Almost 200 people have requested Bible studies following a health evangelistic program held in Aenalaema village, on the outskirts of Honiara, Solomon Islands, in May.
The locals have also been inspired to build a wellness centre in the village. It will be used for health clinics, Bible studies and training in the Discovery Bible Reading method.
South Pacific Division health director Dr Chester Kuma ran the health program with doctors and nurses from Naha Adventist church. They conducted daily health assessments—in five days almost 1000 people received a check-up. In the evenings Dr Kuma gave health talks on the secrets to living longer, lifestyle diseases and the dangers of alcohol, cigarette smoking, marijuana and betel nut.
“It really opened their minds and they were so happy that they received this information,” Dr Kuma said. “The crowd grew every night. Then towards the end of the series there was an appeal made and we had almost 200 people come forward requesting Bible studies.”
A number of Naha church members will be relocating to Aenalaema village to connect with the community and start up a church plant.
“I said to Naha church, ‘Don’t bring these people down to your church, don’t take them out of their area, because if you do, you will lose them,’” Dr Kuma said. “Instead, go to them, work with them and once they have decided to accept Jesus they will become missionaries to their own people.”
There was previously no Adventist presence in the village, which has around 5000 residents.
“It’s becoming very clear that using the health approach, going into communities that have long been resistant to the Adventist faith, is opening doors like we have never seen,” Dr Kuma said.
“People are responding. You are just sharing basic health information and people are making decisions to accept Jesus into their lives.
“The big thing now is getting the local churches to move out of their comfort zones and be involved in planting new churches. That is the way the good news about Jesus will spread.”