Adventist church in the South Philippines recognizes, reenlists retirees for mission
About one in every forty people is a Seventh-day Adventist in the South Philippines. To celebrate this milestone, the South Philippine Union Conference leadership remembers the men and women who paved the way into what SPUC is today by setting aside the last weekend of June to honor all retired workers.. The SPUC Fitness Center became the venue where retirees are transported back in time as they reminisce their glory days of active duty. The first ever Mindanao-wide Retirees Convention on June 28-29, 2019 brought together close to five hundred retirees who came from the seven missions and conferences within SPUC territory.
Mrs. Esther Camacho, a nonagenarian, was given recognition as the oldest in attendance. At 90 years old, she vividly remembers the good old days when she was still on active duty. She is thankful to God that in the 35 years of serving the church she had not had any sickness that she can remember. “I have not had fever, headache, or any sickness. And I’m just thankful to God for the good health and strength that He sustained me through all those years” says ma’am Esther. She served the church as a teacher with a monthly salary of 90 pesos, or less than two US dollars, in the early years of her teaching ministry..
Pastor Samuel Arrogante, the second oldest retiree in attendance was also recognized. He served the church for 33 years. At present, he is the head elder of Mount Olive Church in Bayugan, Agusan del Sur.
“The church owes a lot to these retirees. They worked so hard with only a small salary and many of them, especially the teachers, have not been paid in full from where they were assigned before, yet they faithfully performed their duties. So we thought of organizing this event to recognize their contribution to the church and to continue to partner with them in the soul-winning program of the church,” says Pastor Roger Caderma, president of South Philippine Union Conference.
Speaking before the congregation during the Hour of Worship service, Pastor Samuel Saw, president of Southern Asia pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventists, expresses his profound gratitude to South Philippine Union Conference retirees for their contribution to the church. He stresses that church leadership should have a deep sense of accountability considering that what the church is doing today will impact the future of the church. Pastor Saw took the opportunity to challenge the retirees to use their experience to contribute to the Total Member Involvement strategy of the church.
Some SSD leaders also attended the event. During the Friday devotion, Dr. Daryl Gay Atiteo-Tanamal, SSD Associate treasurer, spoke with fascination, upon seeing the retirees, many of whom she shared fond memories with in her growing up years. Sir Jacinth Adap, SSD under treasurer, directed the attention of retirees to the melody of the song ‘I’m Homesick For Heaven’ during vesper’s service. Dr. Orathai Saw, beloved wife of Pastor Samuel Saw delivered a powerful lecture during Friday morning session. Pastor Nelson Paulo, SSD Media Ministry Coordinator, delivered a spirited message in the commitment service.
Seventh-day Adventist beliefs are meant to permeate your whole life. Growing out of scriptures that paint a compelling portrait of God, you are invited to explore, experience and know the One who desires to make us whole.