Assembly Work in Australia and Papua New Guinea

Spring 2023
Written by Willians and Kylie Alcala - Australia

Spanish work in (and from) Australia

Spanish meeting in Brisbane

We thank the Lord for His continuous help with the work among the Spanish-speaking population in Brisbane. The work is always challenging, but the Lord has blessed this small effort with some visitors showing interest. We were recently encouraged by a young Colombian man who was received to assembly fellowship. He was saved a couple of years ago here in Australia through the testimony of a cousin who attends a denominational church. After coming to our meetings and having several conversations with him, he came under the conviction of the uniqueness of gathering unto the name of the Lord. Around that time, our son Michael (17) also was received to the assembly, bringing much joy to our hearts.

We took a lovely family to the airport a few weeks ago, husband and wife with two young children. They were returning to Colombia for one year to help with the new work in their hometown. Twelve years before, when they arrived in Australia, she was a young Christian away from the Lord and had married an unsaved man with no interest in the gospel.

We met Javier and Paola and invited them to the meetings in Spanish, but although she was pleased, he wasn't. Paola's mother, a sincere Christian from a denominational group, was visiting them and told us how difficult it was to present the gospel to him.

But one day, the Lord saved Javier while he was in an ambulance, and he realized that he was not ready for eternity and remembered what he had heard about the gospel. Later he was baptized, and he and his wife were received into assembly fellowship and are very active. A few years later, Paola's mother, Flor Maria, came to visit. However, due to the travel restrictions in 2020, she stayed here for almost two years. After observing our meetings and learning from the Scriptures, she also was received in assembly fellowship.

Flor Maria returned to Colombia at the end of 2021 and has been sharing the gospel with relatives and friends, encouraging brethren from the nearby assembly, Ibague, to visit her hometown, Girardot, and visit and preach. Last year I was there for a few days and had the privilege of preaching for several nights with Alan Knott. A few months later, Javier's father got saved, a real encouragement to all of us. The need was evident of someone moving more permanently to Girardot to help with the new work, and Javier and Paola decided to go back to Colombia for one year to help as much as they could with the new work.

Papua New Guinea

Last year we visited Papua New Guinea twice. Our previous visit was in November 2019, but travel restrictions imposed due to the pandemic made it impossible to go anywhere for two years. We went there in June and then again in December. The Lord has preserved the work, but we noticed that some believers were discouraged for several issues and are not gathering anymore. We found that only a few were still attending in one particular place. However, in Belova and Mugmap, we saw a slight growth but also noticed the need for solid Bible teaching. Many denominational groups surround them, and new believers can be easily led away from the assembly In Hiribi, Papua New Guinea, During both visits, we spent much time teaching from the Bible, including many personal conversations. Still, we also had many opportunities to preach the gospel. We pray that the Lord will help them develop strong convictions, and we particularly pray for those in responsibility.

Ministry meeting and an open-air gospel meeting in Hiribi, Papua New Guinea

We are praying that other believers from Australia and other countries may have an exercise to go to them and help with the work, even for a few weeks.

Assembly Work in Australia

It has been a joy to see most of the assemblies in Australia going back to having conferences and special meetings. In November last year, we had a series of gospel meetings at the hall for ten nights, the first one in Brisbane since 2019. We were encouraged by the excellent support from believers from the assemblies in the area, and we had a few visitors coming to the meetings. Several believers helped distribute thousands of invitations around the hall, so seeing God's people united in this effort was good. Recently there have been gospel efforts by other brethren in Tasmania and Melbourne, so we thank the Lord for his help.

In January this year, I visited several assemblies in Melbourne for ministry of the Word of God, being my first visit to that city since 2018. After being there, I went to Sydney and had the privilege of helping with their first Bible conference since January 2020. I have noticed that in all these activities attendance has been good, and in some cases even better than before the pandemic. It is good to see believers, especially young Christians, with a real interest in coming together for conferences and gospel meetings. May the Lord help us to keep this interest in the things of the Lord. Back home, I have been teaching the Bible class at our home assembly, Conference Hall, for the last couple of months. We have been working on the New Testament assembly due to many new believers and visitors coming on Lord's Day morning.

Future plans

In the will of the Lord, my wife and three of our children are going overseas at the end of March, and we will be spending most of our time in Colombia. Our exercise is to help with the work in the border between Colombia and Venezuela and visit the northern part of the country, where Kylie grew up as a missionary kid.

Spring 2023
Written by Willians and Kylie Alcala - Australia