After closing its doors 17 years ago, Konkua Adventist Primary School (Kainantu district, Papua New Guinea) was re-opened at the beginning of 2017.
The school was closed back in 1999 and the teachers were forced out of their houses after a group of disfellowshipped church members claimed ownership over the land and school and withheld the keys for the classrooms and staff houses. The staff and students were relocated to other schools.
"We have suffered a lot during the closure of Konkua School . . . We know we have done wrong in taking over God’s land."
But since last year the ex-church members—now known as Aiyomontenu Independent Ministry—have been in talks with Church leaders about re-opening the school. On January 11 and 12, 2017, a special confession and reconciliation program was arranged by the district director for Kainantu, Pastor Solomon Sanu, during which representatives of the independent group handed back the school keys to Adventist leaders and signed land agreement forms. Participants and witnesses at the gathering included Eastern Highlands Simbu Mission president Pastor Benny Soga and members of his team as well as Kainantu MP the Honorable Johnson Tuke and local community leaders.
Mr Tefa, spokesperson for the parties returning the keys, said, “We have suffered a lot during the closure of Konkua School: no education for our children, our crops didn’t grow well, people dying and so on. We know we have done wrong in taking over God’s land and so we now return the land back to the Mission.”