Sunday, October 5, 2008

Nazarene Church celebrates 100 yrs

Oct 1908 was when the Nazarene Church was started in Pilot Point, Texas. Since then, it has grown to over 150 countries with over 1.6 million members. Today, Nazarene churches all over the world celebrated the 100th year anniversary of the church and its work. PNG was no different. The Western Highlands District all gathered together for this celebration on the lawn across from the primary school just outside station. All the different circuits, of the district, marched onto the field and sat down to start things off. The Kudjip station started at the circle, and then marched to meet the rest of our circuit and we walked in together. Some say there were 3000 people worshipping together.
There were "short remarks," prayers, special items, songs, and preaching to fill 3:30 hours of fun in the sun. The missionaries were asked to share an item, so it was decided that we would sing a song, Called unto Holiness. It was announced at prayer meeting that we would be singing, and that everyone would be participating (this included all volunteers) whether singers/Nazarenes or not, all were expected to be there. There aren't many of us, so if some of us had opted out, we would have been pretty small. The singers in the group felt we needed to have practices to make sure we knew what we were doing. I, being a nonsinger (by nonsinger I mean one who has no understanding of music, of notes, of being on key, what harmony/melody is, etc), didn't quite see the need for the practices, but went anyway. Despite maybe not hitting every note, or doing the echo just right, the crowd didn't seem to mind and clapped a lot during our song and seemed to enjoy it. Since I have been here, this is now the 2nd time I have sung in front of a large group. Thankfully, it has never been alone, nor do I want it to be.
Throughout the service, many folks mentioned the missionaries who had come to PNG 54 yrs ago to started the work of the church here. Sydney and Wanda Knox were the first missionaries to come here, and many more have followed since. At times, I wonder if what I am doing as a missionary is making a difference, or if people have been changed as a result. I can't answer that question regarding myself, nor do I need to. I know God has called me here and I am doing the best I can to be obedient to His call, to sharing the truth of His Son through example and words, and am trusting Him for the changing of hearts and lives. However, I know the work of the missionaries in PNG has changed this country, this place, these people and this is evident everyday to me, especially at the hospital. I am thankful to play a small part in the work God has/is doing in PNG through the Nazarene Church.