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Brother Rex from Australia has been doing ground breaking work, taking the true Gospel, NEV Bibles and Bible Basics to those who have not heard in “the isles of the Gentiles”. After all, who of us has heard of “Goodenough Island” in the Pacific? The spread of the Gospel of the Kingdom into literally all the earth is required before “the end shall come”, and we are seeing in his work a true sign of the Lord’s soon return. He reports:

“In May I went to Goodenough Island off the eastern tip of Papua New Guinea to be with some of the students doing the Bible course. I am now in Alotau, on the PNG mainland. On my visit to Goodenough Island I think they’d really benefit from Bible Basics. A guy from Goodenough Island attended the seminars in Alotau and signed up for the Bible course. He has been reading our leaflets and also our Bible course material and he has told me (and his pastor confirmed it) that the pastor is happy with our doctrine. The big plus factor is that he believes in the literal return of Christ and His reign on earth, so when he gave me opportunities to speak to his church during their services, I kept emphasising this and also our human nature being the devil we must fight. He has invited us to come back at the beginning of August and said we could have three days to speak to his church. There could be about 100 people attending this week, so a lot of people will be exposed to true Bible teaching. I have had the opportunity to talk to some of them and been through the question of what the devil and satan is and the purpose of God with mankind and this earth, and they responded with joy. They don’t seem to be wedded to the idea that there has to be an evil spirit around, even though they come from a culture that believes in such things.

I feel your NEV and Bible Basics would be really helpful for these interested people. He doesn’t collect his mail often because of the expense of travelling from the island to the mainland. It would be cheaper to take all the books with us as extra baggage. Even here in Alotau, internet access is intermittent, so if I don’t reply speedily to your emails, it is because of this difficulty.

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 dinghy.

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 expensive. 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 difficulty 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 necessarily 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.

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