I put a video up on Face Book about this but wanted to write the extended version.
A couple of weeks ago I was at a high school in western Sydney, to meet with a number of community Liasons. One of these was the Pacific Islander Liason, a man of Samoan descent named Meki.
Meki told me a story that was very interesting about a visitor to the Islands. It went something like this. If there are any historical errors pertaining to Captain Cook then please ackowledge I'm giving it verbatim from Meki not checking his details against the historical events.
"Before the missionaries came to the Pacific Islands, we had a story about a man who came down from the sky. He came down over a volcano in Samoa. He had white robes, a beard and long hair - and he was white. He stayed with the people, and taught them things. He blessed the children and then he said "I must go back up to the sky, but one day I will return. Then he went up the same way he came.
This story was the same on many of the Islands, as far away as Hawaii - they all had the same experience with the white man from the sky.
Then Captain Cook came, and they thought he might be that man returning. But he wasn't and he was mean to the Islanders. And in Hawaii, when they realised he was not the man from the sky because of his actions, they killed him and they ate him.
But then the missionaries came, and they brought Bibles with them. When they saw the pictures of Jesus, they said "That is the man from the sky who said he would return" so they eagerly recieved Christianity as a belief system. To this day that is wht so many Islanders believe in Jesus because he blessed them and said he would return."
I was blown away when I heard that story. It is very similar to one that Von Daniken espouses in the movie chariots of the gods but pertaining more to the South American area.
When I teach scripture in a sports high school, about 40% of the kids are Pacific Islander. They are a big, strong proud people who make up about half of our leading footballers in Australia. But underneath that towering demeanour (there are 13 olds bigger than me and I'm 5'11 and 95kg) they are the most respectful people I have ever met in relation to things of religion and Christianity.
Much of this is because of the legacy of the man from the sky, who as Meki stated, was to them a visit from the ressurected Christ, prophesying His return to the Islands one day.
Isn't it great to meet people and hear their stories. I really enjoy and honour other cultures.
God bless you - Pastor Baz.