More than 400 Central Papua Conference (CPC) pastors, ministers, Bible workers, volunteers, teachers and health workers gathered at the Mt Diamond Adventist Secondary School outside Port Moresby for Orientation and Training Week, January 21-28.
With the theme, “Arise and Shine! Go and Make Disciples”, based on Isaiah 60, the orientation was a first on such a large scale and focused on practical discipleship in CPC.
President Pastor Kove Tau was pleased with the emphasis on making disciples as it reflected the call of God’s church as its mission.
Lessons drawn from working areas such as Bisiatabu, Silva and Ted Wilson Memorial churches were discussed, among others, as workers were encouraged and a unique sense of unity was fostered in the group.
Plenary sessions included office administration items and the main workshops were delivered by the Conference’s departmental directors who covered key practical and implementable actions for discipleship in their respective departments. The main ideas were further discussed and recommendations were presented by smaller discussion groups which gathered after these workshops.
“It was a special occasion,” said Irupara pastor Ben Onum. “The cross-breeding of ideas from teachers, ministers and health workers in the discussion groups highlighted unique challenges and opportunities on how discipleship can be better implemented in their respective contexts. There was a sense of energy seldom witnessed in the past as attendees testified to a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the week.”
With the morning and nightly worships, there was a special testimonial and appearance by much-loved and respected pastor Yori Hibo. Now retired, Pastor Hibo was a local and former PNG Union Mission president, whose vast leadership experience in the ministry was heartwarming to all who attended the orientation.
Former chief diplomat and secretary for Foreign Affairs Bill Dihm presented on protocol, leadership and governance in the Church and made recommendations for the Conference as its workers minister in a time of ever-increasing political and social challenges.
The ordinances of foot-washing and communion were celebrated on the Friday evening. “Despite heavy rain throughout the week, all were blessed with a sense of reconciliation towards God and fellow workers during the solemn occasion,” Pastor Onum said.
On the Sabbath morning, former Conference president Pastor Tony Kemo made a stirring appeal for workers to “arise and shine” in a world of gross darkness. The powerful preaching was complemented by a wonderful male choral arrangement delivered by the CPC Male Choir.
During the week, workers had the opportunity to update their superannuation, employment ID cards and were part of a Conference-wide photo session, in their newly presented “Arise & Shine” white shirts.
“The orientation ended on a high note as workers returned to their respective places of labour refreshed, challenged and blessed with the Lord’s promise of His great power and presence,” said Pastor Onum.