Kingdom Proclaimers Report
Searching for Deserving Ones in Australia’s Outback
A VAST inland section of Australia is affectionately known as the outback. Some parts of this remote area had not received a witness in 12 years. So Jehovah’s Witnesses in Darwin, the Northern Territory’s capital city, organized an intensive nine-day preaching campaign to search out deserving ones.—Matthew 10:11.
Careful planning began 12 months ahead of the campaign, including the mapping of more than 300,000 square miles [800,000 sq km]—an area three times the size of New Zealand. To get some idea of how isolated this vast territory is, consider that the average driveway in a cattle station (ranch) stretches more than 20 miles [30 km] from the front gate to the house! Moreover, some stations are 180 miles [300 km] or more apart.
A total of 145 Witness volunteers shared in the campaign. Some came from as far away as Tasmania. Some arrived in four-wheel-drive vehicles packed with camping gear, spare parts, and fuel. Others hauled their gear in trailers. In addition, two 22-seat buses were hired to carry those who did not have suitable four-wheel-drive vehicles. Those traveling by bus concentrated on witnessing to the inhabitants of small towns in the selected territory.
Before setting out, the brothers arranged talks and demonstrations to provide guidelines on how to present the good news in this unusual territory. For example, to preach effectively in Aboriginal communities usually requires following certain protocol and being aware of Aboriginal customs. Environmental concerns were also discussed to help protect the wildlife.
Many outstanding experiences were enjoyed. For instance, in one Aboriginal settlement, the brothers arranged to deliver a Bible-based public talk. The headlady in the community personally went to inform people about it. Afterward, 5 books and 41 brochures were placed with those in attendance. In another settlement an Aborigine was contacted. He even had his own Bible, a King James Version, but it was old and tattered. When asked if he knew God’s name, he said yes and then proceeded to pull out of his jacket an old issue of The Watchtower. He read from the magazine, quoting Mark 12:30, which says: “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart.” He said, “I really like that scripture.” After an extensive Bible discussion, he accepted a new Bible and other Bible-based literature.
Near the Gulf of Carpentaria, the headman of a million-acre [400,000 ha] cattle station showed some interest in the Kingdom message. When he was shown the publications My Book of Bible Stories and Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life, * he asked if there was any literature available in the Kriol language. This was unusual because even though many Aborigines speak Kriol, few can read it. It turned out that all 50 of the workers on that station were able to read Kriol. The headman was delighted to obtain Bible literature in Kriol, and he gladly provided his telephone number so that he could be contacted.
During the nine days of intensive witnessing, a total of 120 Bibles, 770 books, 705 magazines, and 1,965 brochures were placed. Additionally, 720 return visits were made, and 215 Bible studies were started.
Indeed, the spiritual hunger of many deserving ones scattered across this vast area was at last being satisfied.—Matthew 5:6.
^ par. 8 Published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
[Map on page 30]
(For fully formatted text, see publication)
Gulf of Carpentaria