Leaders recognize and honor former church workers’ often unsung contributions.
About one in every forty people is a Seventh-day Adventist in Southern Philippines. To celebrate this milestone, South Philippine Union Conference (SPUC) leaders decided to remember the men and women who paved the way to what SPUC is today, by setting aside the last weekend of June to honor all its retired workers. The SPUC Fitness Center became the venue where retirees were transported back in time as they reminisced about their glory days of active duty.
The first-ever Mindanao-wide Retirees Convention on June 28 and 29, 2019, brought together close to five hundred retirees who came from the seven missions and conferences within SPUC territory.
- For 90-year-old Esther Camacho, age is just a number. Camacho is a retired teacher who served the church in the Philippines for 35 years. [Photo: Southern Asia-Pacific Division News]
- Southern Asia-Pacific Division president Samuel Saw addresses retirees attending the Retirees Convention in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines on June 29, 2019. [Photo: Southern Asia-Pacific Division News]
Among the church retirees, Esther Camacho was given recognition as the oldest in attendance. At 90, she vividly remembers the days when she was still on active missionary duty. Camacho said she is thankful to God that in 35 years of serving the church, she had not had any sickness that she could remember.
“I have not had a fever, headache, or any sickness. And I’m just thankful to God for the good health and strength that He sustained me through all those years,” said Camacho, who served the church as a teacher with a monthly salary of 90 pesos, or less than US$2, in the early years of her teaching ministry.
Also recognized was Samuel Arrogante, the second oldest retiree in attendance. He served the church for 33 years. Currently, Arrogante is the head elder of Mount Olive church in Bayugan, Agusan del Sur.