Tobey and Kathy Huff
P.O. Box 1345
Republic of Vanuatu
The Huff family consists of Tobey (51), Kathy (50), Terasa (28) and Jason (26). Both Terasa and Jason are married and live in the United States. Terasa (Davis) and her husband Chris have three children, Regan (3 yrs), Harrison (2 yrs) and Jackson (5 mo.) live in Vernon Alabama. She has her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and is the Director of a State Facility there in Vernon. Jason and his wife Melinda both graduated from Harding University and now live in Superior Wisconsin. They have secular jobs are but helping establish a new congregation in Superior, just across the lake from Duluth Minnesota.
Tobey dropped out of college in 1966 to join the Air Force and saw action in Vietnam and duty in Okinawa. While on Okinawa Tobey obeyed the gospel (May 1970). After his discharge from the USAF Tobey attended Sunset School of Preaching and both he and Kathy attended Sunset School of Missions graduating in 1974. Kathy obeyed the gospel in her youth in Joplin Mo. where her father later served as an elder until his death in 1992. Both Terasa and Jason obeyed the gospel while they were living in Papua New Guinea.
The Huffs arrived in Papua New Guinea in 1975 and worked there until July 1985 except for brief furloughs. During the early years in PNG the Huffs were heavily involved with the establishment of new congregations in hitherto unevangelized areas of PNG. In 1979 Tobey began to involve himself more in the printed page. This included the writing of commentaries, a Topical Index and the translating of tracts and booklets in Pidgin English (the trade language of 90% of PNG). When John Wallace left Papua New Guinea in 1982 Tobey accepted the responsibility of the printing presses. By July 1985 over 5 million pieces of literature had been printed for the PNG work. This was represented by: 42 different books, 6 BCC courses, 45 tracts and 400 different Bible lessons.
After ten and a half years in Papua New Guinea the Huffs made the decision to leave due to various factors. After much prayer an open door was seen in New Zealand. This move allowed the continuance of the printing work for PNG as well as an expansion of the printed page throughout the South Pacific.
Due to the fall off of personal support when the Huffs moved to New Zealand Tobey established a commercial printshop which helped supply personal support.
While in New Zealand Tobey printed a lot of the materials used by the WBS and the WWBS correspondence programs in Fiji, New Zealand, PNG, Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga and Australia. Over 6 million pieces of literature were printed. The Huffs are not only involved with the World Bible School Program but helped with follow-up of WBS in the islands and help coordinate and conduct Leadership Training Schools throughout the Oceania region.
After Terasa and Jason left New Zealand and returned to the States, Tobey and Kathy sought for some time to return to a more active role in the Oceania work. After many months of prayer, in 1994 the Huffs were able to sell the commercial printshop they owned in New Zealand. The personal support that the business was providing was given up, but they knew that GOD IS ABLE and He would provide.
In January 1995 Tobey and Kathy loaded all that was left and moved back to Papua New Guinea. The Huffs were able to keep some of the printing equipment and are using it as the need arises. The move back to PNG was as a result of discussions with the Highland St church of Christ (Memphis, Tennessee) missions ministry who support the Melanesian Bible College in Lae. There was a need that Tobey and Kathy felt they could help meet of upgarding the curriculum. Before settling into the PNG work Tobey and Kathy spent 6 weeks in Vanuatu working with the brethren there. The Huffs first started working in Vanuatu in 1990 and have made trips periodically to assist the brethren in their spiritual growth. They were also instrumental in finding personnel in Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea who have trained in New Zealand at the South Pacific Bible College.
More leadership training is critical at this time because of the diminishing number of full-time missionary families as well as less of a need for full-time missionary families living within cultures of the South Pacific. It is good to see the receptivity of the Island people and the development and maturity of leadership in some of the island churches.
The Huffs plan to be instrumental in the scheduling of schools in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and other Oceania Islands as requested. The Huffs are also planning ways whereby PNG, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji can coordinate their various works for better coordination of training and grounding. This will include sending Melanesian Bible College (PNG) students for their practical year as well as graduates to assist needing congregations.
From 1995-1998 Tobey was involved in helping MBC (PNG) establish a more extensive Pidgin English side of Bible training as well as teach some night courses in English..
In 1997 Tobey completed the requirements and was awarded School of Ministry - Masters in Missions and his Doctorate of Religious Education from The Theological University of America. Hopefully this will open doors to be able to teach in the University of Papua New Guinea and/or the University of South Pacific in Vanuatu and Fiji.
In June 1998 Tobey and Kathy moved to Vanuatu. They have settled in the capital city of Port Vila.
"We came to Vanuatu on the invitation of the local brethren with the following job description":
- To conduct Leadership Training Courses in Port Vila and several of the other islands where small bands of Christians exist.
- To conduct Specialty Bible Courses throughout Vanuatu and the South Pacific region as required and requested.
- To continue writing Bible teaching materials in the local language (Bislama) for the training of Bible school teachers in the local congregations.
- The continuation of the compilation of hymn books with notes in Pidgin/English, Bislama/English and Fijian/English.
- The writing and printing of addiional tracts and Bible material for Vanuatu, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
- To continue to write and print materials in Basic English in order to start a Bible Training Program by correspondence (Melanesian Bible School - Vanuatu) for those Christians in isolated areas who wish to further their Bible knowledge but have no means or opportunity to do so in a formal Bible School setting.
- To be available to the Fiji brethren as they begin planning to establish their own local Bible Training School in the near future. To help in the teaching of such a school as requested.
About mission work Tobey writes: "The more time I spend in mission work the more I realize it is a maintenance type work which takes 24 hours a day and not a bi-yearly birthing process. I feel sorry for people who do not live with the people they are baptising. They do not share the problems and stuggles and see what these brethren go through in their daily lives to just sometimes survive. It is easy to come teach and immerse - far harder to convert! Kathy and I continue to see this work in the South Pacific as a long term maintenance work which has been hurt to a big degree by the baptising of scores of people who were never intergreted into the fellowship of the body of believers here. Evangelism needs to be tempered with 24 hour fellowship."
From August 1999-May 2000 Tobey served as "Visiting Professor of Missions" at Harding University.
Information about Vanuatu
The Huff's web site