A Bible for every tribe, every tongue
For Rett Parker, Mum’s the word. It’s many words, actually…
Amid breathtaking mountain scenery, thick jungle brush and raging rivers, 22 souls gave their lives to Christ through baptism in Papua New Guinea.
The baptisms were the result of a gospel campaign by local Christians along with missionaries from Australia and New Zealand. Each convert received a Bible and songbook in their native language.
The team raised more than $20,000 for the mission trip from 37 Churches of Christ and individual Christians across Australia.
It was a mission of “incredible, remote places” and “amazing, loving people,” said team member Rosie Cronin, secretary for the South Pacific Bible College in Tauranga, New Zealand. The team also encountered people struggling with “immensely heartbreaking and difficult circumstances,” she said.
Australian missionaries Tom and Rens Bunt began working in the Waria Valley of Papua New Guinea in 1984, returning every few years to encourage believers there.
When Tom Bunt was no longer able to make the journey, Australians Steve Collins of the Warwick Church of Christ and David Payne of the Heidelberg West Church of Christ in Melbourne carried on the work.
“I was humbled by the reverence and humility of faith and a willingness to share…”
“Sometimes here in Australia we can get frustrated with the thinking of man and long for Christ’s return for our own benefit,” Collins said. “(We) wonder why he has not come back yet.
“Then I go to Papua New Guinea and see how hungry people are to come to know the Lord. I realize that perhaps the reason he has not come back yet could be because of these ones he loves. It is his desire that none should perish.”
Preparation for the trip began a year in advance. Collins said that team members strive to meet the needs of the church in Papua New Guinea.
In addition to serving on the trip, Terri-Leigh Redding of the Point Church of Christ in Brisbane, Australia, said she also learned about the nature of God.
“I was constantly taught reliance, continually shown servitude and ceaselessly observing God’s unending grace and love,” Redding said. “I was humbled by the reverence and humility of faith and a willingness to share — an openness so raw and rich with honesty, it could not be mistaken for anything other than our Heavenly Father at work.”
The campaign also was spiritually uplifting for the local Christians who participated, said Kerri-Anne Dobadoba, a member of the Boundary Road Church of Christ in Lae, Papua New Guinea,
“It touched my heart seeing how many people came to the church meetings,” Dobadoba said. “Seeing God at work taught me to trust in him always.”
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