Students attending three Adventist church schools in the Eastern Highlands Simbu Mission (EHSM) welcomed South Pacific Division president Pastor Glenn Townend on August 16 during his recent visit to Papua New Guinea.
Pastor Townend, accompanied by Papua New Guinea Union Mission president Pastor Malachi Yani, EHSM president Pastor Joanis Fezamo and others, visited Bena Adventist Primary School, Kama Adventist School and Kabiufa Adventist Secondary School. They met staff and students, encouraged them with God’s Word and prayed for the schools.
Bena Adventist Primary School is located on the outskirts of Goroka and has 258 students. The students listened intently as Pastor Townend recalled his visit to the school in 1973 and the memories of growing up as a missionary child in PNG.
He encouraged the students to take care of their bodies, learn as much as they could and guard their hearts.
Pastor Yani urged the teachers to continue to give their best to develop the students, adding that they were the greatest evangelists as they spent more time with them.
After the speeches, Pastor Townend prayed for the school and met students and staff.
At Kama Adventist School more than 1000 students and their teachers welcomed the visiting party with a song and presented gifts to the leaders.
When Pastor Townend spoke, the students cheered him on as they were amazed at how well he spoke Tok Pisin, one of the three main languages spoken in PNG. After encouraging the students and staff, he prayed for them.
The leaders then visited Kabiufa Adventist Secondary School, where more than 900 students, community leaders, church elders and staff received them.
Principal Lawrence Suto and chaplain Pastor Paul Katope presented reports and highlighted some of the challenges the school faced.
After sharing childhood memories of his visit to Goroka when his father was involved in an airplane accident in 1973, Pastor Townend read 1 John 4:18 and encouraged everyone not to fear but to remain firm and trust in the Lord.
He also visited the resting place of pilot Laurie Shields at the school cemetery.