|2009 has been a great year
for the Quest. We started in Los Angeles when we ordered our Bibles -
Catholic Bibles from the American Bible Society and NIV Bibles from the
International Bible Society. In ordering the Bibles I asked Scott what
he thought about the order I have planned and his reply was, "Double
it!" I think that was him stepping out there with the expectation that
God would provide (the money, the logistics of sending them to New
Zealand on a container ship, and the carrying capacity of Quest - which
was really strained getting those Bibles onto the boat as low as
possible and without interfering with the function of a yacht at sea).
This is when Joel decided that this Bible Mission is a lot of hard
work! These Bibles have been "found" and lifted from underneath the
floorboards. Then they have to be lifted into the cockpit and from there
over the side and into the dinghy. Then, these cases have to be lifted
out of the dinghy onto the dock, then to the driveway and into the taxi.
Of course, when we get to our destinations we lift them once again into
the office. This makes for a sore back in the short run and a stronger
body in the long run. Getting the Bibles into schools and colleges was a
thrill for us (and we hope for them also).
Above is our friend, Rafa, who arranged for us to get our Bibles into
Catholic and Methodist schools as well as several prisons and the
seminary where she works. Our driver also donated his day to take us
about in his taxi. These are all Joel's photos, so thanks to him!
like to bring children's Bibles to the teachers in the primary schools
where they can read to the children. Every school we visited had a head
of religious studies. This school is a Methodist School.
of our recipients offered to pray for us and our journey. And, we are
always grateful for prayers for our safety and health. This principal
stands out in our minds to this day.
lady (left) was head of religion at the Dudley High School.
We also got our Bibles into another primary school
we are at the Cathedral High School with their religion director.
also were able to get our Bibles into the Catholic Teachers' College.
well as another Secondary School.
From Suva we
went out to our friends on Ono. While we were there Scott spoke at the
Methodist Church on "Promises." We felt this was pertinent as the whole
reason we returned to Fiji was to revisit friends whom we had promised
We were able to connect with some of the folks we had met two years ago
and were happy to see our Bibles
being used by the people in the
village. We caught a very large dorado as we entered the reef and
brought that as part of our gifts to the village. Some clothing was also
Scott was asked to speak at the Methodist Church in Naqara. People
enjoyed his preaching and many remembered his sermon from two years ago.
were very happy to make the acquaintance of this lady and her family.
You see one of our Bibles in her hands.
had people from other villages stop by Quest and request Bibles for
their village. This happened a couple of times while we were at Nangara.
travel around in these open boats, carrying several families, with no
extra fuel or "get me home" engine. No radios or navigation. Needless to
say, occasionally these boats are lost at sea.
our next stop in the Astrolabe Reef. We had promised these people that
we would return also, since two years ago we didn't have enough Bibles
I hadn't had a chance to meet these people or visit their village two
years ago as our boat wasn't well anchored and the prevailing winds were
blowing her onto the reef.
From the Astrolabe Reef we
sailed to Vuda Point to paint the bottom of Quest. What we found was
that our precious boat has osmosis - which is water in the hull that
needed drying before we could paint it. This is not a good thing, but we
did make friends with our paint specialist and were able to go to his
home and meet his Church congregation.
From eastern Fiji
we sailed to western Fiji where we expected people to be fairly well off
and not really in need of Bibles. We were surprised at the desire people
had for our Bibles.
gentleman, Willie, was in charge of the repairs on Quest. He was also a
pastor of a small congregation and we were able to help in his ministry
by the Bibles we gave to him. We have study Bibles with us this year, so
we're making an effort to give these to pastors and teachers. Also, There was a village up in the
mountains that desperately needed Bibles. The locals that worked on our
boat, in the cafe, and in the market were all interested in our Bible
To the right is our friend, Mari, from the cafe at Vuda Point. She was
quite happy to receive one of our Bibles!
From Vuda Point, Fiji we sailed to Vanuatu. We checked into Port Vila
and sailed south to the volcano island of Tanna. The school in Port
Resolution (where we anchored in Tanna)was happy to receive our Bibles.
There's Scott with the Bibles on the left and some of the students on
The principal arranged this photo
with most of the students.(left)
wanted the principal to have a study Bible so he would be prepared to
teach his students.(right)
(left) was a lady we became friends with. She asked for a Bible and
because she is a kindergarten teacher we wanted her to have a children's
Bible. She asked for four other Bibles for her sisters. She said that
they had been praying to receive these Bibles for quite some time. Of
course I was very touched to hear this. Her brother helped us arrange
transportation up to the volcano and he also had requested a
we got to Malua (on the island of Malakula in Vanuatu) we found that the
school was well supplied, but there were some individuals that asked for
Bibles. This gentleman on the left and a lady from the village are
was a man in an adjacent village that had requested Bibles for their
school, so we got those to him before we left.
moved on further south to the Meskalyne Islands and were able to find a
few more homes for our Bibles. This is the village of Pescarus.
Actually, this was a very strange experience for us in that I got bitten
by a dog in that village, and no one seemed to be very concerned!
Needless to say we left as fast as we could!
was one of the villages at Southwest Bay where we left Bibles at each
village. I don't have photos of the other villages with their gifts.
visited a large Catholic Festival in central Malakula Island and left a
case of Bibles and other materials with the local priest. Having done
that we had to leave to head off for the Solomon Islands with Leda.
For the entire time we were in The Solomon Islands we were inundated
with locals selling their carvings. These were wooden and stone.
also had beautiful woven baskets and shell hangings. They also tried to
sell WWII artifacts and ancient Solomon Island treasures. We bought
neither. But we did give away lots of Bibles to both sellers and folks
who brought items we couldn't or wouldn't buy. We met this gentleman
(right) in Gizo - the main town of the western province (the only area
of the Solomons that we determined was safe to visit.).
We waited for the weather to improve so we could travel safely in reef
(and crocodile) infested waters. However, that never happened, so
we went on to towns that were easy to navigate to (and from). Our first
stop was Munda. We did not actually hit the reef on the way into Munda,
but it was very close with a couple of false starts.
These folks on the left are from Munda. As we got closer to the Morovo
Lagoon (east of Gizo) we found the quality of the carvings rose. These
bowls were exquisite with beautiful inlaid shell pieces.
never trade Bibles for peoples' carvings. We make a deal for the
carvings and then give the Bibles as a gift. People are looking for lots
of thing to trade for their carvings: clothing, kitchen items,
batteries, rope, sails, glue and epoxy, magazines, soap, really anything
that is hard for them to acquire - which is just about anything. We are
many miles from the nearest shop and these folks don't have much cash
anyway. (And the few shops we saw had very little inventory as well).
we got north of the equator into Micronesia - into the "American
Influence zone," we found that nearly everything was available - even
Bibles in the little Chinese shops. Where ever we see that Bibles are
available and people have the ability to buy them we don't fell our
ministry has a place. We did leave Bibles for the school in Yap (left).
And we stopped at an at an atoll named, Ngulu on the way to the
Philippines. Ten people were living there and we did leave some Bibles
We walked around their village and my conclusion was that it's very hard
to keep things functioning when you have a very small population. So
your priorities are focused on the basic needs of life: food clothing
last big stop for 2009 was in a town called Tilik on the island of
Lubang. Fr. Fred Pinuela was able to
use the Bibles in his many ministries on the island - in the schools and
in the churches. He is also involved with the local seminarians and our
study Bibles were just the thing. We had a wonderful day with him
touring the island and meeting some of his parishioners.