PNG Trip Report
Rod Dean and Mark Latham recently completed another successful trip to our Mt Wilhelm congregation in Papua New Guinea. Here’s Rod’s report, followed by a message from the Youth Ministry secretary there to their Australian brothers and sisters:
“The Child in the Midst” was a theme of the talks to be presented. We had planned a study centre with 25 text books, laptop and tablet taken up. We had also planned to encourage the church to see the importance of little children.
But what a big surprise awaited us. Instead of 18-22 children we had 66 children –with some away and more to be born. Our youth have grown to 33. At the service we asked all those under 25 to stand up. Out of the 140 or so in attendance the vast majority stood up. Mt Wilhelm is a church with an exciting future. The young people do have dreams for their future. Their ambitions include being a doctor, nurse, primary and high school teacher, office manager, lawyer, business person, IT, hospitality and tourism, even a minister.
Mark went to the local high school to give classes and to give words of encouragement to the 122 year 12 students. The lack of support these young people receive about their future is disheartening. This made the contrast with the opportunities of the study centre even more stark. Mark also visited the local technical college to see what opportunities were there for our young people.
Students Mark spoke with
One of our elders Richard Kindi is vice principal of the Catholic school attached to the orphanage. Recently the school has been expanded from K,1, 2 to include 3, 4, 5, 6 without any real support from the government. We will see how we can assist him in training material and office administration.
Other activities on this trip included: training in preaching with the speakers; time with youth on subjects like worship, computer skills, public speaking, introduction to SEP’s ‘Celebrate the Grip.” ; women’s ministry – the way God used has worked with women in very different circumstances in his plan , the importance of Shalom, using the image of the little child in the mist and dealing with needs and issues that had arisen; men’s ministry about being like Jesus in our relationships and the importance of men supporting men.
Ministerial material for Richard and Ben
Centre with books
There were counselling, discussions to learn about the needs and what is happening in the community. All of the above was supplemented with a lot of back up material.
At Goroka we purchased Bibles, stationery, sports equipment, an increasing supply of medicines, sleeping bags and some clothing on the way up. On the return trip the church had put together their clothing needs to purchase in Goroka.
In Kundiawa we made visits to hardware store going up and down. We have finalised the purchases for the project to provide water for the showers and toilets at the orphanage. Mark also had to remeassure and re-evaluate the new kitchen project which had expanded in its purpose and seek the supplies needed.
It is full on. We are very grateful for the on-going support for these trips. PNG Mt Wilhelm is officially part of the Australian churches and they feel very close to all of us.
Mt Wilhelm Youth Ministry
From Mt Wilhelm Grace Communion International Church Youth Ministry:
Hello our brothers and sisters of Australia. We are grateful and thank you for your kindness and love. You have greatly supported us in spiritual and physical with many gifts, which we really appreciate with our heart.
We would like to thank you for allowing Pastor Mark and Pastor Rod to come to PNG. They have been very great to us by setting up a study centre. For us with many text books, a laptop and a tablet. We were very excited about the study centre and we promise that we will produce good results at the end of the year.
In the youth ministry we were about 25, but as time goes by there are more joining and now we are 33 altogether, 25 girls and 8 boys. We know that we have many leading roles to play in the church such as:
Teaching the children’s church
Making music, singing and leading the service
Helping women’s ministry by teaching them how to cook and use the tambourine.
Finally we are looking forward to hosting a youth camp in 2018 at Mt Wilhem PNG.
Wagai and may God bless you all.
We are hoping to meet some of our Ramu brothers and sisters at the upcoming festival.
David Peter (Youth Secretary)
Mt Wilhelm is an isolated and challenging destination, and the work done there over the years has been outstanding. A huge thank you to Mark and Rod for their dedication, commitment and love of our brothers and sisters in PNG, and the ministry and pastoral care they have provided over recent years. Please continue to pray for our members there.
Celebration is an important part of the Christian life. In fact, it’s a spiritual discipline in the midst of our busy, and often distracted, lives! Our festival celebrations are a wonderful time for fellowship, refreshment and renewal in Christ. They are times of spiritual formation, as we worship, sing, pray, learn and rejoice together in communion with God and one another.
Thanks to all those who have been working in preparation for the festivals. As we continue to pray for one another, your prayers for God’s blessing, guidance and transforming grace upon our festival celebrations are much appreciated, as together we continue our journey growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the “saviour of the world”.
Grace and peace in Christ,