Marshall Islands holds first camp meetings

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MAJOR RALPH HOOD (l) presents certificates of retirement to Envoys Almen and Setsuko Taulon of the Laura Corps. Assisting in the service was Captain Charles Fowler (r).

The longest ride to the Marshall Islands’ first-ever family camp meetings was 34 hours…by boat. Another boat ride took 20 hours. The distance and turbulent ocean waves did not stop more than 400 delegates from attending this Spiritual Renewal Conference where the theme was Life with the Savior.

Throughout the weekend, age-specific activities involved entire families in understanding and learning about their life with the Savior. Majors Ralph and Ivy Hood, divisional leaders for the Hawaii and Pacific Islands Division, were special guests.

The weekend began with the installation of four new envoys, commissioned by Major Ralph Hood on behalf of the territorial commander: Benji and Rosebee Rakin, Jaluit Corps and Johnny Milne and Angelina Milne, Jabor Corps.

That same night, the five Marshall Islands corps paid their traditional farewells to the summer Service Corps team lead by Yvonne Yescas.

The next evening, the Jaluit Corps was officially opened after five years of operation. Four of the five years were under the leadership of then soldiers, Benji and Rosebee Rakin. It was a proud day as Major Ralph Hood encouraged the soldiers of the corps to remain faithful and committed to the ministry of the corps and its outreach to the community.

On Saturday afternoon, the graduation ceremony of the Marshall Islands Ministry Training Center was held, with six students completing the one-year study program, which aims to develop soldiers into more effective leaders. Following graduation, students return to their home corps where they can take up positions of leadership and assist the corps officers with the ministry.

Saturday evening’s traditional music was both inspirational and pleasing to the ears. Major Ivy Hood gave a devotional focused on the theme of worshipping the Savior.

The Sunday morning worship meeting brought the faithful ministry of Envoys Almen and Setsuko Taulon, of the Laura Corps, to a close, as they were retired from active service. These are the first envoys to retire in the Marshall Islands. Their faithful service was recognized by all, including their family, one of whom flew in from Germany for the ceremony.

Sunday evening brought the events to a close with a celebrative service where everyone was admonished to “proclaim the Savior.”

Two workshops were also held. Adults enjoyed “Integrity in Relationships,” taught by Captain Shari Fowler, director for Leadership Training in the Marshall Islands. Youth attended a workshop by newly arrived Marshall Islands Youth Leader Captain Ella Lani, on three other religions that are prevalent locally.

A team of local leaders planned the event and included: Captains Charles and Shari Fowler, Envoys Ongra and Hemrina Hanerc, Caston John, Nixon Jabnil, Robin Jormelu, Rebecca Katjang and Keyonnica Jormelu. Thanks to their hard work and tireless planning, the event was a success.

“The plan for this conference was always to encourage one another to grow in our relationship with the Savior. I think we have done that this weekend,” said Captain Charles Fowler, Marshall Islands coordinator. “We hope to build on this success and plan an even better conference next year.”


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