Mission work can be slow and uneventful. Many missionaries have given years of service to a nation only to see very little fruit. Yet, sometimes those seeds do eventually take root, and sometimes rather suddenly a sprout breaks forth from the ground and a harvest looms on the horizon.
Patick Johnny, one of the Family Care Centre’s NiVan leaders in Vanuatu, pioneered Mat Time as a forum for discipling the men of his community (see our newsletter from December 2020 for more details). His friendship with a man named Robear is one of those relationships beginning to bear fruit.
Patrick recounts how recently he had a conversation with Robear about customs and culture. Not long ago, Robear realised his need for a saviour and gave his life to Jesus through the ministry of Mat Time. This celebrated event happened after almost a year of Patick’s investment into his life. Robear grew up in a family that has a lot of strong cultural beliefs. He shared with Patick how one of his biggest fears is breaking out from these beliefs due to the ongoing, generational nature of the traditions.
Robear makes most of his income from selling crops at the Market, which is a lot of
physically intensive manual labour with little monetary return. His children had to stop attending school due to family and financial constraints.
Due to their growing friendship, Patrick learned of Robear’s situation and obtained his permission to reach out to Life Changer School in Port Vila to ask them to help Robear and his family. Together, Robear and Patick filled out two application forms for his two children, and they were accepted into the school.
Patick observes: “It’s a small but important step for this little family. I am so happy to see God opening new doors for the men of Mat Time. This is just the beginning; I am looking forward to what God has in store for each man attending our Mat Time program.”