On 22 April 2021, at a special constituency meeting of the South Philippine Union Conference (SPUC) the constituents voted to split the Mindanao territory into two distinct union organizations.
God’s work in the SPUC territory is growing rapidly and demands more closed supervision, monitoring, quick assessment, and evaluation. As the second largest island of the Philippines, Mindanao has 97,530 square kilometers of land area. And since its founding in 1964, it continues to be a vast challenge for travel from one end to another, not to mention the staggering distance and traffic conditions, despite the opening of new highways and bypass roads. The splitting of the territory into two organizations, therefore, is the best option to fulfill the mission of the church.
While a few delegates pushed instead for the addition of more field workers and suspending the plan for a more favorable time in the future, some delegates also see the potential for further exponential growth when the territory will be divided. As has been observed from the newly divided regional territories of Northern Mindanao and Davao, the work has remarkably progressed in terms of stewardship, evangelism, and member involvement than when said territories remained intact. “There may have been challenges brought about by the split,” commented Pastor Edwin Magdadaro, president of Davao Mission, “but immeasurable blessings follow as we strive harder for the Lord.”
Pastor Nelson Paulo, Media Ministry Services Coordinator of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD), in his timely devotional message, said light naturally travels fast, straight, and strong. “The same thing is true with how we handle the light that God has commanded us to carry,” he added. The work of our church is to move fast, straight, and strong. Making two unions out of one mother union doesn’t only accommodate the fast-growing trend of reaching the entire territory with the gospel; it also speeds up the process even more!
As the meeting concluded, a majority vote was cast by the official delegates: 229 to 41 in favor of dividing the territory into two.
After this approval, the action will be forwarded to the division, which will then give the signal to the union to finalize all the necessary paperwork in preparation for the final approval of the General Conference. As for the territorial distribution and boundaries that will distinguish the two fields, it will be considered as the process progresses until its realization—probably a year or two from now. We praise God for this significant milestone and, at the same time, call for all our members to pray for His leading in the rapidly growing work in Mindanao.