FIA exists to support missionaries in areas of limited infrastructure to bring the Gospel to unreached people groups. Your prayers and giving are doing just that by empowering FIA partner missionaries Matthew and Lydia Meads in Vanuatu.
Matthew & Lydia’s Story
We’ve been in Vanuatu since 2006. Over the years, we have seen many people make professions of salvation, yet they never seemed to grow and often fell away after a time. When FIA leaders provided us with chronological Bible teaching materials, it was a game changer.
“Instead of preaching the Gospel from a Western perspective to people with no true concept of God, we were able to start building a biblical foundation. Beginning with the creation story, we help them understand who God is, what sin is, what the punishment of sin is, and our need for a Redeemer. It’s a slow process, and not as quick to see results, but the fruits are long-lasting,” report the Meads.
The testimony of Avokin, a man from the Nagrimel villages powerfully illustrates how God is using the chronological teaching materials and the Meads’ efforts to change hearts and minds.
When the Meads first met Avokin, he made it very clear that he was not interested in church or God in any way. Like most of the men, he held strong to the traditions of his ancestors. He followed all the rituals for protection and blessing from evil spirits. He paid the witch doctor for his services. He had a reputation for being a strong, hard-working man who was not to be crossed.
Avokin had no interest in becoming like the hypocrites he’d seen who attend church on Sunday but run to the witch doctor on Monday. Although, when the Meads started teaching the Bible in the village instead of a formal church setting, Avokin was curious. After skeptically attending the first few lessons, he remarked, “I was amazed. I always thought that God was really complicated and only educated people could understand. But these Bible stories make the truths about God seem so simple. Anyone can learn the Bible.”
Avokin never went to school and cannot read, but as he continued to come to the teaching, his desire to know God grew into a deep, all-consuming passion. Soon his kava drinking buddies started to complain that he is always telling them about the Bible and what he was learning about God! Now he has given up drinking altogether because it takes up too much time. He said he would rather spend the evening learning the Bible and listening to the recordings of the teaching.
Worth The Journey
Every week, Matt travels down rough roads for about two hours, using a four-wheel drive to forge across three different rivers. He goes as far as the road allows, then hikes the last 7 km. Every Friday afternoon until late and then again Saturday morning, he meets with Avokin’s family, his brother’s family, and his sister’s family, along with a handful of other villagers. Once everyone is well-saturated in the teaching, Matt packs up and heads home. He leaves them with voice recordings of the teaching in Bislama so they can review the lessons throughout the week and think about what they have learned.
An Unlikely Evangelist
Currently, this group has gone about halfway through the Old Testament chronological materials. The Meads don’t think Avokin is a believer yet as he still doesn’t understand a few core principles about God and salvation. Yet, he’s already changed so much; everyone can see God is working on him.
We Need Your Help!
The Meads’ and Avokin’s stories demonstrate what can happen when missionaries are empowered with the right tools for the task at hand!
$25 – $50
Provide ministry and translation materials to missionaries.
Empower the Meads, and other Gospel partners, to stay longer, travel further, and reach people more effectively.
$250 – $500
Help rebuild and restore.
After a devastating category-5 cyclone in 2020, FIA is still helping to redeem what was lost in the storm. Give to rebuild strategic bases of ministry operation in the region.
Invest in a water project.
Empower our ministry partner Pastor Gaby to reach his own people for Christ! In addition to 30 villages, 3 schools, and 2 clinics receiving clean water , the project will open hearts to hear about Jesus, The Living Water!