National Housing Corporation (NHC) land bought by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Lae, Papua New Guinea (PNG), in 1987 was issued land titles on July 19, 2020, after 33 years of waiting.
As reported by EMTV, PNG’s largest television station, Buimo Road Seventh-day Adventist Church signed the land transfer titles agreement with the NHC in 2006 — after 19 years of waiting — and then waited another 14 years for the NHC to officially complete the transfer of titles through the Department of Lands and Physical Planning.
In the meantime, the Adventist Church has been using the government-owned land.
The Minister for Lands and Lae Member of Parliament John Rosso officially handed over the land title to a young church member and two pioneers of the church at an official ceremony.
Papua New Guinea Union Mission president Kepsie Elodo said the titles would come under the Papua New Guinea Adventist Association.
“It was a struggle for many years until now, that we see the fruits of our efforts,” Elodo told The National newspaper. “[It is something that] will further boost the church’s initiative to develop the land for the benefit of all.”
Morobe Mission president Blasius Managos said that with the land titles secured, the church is now planning to build a new building, a pastor’s house, and a multi-purpose community hall. He assured Rosso that the Morobe Mission would partner with his office and the Lae development authority for the project.
Lae District has supported the church with 20,000 kinas (about US$5,800), and a former youth member of the church also donated 30,000 kinas (about US$8,700) toward the building construction.
Buimo Road Adventist church was established at the Bundi Camp area in 1987, after the land was bought from NHC.
According to Rosso, 33 years was too long for the church to wait to receive their title, and he acknowledged the hard work of its elders in finally acquiring the titles to the land.