Betikama Adventist College in Honiara, Solomon Islands, is taking the gospel commission seriously. As a Top National Senior Secondary College, the school attracts students from across that South Pacific nation.
Opened 70 years ago, Betikama has always been a missionary school. However, in 2017 it began a push for Total Member Involvement (TMI), an initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church around the world to get every member involved in sharing Jesus.
According to Betikama principal Denis Kaipa, 18 percent of the 500 students come from a non-Adventist background. So that’s where the staff started — making sure that they had engaged all of their students first.
This year, students were divided into nine cultural groups, representing different regions of the Solomon Islands, a country with six major islands and more than 900 smaller ones. Students and staff in each group were encouraged to plan outreach trips to their home regions.
The first cultural group successfully ventured out during the mid-year break as missionaries from Betikama.
The Temotu and Makira (TEMA) group’s goal was to visit a remote Adventist village to encourage and support those living there.
Makira Island (also called San Cristobal) has a population of more than 40,000, yet only around 200 are active Seventh-day Adventists members there. It was into this challenging field that the 14 students and two staff entered.
While there, they had the opportunity to supply clothes to children and those in need, to witness and visit, and help out around the community with work, cooking, and teaching cloth dyeing and screen printing to people interested in starting a small business. They prayed with the sick and conducted Bible studies.
“God blessed the students’ simple acts of kindness for the communities on Makira Island,” Kaipa said. “Many who disliked Adventism now had an interest in what we had to say. Financially it is challenging to visit all the bigger villages, but we believe our Makira students will continue the work.”
An end-of-year trip is planned for Rendovah Island in the western Solomon Islands.
Meanwhile, the mission within the school continues. Along with those who participated in the rest of the Pacific region, Betikama conducted Bible studies during the first semester. The program saw 30 young people decide to be baptized in July. Of those, eight come from other faith backgrounds and are facing opposition from their parents.
A special offering was collected during closing Saturday programs to help with supporting needy dormitory students with items like soap, toothpaste, and bedding. They will need prayers and help with school fees, with the college providing some assistance.
Plans are also in place to visit neighboring senior schools to reach out on Sabbath afternoons, providing students at those schools with the same necessities and offering prayer.
The whole school is committed to the missionary spirit, leaders emphasized.
“We just need your prayers,” Kaipa said.