Daybreak on Guie Island
Papua New Guinea
The cry of souls in darkness had reached our hearts, and my partner in ministry and I knew we must take another journey around New Britain Island, the long island directly east of New Guinea. Although we had no money for travel, both Manjo and I felt we must go forward in faith.
Setting out for the town of Kimbe, we hoped to catch a dinghy bound for our destination. God inspired some of the church sisters in Kimbe to provide our fare, but now we faced another problem: All the dinghies were owned by Catholics who seemed intent on stopping our evangelistic work by refusing to give us passage. Still, Satan’s efforts couldn’t stop God. Although we had to take separate dinghies and indirect routes, Manjo and I both made it to Rhangi, where we conducted evangelistic meetings. The Lord blessed!
After the meetings, we decided to visit a small island where Brother Paul, one of the laymen, had been working. Guie Island is a stronghold of the Catholic Church with no other churches on the island. At first it was very hard working there because the chief would not allow people of other denominations to hold religious programs. Yet God has His ways of breaking down barriers. Brother Paul knew how to do medical missionary work, visiting the sick and sharing the health principles that would help them recover. The chief himself went to Brother Paul for treatment for a kidney stone, so he was happy to permit Brother Paul to keep up his medical work. In time, God used this inroad to bring daybreak to Guie Island in the conversion of two families—including the chief’s own brother Justin, with his wife and children. Once they took their stand, they helped open the way for us to proclaim the everlasting gospel in that village.
To get to Guie Island, we had to carry our cargo down to the river and load it into a moan (canoe). We then paddled down to the sea and all the way out to the island. More than 5,000 people live on this small island, and there is no more space to build houses on land. Instead, the newly married families must build their houses on stilts over the sea.
At Guie, we stayed in Justin’s house for two nights. Each evening the people gathered underneath Justin’s stilted house to hear a short gospel message followed by a health presentation. Little children, young men and women and the elderly crowded in to hear the message. As hungry souls they grasped at the spiritual food, yet could not be satisfied in two short days. They implored us to come back and stay longer—which we hope to do!
While in Guie, we heard the conversion story of Brother Justin and his wife. Justin is a native to Guie Island, but while working as a builder on New Guinea Island, he met Monica, a Morobean girl. Justin, of course, had been brought up Catholic, but Monica came from a Lutheran background. After they got married, both tried to convert the other, but it never worked. Justin sometimes attended the Lutheran Church to observe, but Monica never went to the Catholic Church because she didn’t want to worship an idol. This went on for many years.
In 2011, Justin and Monica moved back to Guie Island, and in 2014 Brother Paul began distributing the newsprint booklet Planet in Rebellion. Justin and Monica’s firstborn son, now age 23, got one of the booklets and started to read. In so doing he found the truth about the Sabbath.
When Justin’s son shared this new light with his parents, they opposed him; but when he gave them proof from the Bible, Justin decided to read the texts for himself. In the Bible, he discovered that his son had been right. He told his wife, “Monica, we must keep the Sabbath.”
One day Brother Paul went to Guie to give treatments to someone who was sick. Afterwards, he stopped by Justin’s house and began to talk to him about healthful living. Seeing Justin’s interest, Paul told him, “If you want to hear more about health, I invite you to come to my church on Sabbath. We will worship together and you will hear more health messages.”
“Praise God!” Justin jumped to his feet. “Paul, we recently discovered the true day of worship, the Sabbath. Now we will make our stand with you.” He beamed. “Thank God for bringing you here to harvest us into the Kingdom of God!”
Rachael, another resident of Guie, is an educated woman who, because of her desire for Bible truth and revival, left the Catholic Church and joined the Assembly of God Church. For years she faithfully worshipped with the Assembly of God Church on another island until she came down with chronic asthma and could no longer venture off the island so often.
In 2015 Rachael heard about Paul’s medical missionary work and asked him to come and help her. When she told him her problem, Paul said, “I will help you if you will agree to follow whatever instructions I give you.” Rachael agreed, and Paul put her on a 3-day treatment plan. Thank God, she received complete healing! Next Paul told her, “Come and worship with us on Sabbath, and you will hear more about the health message.”
One Sabbath Rachael took Paul up on his offer. When Paul saw Rachael coming to church, he changed his Bible study topic to the moral and ceremonial laws and the difference between the seventh-day Sabbath and the ceremonial sabbaths. Rachael wrote down every Bible text, and for three weeks afterward she searched the Bible to confirm the truth of Paul’s words. When she was convinced, she took her stand for the Sabbath.
Rachael’s husband Benson, a staunch Catholic, was harder to win. When Rachael and their three sons began attending church on Sabbath, Benson stayed home. Still, the Holy Spirit was working. When I spoke on Guie Island underneath Justin’s house, Benson came to the meetings. The truth pricked his heart and he took his stand to keep the Sabbath with his family.
Now that they and their families have accepted the truth, both Justin and Rachael have become gospel workers. Justin, though still in baptismal classes himself, has started to do street preaching and medical missionary work. He also does his best to share seeds of truth with his relatives, including the chief. Rachael wants to become a medical missionary, and has begun by helping her extended family learn how to live healthfully. Pray that these two families will become bright witnesses for truth on Guie Island!
Finally, please join us in prayer that God will provide us traveling funds for our work and if possible our own dinghy to travel from island to island reaching lost souls. “If we had our own boat, we could move quickly to warn the unsaved before night comes to our world!”
By Michael Loko. New Guinea Islands Lay Members Association, PO Box 173, Bialla, West New Britain, Papua New Guinea; email@example.com. To donate, contact John A. Wolff at firstname.lastname@example.org.