Bible Mission
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Bible Mission Pg.2
S/V Quest
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Our Mission: To allow the power of the Word to transform lives.
     We seek fertile ground for the Word and homes for our Bibles. Often, the ultimate homes are best found by people who are already living locally and seeking and cultivating that fertile ground. AND even more extraordinary are the times when people have been praying for Bibles for their group or their schools and when we arrive we are often greeted by the attitude of, "We were expecting you." (that is, they were looking for their prayers to be answered. And...) "What took you so long?" Additionally, we are often an amazing encouragement to folks who are long past "the honeymoon" stage of their ministry!
     These photos represent over 60,000 miles of seeking homes for the Bibles on the Quest and include areas from New Zealand to Alaska to Central America - and now from Panama, through French Polynesia, the Cooks, Samoa, Tonga and back to New Zealand. 2007 finds us in the Fiji Islands. Also, not all distributions are included. Anytime we have workers on the boat or come into the dock and have an opportunity to talk to people we find more homes for our Bibles. We have just tried to cover a few of the highlights of our Bible Ministry.

Quest's Mission in 2007 - Fiji

Our mission in Fiji has been much like Tonga. These folks, though multireligious in the cities, are Christian in the villages. We had thought that more remote villages would be more in need of Bibles. We appreciated the fact that our gifts are received with such great enthusiasm. However, what we found in Suva was an unexpected need for Bibles in a major city.

Gau Island

Here the pastor of Gau Island is checking out our Bibles to be sure they are harmonious with his Methodist background. He's old enough to be suspect of any "free" gift. Often people have an agenda behind their "gifts." Scott & I feel that we can do more as "unassociated missionaries." (Our only association is that of fiscal oversight by the Quest Mission Church in Bakersfield.) This allows us to follow the Spirit as we search for "homes" for our Bibles. We hope to be a blessing to those who receive these Bibles. This year (2007) we shipped 17 cases of Bibles to the Quest in New Zealand for our mission (about 500 Bibles). We had hoped to send more, but the shipping costs were oppressive. Because Catholics have a slightly different Bible than Protestants we carry both Bibles, and at several different reading levels.

Down below, Nancy is busy stamping  Bibles. We learned last year of a school teacher that was SELLING the Bibles to parents in her school. We were so astonished (at our own naiveté AND the teacher's boldness) that we decided to have a stamp made up. The words on the stamp are: "A GIFT from your friends in the United States. Quest Bible Ministry. NOT FOR SALE."

These two young men run a school on Gau Island. We know these Bibles will enhance their teachings of both religion and English.

Rabi Island

In Albert Bay, on Rabi Island, we met folks whose families came from the Kiribati Islands to the north. They were relocated to Rabi Island at the end of WWII, as their island had been virtually destroyed during the war. They are Catholics and you can see the Bibles in their canoe - also some rosaries my sister-in-law, Laura, made for them.

When we came ashore we were warmly greeted. We were offered Kava (which is NOT our favorite drink!) and coconut juice (which is MY favorite!). They spoke enough English that we had a very fun time. 

Budd Reef

Budd Reef was our next stop with Lydia and Nancy. This was an atoll where we came through a VERY narrow slot in the reef to make it to the only anchorage just before dark. We anchored in front of the school and brought Bibles to the school the next day. (right)

Nice looking group of kids, don't you think? The children hike over the hill every day to go to school. There's not a lot of level ground on Vanuca Island and what there is of it has to be used for housing and planting. It looked to us as if this building was quite new. It is! They lost more than half of their houses, the school and the church in the cyclone three years ago. Because of the cyclone's destruction much of the village is quite new.  There are plans to increase the number of flowering plants and develop the common areas.

Suva City, Viti Levu

When we got back to Suva we met a lady who was of great help to us. Her name is Raffa (as in Raphaela). She was able to take us to schools that were crying for Bibles! Here we are at St Agatha's Catholic School. This shows Scott (left) in the Principal's office with the Catholic Bibles. The Principal, Amerita, is in the center and Raffa is on her left.

We were treated to tea, fruit and some gifts. (right)

The kids are so cute I couldn't resist a shot of them. We keep forgetting how strange we look to them.

 

From there we visited St. John Bosco School. He was the first Christian martyr in the South Pacific islands. Again we heard of the tremendous need for Bibles in these schools. We actually thought that being in a big city like Suva that the situation would be different. But we were quite mistaken. Wherever we go, from tiny village to big city the cry is the same, "We need Bibles."

Here is a shot of some of the mothers who run the canteen on campus.

Later on, we went across the city to St. Joseph the Worker Grammar School. Scott is here in the school office with the principal. We keep hearing versions of the same story again and again, Catholic Bibles are VERY expensive and the cost to send them to islands in the Pacific is prohibitive. Not even our teachers can afford Bibles.

I think St. Joseph's school is a little older than the others. The classrooms are quite dispersed with covered walkways between buildings and lots of grass and large trees on campus. They have recently added a preschool. We know the Bibles will be useful for teaching the students with the simplified translation aimed at younger readers.

We were also able to leave with Raffa a couple of CD-ROMs of a student Bible with Concordance and everything. This will be a great help in the seminary and the schools. Also of interest is the fact that there was a great need for rosaries. We could have used ten times the number of Bibles and ten times the number of rosaries we brought with us as gifts.

Makogai

Here's Scott talking to the local chief about the Bibles we brought.

And, on the right is his son bringing in the case of Bibles we brought for their village. This village is quite upscale as it is not too far from the main island of Viti Levu, and there was a leper colony on this island with a hospital. Many of those structures were left behind providing living spaces or building materials - not found on other islands.

Nagara

We were invited to the home of Pastor Joe for tea. We brought Bibles and kava as a gift. These are seen in the background over his wife's head! We became quite attached to the people in Nagara. We visited the village twice and finally promised to return another year. The people were lovely and the children, enchanting!

Quest's Mission in 2006

Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Scott had the good fortune of meeting the Principal of the Takamoa Theological College in Rarotonga, Rev. Vakaroto Ngaro, when we were in Rarotonga in December of 2005. At that time he arranged to teach a two week course on evangelism to the students of the college. At the end of the class our request to them was that they each take one of our Bibles and give it to their new or prospective convert whenever that occasion arose.

The students and their wives complete four years of study after which they will go back to their home church and start their own church. What's interesting here is that most of the students don't live in the Cook Islands. Most live in New Zealand or Australia. Their parents came from the Cooks and they have relatives out on the outer islands (many from Penrhyn), but their home is not really the  Cook Islands. 

In these last two photos you see several things: Clearly, the wives are an integral part of the college. They take the same courses as their husbands and if they don't pass, the husband doesn't pass!! How's that for being "equally yoked?" The two crimson books in front of her are the Bibles that we gave to her and her husband for their evangelism. You see she has here child, Daniel, with her. This lady gave the opening devotions that evening. AND, of course, you see the mosquito coils on the table.

Miri, the lady on the left, became a friend and was part of the organization team that put together a banquet of food and gifts the last night we were at the Takamoa Seminary.

 

 

Palmerston Island, The Cook Islands

Palmerston Island is a community of about 50 people, half of whom are children. They teach all the children (except kindergarten) in this one room and use a Christian home school curriculum. This works pretty well as many of the families spend part of the year here on Palmerston and part of the year in New Zealand. The Cook Island people have New Zealand passports and travel back and forth fairly regularly.

Paul and Sue live on Palmerston with their six children. They were our host family while we stayed there. When they found out we had Bibles on the boat they asked for Bibles for their family, the two boys that lived with them and their grandmother, fondly called "Auntie."

Suwarrow, Cook Islands

This family of six were the only people living on Suwarrow. The closest people live almost 300 miles away (upwind). With a radio that rarely has enough power to transmit their situation is often tenuous. Clearly these folks were happy to have the encouragement of the Bibles we brought and the two morning prayer services we led on Sundays.

Penrhyn, Cook Islands

The man on the left of Scott is the principal of the school on Penrhyn. He arrived here a year and a half ago responsible for the education and formation of the fifty children in his school. There was not a Bible to be found anywhere at the school. His desire was to teach English and religion using the Bible. He has been praying since his arrival for these Bibles. He's just frustrated that it took us so long to get here!

These are some of the younger children at the school. In addition to Bibles we also gave some children's literature. So all-in-all we were all pretty happy about finding Bible homes in this school!

 

There was also a small Catholic Church on the island and we were able to give some Catholic Bibles to that community.

Christine (left) is the wife of the Roman catholic deacon on the island and she is a catechist, herself. We talked about her role as a leader in the Church and also her life as the mother of eleven children. She is a very neat lady and the island's baker.

On the "other side" of Penrhyn we were able to give our Bibles to the members of a Bible study group at the Church.

 

As you see, we were also able to leave the last of our children's' books. And Scott generously gave Ray, their pastor his parallel Bible for his use in developing sermons and Bible teachings. Scott is always trying to influence Church leaders that there is more than one way to understand many Biblical passages.

 

Samoa

Life is full of surprises! Our visit to the Seafarer's Center in Pago Pago gave us an opportunity to get our Bibles onto container ships who have Pilipino crew. Many of the people from the Philippines read English. We also found that there is a great need for Bibles in Mandarin Chinese. The Center had some pretty hairy stories about physical abuse of crew on some of these big ships.

This center provides a place of refuge for all seafarers. They have TV, games, books, internet and light refreshments. They helped us by receiving boat parts and legal documents without which we would have no responsible party to assist us. Additionally, they had some school supplies that they wanted to get to the remote islands of Tonga. Since it was our plan to go to Niuatoputapu this worked out great.

 

Niuatoputapu, Tonga

Our entrance into Tonga was the rather remote island of Niuatoputapu. When the officials came aboard our boat we were able to give then Bibles as well as arrange for a case of Bibles to be brought to the school. Of course, the school supplies went to the school at that time also.

This very neat lady is wearing the traditional mourning clothing in honor of the recently deceased king.. We were delighted to see the woven mats that they wear.

The Customs lady wore black without the mat. People were in mourning for a month and wearing black for the entire time. This was because the King had just died.

Because we are interested in placing our Bibles in remote areas we did not look for homes on either Vava'u or Tongatopu. Instead we focused on the Ha'apai Group and this turned out to be good.

 

Ha'ano

The Hapa'ai Group of islands in Tonga have a reputation among the cruisers of being a bit more challenging as far as navigation is concerned. Because of this these small islands are not visited as often as Vava'u, which is quite a yachting and tourist center. The first village we visited was Ha'ano. By chance we arrived on the eve of a special day of giving. Before Church services we were invited to a feast (left) attended by visiting dignitaries. Scott is seated between the Agricultural Minister and and Pastor of the Church.

At the right is a photo of the many gifts given by the congregation.

At the left I'm seated with two of the Church leaders as I present our Bibles to their Church. We were unable to go to a formal ceremony in the Church that day because Scott injured his foot just after the feast.

 

Pungai

Further south at the village of Pungai on Lifuka Island we were able to connect with our friend. He was able to take Hope and myself out to a local school where our Bibles will be used to teach English and The Word!

Here I am with the principal of the school. (left) She was so thrilled that she called Hope and me "Angels." We were very happy that our Bibles received such a warm welcome and will be used in Pungai for many years.

The Bibles will be used for high school level students. Since it was a little late in the day there were only young children left in the school yard. (right)

 

'Uiha

We continued south to a little Island called 'Uiha.  when crossing the reef to get into the anchorage our depth meter registered 11 feet - or 2 1/2 feet under our keel. This is one of the reasons 'Uiha doesn't receive many visiting yachties. The village seemed deserted when we arrived. However, we were "fortunate" to meet the local school teacher as she was riding down the street on her bicycle. She was able to introduce us to the Pastor's daughter. Here's Hope on the left going back to the dock with the teacher to get the case of Bibles. Scott is limiting his walking because of his injured foot.

And finally, (right) here we are with our gift to the Church of 'Uiha. The school teacher is in the middle with the Pastor's daughter on her right and me on her left. We were told that the village was deserted because people were out in the bush harvesting produce for dinner, including the Pastor - a real tent-making disciple.

This is the Church where the bibles will be used for adult Bible study. The Churches in the islands are pretty impressive and represent a time when the population was significantly greater.

 

 

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Nuku'alofa is another yachting/tourist center, so we had decided that we wouldn't be actively looking to place our Bibles here. However, as it turned out this lady (she calls herself "Big Mama" and she runs a yachtie hangout) has a charity to the northern islands. One of the islands, Niuafo'ou, was impossible for us to visit on the Quest. Big Mama took our remaining Bibles and a few remaining school supplies to the school in Niuafo'ou. We did keep one Bible out for the Customs' officer who had indicted in a conversation with Scott that he would very much like to receive one of our Bibles. And with that we depleted our stores of Bibles and completed our Bible Mission for 2006. Actually, this was a pretty exciting year for us because of the many small villages we visited and the fact that we were able to place so many Bibles.

Quest's Mission in 2005

Mexico

This Church in Turtle Bay intrigued us. On our first trip we only came with clothing. On the second trip we interrupted a Bible group with our gift of Bibles. The study group clapped in appreciation at our friendship gift.

Sometimes we just leave little gifts. Our Jewish friends call this a mitzvah. In this case we left Bibles and clothing at a little fishing village Church.

 

These folks have several ministries in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, including a church plant. The ministries include an outreach to expatriates, local Mexican people, a jail ministry and a medical service. The medical ministry is aimed at children in the surrounding villages and headed by a pediatrician (seated on our right). We were especially happy to meet and talk to these folks as it gave us an idea of the local dynamics in Zihuatanejo. The clothing and Bibles were a real encouragement to the work of this group.

El Salvador

John & Rita are missionaries who travel through the mountains of Guatemala. They visit the remote mountain villages where they see many needs. Several of the cruisers moored in Barillas Marina, El Salvador joined us in supplying clothing to people living in areas far from the ocean where we, ourselves would not likely travel. We also were able to supply Bibles that will be greatly appreciated in the communities of John & Rita's ministry.

Costa Rica

In Drake's Bay, Costa Rica not only did we enjoy a jungle tour and the ambience of the local ecohotel, but we were able to meet a local school teacher who helped us distribute Bibles to parents of the children in her school. It was great to meet her and to see all the things she was teaching the children in this community. I would say they were very lucky to have such a dedicated teacher.

 

Panama

Sometimes we just meet individuals and we think our Bibles will enrich their and their family's lives. (photo left) We met a villager in Bahia Honda, Panama selling vegetables and fruit from his dugout canoe. He told us that his excellent English was from living in Santa Barbara, CA for many years where he worked as a landscaper. His children had all grown up in the U.S. and were now professionals living there, but once they had grown he had returned to Bahia Honda where he preferred to live his simple life. This is another man (photo right) to whom we gave Bibles for himself and his family. Of course we determine that the person is literate and receptive!

The Gambier Islands

We got acquainted with the priest here at St. Michael's in Mangareva, Gambiers. Fr. Paul works with young people all around the islands. We left a case of French Bibles with him. I'm sorry I don't have a photo of him. We actually connected with him again in Papeete and were able to donate Bibles to the Church in Tahiti as well.

The Marquesas Islands

I didn't do too well with the photos of the individuals to whom we gave a case of French Bibles. Fatu Hiva is just a little bit off the beaten path, so we wanted to be sure to leave a case of Bibles here. All the people are Catholic on Fatu Hiva. The Bibles went to a group within the Church.

French Polynesia

Occasionally we do have some concerns about just how "fertile" the ground is where we might leave a couple of Bibles. But we figure in a situation where you are one of only seven people on an atoll that perhaps God might speak to you in those lonely times. In talking to Victor he told us of the god of nature and the world around him. He (like many) just had trouble making the connection that the God of creation is the same God that Christians worship. We left a couple of Bibles anyway! You can see the kind heart and generosity in this young man's face.

The Cook Islands

The Cook Islands were a special place for us. Again, we were blown away with the generosity of the people. We did leave two cases of English Bibles here at the seminary and Scott hopes to return there next year (2006). He plans to teach a class. He spent almost a full day with the dean of the school and had a wonderful time talking with him. (He hadn't had a fellow theologian to talk to in quite some time!)

These photos represent some of the highlights of our journey. I hope you enjoy them and we would ask you to remember us in your prayers. We have found that indeed, God works in mysterious ways. We try to be open to whatever means we find to bring the Word to out of the way places.  We are always in need of clothing and money for Bibles. If you are interested in speaking to us about a contribution to our Bible Mission contact us at: jeadam@svquest.com

 

Quest's Mission in 2003

British Columbia

Alert Bay was one of our most favorite places in British Columbia. Bad weather kept the fishing fleet in the marina at Alert Bay. Consequently the Quest was boxed in!!! This turned out to be a great opportunity to meet the fishermen on the docks. Once we had offered a Bible for the wheelhouse of one boat, other boats and crew were interested in receiving Bibles also! In this case we ended up trading Bibles for fish! Being terrible fishermen this turned out to be our best way of being fishers of fish and men.

The local native pastor was very interested in receiving copies of St. John and St. Mark especially published for Native Americans. I think that our visit to Alert Bay was a way of saying, "God hasn't forgotten you." We were very touched by our conversations with the people there.

This connection in Campbell River, BC was terrific. In this case, a group of young people are working and reaching out to other youth in the area, including First Nations' Peoples.

These are the folks we met in Campbell River. They were quite interested in our materials for native peoples and CDs for young people. Quest was fortunate enough to have stocked materials specifically written by and for Native Americans. Here's a web link that gives you a continuing story of Ben & Sarah's work.We always try to supply materials that are contextually appropriate and, where available, written by the people group that we are trying to reach. I heard from Ben in 2008 and , indeed, Bibles are a gift that keeps on giving - they are still using the Bibles in their youth ministry.

We often have opportunities to speak with fellow cruisers.  Here in this exchange library I was able to talk to this lady and give her some Christian CDs for the young people on her boat. Many of the individuals we reach out to are not included in these photos.

 

Quest's Mission in 2002

New Zealand

Our experience in New Zealand can only be described as a trial. Every step of the way required grit and perseverance. There was not one thing that was easy. We encountered storms, constant repairs and remakes on the boat to make her seaworthy, financial chaos and total lack of understanding of our goals. The bright light in this whole morass was the constancy and hard work of the boat workers. Some of them had been fishermen and had braved 60 and 70 knot winds on a fairly regular basis. They knew that we needed a strong and reliable boat. Here we are with David who sailed with us down the west coast of the south island - definitely a good guy and the first recipient of one of our Bibles! His children are now being brought up as Christians.

Tahiti

We had many French Bibles aboard the Quest! Here, we are bringing them ashore for a group who is involved in prison ministry and outreach to the surrounding islands. It was certainly not easy to find this welcome home for these Bibles. We had made many inquiries only to be blocked by language and our own ignorance, but we knew that doors would finally be opened. It's not apparent from our cozy homes in the States that most places you don't just go down to your local book store and buy a Bible. First, they're NOT available; and Second, if they are available, they are VERY costly. The Tahitian people basically, live off the land. Cash money is NOT plentiful. This is true in most of the remote islands we've visited.

The next day we were invited to meet their family and faith group. We enjoyed an evening of good food, companionship, songs and prayers. What an uplifting experience after all we'd gone through to get these Bibles to their proper home! What we were told that evening is that during an all night prayer session New Year's Eve they had received a word that they would receive international visitors that would help them with their ministries. They actually expected us! One of their related groups from Huahine had been asking for French Bibles!

I was drawn to sit next to this lady (I said, "I've been sitting next to Scott for five months - I need a break!") It turns out that she was the ONLY English speaking woman in the group! She has a prison ministry and only three weeks ago her prisoners had been asking for French Bibles. It turns out that Tahitian people learn to read French, not Tahitian. They speak Tahitian and read French. She was determined to get those Bibles this very week, but because they are very costly the way was still not clear to her. Our French Bibles arrived just in time!

Christmas Island

Father Bermond has been an institution on Christmas Island for well over 30 years. He has been instrumental in building a beautiful church, an impressive high school and translating the Bible into Kiribati. Interestingly, the local people are now interested in learning English as it is a key to future employment off the island. Christmas and Fanning Islands - though offering opportunity to the Kiribati Islanders from the crowded islands to the west - still offer limited and back breaking employment in the copra fields on Christmas and Fanning Islands. The English Bibles and Christian children's' literature we brought will be used for both learning English and Christian growth. Many adults in this community are not literate and will be using the Christian children's' literature to learn to read English as well.

This is Sister Maria Theresa with some of her high school students. A Good looking group, wouldn't you agree! Sister Maria Theresa had learned her English from the Bible and believed Bibles might be an excellent way to teach English reading and speaking. Our arrival with English Bibles was the answer to prayer. The resources at the school were limited, but the parents are VERY interested in having their children learn English. Two wings of classrooms with a separate science/library building, plus faculty housing were built by parents using diesel generators for light at night so they could build these structures. But let me be perfectly clear, I did not see one book or one piece of equipment in that building. These people are waiting for you to help. Christmas Island gets about a dozen visiting yachts and a handful visits from their supply boat every year. We arrived just prior to the supply boat and found the only small market nearly empty. They still had Spam, rice, canned veges and a few onions on their shelves. It had taken us about two weeks to get there and would take us another two weeks to get to Hawaii.

This is a photo of the staff and a few of the students! We were very encouraged because the gentleman not only teaches at St. Frances of Assisi High School, but also teaches in the local community school. He let us know that he did not have English texts for the public school and our Bibles would be used for teaching English at both schools. Secular students will now be exposed to the power of the word. Now the Spirit is in charge.

I cannot resist this last photo of the folks from Christmas Island.  We've been asked if people are really happy to receive these Bibles. You be the judge!!! I have to admit that these photos are a bit "sanitized." I think I've done that because the Kiribati people are very proud (and rightfully so) of what they've accomplished. But were you to visit here you would see how very limited their resources are. They are in need of EVERYTHING. I did not see much in the way of teaching supplies, books, paper & pencils. We know these Bibles will be put to good use.

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