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Captain Jack Radley and the Heyday of the Fleet


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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.