Let There Be Two!
Our goal is to eventually build dormitories so that 900 students will be able to attend from all around Gabon.
We’re very excited that one of the Thirteenth Sabbath Offering projects this quarter will help our mission work in Gabon!
My name is Pastor Georges Medou Eyi, and I’m the president of the Gabon Mission of Seventh-day Adventists. Located in our nation’s capital of Libreville, our campus houses an office building, a primary school, a secondary school, a dispensary, and a church.
The Thirteenth Sabbath Offering this quarter will help us build an additional secondary school in the city of Franceville, a little more than 500 kilometers, or about 310 miles, away from Libreville. This facility is urgently needed because one of the key ways we share the Adventist message in our country is through our mission schools.
You can imagine the challenge we face in trying to reach 1.75 million Gabonese people with only one primary and one secondary school in our country. The new facility will enable us to share the Adventist message with many non-Adventist students and their families and build a strong Adventist presence for Gabon in the future.
Reaching Non-Adventist Students
Our secondary school in Libreville is a real mission school. Approximately 70 percent of our students are not Adventists, and some of that number are not Christians. But the school is small, and there’s no room for expansion on our crowded campus. We can accommodate no more than 120 students.
Our primary school is larger and can accommodate 300 children. That’s a blessing in itself, but when these children are ready to advance to secondary school, we have to turn away many of them. This means they’ll have to attend a public or private school where Saturday exams are mandatory.
Many of the students we decline have given their lives to Jesus and chosen to observe His Sabbath. They ask, “Why should we try to be Adventists when you have no school for us to attend where we can remain true to our convictions? We’ll consider becoming Adventists once we’re through with our education.” This breaks our hearts, especially when we know that children are far more receptive to the gospel than adults, and it will be harder to reach them later.
Sadly, these non-Adventist primary students aren’t the only ones we must turn away. Many non-Adventist families in Libreville value the quality of our education. They bring their children to us, saying, “We’re entrusting them to you because we know you’re Christians who will educate them to become good citizens.”
Imagine, the population is coming to us to receive the gospel, and we’re turning them away! We’re losing an opportunity to reach not only these children for Christ but their parents as well.
Reaching the Community
We put a strong emphasis on outreach in our secondary school and organize many programs for our students to engage in. Energetic, strong, and passionate for mission, these young people are key to reaching the community for Christ. They help the sick receive care in our dispensary and comfort the lonely, grieving, and depressed. They pray with people, tell them about Jesus, and distribute food and clothing. Our church is growing because they’re mingling with people and meeting their needs.
Building a Strong Church for the Future
We have 3,041 Adventist members in Gabon, and approximately 79 percent of them are students. All of these young people, with the exception of those living in Libreville, have no choice but to attend a non-Adventist school, where they face many pressures, including mandatory Sabbath exams.
It’s been our experience that many of our students drift from the faith when they attend a non-Adventist school. We need to provide them with a safe haven where they’re free to worship on Sabbath with their church family and receive spiritual nurturing.
An Invaluable Boost
Having two secondary schools will give mission an invaluable boost in Gabon. The new school facility will initially accommodate about 450 students, but our goal is to eventually build dormitories so that 900 students will be able to attend from all around Gabon. When these students return to their homes, they’ll take the Advent message with them.
Please support this project generously so that we can help our people in Gabon know and love Jesus and be ready for His soon return.