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All articles in category Melanesia

Joy and tears in PNG
March 2007
Papua New Guinea

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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Exciting progress in PNG
September 2006
Papua New Guinea

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
Papua New Guinea

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
Papua New Guinea

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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Missionary Spotlight – What kind of missionaries?
March 2005
Papua New Guinea

Missionary Spotlight – What kind of missionaries?

I was recently asked, ‘What kind of missionaries are needed in Papua New Guinea (PNG) today?’ PNG first had Anglican and London Missionary Society missionaries well over a century ago, and many argue they are no longer needed, but as I travel in both rural and urban areas I get a different perspective — the picture is similar to the New Testament, where the churches soon needed encouragement and correction. The answer to the question must be: ‘PNG needs men who love God, his Word and his Church’. Men ‘PNG needs men…’ William Booth is reputed to have said. ‘My best men are women’! Women...

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Missionary Spotlight – Will the real Papua New Guinea please stand up!
March 2005
Papua New Guinea

Missionary Spotlight – Will the real Papua New Guinea please stand up!

PNG is a land of contrasts – the lowland jungle, mountains five kilometres high, white-water rivers and huge meandering waterways snaking their way to the ocean. A nation of 10,000 tribes, more than 700 distinct languages and numerous dialects, its five million people are found in cities, towns and countless stone-age villages, scattered throughout the countryside. Evangelical missionaries first came to PNG in the late 1800s, but its highland interior was only significantly penetrated after 1945. Today, church buildings can be seen at the centre of almost every tribal village. Denominations It is not uncommon for a village of 300 people to have two, three...

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Missionary Spotlight-Papua New Guinea
August 2004
Papua New Guinea

Missionary Spotlight-Papua New Guinea

The Christian worker made his way round PNG villages that had called for his help and advice. These villages had heard and responded to the gospel during the last 50 years. Like the church at Thessalonica, their parents and grandparents had ‘turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God’ (1 Thessalonians 1:9). The first converts had happily destroyed all the paraphernalia of traditional religion, but now a new generation were trying to revive some of the old ways and also to fit in new ideas. They struggled with the elders who were adamant that the true God could not be worshipped...

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June 2004
Fiji

Missionary Spotlight – Fact File – Fiji

 Fiji Fact File An island group in the South Pacific Ocean, of about 7,000 square miles. Fiji comprises 2 larger mountainous islands (Viti Levu and Vanua Levu) of volcanic origin, as well as 104 smaller inhabited islands and over 200 uninhabited islands.     Climate:Tropical.   Population:About 900,000.   Ethnic groups:Fijians 51%; Indians 44%; Europeans, Chinese and others 5%.   Life expectancy:Men 66 years, women 71 years.   Capital city:Suva (200,000).   Languages:English (official), Fijian and Hindustani.   Literacy:94%.   Economy:Fiji has the most developed of the Pacific island economies. Its natural resources include fish, forestry, minerals and energy – in the shape of (undeveloped)...

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Missionary Spotlight-Recovering the gospel in Fiji
June 2004
Fiji

Missionary Spotlight-Recovering the gospel in Fiji

Indigenous Fijians have professed Christianity for over 100 years, the gospel having first arrived through Methodist missionaries. But today the Methodist Church in Fiji has departed from its theological moorings and the biblical gospel. In the late 1970s a Baptist church was started in Lautoka, Fiji, with the aim of fresh evangelistic outreach to Fiji’s diverse ethnic communities. The work has progressed since that initiative, and there now exist about 30 Baptist churches. Problems   These Baptist churches are not reformed in theology. Some belong to the Fiji Council of Churches. But among both these and other denominational Protestant churches there are still evangelical Christians,...

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Missionary Spotlight-Fiji’s gospel heritage
June 2004
Fiji

Missionary Spotlight-Fiji’s gospel heritage

The Pacific islanders are well known as seafarers. With their huge canoes they have criss-crossed the Pacific Ocean, travelling from one island kingdom to another. As far back as the sixteenth century, Tongans traded with the Lau group of islands to the east of the Fijian group. This trading led to inter-marriage and a dynastic connection between the king of Tonga and the chief Lau family. In the providence of God, this connection would aid the spread of Christianity in Fiji. Exciting and tragic   The story of Fiji is both exciting and tragic. Nineteenth-century Fiji was steeped in paganism; with inter-tribal warfare, cannibal feasts, and...

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