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The Power of Service, Faith, and Community Engagement

750,000 GLOW tracts distributed in Japan, 280,000 baptisms in Papua New Guinea

Mission trips can have a profound impact on our connection with God and our understanding of the world around us. This may be seen through mission trips that bring literature and evangelism, or through mission trips that bring medicine and assistance. And they also have an undeniable impact on the people who are being reached through God’s mission.

Tara Vang, who recently went on two different mission trips, said she is glad she went because many of us become too focused on our day-to-day lives and don’t realize how God is working in other parts of the world. “I'm really glad I went. We get caught up in our version of Adventism, and we really miss out on how God is working in every other country and how God can use us,” she explained. 

Giving light to Japan

The first mission trip Vang went on was to Tokyo, Japan, this last March. This week-long mission trip’s purpose was to distribute GLOW (Giving Light Out to Our World) tracts to the people of Japan. Vang said this was the first major literature distribution in Japan. Until after WWII, the country was mostly cut off from much of the world, and because of this there are still lingering effects. “It's just a really beautiful culture. But what is missing is Christ, and you can feel the emptiness,” explained Vang.

Fifty-five missionaries from all over the world came together to distribute GLOW tracts in Japan. This resulted in 750,000 GLOW tracts being given to the Japanese people in their own language. These were tailored to be culturally and linguistically appropriate, focusing on topics such as salvation, health, creation, and finding a meaning in life. 

Some of the members of the mission group began meeting every evening starting January 1 to pray for the people they would reach. “And then after the mission trip, we still pray every day for like 15 minutes—every single day! It is just such a blessing,” added Vang.

This ministry is an ongoing project to reach all the world with God’s message. The GLOW tract ministry is continuing their outreach in Japan, inspired by the March trip. This included a Women’s Ministry Conference in Kyoto last April and an online evangelistic meeting hosted by the JUC Digital Evangelism Center last June.

Expect the unexpected

Tara Vang also traveled to Papua New Guinea (PNG) on a 30-day mission trip that brought together outreach through health and evangelism. This mission group, which included 426 volunteers, 86 doctors, 40 nurses and 300 local health workers, served the people throughout PNG by offering health clinics and outreach events in April and May. 

The impact of this trip was profound. “We served 10,000 patients, and we had medical, vision, and dental services,” said Vang. “People were given toothbrushes and toothpaste, they had their teeth pulled, they got cavities filled. And there were over 3,000 cataract surgeries. The blind were able to see again. It was incredible!”

In addition to the medical services, they held evangelistic events April 26-May 12. Vang preached a 16-night evangelistic series—something she had never done before—in a small, rural mountain village. “It was a phenomenal experience, and I truly believe every Adventist needs to preach an evangelistic series. It's one thing to understand it intellectually or go to a series and listen, but when we have to do it ourselves the Holy Spirit just uses us in a whole different way,” said Vang.

Vang included simplified versions of her messages at each meeting, speaking directly to the children. “I was able to teach the children a song called ‘God's Love Is Like a Circle,’ and I played soccer with them. It fostered a sense of joy and community among the younger members of the local population,” she said.

This was also the first time Vang held an altar call, and the first time she saw a large group of people converting and responding to God’s call at one time. The result of Vang’s evangelistic series included 178 decisions for baptism and 102 baptisms. 

In PNG, Vang was one of about 2,000 speakers throughout the country. This resulted in nearly 280,000 baptisms (as of May 2024). But this is with only about half of the sites reporting. A much higher number is expected. 

“This was one of the largest reaping campaigns in the history of Christianity—at least that's documented,” added Vang. “Overall, the mission trip to Papua New Guinea underscored the transformative power of service, faith, and community engagement.”

Learn more about Adventist World Radio mission trips at

Learn more about the GLOW ministry at


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