Fifteen missionaries have been commissioned to spread the gospel in Goilala, one of the new work areas in the Central Papua Conference (CPC) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Papua New Guinea.
Dominated by the Catholic church for many years, this rural part of the country is known for its rugged terrains, which pose a challenging environment for missionaries to enter, travel and work.
Led by CPC general secretary Pastor Rex Koi, a team of six pastors visited the area from August 24 to 26 to conduct the first Adventist baptism, church and pastor’s house dedication in the area.
Eighteen people were baptised on the Sabbath.
“It was the first-ever baptism conducted by the Adventist church in the area. Tears of joy were shared among the locals as they witnessed the first 18 newly-baptized members being welcomed into the Adventist family,” said McValen Kaminiel from CPC media and communications.
The baptisms were the result of the work of 15 volunteer missionaries and a two-week evangelistic meeting conducted by lay preacher Francis Tokai.
After the baptisms, the 15 volunteer missionaries were commissioned to take the gospel to the unentered places in the Goilala area and six strategic locations were selected as gospel fields.
“The missionaries were assigned to these locations to work in trios and pairs. Most of these missionaries are as young as 18 years of age. Pastor Koi encouraged and advised them on challenges they will face at the gospel front,” said Mr Kaminiel.
The program continued on Sunday with the dedication of the first Adventist church and the opening of the pastor’s house. “It was a milestone achievement of the conference as a whole to finally have an Adventist base in Tapini,” he explained.
Closing the event, Pastor Koi shared the vision of the CPC, saying the gospel will be spread from Tapini to other parts of Goilala, and other Adventist churches will be established in the area.