Since the earliest days of Adventist mission, reaching the people of the South Pacific has offered unique challenges. Vast oceans, remote islands and hostile populations, limited communications, and the ever-present risks of tropical storms and diseases rendered this a region in which the gospel would only spread with long-term commitment. Generations of expatriate and then local missionaries faithfully took up this challenge—supported by a growing fleet of mission boats of many shapes and sizes.
A self-taught engineer, ship’s captain and navigator, Jack Radley was one of the dominant figures in the development and heyday of the fleet, demonstrating the pioneering spirit that saw the Adventist church established and growing in these island nations, as well as contributing to the medical and economic development of the region. As such, this carefully researched history of Adventist mission boats is also the story of the people who sailed them and the international church they helped build.
“These stories fill a gap in the story of Adventist mission in the Pacific islands, remind us of the commitment of our sea-faring pioneers, and challenge us to re-examine how we can be involved in mission.” –Graeme Humble, Director of Adventist Mission, South Pacific Division
Rose-Marie Radley experienced much of the history in this book as the daughter of Jack Radley, sailing with him on the Ambon around the South Pacific as a teenager. After training as a nurse, she served in Adventist hospitals in Taiwan and Hong Kong, before taking up the position of Director of Nursing at Sydney Adventist Hospital. In retirement, she still lives in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.