Sabbath, September 30, 2006
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world as a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14.
In April 2003, I was commissioned by the General Conference to visit Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean, off the East African coast, to attend to a missionary call by one interested soul, Sr. Jemma Simeon. She had visited our IMS General Conference website on the internet and became interested in knowing more about IMS, SDA Reform Movement, our basic beliefs and Church history. After several e-mail contacts with Bro. Henry Dering of USA, she requested a personal visit by a missionary. It was in this connection that I was sent there.
Upon my arrival, I had an opportunity to meet several others who belonged to a group of Adventist believers. They wished to know the facts about our history and basic beliefs. We spent a week on these issues. Three among them took an immediate stand for IMS, SDA Reform Movement. Within a period of one year three others joined our Church through baptism, while several others are keenly pursuing Bible instructions.
Seychelles comprises a nucleus of 41 granitic islands, the cultural hub of the nation, and 74 sparkling sand cays and out-of-the-way atolls. Together, these form six distinct groups: the Inner Islands, the Amirantes, Southern Coral, Alphonse, Farquhar, and Aldabra, all lying between 300 miles and 1000 miles from the east African coast. The 81,000-strong population is essentially a mélange of the descendants of the first settlers, their slaves, oriental traders, émigrés, political exiles and adventurers. There are three official languages in Seychelles, namely Creole (a lilting French-based patois), English, and French. Many Seychellois also speak fluent Italian and German.
The average annual income per person is about $800. Cost of living here is very high, for nearly all commodities and foodstuffs are imported. Although paganism exists here to a small degree, Christianity is dominant with Roman Catholicism taking the lead. Sabbath keepers are also very popular in this island.
In June 2004, our Church was officially registered with the government. This offers us the privilege of having permanent, established head office and a church building. People here are accustomed to worship in established church buildings, and therefore are reluctant to meet in private houses for worship services. For this reason there is an urgent need for a church property. May God inspire you to serve Him through your offering in this quarter.
Just recall the words of Jesus: “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” John 12:26.
–P. N. Shirima