Despite an extremely challenging year, church members in Australia and New Zealand showed extraordinary generosity towards the 2020 Camp Mission Offering for Papua New Guinea.
The offering raised $A226,000—the largest camp mission offering since funds were raised to buy a mission plane for Adventist Aviation in the early 2000s, according to South Pacific Division (SPD) stewardship director Christina Hawkins.
And it was despite the fact that only three face-to-face camp meetings actually went ahead in Australia and New Zealand—the rest were held online in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We were thrilled at the incredibly generous response by Australians and New Zealanders in 2020,” Mrs Hawkins said. “We want to thank our members—the offering has had an exciting impact on the Church in PNG.”
Most of the funds ($A140,000) will be used to buy steel to construct more than 20 new churches in PNG. The churches are needed to cater for thousands of new members from the “PNG for Christ” initiative.
While “PNG for Christ” was intended to be an evangelistic program involving 130 guest preachers from around the SPD it wasn’t able to go ahead as planned due to the pandemic. However, local pastors still conducted programs and small groups flourished, leading to many baptisms. In fact, baptisms and professions of faith in PNG grew from 39,392 in 2019 to 48,622 in 2020.
The remaining offering funds have been used to deliver 110,000 World Changer Bibles and Reading Guides to PNG, along with other resources including 1500 picture rolls and 100,000 Discover Jesus booklets, which are Scripture portion booklets used for Bible reading groups with new believers.
“We thank the Lord for the incredible mission that moved forward in PNG during 2020,” Mrs Hawkins said.
“Please pray for the new members that they will be disciplined in their new life in Christ and also pray for the thousands of members and leaders living in a COVID outbreak in PNG. Many of our Adventist leaders and members are sick with COVID and we pray for miracles and for every life to be spared.”
The 2021 Camp Mission Offering is going to Fulton Adventist University College to help them build a chapel on the Nadi (Fiji) campus. So far $25,000 has been raised out of a goal of $250,000. Offerings can be given in several ways, including to your local church treasurer and through the eGiving website: egiving.org.au or egiving.org.nz