History of the Truth in Vanuatu

The ecclesia commenced in the city of Vila on the island of Efate in 1999 with the baptism of Brother Kaltos Manses. Our gospel proclamation has continued to have results with ecclesias now established in five of the islands. We were in Vanuatu for five weeks during June and July and assisted ecclesias in three of the islands.

Visits were made to the island of Santo in 2003. But it was not until 2009 when a contact who had applied for the correspondence course in our initial advertising gained a conviction that compelled him to seek baptism. Shortly after, his wife was baptised and last year we were pleased to baptise his brother and sister-in-law. Attan, the first brother in Santo, with his wife Sister Esline, live in the main centre, while Brother Charles and Sister Rael live 50 kilometres east at Shark Bay.

Santo

Contact between both families is difficult because of the cost of travel. Through the assistance of the ACBM, Attan and Esline with their family can now travel to Shark Bay each Sunday to enjoy a memorial meeting and Sunday school together. With the extended family there were twenty three including children at the memorial meeting. Eighteen attended the Sunday school while we were there. Our main objective was to encourage the brothers

and sisters. During the day in the capital Luganville we gave out applications for the correspondence course and a ten point pocket-sized leaflet which explains fundamental Bible teachings.

and sisters. During the day in the capital Luganville we gave out applications for the correspondence course and a ten point pocket-sized leaflet which explains fundamental Bible teachings.

At 4:30 each afternoon we would walk to Atan and Esline’s home where jenny would assist their children and the extended family with Sunday school activities. They have two children, Ackline, a girl of twelve, and her ten year old brother, Hauteff.After tea we would sit around the simple iron-framed home and read Samuel ‘daily reading’. The children all speak English but were very hesitant to read their section with us. Limiting the reading to two verses each and a little encouragement from us helped them to become involved.

Vila

Vila has the largest ecclesia in Vanuatu with a membership of fourteen and a Sunday school of eleven. Our daughter, Ruth, and son in law, George Mitsos and their two teenage children assisted during their three week visit with the ecclesia in Vila and Tanna. Sisters Pascaline and Annie conduct the Vila Sunday school. Ruth commended them on their excellent work while giving valuable suggestions for its continued activity. The mission house was used as the venue for four seminars that were advertised in the Vila Daily Post each day over a three week period. The young receptionist at the Daily Post was among those who attended and we have encouraged the locals to follow up her interest. Brother George gave two of the seminars using our ten point card as a basis. He also gave the first two exhortations and I gave the last using it as a means of encouraging and enthusing the ecclesia.

On the third Sunday Brother Jack Nefeali gave a stirring exhortation based on the principles of faith in John chapter four. He incorporated circumstances that had occurred in the previous days and paralleled them with the work of providence through the angels in the chapter. While it is good for mission workers to exhort and encourage, it is also good to hear the expositions presented by local brothers. It is the feeling behind the words these local brothers speak that makes the message really live.

Tanna

Tanna is a forty minute flight from Vila and then one and a half hours on horrendous dirt roads. A Christadelphian school has been established in this area and we were pleased to see it in operation. We enjoyed the company of the local brothers and sisters as they fellowshipped with us each evening for tea followed by a discussion on the readings. One evening, seven teenagers from the school joined us. As the readings were on Matthew 13 we explained the Parable of the Sower and had them take four different colours to highlight the various types ofground. They then used the same four colours to highlight the meanings. It was not just the children that enjoyed this exercise but also Brother George Lui who was baptised two years ago. His wife Jacqueline has completed the correspondence course. We suggested to George that he now revisit the course with her answering any questions and establishing her understanding not only of the teaching of the Scriptures but also its application in her life.

During our stay in Tanna we conducted a seminar in one of the villages. This village was converted to Neil Thomas Ministries many years ago. NTM is an organisation that is based in Melbourne and has Pentecostal leanings. A number from the village attended. Most could not read or write and it was necessary for Brother Jack to interpret for me. At the conclusion questions were asked which I answered through Jack.

During our five week visit we had no more than two or three nights on our own and on most days we would have brothers and sisters with us. We believe our visit was mutually profitable.