Adventists clean up Mount Hagen

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Thousands of Adventists descended on Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) third largest city with gloves, masks and cleaning implements to serve their community and put the world Church’s emphasis on Total Member Involvement into practice.

Because of political rivalries, council rubbish collection has been neglected, and Mount Hagen has been infested with piles and piles of garbage all over the township. It had been an eyesore to many visitors, locals, and the greater audience of PNG since the government and city authority never took appropriate measures to clean up.

Before. Piles of garbage in Mount Hagen streets were not only unsightly but an obstacle to pedestrians and a health hazard.

The Adventist Church in the Western Highlands, under the leadership of Personal Ministries and Sabbath School Director Pastor Luke Nathan, introduced the concept of Total Membership Involvement (TMI) to the 100,000-plus people who attended the March 21 – April 4 camp meeting, with Pastor Nathan recruiting as many as he could to do a thorough clean-up. The Church members used their own resources such as money, fuel, trucks, backhoes, rakes, spades and gloves. IPI Transport (a local company) donated about 1500 litres of fuel for trucks to remove the rubbish. The city authority also donated rakes, gloves and plastic bags to help in the clean-up.

The uniform and logo of Adventist Community Services was prominent amongst the town clean-up volunteers.

Before the end of the day the whole city centre was totally clean, so the clean-up crews went into the residential areas like Warakum, Tarangau and Newtown and removed rubbish there also. The township was restored to its lost beauty. After the clean-up the whole province was moved with a sense of fear and respect for what the Church had done and people are no longer littering thoughtlessly. At the time of writing the town is still clean.