Island Mission Adventure Shows a Young Man's Dedication to Service

Ryan McCune, of the Spokane Valley (Wash.) Adventist Church, finished his senior year at Upper Columbia Academy in the spring of 2009. It was a landmark victory — his epilepsy convulsions made the year a struggle for him.

But with the support of teachers and friends, he made it through.

Half way around the world, a small island captivated McCune’s mind even while he fought to keep up in school.

Along with a group of thirteen other youth from the Spokane Valley Church, he helped build a sea wall on the Fijian island of Kioa in 2008 to protect the island from severe flooding.

While there, Ryan noticed a problem. Most of the people make a drink from a kava root, which when finished becomes a sort of drug. The men go to “kava huts” where women are not allowed, and drink away the hours.

In addition, the island is isolated enough that there isn’t medical help within easy distance. The islanders have fishing boats, but if there is a medical emergency, these may not be available to take people in for care.

McCune began to dream. What would happen if the island had a medical boat to take them off the island to get care when there was an emergency? Or what would life on the island be like if there was a place for young people, both guys and girls, to go where there would be constructive entertainment instead of kava? Could it even grow into a place where they could learn about Jesus?

McCune set to turn his dream into a reality. He started a non-profit corporation (Island Missions Incorporated) and gathered a team. Together, they raised $13,000 to begin funding a medical boat as well as the youth center they’re planning for.

That’s just a start — to accomplish all the dreams, they’ll need much more.

In April of 2010, Island Missions Incorporated plans to team up with several builders and a health team to build the youth center and have a health clinic.

McCune is taking this year off from school to change medications and to focus on missions.

For more information on Island Missions Incorporated, and how you can be involved, visit www.islandmissionsinc.com or call (509) 844-2650. For additional mission options call Upper Columbia Youth Department at (509) 838-2761 or go to

www.uccsda.org/Youth/Missions

January 01, 2010 / Upper Columbia Conference
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