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All articles in category Oceania

October 2015
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Visiting the Australian Outback

It took a few attempts before I could get the hang of pronouncing ‘Gulargambone’ correctly. The name means ‘place of Galahs’ or ‘watering place of many birds’, in the language of the local indigenous people. Gulargambone is a small community of about 400 people located more than 500km north-west of Sydney, in New South Wales, Australia. Galahs are grey- and rose-coloured cockatoos found in large numbers in the area. Our journey to Gulargambone began in Sydney with a train ride of nearly seven hours, winding our way up through the Blue Mountains to the west of the city and heading off towards the western plains....

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October 2011
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One year in

One year in Mourners cluster on the parched grass outside the tin-roofed chapel filled with grieving family, as I seek gently to bring the gospel of God to them and to thank the Lord for an aboriginal woman’s life in the face of her early death. A year ago we were strangers, but now are counted friends. A number embrace us as family and we care deeply for them. It has been a long journey from our loving church in Hertfordshire to join the aboriginal community of Gilgandra, yet ‘up to this point the Lord has helped us’.     We have left two adult children...

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Australian Aboriginal churches
April 2010
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Australian Aboriginal churches

Australian Aboriginal churches   Australian Indigenous Ministries (AIM), previously known as the Aborigines Inland Mission, is a conservative evangelical organisation whose foundations go back to 1905.             From the beginning, ministry was aimed at establishing Aboriginal Christians to lead and guide their own people. With the benefit of hindsight, AIM recognises that more in the past could have been done with a less paternalistic attitude.             Today, AIM is working with local indigenous Christians. Many churches have grown up which, whilst not exclusively Aboriginal, do have strong indigenous social and cultural perspectives. In Queensland and New South Wales (NSW) there are long established such Christian...

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Joy and tears in PNG
March 2007
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Joy and tears in PNG

New Tribes Missionaries Chad Mankins and Jason Knapp have been teaching the Tobo people of Papua New Guinea through foundational portions of the Old Testament. On 16 January this was climaxed by an account of the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. The following is part of Chad and Jason’s report: ‘Yesterday 16 January 2007 was an historic day for the Tobo people! For the first time, people heard the gospel message of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus in their language. After the lesson, we were each surrounded by a cluster of excited people and the questions were really coming at us. We...

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Australian Evangelicalism
February 2007
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Australian Evangelicalism

Snapshots of history have their charms and their dangers. The last forty years or so of Australian evangelicalism have seen hopes rise and fall, as they invariably do. The mid-1960s were nothing short of catastrophic — despite the 1959 Billy Graham crusades.   These crusades were considered so successful that many thought Australia came close to revival. Marcus Loane wrote that Billy Graham was ‘God’s man for this century’. The foundations, however, were decidedly weak. For too many churchmen, evangelism had little to do with theological content, and too much to do with the survival of the church as an institution. In the 1960s Sunday...

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Exciting progress in PNG
September 2006
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Exciting progress in PNG

Missionaries Bob and George Walker and Jack Housley hiked in to visit the Bisorio people of Papua New Guinea, 24 years to the day they first presented the gospel to them in 1982. Today New Tribes Mission no longer has missionaries working among the Bisorios. The work was completed in 2000. The Bisorios express thankfulness that the missionaries came to them, but they know that the ministry is now committed to them. Bob remembers Maile’s prayer the day that missionaries left in 2000: ‘Papa God, it is time for the missionaries to leave and we are thankful that as they leave they are not taking...

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Missionary Spotlight – Doing the impossible in PNG – Clifford Hellar
August 2006
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Missionary Spotlight – Doing the impossible in PNG – Clifford Hellar

Soon after my wife and I arrived in Papua New Guinea in January 1962, the field director and I hiked to the location where we were planning to work among Keyagana-speaking people I quickly began to appreciate the problems we would face as we worked there as a family. My wife was pregnant with our third child. How would I get her out of that remote area with no communication with the outside world and when the only paths were difficult trails? We had no house. How would she fare with no fellowship with believers and little communication with a strange, fierce-looking people? What about...

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Missionary Spotlight – Spiritual warfare in PNG
November 2005
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Missionary Spotlight – Spiritual warfare in PNG

In 2004 some of the Hewa people of Papua New Guinea heard the gospel for the first time and came to know Christ as Saviour. New Tribes missionaries were already learning Hewa culture and language, but God used a young man named Dogofili to first bring the good news of Christ to these people. Dogofili, first discipled by a Bisorio evangelist called Suduwame, went to live with the Hewas and began evangelistic Bible teaching. The Bisorio tribe have been involved in an outreach to the Hewas for some years.   Foundations   Odeya, a Bisorio leader, went with missionaries on their initial visit to this...

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