News from Santo Bush

Forest ferns Sunday morning phone calls do not always bring good news. This Sunday morning, Pastor Mendor was standing high on a hill in the middle bush on the large island of Espiritu Santo with a cell phone and had good news to share. He was so excited because today a man from an influential family in an unreached village was going to be baptized! This is an unreached village that Pastor Mendor has trekked by while evangelizing other places but this particular village had remained closed to him. What is hard to imagine is that this village among others in the dense jungle of Santo has resisted the Gospel of Christ not because of traditional animistic beliefs (which they still adhere to) but because a Baha’i believer had previously been there and “claimed” them.

How can I share with you Pastor Mendor’s passion to reach the people in remote villages on Espiritu Santo? How his heart breaks when he hears that villagers who have never had an adequate presentation of the Gospel of Christ fall prey to foreign cults. He asked us to share this testimony with the JBI students and challenge them to take the Gospel to the hard unreached places of Vanuatu. He said, “While Christians stay in the easy coastline areas, foreign cults are going inland and claiming villagers by business contracts and development projects. They are doing this right under our noses.”

Last year Pastor Mendor and Terry, a young Christian man, were trekking by this village when they were stopped by a torrential rainstorm. They were given shelter and Pastor Mendor took advantage of this opportunity to share the message of Christ with his host family. They listened but the head of the family said that they had already agreed to follow Bahá’u’lláh. But the Holy Spirit was working in hearts and one man asked Pastor Mendor to pray for him. Pastor Mendor promised to stop by again in a few months on his next trip.

Today, that same man, Philip, is being baptized in this village as a testimony to his claiming Christ as his personal Savior. Someone had claimed Philip for another prophet but Philip experienced Christ in his life after Pastor Mendor’s visit and has made his own decision.

Pastor Mendor asked me if I could send 10 Bislama Bibles and writing notebooks for the literacy class he is giving to help the villagers read the Bislama Bible. He is not interested in “claiming” people but rather in making disciples who will follow Christ and understand God’s Word. Please pray for Pastor Mendor and others as they trek through the bush taking the Gospel to the isolated places.

Thank you also for supporting LFTL literature projects. We are currently in the final editorial stages before we print 20,000 copies of the Gospel of John in Bislama. A Bislama Bible costs US$22.00 but the Gospel of John will cost about 60 cents and will be more readily available to men like Pastor Mendor who are taking the Gospel to those who have not yet heard.

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