My dream to transform “Sodom and Gomorrah” village into a God-loving community

Redy and Pedro Paul.

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Pedro Paul had a dream . . . with the help of Discovery Bible Reading it’s becoming a reality.

Pedro Paul grew up in a Catholic home in Takekei in the East New Britain Province of Papua New Guinea. After school he joined the Defence Force and married Redy Sammy from the nearby village of Sunny Bird—a small but diverse community of just 500, representing 22 PNG provinces.

Pedro’s education and work took them to Port Moresby, the national capital, and in 2006 Pedro and Redy joined the Born-Again Church. Pedro spent more time in prayer and Bible reading, his life was changed, and while employed in the Defence Force he was soon regarded as a pastor—who loved memorising Scripture, visiting and praying with members. And he was a very good preacher!

Isaiah 58:13,14 changed his life!

On January 2, 2022, while preparing for a Sunday service, Pedro felt directed to read Isaiah 58:13,14. For him it was like a revelation. He saw the reward and joy of keeping the Sabbath holy. He was convicted that “there is joy in keeping the Sabbath”. He studied and found many more verses about the Sabbath in the Old and New Testaments.  When scheduled to preach a week later, he shared his conviction that Saturday is the true Sabbath day, but it did not go well. He was suspended and told to stay away from church for six months.

Not discouraged, Pedro and Redy kept Sabbath in their house and did more research. Their faith grew, as well as their love of Sabbath. In mid-2022, a friend—a bus-driver who was also seeking biblical truth—visited and invited him to go to observe a church worshipping on Sabbath. Pedro told his friend, “There is no time to observe the Adventist church. It is keeping the Sabbath and we must join!” So, in mid-2022 Pedro and his wife joined the NBC Five Mile Seventh-day Adventist Church in Port Moresby.

Pedro’s burden

In 2018 Pedro had spent his holidays in Sunny Bird, his wife’s village. He found people nearby, including his mother-in-law, called it “Sodom and Gomorrah”. But after a week in prayer and observing the community, he started a fellowship for children under his house. Other adults soon joined to help, and when he returned to his work in Port Moresby he knew he was called to work for his people in Sunny Bird.

In December 2022, Pedro retired from the Defence Force and returned home to Sunny Bird to continue what he had started in 2018—this time as a new Adventist. He started a small Discovery Bible Reading group, which today has 43 participants. Members in the local Adventist church were surprised—with its reputation as “Sodom and Gomorrah” they felt little could be done!

Members of the Discovery Bible Reading group studying the book of Mark. The number of members has increased to 43.

When Pedro found the joy and beauty of the Sabbath, he was intentional in sharing what he had discovered—and he did not forget his commitment to return to Sunny Bird where he is now dedicated to sharing God’s Word using the Discovery Bible Reading method.

Elders from the Adventist church at Napapar, two kilometres away, visited Pedros’ Discovery Bible Reading group and were delighted to learn the group had worked through the Gospels of Mark and John, and the book of Acts. One of the elders was surprised that the group gave more offerings on Friday nights than their organised church. Discovery Bible Reading encourages all to participate, and they are excited as they discover and learn Bible truths for themselves.

Pedro’s dream

“I am now at home fulfilling my dream of changing ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ into a community who love God,” Pedro says.

“I just want to serve God in my remaining years to compensate for the years I spent wandering . . . I have no time to talk business, politics, customs and other things that would keep me from fishing for men and women. I am committed to fish for people until I die.”

Pedro has found that Discovery Bible Reading gives an opportunity for the participants to read, analyse and discuss the truth they discover. You do not need to appeal to people to accept the truth. They can work out the truth for themselves and make decisions. It is the best method for it does not create suspicion, disagreement or debate for people to share what they have read and discovered.

John Sammy, one of Pedro’s relatives and a member of the group, says, “Discovery Bible Reading sticks in our minds and my family all look forward to Wednesday and Friday nights because they want to share and discover more about Jesus from the Bible. This is the simplest method to help people understand the truth.”

Pedro now plans to start another Discovery Bible Reading group in the village where he grew up, in Takekel—to fish for more people. He has found that anyone can do Discovery Bible Reading and says, “It’s not about me, but about those who still do not know the truth about Jesus and His Sabbath—and His blessings.”

Pastor Garry Laukei is chaplain at the University of Natural Resources and Environment, Correctional Institutional Services, and Kerevat School of Excellence in Rabaul, East New Britain Province.

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