My name is Jack Kumiye. I come from Baimankanem tribe, Munapil village, Manda area in the South Waghi district of Jiwaka province, Papua New Guinea.
For as long as I can remember, this particular area in Jiwaka, life has been difficult for many of us. Hatred, tribal conflicts, arguing over land issues and violence of all forms ripped the livelihood of innocent people apart. We were the last of the frontiers, sharing a provincial border with Simbu province.
Because of the hostile ways we were living, basic government services were denied. No proper school, lack of basic health services, absence of law and order, deterioration of road conditions have been the norm of life for the people of Manda.
We have been living under the shadow of fear and negligence until the Seventh-day Adventist Church, through its Total Member Involvement program, took the initiative to unite the clans in its peace ceremony program.
I praise the Tsigmil Seventh-day Adventist Church for the successful program of one-week evangelistic meetings, Sabbath baptisms and a colourful peace ceremony that moved the hearts of especially mothers and sisters into tears of joy as they stood alongside their brothers, husbands and sons in witnessing the peace ceremony that will go down in the history of the Manda people.
With that, I’d like to conclude with an appeal to my Manda people: let us all embrace the change and together we build and restore peace and normalcy in our community. Like Paul, I am the worst of sinners, but God is changing me and I am now looking forward to going in the direction He leads.