Pacific Islanders Renegotiate Eternal Contracts

August 22, 2020 | Church | Heidi Baumgartner

Nine Pacific Islanders renegotiated their eternal contracts during a Sabbath afternoon baptism in July.

“Had it not been for this pandemic, we wouldn’t be gathered today for these baptisms,” says Meshach Soli, guest pastor from Southern California. “As ministers of the gospel, we want to help people to get their contract with Jesus signed, sealed and delivered. This covenant contract is eternal, not temporary, and offers life, truth, forgiveness and freedom.”

Family members gathered around Auburn Adventist Academy’s gazebo and under a large open-air tent in physically distanced clusters or in nearby cars (with horns ready to honk) to celebrate how God is transforming the lives of a newly married couple, three young ladies, a family of three, and one additional person.

Jennifer Ativalu Ly made some lifestyle choices very early in life. “Somewhere in my sins, there was a voice reminding me that what I was doing was wrong,” she says. “I flaunted my lifestyle in front of my nieces. I’m giving my life to the Lord now to be a better example for my nieces.“

The day before their baptisms, Ativalu Ly married Channa Ly. At their wedding, evangelist Nemaia Faletogo included an appeal to follow Jesus. Two of Ativalu Ly’s nieces, Jazmalani Ativalu, 16, and Sarina Leomiti, 13, asked for baptism. This pandemic is transforming the family tree with multiple family members accepting Jesus this year.

Before Lu Misa lost his father earlier this year, he made a commitment to come back to God. He previously had an opportunity to be baptized. “I rejected the opportunity then and today I am accepting God’s redirection,” he says. He desires to do more in his community for Jesus. His wife, Guinevere, and teenage son, Hailan, also joined in baptism, a commitment that they wouldn’t have dreamed about a year ago.

“I love it when a family gets baptized,” says Rome Ulia, AAA Church associate pastor. “It reminds me of Joshua’s words: Choose you this day.”

It was a family day of celebration for Ulia too. His daughter Christina followed through on a decision for baptism she had made when her dad was a guest speaker for the United Prayer Convocation in Auburn in September 2019. Little did the family know then that they would be moving from New Zealand to Auburn in the coming year and how much Christina would see God working in her life.

In a search for identity, Benjamin Fidow was an activist for close to 30 years. Then two key things happened: a family member gave an invitation to visit South Side Samoan Church (invitation accepted) and a troubling dream. Without knowing about the dream, the person featured in the dream texted a message in real life that confirmed God’s calling to a transformed life. “Baptism washes away everything from the past,” says Fidow. “Today we are washing away [the old me] and welcoming back [the new me] into the family of God.”