Twenty-two lay workers in the Porgera Paiala District of Papua New Guinea passed an eight-week intensive training course which has equipped them for outreach.
The lay workers were handpicked from a large volunteer workforce who were already serving as lay evangelists and pastors in various churches in the district.
The lay people will now disseminate the information to the communities in and around Porgera and also get involved in projects to improve...
Although Porgera district is the home of one of the world’s largest gold mines, there have been no tangible benefits for the local people and there are widespread social, economic and health problems.
To address some of these imbalances, Pastor Elvin Ekari, district director of Porgera Paiala, handpicked 22 lay workers in his district. They were then trained, not only to look after churches or establish new Adventist frontiers, but in other important areas as well.
Medical workers from Paiam Hospital trained them in basic health, hygiene and first aid. Pastor Ekari also arranged a district education officer to train them in basic teaching skills and they learned how to establish elementary and adult literacy schools. He then brought representatives from the Agriculture and Livestock Department to teach them about farming, fishery and poultry as alternative revenue areas.
The lay people will now disseminate the information to the communities in and around Porgera and also get involved in projects to improve the livelihood of the people of Porgera and Paiala.
The biblical and ministerial training was conducted by two Sonoma graduate ministers, Kevin Pep and James Dire, with the assistance of Pastor Ekari.
Two departmental directors from the local Western Highlands Mission (WHM), Pastor Samuel Mollen (Communications) and Pastor Zachery Lipen (Stewardship), were the guest speakers during the graduation. They challenged the lay workers to use the knowledge they had gained to serve God and His churches with distinction. On behalf of WHM, they also commended Pastor Ekari for the excellent program, and the local sponsors, including local businessman Philip Mungalo—who donated food items—and Paiam Hospital management.