Gospel News · September - December 2017

Carelinks | Pacific Islands ... continued ~
Travel to and from the island (about 200km
from Alotau) is by dinghies or by small cargo
boats that take passengers who sit on the deck
or on whatever they can find to perch on. The
dinghies take from about three to six hours
depending on engine size and departure point,
and the cargo boats up to 25 hours depending
on the cargo and the weather. The voyage is
not particularly comfortable. Getting about
on the island is by foot or by asking someone
with access to a truck to take you. Some of
the villages are accessible only by foot or
To go from Bolubolu, where the government
guest house is, to Mt Horeb where Benjamin
lives is a two-hour walk. Hiring a vehicle to
take you there costs about $25 each way. It’s
much the same to our student Steve’s village,
except that only 4x4s can get there, so
walking at least part of the way up the steep
and rugged sections is necessary. Cellphone
coverage is sometimes available by climbing
about an hour up the ridge behind Bolubolu or
by taking a dinghy out to sea, which is expen-
sive. However, reception at these places is not
guaranteed, so effectively you cannot contact
people on the island except by mail. There is
no electricity, no internet service and no
phone signal unless you climb the mountain,
so the people there are pretty isolated.
What is encouraging is that the word was
heard gladly. The people are eager for true
Bible teaching and their eyes light up when
Scripture is presented to them. In the context
of discussing human nature and temptation,
one of the pastors said to the effect that it is
really “good to know who our enemy is”.
The difficulty, of course, is communication.
Many do understand English but have diffi-
culty in following a native English speaker.
They find it easier if they are spoken to in the
way they themselves speak English – simple
words in simple sentences that are not neces-
sarily grammatically correct. Those who have
no knowledge of English have to rely on others
to pass on the teaching.”
Brother Rex plans to return in August so we
do pray for blessing on his trip and also for
his personal safety on the dinghies and other
insecure means of transport.
Carelinks | Sicily
here are believed to be up to one million
migrants in Libya and North Africa, trying
to reach the shores of Italy by boat. Many
of these come to Sicily- up to 8000 / day.
We have had contacts in Sicily since 2009,
including some Africans who emigrated there
legally in the past and have been many years
in Italy. The situation in Sicily for all the new
arrivals is utterly hopeless- there is no way
Italy can cope with such huge numbers arriving
each day. The most they can do is to try to
ensure that minors and women are accommo-
dated. But this leaves huge numbers of young
men unable to get from Sicily to mainland
Italy, and often without documents. Sicily is
just full of them. It’s a very hot, dry climate
and water is at a premium, and relatively
expensive. Public fountains and water sources
have been turned off as there are just thou-
sands of litres of water being taken from them
each day; even those lucky enough to be in
camps are only given one litre of water / day,