The following was originally published on the Lake Union Herald website on February 2, 2023. Click HERE for a link to the original story.
Adopted Island School’s Gymnasium Nears Completion
Over 6,000 miles away, amid a beautiful sea of coral and laden with palm trees is the Lake Union’s adopted island of Kosrae.
Several years ago, each union in the North America Division adopted one of the nine major islands that make up the Guam Micronesia Mission.
In January of 2019, a team from the Lake Union traveled to Kosrae on a fact-finding mission with one major thing in mind: how could we help this small church and growing Adventist school where over forty students were attending? When we expressed our desire to help, some things became very clear: the church had a mission to help the community, the school was growing, and the campus needed help. After much discussion and brainstorming, a clear vision was established to build a gymnasium that could double as a recreational facility, could be rented to the community, and could also provide shelter for the students when it rained…which happens quite frequently on this tropical paradise!
Fast-forward four years: Generous donations from the NAD thirteen Sabbath offerings and collective fund-raising efforts enabled over $100,000 to be raised to cover the cost of the building. COVID did delay plans for a while, and the gymnasium remained in the steel containers that they were shipped in for many months while they waited for the go-ahead to get started.
Finally, ground-breaking took place last summer, and now the final steps are in place to finish the gymnasium soon. After the concrete floor had been partially poured, some delays in equipment and materials way-laid the finish longer than expected, so February 2023 is the projected date of completion. Superintendent of the Guam Micronesia Mission, Churchill Edwards, personally thanked the Lake Union Conference constituents for their generosity and commitment to the project with especially the schools in mind as many of our students held various fund-raisers, such as 5K events, to raise money for a portion of the gym. The students of the Kosrae SDA School are excited to use the new facility and have been watching the construction with eager anticipation.
What are some other ways that the Lake Union will continue to support Kosrae? An NAD accreditation team visited the island in January 2023 and reported that some help with curriculum resources is still needed, so the Education Department of the Lake Union will follow-up with those needs.
Prior to last year, the Education Department had also coordinated Sabbath speakers for the fourth Sabbath of every month. Now that someone has been re-appointed to run the technology for the service in Kosrae, we will once again resume scheduling speakers and sharing the Word with these beautiful island people.
The next great need that they have expressed is for an adequate fresh water supply system. The current system of water collection is no longer sufficient or efficient for the church and school’s use with over seventy students in attendance. Plans are in place to begin a new fund-
raising campaign to help put this needed system in place. Please watch for more information on how you can be a part of this fund-raising venture for our adopted island, Kosrae. We are the hands and feet of Jesus!
Nicole Mattson is associate director of Education for the Lake Union.