One of the more interesting articles that I have run across recently is a piece by C. C. Crisler titled “Into Mindanao.” In he details the birth of the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Mindanao, the largest major island in the archipelago known as the Philippines. Today, Adventists may be familiar with this particular island because it is the headquarters of the Southern Philippines Union, and one of the fastest growing areas for the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church.
What is interesting is that Crisler highlights how $1,000 from last year’s (1926) mission offerings were designated to prepare “the way for an aggressive evangelistic campaign by Filipino workers” brought in from other parts of the Philippines. What is very clear is that very early on, Adventist missionaries recognized the effectiveness of training workers who could then more easily relate, speak the language, and spread the Adventist message. The work was coordinated by Pastor W. L. Rodriguez, one of the “older Filipino ministers.” As a result of their labors over 200 people were baptized.
“Until last year,” observes Crisler, “other islands near Mindanao were un-entered. A great impetus has come to our work in those regions through the help rendered from funds released for the support of the work in new fields, and the results are such as to lead us on and ever on.”
What does this mean? Adventist mission offerings have made a significant impact in the expansion of Adventism around the world. Today one of the fastest growing areas for the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church all began as the result of the Sabbath School mission offering–something that each week we have an opportunity to further support what others before us have done and to create additional opportunities to share the Adventist message around the world.