One of our staff invited us to join her church, and a neighbouring congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, in celebrating the 131st anniversary of the establishment of the denomination in PNG.
Across Lae city, and throughout the country, various districts gathered to commemorate the arrival of the first Lutheran missionaries on July 12, 1886. It is hard to imagine their day to day circumstances in such a difficult environment, confronting language and cultural barriers. The first two indigenous baptisms would come after 13 years of labouring for the Kingdom. Over the few years to follow there were others, including 36 from Tami island – a people group only now receiving the word of God in their heart language.
Can you fathom a church enduring for 120 years without God’s word in their heart language? It defies all logic; to us it seems implausible given our experiences.
To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Revelation 3:7-8
In fact, it’s not so surprising. The door opened in PNG generations ago has been kept open by the power of Jesus Christ. It is His intent and purpose to sustain His church, perfecting her in Himself. It is all His doing….. it is simply our privilege to be here and see Him at work.
Please pray …
- that the churches of PNG would be strong in Christ, faithfully proclaiming His word.