Papua New Guinea retreat inspires laypeople to raise up the church
The Jiwaka North District hosted a four-day laity retreat in the Jiwaka Province of Papua New Guinea 10-14 August 2023 for all three districts – Jiwaka North, Jiwaka South, and Bromley. The retreat focused on inspiring and empowering the laypeople to take ownership in spreading the gospel in Papua New Guinea.
Despite most participants' challenges, like traveling over difficult paths and roads, 120 laymen and women attended, and over 200 people were present during the evening worship services.
At the opening ceremony, the Jiwaka North District welcomed the other two districts in a procession as young people put on a drama to the song "Agnus Dei" by Michael W. Smith. The evening was facilitated by David Wan, a nurse anesthetist at Kudjip Nazarene Hospital and chairperson of Kudjip Primary School.
Each of the three district superintendents welcomed the lay delegates and shared about laypeople being crucial to spreading the gospel and transforming Papua New Guinea through the church. Jiwaka North District Superintendent Philip Nolie extolled how laypeople have helped spread the Church of the Nazarene to 164 countries worldwide.
District Superintendent Andrew Akus, from Jiwaka South District, explained how the church is a body held up by two legs: one leg is the clergy and the other is the laity. If either leg is weak, the body suffers, but the church body can advance the gospel if both legs are strong and working together.
The heads of several Nazarene institutions shared words of encouragement; those include White Kintak, principal of the Nazarene College of Nursing; Joseph Sika, CEO of Nazarene Health Ministries, and Kafoa Muaror, Melanesia/South Pacific field strategy coordinator.
On the second day, Bromley District Superintendent Peter Kui shared how Nehemiah, the biblical Jewsish leader, was an important example for laypeople in the church. Merilyn Wutsik spoke on Saul's conversion to Paul and how he moved forward with the mission of Christ. Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Coordinator John Taima facilitated and reinforced the shared messages.
The laymen and women who attended are passionate about raising the church and taking ownership of the gospel spread. They desire to be more involved in evangelism, discipleship, and leadership while also committed to praying for the church and its leaders.
--Church of the Nazarene Asia-Pacific