The Guam-Micronesia Mission represents the Seventh-day Adventist Church in a vast geographical area of the Western Pacific Ocean. From Palau at its far west to Majuro on its eastern end, GMM’s territory stretches the length of the continental United States. The nine main islands that support the church work and mission schools are spread across four timezones. This region includes three countries (the Republic of Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands) and two U.S.territories (Guam and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands). This makes for a beautiful and diverse mission field, and it can be a challenge to stay connected.
Over the course of several weeks this spring, the three GMM executive officers visited the five islands east of Guam – Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae in the FSM, as well as Ebeye and Majuro in the Marshall Islands -- and connected with many of the church and school members.
For Pastor Jano, this was the beginning of his last official visit as an officer. After five decades of service to the mission, Pastor Jano will retire in June. The familiar “island-hopper” flight took Pastor Jano and his wife Leah on their final tour to bid farewell.
They arrived first on Kosrae where they were warmly received by those including Pastor Manuel De Guzman’s wife Betty, who expressed that the Janos are two of their great mentors. Pastor Jano had the privilege to speak for Friday vespers and Sabbath divine service, while Mrs. Jano shared a special Children’s Story at church. On Sabbath afternoon, they joined the church women on visitations to homes.
The following week, Mr. Don Lloyd had the opportunity to visit this most-eastern FSM island known as the “Jewel of the Pacific”. He enjoyed fellowship as he led the Sabbath School class and joined a nature hike to local waterfalls.
Mrs. Betty De Guzman shared:
Every time Guam-Micronesia Mission people come to visit us on Kosrae, we are inspired and encouraged because they see our needs and address them.
Pastor Kirk began his inaugural trip to the FSM and RMI by visiting the Marshallese island of Ebeye. Landing on the U.S.military installation of Kwajalein, Pastor Kirk was met and accompanied by Pastor Rene Suhot, Principal Sathiyaseelan Raman, and Vice Principal Ronny Guedia for a short boat ride to Ebeye. He was ushered immediately to the school where church members were gathered to hear him speak. They were blessed that evening as Pastor Kirk gave the final message of the Youth Week of Prayer series. The evening was spent time getting to know the staff and students who were eager to greet him.
Earlier in the week, Pastor and Mrs. Jano had also enjoyed the Marshallese hospitality when they were welcomed by an excited group of school and church members at the dock. Pastor Jano was the main speaker for Ebeye’s Youth Week of Prayer. The joy on everyone’s faces were evident as the pastors visited the church and Ebeye SDA School.
Pastor Rene Suhot expressed:
First of all, we would like to thank God for Pastor Jano and Pastor Kirk’s visit to Ebeye. Their visit strengthened and encouraged all the members in their faith. It brought not only a blessing to us members but also to the students and children in the community.
By visiting us, we understand our GMM president and our GMM secretary better. The conversations we shared and the sermons they preached had a great impact to us. It also helped us share the needs of the church and school.
Thank you, Pastor Kirk, Pastor Jano, and Mrs. Jano, for the opportunity of visiting us, the opportunity of encouraging our Christian walk, and for one of the great visits we had this year!
The Janos traveled the farthest east to the island of Majuro and met with the members of both schools and both churches – those in the capital city of Delap and those from Laura on the west end of the island.
Pastor Selvin Intong remarked of their visit:
Pastor and Mrs. Jano’s visit on Majuro was a blessing to our church and brethren. They arrived on Friday and we had a combined church worship with the Laura brethren the next day on Sabbath. Pastor Jano delivered a message reminding the brethren to remember how God has led and blessed His church and His work from the past. To remember the history and experiences of God’s people in order to stay strong in our faith, with no fear as we face the future and as we wait for His soon return. His wife Leah also shared a beautiful Children’s Story at the main service that Sabbath.
Sabbath evening, right after the Adventist Youth Program at the Delap church and Pathfinder Bible Experience at the school library, the Women’s Ministries group led by Mrs. Adele had arranged a small birthday party for Mrs. Jano whose birthday it was that day. It was a double celebration and blessing indeed for God’s that day! The Sabbath ended with birthday songs and fun. Everyone went home with joy in their hearts.
Pastor Jano’s visit on Majuro was a fruitful one. He was able to join the school board meeting and brought some valuable insights and encouragements. He met the Delap church board members as well the next day on Monday. The Delap SDA Church and School leadership were blessed by the presence of our GMM Executive Secretary with the support of his wife Leah. May God continue to bless both Pastor and Mrs. Jano.
The officers were brought together on Pohnpei, as all three timed their visit in support of the Kitti SDA Church dedication. They joined GMM Education Director Churchill Edward, who had arrived from Guam for the dedication and who had been instrumental in the development of the new church since its inception.
This was a homecoming stop for Pastor Jano who is a native Pohnpeian. It was also where he began working for the church as a pastor of Kolonia SDA Church and where he served for a time as acting principal of the school.
Pastor Walter John wrote:
The Kolonia SDA Church and Pohnpei SDA School conducted a very special prayer meeting during which time Pastor and Mrs. Remenster Jano were felicitated in recognition of their 50 years of godly ministry in the Guam-Micronesia region.
Another highlight of the week’s experience was that the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Pohnpei was the very first church in the mission to launch a celebration of the Golden Jubilee wedding anniversary of Pastor & Mrs. Remenster Jano. It was indeed a special visit!
Pastor Kirk, Pastor Jano, and Mrs. Jano concluded their visit on Chuuk. The Janos reminisced about their time on Chuuk, where Pastor Jano was acting principal for the Chuuk SDA School. The members of the Chuuk SDA Church were inspired by a Sabbath sermon from Pastor Kirk.
Pastor Karmeno Ifa on the pastoral visit:
When they arrived, we already had our Chuukese evangelistic meeting that resulted in ten precious souls baptized. During their visit, Pastor Churchill preached at our church on Wednesday evening, Pastor Jano preached on Friday evening, and Pastor Kirk preached on Sabbath. We’re so blessed by feeding of God’s Word by these three servants of God.
We had planned so much for their visit, including to show them our beautiful Midway beach, but with so much rain, the weather was too bad to take them. But we enjoyed the time we had together at the Blue Lagoon resort hotel. I personally thank God for allowing such a time that we were able have with the GMM officers.
I also want to mention that Pastor Matthew Kirk had a training and delightful message about leadership for the elders and men of our churches on that Sabbath afternoon.
Truly we were all blessed! Thank God!
Mr. Lloyd, having visited Chuuk earlier in the year, returned safely to Guam before heading west to Yap. This completed the officer visits to the four FSM islands.
This extended trip to the islands of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands was a blessing to the members and officers alike as it overcame the distances by drawing the hearts of the mission closer together.