Land of opportunity

(Photo: Wes Tolhurst)

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Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Union Mission (PNGUM). This is a territory of diversity in culture. There are more than 800 languages spoken in our region, including the three official languages: English, Tok Pisin (PNG pidgin) and Motu. There are 23 provinces, from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in the east to the Sepik in the west; from Manus Island in the north to the nation’s capital, Port Moresby, in the south. Most of the population live a simple, self-sustainable lifestyle in rural communities, while 18 per cent live in urban areas.

Christianity in Papua New Guinea is roughly 70 per cent Protestant; Seventh-day Adventists account for 12 per cent of this group.

The nation’s 297,867 Adventists worship in 1023 churches—about 42 per cent of the South Pacific Division’s membership lives in PNG. Our Union has nine local missions and one local conference with 1636 active employees: pastors, administrators, teachers and literature evangelists.

While evangelism and pastoral ministry have historically driven the rapid growth of the Church in PNG, health and education services have become the main emphasis for discipleship.

These two emphases have motivated lay people, professionals, students and other church members to work together in reaching once-difficult territories with practical Christianity.

PNGUM recently approved a new focus on evangelism to the foreign-born community and to the nation’s border regions as part of our Mission to the Cities commitment.

Our Union has embraced the Total Membership Involvement (TMI) initiative of the General Conference and, as you’ll see in the pages of this Sabbath’s (October 7) special PNG edition of Record, it’s very effective in creating waves of change as we make disciples for Jesus.

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