“Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” 1 Samuel 7: 12
God is an everlasting spring of living water, who richly supplied us with all the blessings of goodness during 2016. His Divine Spirit gave us life, abundant grace by His amazing love, support and guidance. Thank you Father for your wonderful love and patience. You are so wonderful. Please, forgive us all our trespasses, because we as your flock – sad to say – very often hurt you with our lukewarmness and our misunderstanding of your plans for our salvation and by this way we delay your coming.
Let us humble our hearts and let us look to the stone named Ebenezer (The Stone of Help) which is our Everlasting Cornerstone and let us say with thankful hearts “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us”.
Individually and as a church we have many reasons to express our thankfulness to our Lord. Let us turn our mind on these past twelve months and count the blessings received this year.
The Oceanian Union division now has two additional fields. After welcoming the Vanuatu Field, God opened the way for us to establish His work in the Solomon Islands and the Cook Islands as well. It is a miracle from God, but I want to thank to Br. Sanaila Ravia and Br. Tony Williams, who by their faithful support, the work extended in these regions as well as their respective countries of Fiji and Vanuatu. We saw some excellent results due in part to the honest cooperation and understanding of the members of the Union and Australian Field Committees. God has blessed us with the addition of many new souls to our church, within the Union and the Australian Field. To God be the glory!
In New Zealand, Br. Bob has been busy with outreach around the country and has many new souls who want bible studies. Br. Mike Brewer and his wife Jean Brewer voluntarily & faithfully help the church year after year. Even in this difficult time, when the earthquakes and aftershocks cause huge damage in many households, God was merciful to his children there, no one was hurt, suffered or had damage to their property. Our church building was also fully protected without a single crack on it! To God be the Glory!
In Samoa the work is progressing very well. Sis. Paula Prendergast regularly translated the Sabbath School Lessons and Week of Prayer readings into the Samoan language and the study and spiritual life is better than ever. In Samoa we have a new office building within our church property. Br. Tai stays faithful and leads the church peacefully, happy with the new souls coming, who want to lift up the level of spiritual life there. Br. Tavita is a great support for Br. Tai and the Lord’s vineyard in our Samoan church. To God be the glory!
In New Caledonia, Tahiti, and Papua New Guinea the situation is stable. Let us pray for Br. Hecquet, Br. Arthur and Sis. Mercedes to let God give them power to continue the work in their regions and to be faithful and useful for God’s glory. Yes, to God be the glory!
In Australia we have also received a lot of blessings. It was not an easy time for me. With one hand I have to build the church, with other hand I have to protect it. But what can I do without God’s help and guidance? What can I do without my brothers and sisters who opened their hearts to help the church in difficult times? I cannot mention all of the names of our church members and friends, but I pray that God will give a double blessing to everyone, who realised the needs of God’s church and helped honestly, faithfully and selflessly. New souls joined the church, there are new places being prepared to be opened for worship in Australia. My prayer is that God will to continue help and bless us. To God be the glory!
I would like to express my thankfulness to the IMSPacific team for their willingness to cooperate freely and further the Lord’s work in the Pacific by maintaining the Union website: imspacific.org. We would also like to thank everyone who generously contributed items for the website this year. To God be the glory!
I want to thank to everyone, not only for your help, but for your prayers for me during this year. I assure you I’m trying to be helpful to all of you. Not only because of my responsibilities before our Lord, but because I treasure you all. Dear God, please bless my dear brethren and friends, keep the fire of their faith and pass it to their children, who may be worthy to be your followers.
Let us see by faith ahead into 2017 and let us all receive the promised blessings and prompt Christ’s Second Coming. Let us go by faith and with faithfulness. Let us remember the advice from the SP note:
“There are periods which are turning points in the history of nations and of the church. In the providence of God, when these different crises arrive, the light for that time is given. If it is received, there is spiritual progress; if it is rejected, spiritual declension and shipwreck follow.” Bible Echo, August 26, 1895
May 2017 be a positive turning point in our spiritual life. Let us remember that “If it is received, there is spiritual progress; if it is rejected, spiritual declension and shipwreck follow.”
I wish you all a blessed New Year and to God be the glory!
Pastor Anton Salavyov
Another Year Is Dawning – Song 784
Another year is dawning; Dear Father, let it be,
In working or in waiting, Another year with Thee;
Another year of progress, Another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.
Another year of mercies, Of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness In the shining of Thy face;
Another year of leaning Upon Thy loving breast;
Another year of trusting, Of quiet, happy rest.
Another year of service, Of witness for Thy love;
Another year of training For holier work above.
Another year is dawning; Dear Father, let it be,
On earth or else in heaven, Another year for Thee.