News Release

Mand Branch Groundbreaking, Pohnpei

New meeting house to be built in Pohnlangas, in the Madolenihm Municipality in Pohnpei.

The high, coral-capped volcanic island of Pohnpei is known as the “garden of Micronesia” due to its heavy rainfall and luxuriant tropical foliage. Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints first arrived in 1976, having their first baptisms in 1977. The Church's Mand Pohnpei branch was created shortly thereafter.

The Mand Branch is part of the Pohnpei Stake led by Stake President Williamson Rodriguez. The members have met in the same church building for many years. They currently meet in a meeting house hidden out in the boonies. As their numbers have increased it is time to have a new meeting house built. A site was chosen in Pohnlangas, in the Madolenihm Municipality. President Rodriquez told how “The older building is kind of hiding in the community where nobody sees it but now, we’re very excited that it will be on the main road and visible to many in the center of the community.”

March 4th the Mand Branch and others attended a groundbreaking where their new meeting house will be built. Among the 63 attendees were the Prominent Chief Dauk Madolenihmw and Mayor Kiomy Albert’s representative, Welbet Perez.  

An outdoor program adorned with tropical greenery and an island breeze was conducted by Brother Lensper Kalio with Stake President Rodriquez presiding. The Mand Branch President John Saimon offered the opening prayer. A couple of group hymns were sung, Mand Branch's Relief Society President Rose Tihpen gave her testimony after which President Nixon Redes, Stake Presidency 1st counselor, offered some words, followed by Stake President Williamson Rodriguez speaking before the groundbreaking ceremony.

Two separate groups donned with hard hats and shovels proceeded to take turns at breaking ground. The event closed with the group singing God be with you till we meet again, followed by a benediction given by Stake Presidency 2nd counselor Ozimy Edward.

This meeting house is expected to be completed in March of 2023. There is a lot of excitement among the members as they look forward to their new building. It will serve Pohnpeian as well as Pingelapese speaking members.

Eliza Edward, President Edward's wife, comments “I love the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and am blessed to be part of the true church of Jesus Christ on earth. Attending the groundbreaking with my husband President Edward was a huge blessing and opportunity for me. It reminds me of the scattered people in the old days and the gathering for the latter-day saints. New churches are being built because the Lord needs his people to come back to him.”

Nephi states in his first chapter, verse 25, “And he gathereth his children from the four quarters of the earth; and he numbereth his sheep, and they know him; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd; and he shall feed his sheep, and in him they shall find pasture.”

God’s children in the isles of the sea are not forgotten. Hurrah for Israel!

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