132 baptised in PNG during COVID lockdowns

Jonny Jay Safo being baptised at Morata 1 Church. (Source: Facebook)

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Despite COVID restrictions, Morata 1 Seventh-day Adventist Church in Port Morseby (PNG) baptised 132 individuals, following a two-week evangelistic meeting that ran from July 26 to August 8.

The meeting was themed “Our Great Hope: Jesus is Coming.” Guest speaker Pastor Sunny Mayanifa—who serves as a lay evangelist in Eastern Highlands Simbu Mission—challenged those in attendance to give their lives to Christ in these last days.

At the end of the meeting, six pastors—guest speaker Pastor Sunny Mayanifa, Central Papua Conference secretary Pastor Rex Koi, Moresby Northwest district director Pastor Aki Pawa, June Valley senior church pastor Whanti Gani, retired pastor John Marape and Morata 1 senior church pastor Gershom Luke—baptised the 132 candidates.

Among those baptised was a pastor of the PNG Bible Church, Mathew Korowa, who came to know and understand the importance of Sabbath after studying with other candidates for almost a year at Morata.

While the meetings were underway, Port Moresby was in two weeks of lockdown from July 29 to August 12. However, this didn’t stop people from attending. The church enforced social distancing measures, mask wearing and hand washing during the meeting as per instructions from the National Pandemic Response controller David Manning.

Church pastor, Gershom Luke said that Morata 1 plans to have another mass baptism in November.

“We want to increase church membership and the church is already planning discipleship making in small groups, “he said.

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