Tragedy leads to children’s church dedication

Jim Wagi (right) cutting the ribbon to officially open the Children’s Church, accompanied by Pastor Moses Mase (Area Supervisor WHP) and WHM CFO Bray Yomba.

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A Seventh-day Adventist church in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea has dedicated a new children’s church to a young boy who died in a car accident.

Nambi church, in Mul Baiyer District, recently celebrated the opening and dedication of its lamb shelter, known as the Chris Kimni Memorial Children’s Church. The building is much bigger than the adult church in Nambi and contains partitions for five different divisions of the children’s Sabbath School. During the divine service the partitions are pushed to the sides to create a big space for all the children to have their divine service together.

“[This children’s shelter] is a way forward for the children’s divisions,” said Solomon Paul, communications director and evangelism coordinator for the Western Highlands Mission (WHM), “and also for Western Highlands Mission as a whole after children’s ministry director Jacinta E Jessy’s promotion to build a separate church for the children.”

The project is named after Chris Kimni, a young boy who died in a car accident near Minimb. Originally from Simbu, Chris’s mother married a man from Western Highlands Province when the boy was about four years old, and he was adopted into the Kimni family. In May 2012 a baptism and evangelistic meeting were held at Minimb church. Chris’s “cousin-sister” Wiki Nikas was being baptised, and Chris went to witness her baptism. Tragically, while he was walking to the baptismal site at Benem, he was hit by a car and died instantly. Some members stopped the vehicle, holding the driver in order to retaliate, but Pastor Zetro Kande intervened to stop the mob.

A few months later Jim Wagi, WHM Volunteers in Action (VIA) coordinator, was invited to conduct an evangelistic meeting at Nambi. He was told the tragic story of how Chris died. Mr Wagi was moved deeply because a few years earlier he had lost his son in a car accident at Togoba, while his son was walking to school. The trauma of missing a loved one lingered in his heart. With that emotion, he drafted documents to seek help from VIA.

VIA sponsored the Chris Kimni Memorial Children’s Church by providing roofing iron and other building materials. The Nambi church also partnered with VIA, supplying financial assistance and labour.

There were tears of joy and excitement when the church united to open the children’s church. Pastor Moses Mase performed the official dedicatory prayer while Mission CFO Bray Yomba officiated at the program.

Nambi church leaders are looking forward to reaching more people for Jesus in this part of the world.

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