“Reconciliation is a heaven-born idea,” says Pastor Andrew Opis, president of Bougainville Mission (PNG).
In 2000, I was assigned to pastor Igora, a branch church in Popondetta.
That first Sabbath when my family and I arrived, we sensed spiritual dryness. Only God’s intervention would change people’s lives from spiritual dryness to spiritual wellness. So my wife and I prayed for a drastic intervention. At the end of one month, we were both convicted that confession, forgiveness and reconciliation were the way forward.
I brought the church’s spiritual condition to the church leaders and asked them to pray too. We committed another month to prayer. At the end of the month, we were all convicted that confession, forgiveness and reconciliation were the answer.
We leaders then brought the matter to the 50 church members. Another month of prayer—this time the entire church. To our surprise, at the end of the month, nearly all the members had the same conviction. We could not deny that confession, forgiveness and reconciliation were God’s plan for Igora. In the fourth month, the church asked the Lord to reveal the process of reconciliation ministry. At the end of the month, He did.
After a few more months of prayer and preparation, the first reconciliation program was conducted. Excitement, joy and sweet fellowship were experienced by the church, former members returned, two Grow One churches were established, and the church was organised and moved to a new strategic location. That was how reconciliation ministry in PNGUM was born.
God expects His church in PNGUM, the SPD and abroad to take reconciliation ministry seriously. Through much prayer, God will reveal His vision to the Church. Reconciliation ministry will not be successful without it.
Pastor Kepsie Elodo is president of the Papua New Guinea Union Mission.