaiming the gospel through health care across the mission.