Welcome songs, parades, gift presentations, site visits, meals, sermons, and speeches were part of South Pacific Division (SPD) president Glenn Townend’s busy schedule during a recent visit to the Western Highlands Mission in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Accompanied by PNG Union Mission (PNGUM) president Malachi Yani, Western Highlands Mission president Luke Nathan, secretary Solomon Paul, CFO Roger Nori, and others, Townend started his visit to the local mission in Mendi on November 11, 2022, and ended it in Mount Hagen on November 16.
Townend preached on Saturday (Sabbath) morning in Mendi and flew by helicopter to Tari in the afternoon, where he visited a former laymen training school in Peri. Townend then spoke to hundreds of church members at Habare, sharing the story of his father’s near-death experience in a plane crash in Goroka in 1973.
Attendees were fascinated by Townend’s fluent Tok Pisin (Pidgin) and listened as he read 1 John 4:18 in the Bible, using his father’s story to encourage them to be strong in the Lord. “In 1 John 4:18, there is no fear in love. Despite the plane crash, my father wanted to continue working in PNG. God’s perfect love drives out all fear,” he said.
On Sunday morning, he again spoke to the people in Habare after listening to reports of church work in Hela province from district pastors and church members.
The group then traveled to Rakamanda in Enga province on Sunday afternoon, where they were received by hundreds of church members dressed in the Adventist Youth Ministries and Adventist Community Services uniforms.
Townend encouraged the believers to be disciples for Jesus. “Let us uplift Jesus and the Bible. The Holy Spirit will work, and you will become a disciple for Jesus,” he said. The SPD leader also encouraged the church in PNG to send pastors, teachers, and nurses to Indonesia to reach out to non-Christians.
On Sunday evening, he preached the Three Angels’ Messages at Wabag town church, continuing the journey on Monday morning to Minj, Jiwaka province. The group stopped on the way to visit churches built by small groups.
A grand welcome, including the Correctional Services pipes and drums band, welcomed the leaders at the Minj station. After the welcome ceremony and speeches by the councillor, elders, and the town mayor, the guests were treated to lunch.
In the afternoon, the church in Minj reported on church work in Jiwaka and its preparation for the PNG for Christ 2024 evangelistic meetings. Later on, Townend preached at the Kimininga Adventist church, where he shared about the disciple-making process.
On the final day, Tuesday, the people in Western Highlands received Townend and the team at Kerabug. Solomon Paul encouraged his church members, and Townend reiterated Revelation 14:6 and Mathew 24, highlighting the PNG for Christ 2024 program.
The visited ended on Wednesday evening with a visit to Hagen Park church. Townend spoke about the power of God and the need to make disciples for Jesus by sharing His story.
“Thank you for visiting the Western Highlands Mission,” Nathan told Townend. “People are excited and already working towards hosting the PNG for Christ 2024 program,” he said.
The original version of this story was posted by Adventist Record.