‘A – a – ants,’ the class chants, diligently repeating after the teacher. Along with the photocopy of the alphabet and its corresponding sounds, the students each have a copy of John’s Gospel in front of them; a book they very much hope to be able to read one day after completing the three modules of their literacy course. ‘It will only be through reading it for themselves that they will really change,’ the mission worker explained to me. After watching for a while, I had the feeling that it will be a long process. But when they have come as far as they have, there must be hope. Continue reading
Three students on field experience from Southern Islands Presbytery Bible College were practicing pastoral visitation, going from household to household praying for people’s needs. They entered one house where the upcoming circumcision of their son was weighing heavily on the people’s minds. The students brought the matter before the Lord and moved on. Later that day the family discovered that their son had been miraculously circumcised.
Six further ‘miracle circumcisions’ took place within about a month at that location, which is one of our mission fields. But these weren’t the first circumcisions of this kind to take place on Tanna. The first took place in 2000 when it was prophesied that miraculous circumcisions would take place across the island and radiate out from here around the world. Continue reading
As I have said in a previous post on the Jon Frum cult found on Tanna Island, Vanuatu, there is great disagreement on both the origins of the cult and the identity of Jon Frum. One particularly tantalising version has it that the name ‘Jon Frum’ came from a misunderstanding when a US serviceman who introduced himself as ‘John from America’ was misunderstood to be named ‘Jon Frum’. When I was on Tanna in April I stumbled on a diary extract that shed a little light on the matter. Continue reading
By Roz Monger
‘While we might be baffled by the seeming ignorance of people who believe that raising a flag could possibly bring untold riches from over the sea, we must realise that the cult is supported by a deeply held world-view and destructive spiritual power.’ (Tom Richards)
In a previous post Tom introduced the John Frum cargo cult, centred around Sulphur Bay on the island of Tanna in Vanauatu. Cargo cults are not generally found in consumerist First World countries, but they are more common in societies where aid has been offered or settlement/colonisation has taken place. Continue reading
The link above is to the blog of a photojournalist who has recently travelled to Sulphur Bay to photograph the Jon Frum movement.
I was interested in his opinion that the Jon Frum cult won’t be around for much longer. I asked him why he thought that, and his response is interesting (see the comments on his page). Continue reading