Sunday, May 11, 2008

Wallace White's Memorial Service

On Saturday, we had a memorial service for Wallace White. Wallace was one of the first missionaries here to PNG with his wife Mona. They came in 1959 and did a lot of work in the Nazarene Church in PNG. He was the guy who had the idea to start the hospital, and raised funds for it. After that, they lived in Port Moresby and then in the islands where they started Nazarene churches. They were here for over 30 years.

The memorial service, although long, was quite inspirational. White Kintok, the head of our College of Nursing Program was named after Wallace White. He led the service. Different nationals got up and shared about the impact this man had on their lives. One guy from the Jimi Valley shared how his people didn't know anything about Jesus, but he came and they all started following Jesus. As a result, the people were changed, and still are today. He described Wallace as a "white skin with a black heart."

The missionaries got to sing his favorite song, How Great Thou Art in pidgin during the service. Some of you know I have no understanding of music, especially singing. I have no idea what a C sounds like or an A. They were going to have a practice session at 930 prior to going to the service. I was doing gardening work in the am, and didn't feel the practice would allow me to all of a sudden understand music, so I didn't go. I was also concerned that if I went it may make the others want me to sing with them even less. So I just stood up and sang with everyone when it was time. Thankfully me being off key was drowned out by everyone else singing correctly.