The Treasures of an Island

"for like the jewels of a crown they shall shine on his land" (Zech. 9:16, ESV)

In the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean is the tiny island of Ebeye. While it’s just a speck at only 77 acres, Ebeye is one of the most densely populated islands in the world[1]. Easily overlooked, but if you take the time, you will discover the greatest treasure: the warm and friendly people of the Marshall Islands. 

Half of the estimated 15,000 residents are younger than 18 years old[2], making this a rich mission opportunity to reach young people for Christ.

Recently, seven precious souls came to know Jesus through the Ebeye Seventh-day Adventist School. We give glory to God for their decisions to follow Christ and thank Him for keeping the school operating this year.

The Ebeye SDA School faced challenges this year due to the pandemic. Borders were closed, preventing student missionaries from coming to teach. Yet, the remaining staff, with the help of some remote online teachers on Guam, continued the work by teaching elementary classes in the mornings and returning after lunch to teach high school in the afternoons.

These faithful teachers are dedicated, not only to nurturing the students’ minds, but also their hearts. Because children spend much of their week at school, teachers have the privilege and responsibility of encouraging them every day. Young lives are mentored through their academic instruction and personal relationships.

This year, six such children attended Bible classes with Chaplain Aleander Riano. The Bible studies laid the foundation for the Week of Prayer services. The pandemic could not keep the online speakers – Pastor Mesikt Idechong, Pastor Luis Mafnas, and Pastor Churchill Edward of Guam, along with Elder Hibbert of Loma Linda – from reaching the students with Bible truth. Following these services, the students stood for baptism.

Pastor Selvin Intong baptizes a young man who befriended SDA students

Another young boy, who was not attending the school, became friends with the children of Principal Sathiya and Chaplain Riano. He visited every day after class: watching Bible stories, coloring, and playing. He accepted their invitation to attend Sabbath School and one day at church, he requested to be baptized.

Normally, the pastor of the Ebeye SDA Church, Rene Suhot, would conduct the ceremony, however, he has been waiting off island since the pandemic began for the Marshallese borders to reopen. His wife Mrs. Joy Suhot, an elementary teacher at Ebeye SDA School, said a request was sent to Guam-Micronesia Mission for a pastor to come officiate the baptisms.

Pastor Selvin Intong, the Youth Ministries Director for GMM and senior pastor of the Delap SDA Church on Majuro, was able to fly domestically to Ebeye. On February 6th, in the sparkling blue Pacific waters, the seven precious children were baptized!

The seven baptismal candidates on the beach

We praise God for these young souls and solicit your prayers as they continue to grow in their relationship with Jesus. Please also pray for the borders to open. Teachers are needed to continue the work at the schools and in the communities. The treasures are waiting to be found.

[1] U.S. Department of the Interior (February 14, 2012) Republic of the Marshall Islands 2011 Census. (Retrieved April 27, 2021) 
[2] Deltares (May 24,2018) The Pacific’s most densely-populated island under threat. (Retrieved April 27, 2021)

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