Image of Kelly GissendanerIt is autumn in Australia, but it is spring here in the United States, and Crossroad Bible Institute headquarters can’t help but see CBI Australia’s recent visit to Papua New Guinea as the blossoming of a well-developed program, with new beginnings at one prison and new growth at others.

CBI Australia fieldworker Terry West visited prisons throughout the country of Papua New Guinea on a recent two-week trip. Papua New Guinea is one of five South Pacific nations in which Crossroad’s program operates under the auspices of CBI Australia.

Terry has worked hard over the years to visit frequently and build relationships in Papua New Guinea, and so he was delighted at the success of adding a new prison to his itinerary, Bihute Prison in Goroka. On this recent trip to Bihute, one hundred new students enrolled in Crossroad’s Bible study program, a very promising start for a new facility.

West also visited the prisons where Crossroad’s ministry was already established, including Buimo Prison, where two years ago 100 percent of eligible women enrolled in the program. Thirty new students from Bomana Prison enrolled during West’s visit, and twenty new students joined from other prisons, making for a total of 150 new Crossroad students in Papua New Guinea.

“It was a tremendously God-blessed tour,” said CBI Australia director Ray Hoekzema.

Crossroad has always enjoyed a warm reception in Papua New Guinea, and West was personally accompanied by senior officers of the Department of Corrective Services. This visit brought with it another token of goodwill: Hoekzema reported that Corrective Services intends to use some of its budget for the next five years to cover travel expenses for CBI Australia’s visits.

West is planning to return to Papua New Guinea in October to establish the Crossroad program in another small prison, Gili Gili in Alatou. By then it will be spring in Australia, and if this visit is any indication, it is hopeful that he will find plenty of fertile soil in which to plant God’s Word.