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July 2015 News

Asylum seekers seeking God

  • Written by  Jack Kamst
Jack and Anne Kamst minister to asylum seekers Photo: Provided

During a recent visit to Nauru, HumeRidge Church of Christ local Jack Kamst met a very persistent asylum seeker.  

On the same day I arrived on Nauru, I was taken to the Detention Centre to take part in a small service for the Detainees. A man approached me and told me through an interpreter he wanted to speak with me. I had no time then, but I took down his details so I could meet him later.

A few days later I met him again in a bus and his teenage son interpreted for him. This time he said he wanted a Bible. There and then I had nothing to give him, but I told him I would find something for him.

Almost a week after I first met him, I saw him again as I was leaving the Detention Centre. This time I had something to give him: the Four Spiritual Laws.

The next day I had been asked to speak at one of the Nauruan churches on the Island after which we were going to baptise six people, all of whom were Iranian refugees who had been released into the community.

But this same man also turned up and said he wanted to be baptised!

People in Detention on Nauru can now take part in Open Centre Days, where they are able to leave the Detention Centre during the day, spend time in the community as long as they are back by 5pm, which explains why he was able to be there.

I said to him “I don’t really know you and you should go and see Pastor so-and-so and arrange it with him”, which he reluctantly accepted.

After church, we all went to the beach for the baptisms. After I had baptised the first person, who would come out next? The same man I had said not to be baptised! And so I actually asked him to go back and I would catch him later. We then continued with the baptisms and at the end, after eleven people had been baptised, he came out again!

This time, with a nod from another pastor, I baptised him, trusting God (and since I also had clearly preached that day on who should be baptised).

In the next day or so, after a time to meet was organised, I spent an hour or so with him, his wife and his teenage son who interprets for him.

I went through the Four Spiritual Laws with them all and basically at the end the father said “this is what I have really wanted all along”.

And so, the hunger and openness to the Living God was again evident.

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