July 22, 2015

Children’s Bibles Open Doors in Solomon Islands

, with reporting by South Pacific Adventist Record

A village in the Solomon Islands has invited Seventh-day Adventists to organize local meetings after its children were presented with Bibles purchased with a Thirteenth Sabbath offering.

Adventist pastor Herrick Pentani traveled with three children and several boxes of illustrated Children’s Bibles to Nineveh Village, a settlement in Western Province, Solomon Islands, whose residents belong to another Protestant faith.

“When we arrived, the village leader took us to the chief and introduced us,” Pentani said. “He asked me the reason we were there. I said, 'We are coming to your village to distribute the Word of God.' As soon as he heard this, he straight away told the village leader to ring the Sunday school bell.

“As soon as the kids heard the bell, they all ran to the community hall, even some with their parents, primary school teachers and their Sunday school teachers,” he said.

Pentani received the Bibles at the Shaping Faith Expo, a weeklong gathering of more than 550 people in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, in June. The event, organized by the Solomon Islands Mission’s Children’s Ministries department, distributed hundreds of the 33,000 illustrated Children’s Bibles that the South Pacific Division purchased with a portion of the world church’s Thirteenth Sabbath offering in 2013.

Pentani traveled to Nineveh Village, about 185 miles (300 kilometers) west of Honiara, with the three children, Zendrick Pentani, Zebenrick Pentani and David Pitiri.

In the community hall, he was introduced by the village leader to the assembled adults and children.

The village leader then told Pentani: “It was my longing desire that one day these little children will own a Bible which they could read and also carry to the church. Your coming is not an accident. God sent you here at the right time.”

Pentani said he offered a word of prayer, opened the first box, and took out a Bible.

“As soon as the children saw the Bible, they were excited,” he said. “I opened the Bible to the first chapter of Genesis as well as John 1:1. Then I said, 'I am here today to give you Jesus who is the Word, by reaching out your hands, you also receive Him.'”

After Pentani finished handing out the Bibles to the delighted children, the local pastor exclaimed: “From now on we are opening a door to you to come and conduct any program in our village. For so long we have been waiting but you never came. Please come and help us and our children to know the Word of God.”

Pentani said the visit also thrilled the “three little disciples” who accompanied him.

“The three little disciples that I took with me were so happy,” he said. “For the first time they shared Jesus to such a large number of children. These three disciples have already requested to be part of the team again.”