Despite the impact of COVID-19 on ministry and outreach across the South Pacific Division (SPD), leaders from the Bougainville Mission in Papua New Guinea are excited to report that COVID-19 has had a positive impact on church growth.
Adventist leaders estimate that across Bougainville Mission there are 500 new people interested in the Adventist church, 300 former members who have returned to church.
Through 36 new church plants, around 160 of the former Adventist church members reconnected with the church. In addition, more than 200 new interests joined those small groups and eight of those groups were established in areas without an Adventist presence.
Baptisms are planned for October 5 and 29 during the Mission’s “Bougainville for Christ” programs, however 17 new interests were baptised during June and July, where 30 more took a stand to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. The Mission estimates 800 people will be baptised by the end of the October programs.
“Bougainville Mission have had more church plants and more conversions for both new people and former members during COVID-19 than in the past when [Bougainville’s] situation was normal,” said newly appointed Bougainville Mission president, Pastor Julius Divu Kaidavu. “COVID-19 [has helped] Seventh-day Adventists to wake up from their complacency and engage in soul wining because we are living in the last days.”