Students attending three Seventh-day Adventist church schools in the Eastern Highlands Simbu Mission (EHSM) welcomed South Pacific Division president Glenn Townend during his recent visit to Papua New Guinea (PNG) on August 16, 2022.
Townend, accompanied by Papua New Guinea Union Mission president Malachi Yani, EHSM president Joanis Fezamo, and others visited Bena Adventist Primary School, Kama Adventist School, and Kabiufa Adventist Secondary School. Leaders 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. In his talk to the students, Townend recalled his visit to the school in 1973 and the memories of growing up as a missionary child in PNG. “Take care of your bodies, learn as much as you can, and guard your hearts,” he told the school students.
Yani urged the teachers to continue to give their best to develop the students. “As you spend more time with them, you will become the greatest evangelists,” he told schoolteachers.
After the speeches, Townend prayed for the school and met with students and staff.
At Kama Adventist School, more than 1,000 students and their teachers welcomed the visiting party with a song and presented gifts to the leaders.
When Townend spoke, the students cheered him on as they admitted feeling 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 welcomed them to the facilities.
Principal Lawrence Suto and Chaplain Paul Katope presented reports and highlighted some of the challenges the school has faced.
After sharing childhood memories of his visit to Goroka when his father was involved in an airplane accident in 1973, Townend read 1 John 4:18, where the apostle wrote, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear” (NKJV).* Townend 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.
* Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.