Papua New Guinea
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ELCPNG Day celebration hailed

It was a day filled with joy, tears, gratitude, and remembrance as the Lutheran faithful in Lae marked 137 years of God’s Word reaching Papua New Guinea through the Lutheran mission.

On Sunday, all Lutheran churches within the Lae and Wampar circuits closed their doors as believers convened at the Resurrection Parish Church in town. From there, they marched to Eriku Oval to partake in the day’s festivities.

Men, women, children, youths and the elderly all turned up for the celebrations with mixed emotions. For many, their connection to the Lutheran faith and its history evoked strong feelings.

This gathering was a historical occasion for the ELCPNG. During his sermon, ELCPNG Head Bishop, Reverend Dr Jack Urame, reflected on the origins of the faith in the region. He emphasised that this faith and church were introduced by just one influential man of God: early missionary Johannes Flierl, who first set foot in Simbang, Finschhafen district, Morobe, on July 12th, 1886.

Today, believers have constructed churches across various congregations, parishes, circuits and districts. He stressed that everyone present at the 137th celebration in Eriku was there because of God’s Word, His love, and the miracles that have shaped them into Christians.

“God’s word was shared and it touches all believers convincingly with the power of Holy Spirit so we can gather today to thank God for all that he has done through our ancestors and to these generations,” he stated.

“We still have people attending theological institutions to become pastors, evangelists, laymen and being ordained to be the mouthpiece of God and this is the beauty of our church, faith and work that is passed from our ancestors to our generations and we pray that it will continue.”

He encouraged Lutheran believers to see themselves as living testimonies of the seeds sown by Missionary Flierl. These seeds have sprouted to keep the Lutheran faith alive, growing and continuously preached.

Rev Urame extended his gratitude to the event's organising committee for the successful outcome of the celebration at Eriku and the fundraising dinner at Lae International Hotel.

Looking ahead, Rev Urame said: “This church celebration will be organised with more planning, early preparations and organising so it can be celebrated in all the ELCPNG 17 districts in the years to come.”