The Seventh-day Adventist Church in French Polynesia has installed a historic courtyard that tells the story of how the Adventist message reached the island nation.
The courtyard, located at the mission headquarters in Pape’ete, commemorates the arrival of Adventist missionary John Tay to the shores of Tahiti on December 24, 1890, aboard the Pitcairn. The story is presented on large plaques in both the French and Tahitian languages.
Mission president, Pastor Roger Tetuanui, said the courtyard will be central to their plans to hold an annual celebration that marks the anniversary of the arrival of Adventism in French Polynesia.
Along with the courtyard, the mission has installed a large permanent marquee, which can accommodate about 2,000 people. The marquee will be used for combined meetings with Adventist churches from Tahiti and sister island Moorea.
Located near the marquee is an old college, which the mission is in the process of renovating to bring it up to safety standards.
Pastor Tetuanui said the building will be used as a training center for young people to prepare them for the future, as well as for volunteers who want to become missionaries in the islands the mission wants to reach: the Marquesas Islands, Tuamotu Islands, and Gambier Islands.
“We want to train these people to know the culture, the language, and the worldview of the people who live in these islands and send them there to share the gospel message,” he said.