COVID-19 pushes leader to become preacher

Terence Lepilepi is now preaching God’s Word after 21 years.

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Terence Lepilepi is now able to confidently preach the Word of God, thanks to COVID-19 restrictions forcing churches to meet in homes as small groups.

After attending church for many years, Mr Lepilepi began preaching to his small Bible study group during the lockdown—something he thought he would never do.

His group from the Two Mile Seventh-day Adventist Church in Lae, Morobe Province, has been studying at Kamkumung (also in Lae) since the lockdown in March.

Mr Lepilepi was baptised 21 years ago. He preached his first sermon on April 25 this year.

“This year is my 21st year after my baptism in 1999 and I can preach now and lead from the middle and others can assist me from the side,” he said.

Mr Lepilepi said he could even preach at Two Mile church, if given the opportunity, once COVID-19 restrictions are uplifted.

“For the first time after 20 years I can preach now,” Mr Lepilepi said. “For so long I had [it] locked in my mind that preaching was not my gift so I rejected all the preaching requests. I have been very active for 20 in the church as clerk, youth leader, Adventurer leader, Pathfinder leader and head deacon. I was assisting pulpit parties but always avoided the middle chair on the pulpit for worship services”.

His small group members—Brian Asio, Gebob Baiyu and Delilah Asio—confirmed that Mr Lepilepi was their leader and preacher and that they depended on him for their spiritual wellbeing.

“The warning must come first for us to get ready for the big time of trouble. So here I am preparing. Get ready! I am ready to preach and I can preach,” he exclaimed. “Something that is hard for you to do for the Lord, God will put it in the right time to do it for him. Just like what he has done to me.”

This article was first published in The Centurion, PNGUM’s bimonthly magazine.

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