The Papua New Guinea Bible Distribution Project continues steadfastly. We are grateful for the national pastors and leaders who desire to assist with this work. During this past year, I was contacted by the administrator of Kilakila Secondary School. We always leave a few extra Bibles for the students who may have been absent the day we distributed. The administration building had completely burned down. He wanted me to know that as they went through the rubble of the destroyed building, the only things that did not burn were the Bibles! He was so amazed and wanted me to share with the contributors that God protects His Word. This should encourage us in our faith to know how important the Bible truly is and the way God continues to do miracles.
In my April prayer letter, I mentioned some events that took place in the village of Malalaua, located in the Gulf Province. The Malalaua High School is the school that had been temporarily closed because of gang fighting. I was invited to speak to the parents and teachers that were meeting in hopes of reconciling this problem. As a result of this meeting and the distribution project, the village leadership had offered land to start a church. Preacher Ricky Kaika, a national preacher, has been able to start services in the village. They have put up a small pole shelter for a meeting place. Almost every week he has reported people being saved. Just recently he shared that the wife of one of the village leaders Chris Lafe trusted Christ. Please continue to pray for Chris Lafe, the man who traveled with us to show us where all the schools are in the area. Brother Ricky also shared a picture of a crocodile that was caught right after we left from the same river by which we traveled. They warned us about being careful and this is a prime example as to why we covet your prayers for our safety.
Pastor Holmes shared with me that while he was speaking at a local church, a young man, Lance Patrick, told him that he was training to be a preacher and that the “Bibleman” had given him a Bible at his secondary school in Madang. The “Bibleman” is what many of the students call me. This young man had trusted the Lord as his Savior and felt the call of God on his life to go into the ministry. He proudly showed the dates he had recorded in his Bible. I traveled over to Milne Bay to the city of Alatou. We worked on some more remote schools during the day and preached a special meeting at Bemari Baptist Church in the evening. The church has no pastor and is having a very hard time. On that Wednesday night a young woman, Elphnie Elliot, came and raised her hand in need of salvation. I spoke to her at the end of the service and one of the ladies in the church led her to Christ. She then told me that I had given her a Bible at her secondary school on August 2, 2017, while she was in grade 11. She still has the Bible and has the date written in it. Thank you to those who so sacrificially have given to make this project possible. This shows the power of God’s Word and how reaching one can reach many. Hallelujah!
Alan & Donna Brooks
Greetings from Papua New Guinea! James Chalmers was one of the first missionaries to enter this country. In 1875, he began his travels up and down the coast of the country and then inland to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was sent by the London Missionary Society to the South Pacific from Scotland.
It is said that James Chalmers visited over 110 villages, 90 of which had never seen a white man in their lives. The natives called him “Tamate”; he was known as the “Greatheart” of Papua New Guinea. In the villages that he visited, he would greet them with the word Maino
, which means peace. James Chalmers taught this simple prayer to the natives: “Great Spirit of Love, give me light and save me for Jesus’ sake.” The door opened for me to travel much of the path that he first explored. One such place was Magarida in an area called Amazon Bay.
To begin the journey, I had to fly for several hours. The weather became so volatile that the pilot said after several attempts to land that he would try one more time and if he could not get through the thick clouds and severe storm, we would have to turn back. Pastor Holmes and I had special prayer together because we both sensed that Satan was trying to stop us. All of a sudden, the pilot announced that there was an opening in the clouds and it would allow him to land safely. It was as if God created a hole to allow us through. Praise God! I was reminded of when our Lord calmed the raging sea for the disciples. We are so grateful to our heavenly Father for His protecting hand and answer to our prayers. We were relieved to be on the ground.
The next morning we traveled by Land Cruiser for 2 ½ hours to where the road ended at the ocean. A small boat arrived to take us and the Bibles to our next destination. After two hours of riding, we stopped at a village school to give the Gospel message and distribute Bibles. After reloading the boat, we continued another 1 1/2 hours to Magarida. We carried our food, water, backpacks, and boxes of Bibles. This village town became the base of operations for launching out into more remote areas of Abau District. In the morning, we began traveling by dingy/small boat along the coastline to multiple schools.
On one very special day, we traveled out into the ocean in order to reach Mailu Island. This is where James Chalmers was assaulted and chased out some 145 years ago. National Pastor Holmes Tako told me I was the first missionary to come to this island since James Chalmers. I was able to speak at one of the island schools and distribute Bibles. After the school assembly, the island chiefs and leaders desired to have a reconciliation meeting. They have felt for years that they were under a curse because of the way their forefathers treated James Chalmers and his team. It was a great time of confession and forgiveness as the leaders asked for forgiveness because of their ancestors. I shared with them that although I had never met “Tamate,” I knew his heart would have been of total forgiveness. I was able to explain the Gospel and tell them of God’s forgiveness through His Son, Jesus Christ. After the meeting, we continued our travels to many other islands and schools in the Amazon Bay area for several more days.
At one school, the administration prepared a special presentation. Several teachers and board members dressed in the traditional clothing of their forefathers and enacted a play of the first missionary coming to their village for the students. We learned that James Chalmers would get to know the tribe and befriend them by giving them salt. I was immediately reminded of how we are to be the salt of the earth
The students were sitting in an open area for the assembly and there was a covered platform for the school leaders and me. It began to rain quite hard during the meeting. I stopped and had a word of prayer with the students asking God to stop the rain. God did not see fit to answer my prayer in that way, in fact, it began to rain even harder. When I asked the principal if we should stop the assembly in order for the children to seek shelter, he said not to worry because the children were use to the rain. I decided if they were going to get wet so was I, so I left the platform to be with them to speak. The children all started clapping with joy. I thought to myself, sometimes God will say yes and in the past He has stopped the rain in our meetings. This time God’s answer was “no.” God had a much better plan. Now that I look back, I realize that He allowed the rain and by stepping down to be with the kids, it endeared me to them and caused them to listen more intently. If the weather had been normal, they may not have been as attentive. God always knows what is best. I am grateful for His guiding hand. God gave us a great gathering. Isaiah 55:8 states, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
So grateful for His guiding hand! Amen and Amen!
Our final distribution in this area was in the actual village of Magarida where we had been staying. The primary and secondary schools joined together for the assembly. God gave us a great day and trees for shade. The children listened so well and then sang many songs in their traditional language of Motu. They also honored us with special gifts of necklaces, Belum bags, and sleeping mats that had all been handmade. There is no Gospel-preaching churches anywhere around this area. The school administration contacted me and asked if I could send a Baptist preacher to their village to start a church. They will gladly give land, a place to live, and also pay him to be the school chaplain. Only God could have orchestrated this opportunity. Please pray that the Lord of the harvest would send a man of God with a heart and compassion for these dear people and this open and needy area.
Thank you for partnering with us in doing all we can to spread the Word of God to the people of Papua New Guinea.
It has been a joy to have five men travel from the United States to Papua New Guinea to work with national pastor Holmes Tako as well as with some of the faithful Christian workers from his church and me with this Bible Project. BIMI Southeast Asia Director Steven Maldoff and Pastor Greg Powell from Calvary Baptist Church in Red Bank, Tennessee, came for six fast and furious days with boots on the ground to help with the distribution. Pastor David Hemphill from Valley Baptist Church in Oswego, Illinois, along with his two assistant pastors, came for nine days to also work with boots on the ground. All of these men were a great example to the national workers with their willingness to do whatever it took to get the job done. During this time, we traveled on difficult roads and by dingy boats and then by hiking in order to reach the schools. This was not an easy task, and I appreciate so much their good attitudes and hard work.
It is amazing what God will do if we simply put our trust in Him. We had been distributing to schools in the Gulf province. We pulled into an area where there was a large high school in Malalaua. There should have been classes but no students were present. I was approached by an elderly gentleman Rex Kiri Karaua. As we introduced ourselves, I learned that he was the chairman of the Governing Board of the school. I informed him of the reason for my visit—the desire to distribute Bibles to all the students and teachers. He shared with me that the school had recently been temporarily closed because of the outbreak of gang fighting within the school and in the village. I was told that the staff, teachers, and Governing Board were having a community meeting with all the parents the next day to try to solve the violence problem. The chairman said it was obvious that God had sent a man of God to help them. He proceeded to ask if I would return the next day to speak to the group from the Word of God. I was able to adjust my schedule to drive back from an hour away to meet with them.
Arriving the next day, I saw a gathering of over 300 parents and officials. God led me to speak on Onesimus and Philemon concerning the only way to change a person and that is for Christ to change his heart. God gave us a great meeting and I was asked to come back the next week to speak to the school of over 600 young people. As I was saying my goodbyes after the meeting, three local policemen approached me. Sergeant Thomas Lafe said he owned a boat and motor and would like to take me to the remote schools in the area that can only be reached by sea and then up the rivers. He said he would have police with us to make sure we had no problems. Pastor Holmes Tako turned to me and said, “Brother Alan, this is such a miracle from God!” We had the names of the schools but did not know the locations nor how to even get to them because there are no roads to reach them.
We have been able to distribute over 6,000 Bibles to these extremely remote schools up and down the rivers and on the coast by boat. Sergeant Thomas’s younger brother, Christopher, is a manager of a vocational school and village leader in Malalaua. He traveled with us to all the schools by boat and truck and then by hiking through the bush to reach the schools. He was so excited to see what we were doing for his people and he said he wanted to help us by giving land for free to start a Baptist church! At one vocational school of 150 students in the area of Malalaua, the manager decided after we had distributed the Bibles to take all the students to church the next Sunday. He said that if we had a Baptist church in or close to this village, he would take them there. Sadly, there is no Gospel-preaching church in the area. Please continue to pray for the village of Malalaua. Only God could orchestrate this opportunity. There are people wanting a church and land has been provided. Please pray that the Lord of the Harvest would send forth laborers. Actually, if space allowed, I could tell you of four villages/towns that currently want to give land for churches to be started. Again, please pray that someone will answer this call.
I am grateful to Matthew McChargue from Brayton, Tennessee, for the inflatable Life Vest that was given to me as there are generally no life vests or very few if any in the boats. It could be quite helpful when your boat is hit by extreme waves and you find yourself in the ocean. The automatic inflator definitely works! I am so grateful that our steps . . . are ordered by the Lord. When God leads a person to do something, one never knows just how important it will be. It might just save a missionary from drowning. I am grateful to Matthew for his giving spirit and for listening to God’s leading.
It is exciting to see so much going on here in Papua New Guinea. Mickey Schrimshire and I recently traveled to Kundiawa in the province of Simbu in the highlands to distribute Bibles in the schools. What a blessing to see hundreds of young people listening intently! Usually when we are doing a school, the principal or head teacher will help begin the assembly then slip off to do other school business. The head teacher at Kundiawa Secondary School stayed and went down to stand with the students and listened with great interest. She came to me at the end and wanted to tell me that she was so impressed with our program. She said, “Many talk in general about God and Christianity but this was made so personal. You guys did not just talk about religion but made it really personal and like a true relationship. I really enjoyed it and believe the students did too!” We also have done many schools in the Lae area. It is so hard to describe the joy it is to see thousands of young people gathered to receive their own Bibles.
After years of training and encouraging others to be involved in the distribution, it is a blessing to see many national pastors who are working hard in their respective areas. Pastor Ricky Mongo has been doing schools in the Eastern Highlands. Pastor Jason Huhuku is in Wewak in the province of East Sepik and has been busy distributing Bibles and speaking to the students as well. The men of Calvary Baptist Church plan to distribute Bibles in schools outside Lae in Morobe province. Missionary Jason Russell reported that one school desired for all to come to the church to have a special dedication service and allow the students to receive their Bibles.
I received several emails from Missionary Eric Fair. He has been in Papua New Guinea most of his life as a missionary kid and now as a missionary. He has a tremendous burden for the remote areas. If you closed your eyes and listened to him speak, you would think he was a Papua New Guinean national. He and another national preacher traveled way out into some extremely remote areas. He shared the following: “Below are all the details and schools that Jason and I have completed in the bush near the Western Highlands and Southern Highlands border. The roads are pretty hard to navigate but we were able to get out there without getting stuck too many times.” We are asking all to please pray for us as we work to finish strong. There are so many things I could write. It is truly hard to narrow the stories down to put into one letter. This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes (Psalm 118:23 KJV).
If you have not watched our newest video update, please view it at www.BIMI.org/png. I think you will really enjoy hearing the young lady’s testimony at the end of the update.
With grateful hearts, we sincerely thank you for your financial support and sincere and fervent prayers. Without your help, the Bible Distribution Project would not be possible. May God richly bless you in all that you do.
2023 Spring BIMI PNG Update.
The theme this year for BIMI is “Achieving the Impossible…Because God Can!” When we first started the Papua New Guinea Bible Distribution, many thought it could not be done! I must confess I had times of doubt myself, but God has truly shown Himself strong in so many ways. The simple fact is that 1,100,000 Bibles have been shipped into the country and 960,000 of those Bibles have been personally handed out to the students and teachers across the country. Only God’s providential grace could achieve that work. Satan has thrown many obstacles in our way: COVID, robberies, personal health issues, and even the deaths of dear friends and co-workers. Through all the trials, God’s Word has continued to go forth.
Summer break is over for the students of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and schools have begun for the new year. As we progress further into 2023, God has burdened me with a goal to complete the Bible Distribution Project. This is going to seem like an almost impossible task as we have finished all of the major cities and now must go even farther into the extremely remote areas. This means traveling deeper into the bush; taking longer hours; and traveling by boat, planes, and in large trucks on undeveloped roads to reach the schools. The Bibles are in the country and the students and teachers are waiting!
My wife and I have had several health issues in the last two years. I share this with you so that it will enable you to pray more specifically that God will keep us strong to finish the task He has set before us. We truly need God’s people to hold us up in prayer to the Lord to make the impossible—possible. We have 140,000 Bibles to still distribute. I thank God for all those who have been involved in this project and am excited that Missionary Mickey Schrimshire, who has also battled several health issues, is determined to return to PNG to aid in this work. Please pray that we can finish strong!
We all know that the world’s economy has changed in the last two years. We had carefully planned out financially the needs we would have to finish distributing the Bibles. Sadly, with the economy changing and the rise in inflation, I find myself having to ask you again to pray about what you can do to help us financially. The cost of everything has gone up in a major way. When we started this project, a container of Bibles to be shipped into PNG was $5,500. The last two containers that we brought into the country cost over $10,700 each, being almost double the price. The rental of boats, trucks, transport fuel, and in-country shipping has inflated greatly. I would like to ask you to pray that God would touch the hearts of people to help us finish strong. Any donations specified to the PNG Project will go to the shipping and distribution of the Bibles.
Brother Akso Peters is a preacher in PNG who has been assisting in the distribution of Bibles. We first met Brother Akso when we started the project. He was a faithful Christian attending church but not completely involved in the ministry itself and would help drive us around at the beginning but rarely said anything. He is now preaching and working diligently in the ministry and is one of my go-to men in PNG. I asked Brother Akso if he would share what he thinks of the PNG Bible Project. The following are his comments.
I want to give glory to God for this BIMI PNG Bible Project. This project gives us, the national pastors, preachers, and missionaries opportunity to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to teachers and students throughout all the schools in this beautiful country of Papua New Guinea. Thank you to the independent Baptist churches from overseas and the individual Christians who have donated to this project. I do not want to forget the pastors and missionaries who came from all over the world like Canada, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. The biggest thanks go to the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY and the Bible-man, Alan Brooks.
(Please check out the link below for the BIMI World pages 18–19 where there are other testimonies of other PNG national pastors and a fellow missionary. (Please check out this link below for the BIMI World pages 18–19 where there are other testimonies of other PNG national pastors and a fellow missionary.
We are deeply grateful for your prayers, kindness, and giving spirit that are helping to accomplish this project because we know with God’s help we can! May God richly bless you in the coming year as you faithfully serve our Lord. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20).
Alan & Donna Brooks
I recently read a devotional thought on Thanksgiving that I found very enlightening. “Thanksgiving is not just an event; it’s a celebration of God’s grace and mercy.” As I thought on this quote, I thanked God for all He has done. God has been so good to allow my health to recover enough to travel back to Papua New Guinea (PNG) to coordinate the delivery of the last two containers. We have received 20 containers making a total of 1,100,000 Bibles. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes
I thank God for friends in the ministry that assist us. Pastor Dennis McChargue from Brayton Baptist Church in Brayton, Tennessee, graciously traveled with me. The doctors would not allow me to pick anything up at this time because of the colon surgery and Pastor McChargue worked hard to make sure that I did not. I am so grateful for his help during this time of recovery. This man truly has a servant’s heart. I thank God as well for the many national workers who have tirelessly labored to unload the containers and then store them safely for future distribution. It gets very hot inside a forty-foot container near the equator.
Many days were spent doing paperwork in order to get the containers out of the port. On the weekends, Pastor McChargue and I preached at some of the local churches. God blessed Pastor McChargue and me, as we were able to see many come to the Lord. At Liberty Baptist Church in Kwikila, one young lady, a niece of the pastor, came to Christ in tears. An elderly lady who had been attending the church for years trusted the Lord, revealing that she had never been saved. Praise the Lord!
After receiving the first container, we flew to the Highlands for a Preachers’ Meeting. Our goal was to motivate and coordinate the distribution of Bibles to the remote schools in that area. When we use the word travel, it carries a lot of meaning. First, we traveled by plane, then we drove a Land Cruiser four hours on some of the most challenging roads you could ever see. We then met with 19 local church pastors who had traveled from their areas to meet us. God gave us a great meeting and I believe much was accomplished. After meeting for two hours, we then drove eight hours to the city of Lae on the coast, arriving late at night in order to receive the second container of Bibles.
I thank God for Brother Pomat and the men of Calvary Baptist Church in Lae. Their hard work and much heavy labor was greatly appreciated. Brother Pomat is a retired PNG military officer and a layman in the church. God is using him to help in a mighty way. I truly wish I had someone with his leadership and “get-it-done” attitude in every one of the 22 provinces. I do ask you to pray for his wife, Rachel, as she is currently battling cancer.
We traveled two and a half hours the next morning to distribute Bibles to four schools that came together for one great assembly. The students had prepared a traditional example of their heritage. The coordinating teacher cried openly as she told how she had been praying that God would supply Bibles for the children. She was not the only one crying after her speech. We not only have a God who listens to our prayers but also truly answers.
That next weekend was a great blessing. We started by preaching in the town market and saw five people come to the Lord and several were in church the next day. Sunday morning was spent preaching in local churches. It was a blessing to see six people come forward to trust the Lord.
The next few days were spent distributing Bibles. One school in particular was PolyTech, a university level school with 800 students. The young people were so attentive and God gave us a great meeting.
We are grateful for the opportunity to be your missionaries. Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support.
Please forgive me for the lateness of this prayer letter and update. I had plans to get it out sooner, but I have had some recent medical issues. On Saturday, August 20, I arrived in the States intending to be home for a short period. The next morning, instead of attending church, I was taken to the Emergency Room (ER) with a diagnosis of a perforated colon. I was admitted to the hospital for observation in hopes by the surgeon that the perforation would seal itself. On Tuesday morning after another CT scan and with an increase of symptoms, I was prepared for an emergency surgery for a Colectomy, removing 8-10 inches of my colon. I spent nine days in the hospital and now I am at home for recovery. According to the doctors, I will be able to return to Papua New Guinea (PNG) by October 1, which is when the 100,000 Bibles should be arriving into the port of PNG. God’s timing is always perfect in allowing me to arrive home when I did to receive medical care. It is amazing to look and see how God orchestrated it all, including giving me a Christian ER doctor on call who had been on several mission trips and was a born again Christian surgeon that prayed early on Tuesday for guidance on how to proceed with my treatment. I am so grateful that our steps are ordered by the LORD.
I received the following message from National Pastor Fred Gaho of Exodus Baptist Church in Mt. Hagen.
“Praise the Lord, a soul saved today through the phone. A student from Tari town called, I lead her to the Lord and she accepted Christ with tears and was so happy that she got saved. I spent two hours to explain some of her questions and she understood so well. Pray for this young girl that she will grow in the Lord through the Word. Brother Alan Brooks, thanks for bringing the Bibles into the country. God bless you.”
This young lady called Pastor Gaho from the city of Tari in the province of Hela. She courageously made a phone call to someone she did not know to learn how to be saved. To me this is a clear evidence of the Holy Spirit working in the heart of a young person. This town Uhas no Baptist church at this time, so all of the Bibles that were given out in that area were stamped with the contact of one of the closest churches, which sadly is six to eight hours away from the area where she lives. What a tremendous need and opportunity for a soul winning church to be started to reach and disciple this new generation!
In early August, we were asked to distribute Bibles at one of the top universities in the country. This university has a matriculation of 4,000 students and only allows the brightest and smartest young people in the country to attend. I spoke multiple times giving the Gospel message to the students and each person was given a Bible. At one meeting of male students, 20 young men asked to receive Christ as their Savior. On Friday night, I was asked to speak at a Christian fellowship meeting on campus. A young man, Gideon, who is a last year physics major, came forward to trust Christ as his Savior. He is also from Tari town in Hela where there is no Baptist church. He and I have continued to correspond concerning the things of God. His hunger for the Bible and desire to grow in Christ are so encouraging.
Missionary Mickey Schrimshire, who has traveled with me many times to PNG, prepared a very special Gospel tract for the country. Over 10,000 were shipped and they have been gladly received as we have distributed them around the country. Also, a church in Columbus, North Carolina, printed and shipped 10,000 Gospels of John and Epistles of Romans to be given out in the jails and prisons.
We also received 500,000 Gospel tracts from Fellowship Tract League in Ohio because of a generous donation from a donor in Pennsylvania. We do not always know when the harvest is going to come but God will reap His harvest in His time. God’s Word promises it will not return void.
Please pray for us as we have distributed approximately 960,000 of the one million Bibles that have been sent to the country. We have bought and paid for another 100,000 more Bibles that are presently being shipped to the country. God’s people have been so generous to help make this project happen. This will bring our total to 1.1 million Bibles!
1. That the door stays open to distribute the Bibles with the change in the government due to the election
2. That the hearts of the young people in PNG will continue to be open to receive the Gospel
3. That God will call someone to start a Gospel-preaching church in areas of need like the city Tari in Hela
4. For safety and God’s protecting hand as we travel to the schools
5. For my continued healing during recovery
As William Carey said, “I go to mine for souls, but you at home must hold the ropes.” From the bottom of our hearts, we thank those of you who have held the ropes through earnest prayer and financial giving to make this project possible.
Alan and Donna Brooks
Several years ago when I was approached about distributing Bibles to the students of Papua New Guinea (PNG), I remember asking God to confirm in my heart that it was His will for me to take on this project. Humanly speaking, I knew it would be almost such an impossible task to accomplish. God used Isaiah 29:14 to confirm in my heart His leading: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder.
God does not have to prove Himself but over and over again He does. When trials come into my life, I go back to this text to encourage myself that God is the One who directed me here and wants this project done. I thank God for the comfort of His Word. It is a great joy to report that 960,000 Bibles have been distributed out of the one million that have been shipped into the country!
It always amazes me how God directs and brings people into our lives at just the right time. I being in the way, the Lord led me (Genesis 24:27). I had traveled to Lae in order to ship Bibles by boat to three remote areas. While I was at the airport, a woman and her husband came up to me and asked if I was the person responsible for giving Bibles to the students in schools. I learned that Mrs. Bu owns a vehicle rental business and often volunteers to teach children the Bible in a new school that had recently opened in Port Moresby. She and her husband had tried to buy Bibles for the children but could not afford them even if they could find them. God in His providence allowed us to meet and we were able to speak and distribute Bibles to over 400 students and teachers at that school! We were not aware that the school even existed and would have probably missed it had I not met this couple on that day. God’s timing is always perfect.
Pastor Holmes and I were scheduled to fly back to Port Moresby later that week. Our flight was to be at 1:15 p.m. but was cancelled and rescheduled for 6:30 p.m. that evening. A young man, Lawrence, was scheduled to leave at 10:00 a.m. but his flight was cancelled and delayed as well. He noticed me at the airport while we were both waiting for our flights. He approached me to tell me I gave him a Bible in 2019 at his secondary school. He said he was not a Christian. He wanted to know if I could tell him again how to become a Christian like I had done at the school. We sat for a long time going through the plan of salvation and he prayed to trust Christ. He said, Now, I am a Christian and God says I will go to heaven.” We talked further and we exchanged contacts. He looked up at me and said, “I am so glad that my flight was canceled so that we could meet.” While waiting to pick up our bags, Lawrence approached me again to thank me and to tell me that it was worth waiting all day at the airport to understand the Gospel. My first thought was how God had orchestrated the whole trip, even the delays. Then I thought of the law of sowing and reaping. We sow and never know when God will allow us to reap a harvest. Praise God that His Word never returns void!
While I was in West New Britain, it was a blessing to see the students of Hoskins Secondary School receive their Bibles with over 1,100 students and teachers. The headmaster of this school asked if a local pastor could come back every week to speak to the students about God. This has happened multiple times here in PNG. I had the privilege to meet a deputy headmaster from another school. He shared with me that the distribution of Bibles to the students was one of the greatest events he had ever experienced. He also asked me if I would come back weekly to share God’s Word to the students. This broke my heart as I knew that I could not do this as I must continue with the Bible Project. What an opportunity for missionaries and national pastors to teach this next generation! They could literally stay busy preaching and teaching about God in the schools full-time. What a window of opportunity!
* That God would raise up Godly leaders in governmental positions as it is election time in the country
* Continued open doors for distributing Bibles and presenting the Gospel in all the schools
* Shipment of an additional 100,000 Bibles presently on their way would arrive safely to the ports in PNG
* Safety as we travel
* That God would sustain our health and our financial support during these times
We are grateful from the bottom of our hearts to those churches and individuals who have helped to make this project possible through prayers and financial giving. Only in eternity will you see the true results of your sacrifice.
Alan and Donna Brooks
After landing in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in February, it was with great joy to anticipate once again speaking to the students and personally handing them a Bible. Before arriving at the first school, I was robbed while waiting in a vehicle that was stopped in backed-up traffic. My money, cell phone, and personal effects were taken but God’s protecting hand was there. Praise the Lord!
One of my prayers has been to get into the very rural province of Hela. This area is called “the last frontier of PNG.” We had tried to go in several years ago but the area was hit by a bad earthquake and then the government advised us to wait because of the constant tribal fighting. The door was opened and we finally were able to travel into the province to give the Gospel and hand out 13,800 Bibles. All the secondary schools and almost all of the primary schools were issued Bibles in a short amount of time. We were also able to assist in starting a Baptist Fellowship in the capital city of this province. There are no Baptist churches here, so we are praying that this Fellowship will develop into a strong church. By the way, while in Hela I was robbed a second time. This time it was while standing by the vehicle asking for directions. A man came at me with a long bush knife (machete) solely to steal my phone. I had to remind myself that God had led me to be here and do this project. God helped me again to realize that I was attacking some of Satan’s strongholds and he hates to see the Bibles given to young people who can change the nation of Papua New Guinea. The devil does not like what God is doing in this country.
After Hela, I flew up to an island on the north side of Papua New Guinea to the province of Manus. This is where General Douglas MacArthur led the US Military in taking back the country from the Japanese in February 1944. We traveled by trucks and boats to remote schools to speak and distribute Bibles. One of the pastors from Manus said, “I thank God for America. You physically freed us in World War II and then spiritually. You sent missionaries to show us how to be saved.”
My weekdays are filled with traveling, shipping Bibles, and distributing them to schools. On the weekends, I speak at different churches. One Sunday night, we held a street meeting in the market in the capital city. After the preaching, Mr. Ray Lotive, a former captain of the PNG Kumuls, (World Cup Rugby Team) walked forward. This was amazing as he stepped out in front of hundreds of people to put his faith and trust in Christ. I had the privilege to see 15 people trust Christ during these Sunday services. It is so refreshing to see people respond to the Gospel call.
We had the official launching of the Bible distribution for the Sandaun Province in the city of Vanimo on the Indonesian border. All of the headmasters/principals of the schools throughout the province attended as we gave the first Bibles out to the students. The headmasters lined up to ask me when I was coming to their schools. God certainly knows how to throw open a big door of opportunity. Our second school here had over 900 students. Our schedule is full of more opportunities to preach the Gospel and sow the seed of the Word of God. Please pray for this area as we have a small fellowship in Vanimo but no pastor at this time.
Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support. We ask that you continue to pray for God’s protecting hand on our lives, His wisdom, and guidance daily. I do not have the entire list of those who wish to receive email updates because of my phone being stolen. Would you please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I may add you back to the list if you are interested? In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Alan and Donna Brooks
After much prayer and paperwork, I leave for Papua New Guinea (PNG) on February 15. Praise the Lord! I am scheduled to arrive on February 18 after 48 hours of travel and 33 hours in the air. This trip would normally be somewhat shorter, but because of many countries still being closed, it requires me to take a longer route. I was reading the other day about the life of James Chalmers, one of the first missionaries to enter PNG. His trip to get to PNG took 17 months from England. Multiple shipwrecks and delays were the cause of his long trip. Two days is not that long when you put it into perspective.
I was contacted by a printer who had a desire to donate 10,000 John/Romans booklets to be shipped for use in the prisons of PNG. These John/Romans were graciously made possible by the printing ministry of Crossroads Baptist Church in Columbus, North Carolina. In January, several of the men who work with Baptist International Missions, Inc. (BIMI), Mr. Kenneth Fink (Accounting at BIMI), Missionary Tim Leonard, Missionary Mickey Schrimshire, and Missionary Robbie Leonard traveled with me to North Carolina to prepare the pallets to be shipped. There was much work in moving the boxes and shrink wrapping and labeling the pallets. I could not have done this without these faithful and hardworking men. As we all laid our hands on the boxes, we asked God to help this shipment to get to its destination and to use it for His glory.
The national pastors and I have had a desire to ship Gospel tracts in English and Pidgin to assist in evangelizing the country of PNG for a long time. At almost the same time we were shipping the John/Romans, I was contacted by the Fellowship Tract League concerning donating one half million Gospel tracts to be used for evangelism. At the same time, the funds to ship them were provided by a generous donation. All of this occurred in January just as I was approved to purchase my ticket to travel back to PNG in February. I never cease to be amazed at God’s timing in accomplishing His work.
I truly covet your prayers for safe travels, good health, wisdom, and guidance as we continue this project. Thank you for being a part of this ministry through prayer and/or giving. All that has been done and will be done is fruit to your account. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account
(Philippians 4:17). May God richly bless you for your faithfulness.
Under the city of Rome are miles of underground caves that were used as burial grounds for an estimated four million Jews and Christians. As archeologists researched these catacombs, they discovered that the most common saying on the walls was a quote from 2 Timothy 2:9, The word of God is not bound. Even today, Satan’s tactics have not changed. He tries constantly to stop the Word of God from going forth. Whether COVID-19 or lockdowns, the Word of God is not bound. God promises that His Word will not return void.
It is with great joy that I recently received the required visa to be able to return to Papua New Guinea. The embassy had been struggling with COVID-19 restrictions, causing many workers to not be in the office, which caused the delay in notification of its approval. I contacted my travel agent concerning the return trip and was advised to wait a month to buy my tickets because of all that is happening with the airlines and the different countries. Please continue to pray that travel will be allowed and that God would break down all barriers.
It is also a joy to share an update that I received from national Pastor Davie Karol on the island province of Manus. He has been able to travel by boat and four-wheel-drive vehicle to reach out with the Gospel and distribute Bibles to over 16 schools in extremely remote areas. Many of the headmasters and teachers of the schools have expressed joy in seeing their small remote schools not overlooked or forgotten. Can you imagine what God can do with these young people that most of the world knows little about? God cares and loves them all no matter where they live geographically, even in the most remote areas. God delights in taking the little and making much of it.
By God’s grace, we have printed and shipped 1 million Bibles, and an additional 100,000 Bibles have been ordered to be printed. Approximately 780,000 of the original 1 million have been distributed. When the additional 100,000 arrive, we will have a total of 320,000 Bibles to be given to students. The magnitude of this opportunity never ceases to amaze me with over 1.1 million Bibles. That means 1.1 million souls will receive the Word of God. How precious are His promises! In times past, we have been able to host teams of workers to assist our efforts, but because of COVID-19 all extra help from the United States and other countries has been curtailed. Definite prayer will be a necessity to be able to accomplish what is set before us! Please pray for timing, protection, and health concerning our travel to PNG and then in the country distributing Bibles. Thank you and may God richly bless you for your continued prayers and financial support!
It is my desire to update each of you as to what has been happening in Papua New Guinea (PNG) during recent days. The majority of the countries in South East Asia are closed, which stops all international travel into Papua New Guinea. I am glad to report that national pastors and workers who have assisted in this project are continuing to work to the best of their ability to continue the Bible distribution. Students and teachers are receiving their own Bibles even during these trying times and the Gospel is being preached.
My great desire is to get back to Papua New Guinea so that I may be able to be on the ground to coordinate the distribution of the Bibles that have been shipped there already. Although technology has enabled me to continue to coordinate their efforts during this continued pandemic, there is nothing quite like hands-on work. Veteran missionary Mickey Schrimshire and I are actively working on new Visas and special permission to return. It is slow but a continuing process.
There are approximately 200,000 Bibles left that are presently in storage out of the 1 million Bibles already purchased. Our mandate from the beginning has been “As long as we have money, we will continue to buy Bibles.” We have not been actively fundraising since we met the goal of one million Bibles, but God’s people have continued to sacrifice and give. Because of this, we have experienced the tremendous blessing of having enough money to order two more containers of Bibles. Each of these Bibles again will contain the plan of salvation, the Old and New Testament, and a Bible dictionary. This will bring our total for Papua New Guinea to 1,115,000 Bibles brought into the country and distributed to students and teachers alike. This also means 1,115,000 people will have heard the Gospel. Amen and Amen!
I recently received a phone call from the deputy secretary of education in Papua New Guinea, Dr. Wingi, asking if there was a way that we could bring more Bibles to the students. “There is a tremendous need in our schools especially since we have started a new curriculum called Christian Character and Values Education (CCVE).” This curriculum is a direct result of the Bible project and is now being taught as a core subject in the schools. Praise God!
Please pray for the following:
• for our visas to be approved
• for the special permission to be granted to re-enter the country
• for the national pastors working with us
• for those who have been infected with the delta variant that has been reported to have entered the country in July of this year
• for our health and safety
* for our continued financial support
Please take a few minutes to watch our latest update video
to see what God is continuing to do in Papua New Guinea and to learn about the future goals and plans for the PNG Bible Project. Even during the pandemic, God is doing great things. Thank you for your faithful support. May the Lord richly bless you!
It is a joy to report that the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Bible Distribution continues. One example of this is the following: Gershom Leleko, a national pastor, and the men of Sword Baptist Church in Popondetta had the joy of distributing Bibles to the students in Vudal University. Popondetta is a coastal city located in the eastern province of Ora. In spite of the required need for social distancing, the students received the Bibles with great excitement.
As the summer temperatures rise here in the United States so have things heated up in PNG in a different way. COVID-19 has had its effects. The visa I have been working under in PNG for the last four years has been changed. I have had to begin the process of applying once again but this time for a special work visa to enable me to return to the country. Please pray as this required visa must be done in PNG by a national sponsor while I am required to be out of the country. There are now pages and pages of forms to fill out and multiple background checks that must be sent to the immigration services. Who would have thought that at my age I would need to prove I graduated from high school and college? Praise the Lord, I still have my diplomas! Once this is completed and approved, I must travel to the Papua New Guinea Embassy in Washington, D.C. to receive the proper stamps in my passport. Again, I ask that you pray that the visa will be approved quickly. At this time, most of the countries in Southeast Asia have locked down all international travel. This holds true for PNG as well. This has caused a great deal of chaos. Dr. Wingi, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Education, said to me over the phone, “The new restrictions are causing a concern for all of us.” Please pray!
Greetings from the Papua New Guinea Bible Project! These last few months have seen many things transpire. Even with all the adversity due to COVID-19, the work continues!
National Pastor Gershom Leleko of Popondetta has been working extremely hard to get into some of the very remote areas in Ora province, distributing Bibles to the students. Due to the geographical composition of the area, travel is extremely difficult. To get the Bibles to these 64 schools, one must take them by boat or 4-wheel drive vehicles over mountainous terrain. Please pray for this endeavor and the safety of those involved. I am presently working to ship additional Bibles to Popondetta in Ora Province to continue the distribution.
Missionary Jason Russell has an outreach ministry helping the remote villages by digging wells for fresh water. He and several of the men from his church traveled 44 hours by boat to the Awaba Secondary School in the Balimo swamps. They spent three Sundays there and saw four men come to Christ and numerous students express their need of the Savior. Jason reported, “We are at Awaba Secondary School drilling a well but also doing the Bible distribution. We spoke and distributed Bibles to 600 students. We drilled, found water, and now we are going to introduce them to the Living Water that always satisfies—the Bible.” I am so truly grateful for the help of missionaries like Jason Russell, national pastors, and laymen who have come alongside to assist in this monumental project.
Papua New Guinea (PNG) is going through a major surge in new cases and deaths due to the COVID-19 virus. The prime minister announced that they believe one in four of their population has been infected. This has caused another lockdown to try to stem the tide. The majority of cases are in the major cities, although it is progressively reaching into some of the rural areas. Sadly, the medical facilities which struggle on a normal basis are now being extremely taxed. The majority of the patients stay in wards lined with beds and there is no air conditioning. The following was recently published concerning the epidemic in PNG. “I fear that the current case numbers are just the tip of the iceberg.” The toll on health workers has been severe. In field hospitals workers sweating beneath protective equipment are rushing between beds to tend to the dying. “We fear that we are going to fill all these beds and then we will have nowhere else to continue to care for COVID patients,” said Mangu Kendino, MD, an emergency physician and the chair of the COVID-19 committee at Port Moresby General Hospital. “We’re tired, we’re exhausted, we’re fatigued.” Please fervently pray for the leaders, healthcare workers, and the people of PNG during this time of trial.
The older I get the more I begin to realize the brevity of life. Pastor Philip Sorulen, one of the most influential pastors in PNG and my dear friend, passed away suddenly. He had been pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Lae City for 25 years. This church was originally started by BIMI Missionary John Owens. Brother Philip was one of the deacons and later became pastor when Brother Owens went on to Glory. Pastor Philip’s voice was that of a strong fundamental, independent Baptist in PNG. His influence and preaching will be greatly missed. His life lives on in the many, many people he influenced for the cause of Christ. This congregation lost their pastor as well as one of their deacons, Brother Moris Meison. He died unexpectedly on the same day. Pastor Holmes spoke at both of the funerals and called Brother Moris “Pastor’s armor-bearer.” What a great testimony of a godly deacon! Psalm 116:15 states: Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
Please pray for Calvary Baptist Church in Lae.
These are trying days but as someone once said, “Has it ever occurred to you that nothing has ever occurred to God?” God knows the end from the beginning and has not lost track of what is happening in the world. Praise God! Thank you for your faithful support and much needed prayers.
Alan & Donna Brooks
As we begin to travel through 2021, our minds are drawn to what the future holds. The late Evangelist Lester Roloff when asked what he thought the future held would respond, “As bright as the promises of God.” How true the statement is for our day!
At this time in Papua New Guinea (PNG), it is what we would call their summer vacation since they are below the equator. School is out until February. Before the schools closed for the break, it was a great encouragement to know that many of the national pastors are carrying the load. I have received reports from almost all over the country of progress being made.
In an earlier letter, I asked that we pray for a team from the Haven of Rest Baptist Church outside of Lae in Morobe Province as they traveled to the remote area of Finschhafen. A team of six Christian men, several who are preachers, took the challenge of this trip. The following is a portion of a report.
“Bibles were distributed to 27 schools in the district. A total of 3,096 Bibles were distributed. Land transportation was made available by the local school inspector of the Finschhafen district and we hired a dingy (small boat) to take us to the Tami Islands and the areas that have no excess by roads.
We as a team were blessed to hand these Bibles to each child in these schools. We saw their faces glow with joy as they each said, ‘Thank you.’ They would hold the Bibles up against their chests and some even kissed the covers of the Bibles. Each school representative gave an appreciation address saying that this was their need and they offered a BIG THANK YOU to Baptist International Missions and the Christians of the Baptist Churches in America and around the globe who gave for this special gift—a gift from God!”
They further reported that during the evenings, services were held in many of the villages. Students came with their Bibles and parents to hear the Word shared by Preacher Robin Leo and Preacher Rueben Bill. During these evening meetings, 20 students trusted the Lord as Savior and 11 adults did likewise.
I wish there were room to tell all of the stories. Men have been working in East Sepik and Sanduan in the far north. Others have been working in Wewak and on Karkar Island, while others have been working in the Highland provinces. I guess one of the great things in heaven will be to hear how our Lord has brought so many to Himself.
In an earlier prayer letter, I mentioned that “the most fertile ground will stay barren unless the seed is sown.” Pastor Holmes Tako often reminds me of one of my favorite sayings, “You can’t have a harvest if you don’t sow the seed.” Pastor Holmes reported recently of a revival he was part of in the Western Highlands where in three days 117 people were saved. Meanwhile, at Morata Baptist Church in Port Moresby, 32 young men were saved at a special youth service. Truly, God is working in PNG in a big way!
I do have several prayer requests that I would ask you to join with me in prayer. In the last two months I have had some health issues arise that have slowed me down a bit. I am working with my doctor in hopes of being able to control them. Also, please pray for me to be able to travel back to PNG when school starts again. The COVID-19 outbreak has almost totally stopped the international travel to Southeast Asia. I am working with travel agents and trying to get special help from some of my friends in the government. The paper work, red tape, limited access countries, extremely limited flights, and quarantine requirements are quite overwhelming. As most understand, government issues do not move along quickly.
As always, we sincerely thank you for your commitment to missions and to us and our ministry through your prayers and giving. We pray God’s blessing upon you all during the coming year.
June 27, 2018