Celebrating 50 Years of Ministry
Christian Union Church of Papua New Guinea
By Benji Jenkins, Missionary, Papua New Guinea
In January 2014, the Christian Union Church of Papua New Guinea celebrated its 50th anniversary. The first missionaries arrived in 1964 and started planting churches in the Southern Highlands Province. To celebrate this, World Gospel Mission and the Christian Union Church planned a five-day revival. This revival took place in an area called Embi, one of the places the early missionaries had gone into.
Although the country has progressed in the last 50 years, Embi is still a very remote location with no electricity, running water, and very few permanent houses. Housing and feeding the couple thousand people who would travel in, as well as the former missionaries who visited, and the guest speaker, Hubert Harriman, required several months of planning.
Knowing that this was a huge undertaking with lots of room for problems to arise, the missionaries in PNG decided to start a prayer campaign leading up to the revival. The 50 Days of Prayer for PNG Facebook page was created. Each day for 50 days, a different missionary, church leader, ministry, or visitor was highlighted with prayer requests. Many people responded to those daily requests by saying they had prayed or even by reposting the requests on their own Facebook pages. There were days when over 1,000 people saw those prayer requests and prayed for the different needs that were listed.
As a result of those prayers, the 50th anniversary celebration went on without any major problems. In a developing country, there are always issues with vehicles, trouble getting supplies, and many other things. When the day came to start, Embi was flooded with people from four different provinces. Everyone found a place to sleep and food to eat. Hubert Harriman preached many of the services, and his sermons were translated into two different languages so everyone could understand. Many people came to the altar during each service to seek the Lord. Some of them told how they had gotten saved and some told of being sanctified. At one service, the pastors were challenged to grow deeper, and the altar was lined with pastors seeking God’s touch.
None of this could have happened without the enormous prayer support that lasted for 50 days and on through the five days of revival.
PRAY: Take your cues from the WGM PNG Field by creating your own 50 Days of Prayer. Make a list of 50 items you will pray for over the next 50 days. Feel free to add those serving in PNG to your list.