In Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby Program Fills Stadium

As the PNG for Christ evangelistic series begins, GC president addresses large crowd.

Jarrod Stackelroth, Adventist Record, and Adventist Review
In Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby Program Fills Stadium
People in the crowd at the Sir John Guise Stadium raise their hands to an appeal from General Conference president Ted N. C. Wilson in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, on April 25. [Photo: Adventist Record]

On April 25, the day before the PNG for Christ evangelistic series in Papua New Guinea officially started, more than 7,000 people packed the Sir John Guise Stadium in the nation’s capital, Port Moresby.

After a day of meeting parliamentarians and the country’s leaders, General Conference president Ted N. C. Wilson spoke to ordinary Papua New Guineans, who filled the small stadium.

Aside from those in the stadium, more than 3,000 viewers tuned in to the livestream, according to organizers.

Hosted by local church members Fiona Gano and Russel Woruba, Papua New Guinea Union Mission president Malachi Yani welcomed the attendees and visiting dignitaries to the stadium.

“I praise God for all that he has done for the [Adventist] Church in this country,” Yani said.

The 9 Mile Adventist Youth Ministry choir sang the opening song “I Will Go,” especially composed for the event.

Wilson preached on a passage in Isaiah 6 and asked members to dedicate themselves to inviting people and supporting the PNG for Christ programs.

Quoting from Ellen G. White’s book Evangelism (p. 599), Wilson told the crowd, “We claim little when we might claim much because there is no limit to the promises of God.”

The stadium program was held before the official launch of the nationwide evangelistic series, which meant Adventists from around the Central Papua Conference could attend before they began their local series. The program served to rally and encourage Adventist membership, but the community also took notice, organizers said.

In one post being shared by many on social media, a woman by the name of Dephney Valor Pukienei claimed that, although she was not an Adventist, this program was good for PNG. “I believe that ethnic, linguistic, and denominational diversity, along with redeemed aspects of culture, are positive factors that contribute to the health and growth of God’s kingdom,” she said.

PNG prime minister James Marape and a number of MPs attended.

Students in New Work Area Request Baptism

In another PNG region, a group of twelve students at the Lake Kutubu Secondary School, Southern Highlands province, have requested baptism but are disappointed they cannot take part in the PNG for Christ programs. The state boarding school will not allow the students to have mobile phones during school term, so they cannot watch the livestream, and there is no live site nearby.

Deputy principal Julie Pind, an Adventist church member, started the Discovery Bible Reading program with the students last year. Her family members have built a church in the area with their own funds.

Volunteers in Action (VIA) have sent a sponsored volunteer to work with the church.

Pind said the students need their own Bibles and copies of The Great Controversy so they can study for themselves.

The area has very few Adventist church members and has been a very hard place to share the Adventist message, but these students represent a new generation that are open to hearing more, according to Jim Wagi, coordinator for Voice of Prophecy and VIA for the Western Highlands Mission. “One of the reasons I want us to focus on the students is that they are the future of this country, and it is best we provide them with a good foundation for their lives,” Wagi explained. “Especially in places like Kutubu, where adults are stubborn,” he said.

The original version of this story was posted on Adventist Record.

Jarrod Stackelroth, Adventist Record, and Adventist Review