The Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) celebrated the Adventist Church's 160th anniversary on May 20–21, 2023, with a series of compassionate events focused on benefiting various communities within the division territory. The 160th celebration included efforts aimed at delivering necessary supplies, healthcare services, and compassionate care to those in need, demonstrating the church's dedication to its purpose.
As part of the anniversary, the SSD handed out 160 sacks of rice to 160 local residents. This generous deed aimed to relieve the stress of food scarcity for vulnerable persons and families, representing the church's commitment to supporting the real needs of those it serves. Community members were asked to join in the celebration and fellowship, where they were not only physically nourished but also spiritually elevated via messages of hope and inspiration.
The anniversary celebrations stretched beyond the immediate surroundings of the division headquarters to the entire Southern Asia-Pacific region. Medical missions and other compassionate activities were organized by several union offices, embodying the spirit of the church's 160-year journey of service and outreach.
Medical missions in Myanmar provided free healthcare services to impoverished populations, including medical check-ups, consultations, and various medical treatments. These programs aimed to meet the pressing healthcare needs of marginalized people while also promoting well-being in places with inadequate access to competent medical treatment.
Aside from medical missions, a variety of activities were planned. Church members from Indonesia and the Philippines assisted in the distribution of hygiene kits and food staples, as well as the hosting of health workshops. These initiatives demonstrated the church's commitment to holistic ministry, which includes physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
To mark this occasion, several churches in the Philippines arranged a motorcade. The event not only remembered the church's pioneering years but also provided an opportunity to inform the community about the Adventist Church's existence.
"The 160th anniversary of the Adventist Church is a significant milestone that reminds us of our enduring mission to serve and uplift humanity," said Pastor Mamerto Guingguing, associate executive secretary of the SSD. "Through these compassionate activities, we hope to reflect Jesus Christ's love and extend His healing touch to those in need, just as He did during His earthly ministry."
"Chosen for Mission," the theme chosen for the church's 160th anniversary, captured the heart of the Adventist Church's purpose and calling. It promoted the notion that each individual is called to be a channel of love, compassion, and constructive change in the world.
The anniversary celebrations motivated church members and officials to renew their commitment to participate in transformative mission efforts. The Southern Asia-Pacific Division of Seventh-day Adventists strives to carry on its tradition of compassion by giving a helping hand to the underprivileged, bringing hope to the despairing, and inspiring long-term transformation in the areas it serves.
As the Adventist World Church celebrates its 160th year, it remains committed to its essential ideals of love, service, and purpose. The anniversary activities highlight the church's mission's long-lasting impact, inspiring individuals and communities to come together in compassion and unity for the improvement of society.