Laurie and I were in Port Moresby preparing to leave on furlough when I made one last phone call to our good friend and newly baptized church member in the village to see how the church service had gone. “We have way more interest in our church than we ever thought,” he exclaimed over the phone. With 21 people baptized the previous week and 46 in April, it seemed like the floodgates had opened!
During the week leading up to the last baptism, two theology students from Pacific Adventist University in Port Moresby, who came to do practical training in our region, conducted a literacy training class. I expected the class would pay dividends over the long haul with people learning to read their Bibles, but I didn’t expect the immediate results we witnessed. I had been busy working with our construction crew trying to get the maintenance building secure before leaving for furlough, so I couldn’t be present at the classes. Some of the pupils were ones who would not have come to an evangelistic meeting. And yet, when Friday came, I heard some of them talking about coming to our church on Sabbath. As it turns out, the class had prepared a presentation of the parable of the Good Samaritan to be given during the church service. Among the class members was a lady whose husband had previously shown strong prejudice against Seventh-day Adventists, even kicking SDA students out of the village. Another class member was a high-ranking woman in the major church of the village. These all came and participated in our worship service. Praise God!