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Man-Eaters of Malekula

BY Roy Brandstater

Throughout the centuries, many have suffered martyrdom in answer to this command of Christ. And none have stood more brave and true than the courageous men and women who accepted without question the call to share the good news of Jesus among the cannibalistic peoples of the South Pacific. These young missionaries accepted the challenge and faced the dangers of serving a heathen and hostile people who were a law unto themselves—who lived and died the only way they knew: without God and without hope.

Among the 80 some islands of the New Hebrides (Vanuatu), Malekula was the most primitive, the most heathen, the most savage. There was no evidence of human love, but in its place disaffection and malice reigned. From the mid-nineteenth century to the late twentieth century, missionary pioneers faced the dangers, suffered the fevers, battled the elements, and gave their lives. Man-Eaters of Malekula is their story.

This colorful record gives the factual stories of these Christian heroes—C. H. Parker, Harold Carr, A. G. Stewart, Norman and Alma Wiles, Will and Louisa Smith, the Ross James and Don Nicholson families—and they are remembered here as honored examples of dedication, fortitude, and Christian courage.

Man-Eaters of Malekula is more than a mission story. It is a documented account of miracles, drama, tragedy and triumph in the rescue of thousands from the darkness of evil to the hope and healing found in the name of Jesus.


Publisher: Pacific Press

ISBN: 9780816363049

Format: Paperback

Qty on Hand: 3 In Stock

Pages: 144

Customer Reviews

[ Bookshelf Review ]
Reading Man-Eaters of Malekula is like discovering a time capsule of the earliest days of Adventist missionary work in the South Pacific, particularly that in the New Hebrides, now Vanuatu. Notably, acknowledging the service and sacrifice of these Christian pioneers, this story begins with the first missionaries from the London Missionary Society in the mid-19th century, pre-dating the first Adventists by more than 60 years.
But the early Adventist missionaries were nonetheless pioneering, confronting serious risks from isolation, difficult travel and communication, disease and hostile tribes, many of whom continued to practice cannibalism. Man-Eaters of Malekula tells their stories over a number of decades, charting the church’s slow, difficult and often uncertain progress. The largest portion re-tells the story of Norman and Alma Wiles, with heartbreaking real-life narration excerpted from Alma’s diary.
But this book also gives a glimpse back to the missionary endeavour of those leading the growth of the church in the Pacific in the 1970s. The manuscript that became Man-Eaters of Malekula was completed in 1981, before the author’s death in 1983, but was submitted for publication only in the past couple of years. As such, these mission stories offer a closer connection to the previous generations of missionaries than a similar book that might be written today.
This makes Man-Eaters of Malekula an important historical artefact, a genuine old-time mission story. Its descriptions of violence and dangers are not for the youngest readers, but the sense of missionary purpose and self-sacrificing service are inspiring. Many people paid a high price to bring better health, education and hope to the islands of the Pacific, and their stories are worth our remembrance.
—Nathan Brown, book editor, Signs Publishing

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