Missions Among Melanesian People


Photo collage of 13 month ministry in the Solomon Islands



In 2009 Pastor Clifton Eaton, Benson's fellow Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) alumn and the president of the International Gospel Outreach (IGO), had asked the Evangelist to consider overseeing IGO's work in Liberia, particularly teaching in its Bible college. In 2012 ICM was able to send Benson to Liberia because IGO was unable to compensate him. During the 17 months of service in Liberia Benson not only oversaw the daily operations of IGO's mission but also taught the Word on a live daily one hour radio broadcast which was heard by a third of Liberia's 7 million people. In addition, Evangelist Benson brought his own curriculum to IGO's Bible College, the Pastors' Institute for Doctrinal Training (P. I.D.T.). This curriculum is a condensed contextualized version of that which Benson recieved while earning a Master's Degree at DTS. It was designed to equip faithful pastors who were not priviledged to recieve a Bible College education or formal seminary training with a working knowledge of 6 essential doctrines of the Christian Faith, namely: Theology Proper, Christology, Pnuematology, Soteriology, Ecclessiology, and Eschatology. The P.I.D.T. is a 1 year course divided into three 15 week semesters with the Bible as the only text book. The class met each Saturday between 9:00am to 12 Noon. After the one year 24 pastors/assistant pastors representing 11 churches recieved a Certificate of Completion.

In the Spring of 2016 ICM sent Evangelist Benson to the Solomon Islands. His mission was to teach the Word of God, to train pastors and Church leaders and to preach the Gospel to unchurched groups throughout the 9 Provinces (islands) that constitute the Solomon Islands nation. The work was based in Honira its capital, on the nation's most populace island, Guadacanal. During the 17 months of this first visit Evangelist Benson conducted a live 90 minute Sunday morning radio program, 'The Sunday School Hour', which featured the teaching of God's Word, inspirational gospel songs, and prayers. The broadcast covered all of Guadecanal and the second most populace province, Malaita, and served to prepare the nearly 70% of the Nation's population who attended Church for worship service. Traditional Sunday School ministry was virtually non-existent among the several denominational churches in the Solomon Islands.
In addition Evangelist Benson offered his P.I.D.T. ministry. The Lord blessed this initial outreach with a class of 33 students consisting of 33 students 24 men and 9 women; 6 pastors, 5 assistant pastors, 4 youth ministers and several worship leaders. The ministry was wonderfully recieved. It edified and equipped many and was the catalyst to several doors opening for Evangelist Benson to preach in churches of different denominations throughout Guadecanal. However due to Visa complications Benson was not able to start the final semester of the P.I.D.T. and was required to leave Solomon Islands but fully intends to return to complete the work as the Lord wills.

Aftter abruptly leaving the Solomon Islands in July of 2017 and not being scheduled to return to California until late November, Benson flew to nearby New Zeland arriving in Auckland in mid July. Whereupon het met David Hall, a 30 year missionary himself and long time staff member with Youth With A Mission (YWAM); who also happened to be from Los Angeles and whose brother also happened to attend the same high school as Benson and who also was the co-founder of the Teen Challenge natiional ministry. David Hall in turn introduced Evangelist Benson to Pastor Graham Davidson,an Assembly of God pastor of a mid-sized church and founder of His Internatioinal Mission (HIM). However before his last meeting with Graham and despite David's Hall's graciously facilitating Benson's meeting with several pastors and heads of ministries in Auckland while seeking the Lords's will, Evangelist Benson felt impressed of the Lord to go to Fiji. So the Friday before his scheduled meeting with Graham on Monday Benson purchased a ticket to fly to Fiji the following Wednesday. Notwithstanding the Evangelist met with Graham as scheduled who guided him on a tour of the church complex that included bachelor flats for rent. But not wanting to waste Graham's time Benson thanked him for the tour and for the generous offer he had made to rent a flat but then informed Graham that he was leaving after 23 days and going to Fiji. Graham was deiighted to hear that news because his missionary work (HIM) was based in Fiji which included a school of ministry in need of qualified teachers. Pastor Graham then offered Evangelist Benson free lodging in his 3 bedroom office/apartment in exchange for teaching the final semester of the school. Benson readily accepted sensing the Lord's leading and recognizing that the oppoprtunity would permit him to expolore; Fiji's 2 most populace islands, Vitti Leveau and Sitti Leveau, its 3 major cities, Latouka, Nadi, Suva the capital, and meet many brethern as he would also preach in all the churches (9) of His International Mission. During this 100 days Benson was able to ascertain the lay of the land as well as the great need of the Body of Christ in Fiji.
Evangelist Benson returned home just before Thanksgiving in 2018. While in Fiji however Benson perceived that Fiji could serve as an ideal base of operations from which to conduct missions among the Melanesians in the 2 closest neighboring island nations, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, and purposed in his heart to return to Fiji as soon as the Lord permitted.
Evangelist Benson returned to Fiji in February 2018 and partnered with a local Fijian, Pastor Wanga, whom he had met during his first visit and who is the founder of the International Christian Fellowship (ICF); the licensed organization under which Evangelist Benson conducts his ministry. Pastor Wanga and his wife Ako and their 5 adult sons, 3 of whom are married, and 1 adult daughter live together in 2 houses situated on 5 undeveloped acres (contains a running creek) in Nadi. Pastor Wanga and Evangelist Benson's shared vision is to build a multi-plex training center/children's ministry on his property to serve the Nation which is bereft of a single developed children's ministry and a Nation of churches that offer no real Sunday School programs. Evangelist Benson had also recognized during his first visit to Fiji that the great need of the Body of Christ was the sound teaching of the Word of God. Drawing upon his experience of producing/hosting a 1 hour weekly cablecast television program which aired for 4 years in Los Angeles, Benson felt lead of God to investigate producing a weekly half hour Bible teaching television program designed to catechize the Body of Christ in tne basic doctrines of The Faith. A television ministry promised to be the most propitiious means of accomplishing this mission since 85% of Fiji's 1 million population have televisions.
Moreover, half of Fiji's 1 million popoulation are sixth generation migrants from India, of whom 90% are Hindu. During the Evangelist's first visit he met and befriended several former Hindu who were converted and were now pastors of Christian churches. Consequently there was birth in him a great dsire to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them being convinced that the current generation had never heard the true Gospel, nor seen the power of God and Benson had become passiionate about reaching the Elect among them.
So for the next 9 months Evangelist Benson and Pastor Wanga met with several relevant government ministers, land developers, general contracters, and important contacts within the business community; assessing costs and exploring ways and means of building the training center/childrens' ministry, (which included a trip tp Australia). Simultaneously the Evangelist regularly conducted training sessions with ICF pastors and preached most Sunday services in any one of ICF's 5 churches. Additionally a door opened for him to teach the Word of God bi-monthly on Fiji's second largest television station; a live broadcast on one of the stations's programs. This opportunity faciitated his meeting several major principles at Fiji's national television station, which allowed him to assess costs and lay the foundation for him to produce his own weekly program at a later time. Finally, two of the Indian pastors (formerly Hindu) who, after hearing the Evangelist preach in their churches, expressed great interest in helping him organize outreaches to preach the Gospel to Hindu people upon his return to Fiji.
Evangelist Benson returned to California just before Thanksgiving in 2018 tasked with the challenge to raise money for nthe work in Fiji.