More than 222 pastors from Western Highlands Mission (WHM) gathered for a week to attend the discipleship training and workers’ meeting at Kimininga Headquarters, Mount Hagen, from October 10 to 17, 2017.
WHM is the largest mission in PNG in terms of geography, land mass and population density, as well as being one of the largest Adventist missions/conferences. With rugged and steep mountains, torrential rivers, thick jungle, and diverse cultures, traditions and more than 820 languages, together with the challenge of witchcraft, Sanguma* and tribal fighting, the workers have one theme in common and that is to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:18-20).
It was a blessing to have presenters from the South Pacific Division’s (SPD) Discipleship Ministries team to conduct the training for a week. Pastors Peter Roennfeldt, a retiree, author and discipleship trainer, and Wayne Krause helped WHM construct its “Road Map for Discipleship”. Given the diverse cultural backgrounds of all the workers, each pastor was given the opportunity to contextualise disciple-making in their own cultural context. They have gone back to their locations filled with enthusiasm and zeal to make discipleship the number one priority in their churches and district.
The climax of the program was the ordination of five pastors. Ministerial secretary of the Papua New Guinea Union Mission, Pastor Benjamin Kola, officiated the ordination program. Tears of joy filled the eyes of those ordained as they committed themselves to full-time ministry.
* Sanguma: Definitions differ between highlands and the coast. To an highlander a sanguma is someone who is controlled by an evil spirit to eat the dead corpses, excreta, and can just stare at others and remove their internal organs. To the coast it might mean an enchanter or sorcerer, who is specialised in causing harm, bring about healing or bring about material good etc. The word differentiates from place to place.