Visiting Papua New Guinea – Land of the unexpected
‘And behold I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every man according to his work.’ Revelation 22:12
Surely the coming of the Lord is now sooner than we expected with the prophesied signs occurring before us amongst the European nations. The greatest challenge for us is to inform each and every individual as the Lord may direct us of these developments so they make take a stand sooner rather than later, even to the far regions of the world.
Our journey to Papua New Guinea (PNG) began from the 25th and 26th of November when we left our respective homes; Fiji and Sydney and meeting up in Brisbane Airport on Thursday the 26th for our scheduled flight to Port Moresby at 9:10am.
We had our first unexpected experience in PNG just on our arrival when one of our suitcases went missing. Fortunately, our local friend Robert Pati who after some considerable efforts was able to convince the responsible officers of the importance of our trip enabling the luggage to be retrieved earlier.
Robert Pati and two other friends had awaited our arrival and brought us into the city, where we saw a lot of developments taking places with improved roads and high rise buildings throughout the area. We were pleasantly surprised by this as it differs from what was normally portrayed in the media.
Early Friday morning we made our way to the airport with the help of our local friends, for our first visit to Alotau, towards the south-eastern end of the country. It was a 50 minute flight from Port Moresby to Alotau airport where we were awaited by the hotel transport that took us to our accommodation.
Alotau is the main center of the Milne Bay Province situated at the southernmost tip of the country sitting on a beautiful bay, surrounded by waters of the Solomon Sea. It is a tourist destination with hospitable people. We had a few observations which we intend to share with our readers: one is that the people are smaller in sizes in this region locally known as ‘the 28 inches’. These are friendly people, always willing to assist and there is no problem with communication as English is widely used.
On one occasion whilst Bro. Anton was talking to the hotel security guard he noticed his mouth all covered in red, thinking that he might just have had his tooth pulled out, another one joined them and also he noticed the same thing in the mouth, and later noticed the whole lot who gathered having the same condition, he asked them, “what’s happening” then as he looked at the people walking up the street all had the same red color on their teeth and lips. This we were explained was the local practice of chewing betel nut mixed with lime (baked coral) and mustard, and as a result of the mixture in the mouth the texture red is produced. A tradition they said that fascinates their minds and empowers their bodies to perform well under the hot sun.
On Sabbath morning we made our way to Bro Alipi’s place which was almost an hour drive from town. It was actually a surprise visit, however we were well greeted by Bro. Alipi and his small church group who had just begun their Sabbath school class when we arrived. Bro Alipi led the Sabbath school lesson. Bro Anton took up the divine service on the topic entitled ‘How we can Identify God’s True Church’, which appropriately answered much of their present queries. We had lunch together, after which Bro. Anton continued with explanation of the origin of the fulfilment of prophesies in Revelation 18, Malachi 4:5-6, etc. which happened when the foretold original Reform Movement – IMS SDARM began. The attention was taken as well to another prophesied reality for the last days. It is Satan’s copies, imitations or duplication of the Lord’s work today.
2 Corinthians 11: 3, 4 “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
Matthew 24:23, 24 “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
These confusions of the enemy are the so called today “Independent Adventist” movements. The enemy of Christ has a special goal to achieve by them, which is to “deceive the very elect.” One of these independent movements is even called the “Reform Movement” as well. The establishing foundation of these movements is the spirit of rebellion, self-ambitions, and the same rebellion spirit as it was in Korah and some other elders of Israel in the past. Today, God uplifts the “Rod of Aaron” to all believers to consider that it has the same essential importance today as it had in a past.
Some of our members in Alotao were recently confused and few deceived by representatives of such movements. That is why our brethren were so happy to see the pure, approved truth once again by the clear facts from the Bible, Spirit of the Prophecy and documented evidence. They acknowledged that the “Lie” has a short legs. That is why the “Lie” cannot go so far. The Truth is the Truth and it lasts forever.
We met up again on Sunday, morning 29th November at Bro. Alipi’s residence to discuss the situation surrounding the Alotau group.
After Bro. Anton’s efforts to clarify our position point by point with evidential proofs the members expressed their verbal confession and acknowledgment of the mistakes and misunderstanding and pledged to commit themselves to the true Reform Movement. We are thankful to the Lord, for this miracle. The Lord should be praised for this overall turnaround and a valuable lesson experience for the Alotau members.
Sunday morning, we had the baptism of Sister Teremoni, followed on by acceptance, with foot washing and communion service, and lastly the reorganization. It was evident that most members present in this locality which was a palm oil station were from the surrounding islands. They already had interest awaiting them in their islands, and were eager that to have the work established in their respective islands as soon as possible. With Bro Alipi, being the newly elected leader he has a challenge to coordinate the work in these small islands which he is very much interested in, and has expressly made a special request for support in obtaining a ‘dingy’ which they called (an outboard motor board) to carry out all sorts of missionary work including evangelistic work, health work and seminars on the islands. This would be far more efficient and effective compared to the high cost of hiring other boats which costs considerable costs per day.
We bid farewell to the Alotau members with the blessing of our Lord for the much awaited challenges before them.
We returned to Port Moresby on Monday 30th of November, accompanied by Bro Alipi who is their representative for the meeting at Madang. The Lord continued to open the way for the gospel. As we reached Port Moresby, our friend Bro Pati who was an Adventist together with Bro Wilson and his son who were from the Baptist church availed themselves to listen attentively to Bro Anton as he shared with them the current, scriptural prophecy on the nations of Europe leading up to the end of time. The message interested them so much that they continued to remain with us till night and promised to return on Tuesday for another session before they dropped us off at the airport. May we remember these brothers in our prayers that the Lord may work through them to be prepared for the Lord’s coming.
We reached Madang on the Nothern side of Port Moresby a little after 4 pm where brother John Kepo the leader for the PNG field and Jerry Kaddum were awaiting us. We immediately headed straight for our motel where another elderly couple and Bro Kuddum’s wife had already arrived. This was where we spent the next two days meeting with the local members, held Communion service and the reorganization of the field. It was interesting that our open meeting which we normally had in the motel main lounge attracted people to come and listen. A teacher who was present became interested and has given her contact details seeking more information in our message. Our meeting completed in Madang with the re-organisation of the PNG field and we bid farewell to the members for our trip to Kassam at around 5pm on Thursday 03rd December 2015.
Bro John Kepo, the newly elected local vice Leader for PNG was our guide for the trip to Kassam, south of Madang. It was a 5 to 6 hours travel by night through the forested mountainous road, on a 26 seater bus reaching our destination by midnight. Whilst the prior arrangement for our accommodation failed to be confirmed with numerous phone calls to Bro Taraki failing to reach him, the driver of the bus was kind enough to lead us to a Salvation Army hostel where we were accommodated for the night.
On Friday 04th, we visited the Kassam Church and was well received by the members. Our plan was to have our meeting beginning right away from Friday as we had a short time to be with the members. However this was not to be as some were not present including John Taraki their leader. This however did not deter us as we began our meeting with about ten members who were present. In a 3 hour session beginning from 1 pm to 4pm Bro Anton combined a series of subjects under the topic “How Can You Recognize God’s True Church?” This aroused much interest and appreciation from those present. In fact, the entire church has been searching for the truth for the last 15 years. Initially, this Kassam Church was an Adventist church which had a separation way back 15 years ago, as the owner of the land and the church building who was a pioneering Missionary back in the year 1948 whilst still a boy, began questioning the changing principles and practices now adopted within the Adventist church. This later led to them being disfellowshipped and their withholding of this church property. As the property owner of the land and church building they continued their own meetings, whilst the rest of the Adventist members sought for a new location. The elderly Bro Berg Bauke had first heard of the Reform Movement from the SDA missionaries he worked with in his early days and they told him that in times to come a Reform Church would arise and he must ensure to join it. So through the years of their being alone after being disfellowshipped they continued to search and await the day that finally through God’s providence a miraculous connection was established with Br Kepo that eventually enabled them to accept our message without any doubt and for the past few years have patiently been awaiting baptism.
Bro. Anton continued with additional Studies immediately after Sabbath school and after the lunch break till the closing of the Sabbath. By the grace of God 8 souls took their stand to be baptized, and amazingly this baptism due to time constraints took place at night. This followed with acceptance, Holy Communion service and re-organization. Although we concluded right into midnight, the members were overwhelmed with appreciation of this new beginning and were eager to take on the challenge of God’s work in this remote region.
We bid farewell to the members before we returned to Port Moresby the next morning and later on to Australia and Fiji.
We take this opportunity to thank the Lord for His guidance, protection and care for the PNG region, and particularly for the work of our predecessors Bro Robert and Bro Andrade to name a few who have supported the work in this far off region. We are only treading on your footsteps in this challenging region and we thank you for your efforts. We acknowledge the Union support and not forgetting our members of the Oceania region, Australia and New Zealand members who have continuously supported the missionary work in whatever way possible. This trip would not have been possible without your coordinated efforts, and we sincerely thank you for that.
May the Lord bless you all as we come to the close of the year. Looking forward to another new year of missionary activities.
Our request is that we continue to praise the Lord for his blessings and more so that we may continue to reach further, until the earth is fully enlightened.