Addressing the Papua New Guinea Mission Society at its biennial meeting, Governor Peter Ipatas of the Enga Province of Papua New Guinea noted the contributions of LCMS missionaries to his homeland — particularly in education and health care — and encouraged the Synod to send more missionaries to Papua New Guinea.
At present, two LCMS missionaries live and work in the country, located northeast of Australia. The Synod began its mission work there in 1948, and hundreds of LCMS missionaries served the Enga Province between 1950 and 1970.
Today, the Gutnius (“Good News”) Lutheran Church, an LCMS partner church, has more than 138,500 baptized members in more than 700 congregations, and operates two seminaries, a hospital, four clinics, a college and a number of preschools, kindergartens, and primary and secondary schools.
Ipatas, known in his country as the “action governor,” attended St. Paul Lutheran High School in the Papua New Guinea highlands and said he is very supportive of the Gutnius Lutheran Church.
“I stand committed to your cause as governor of Enga, former student and product of the LCMS World Mission in the Enga Province, in any way you wish to carry out any work [to which] God will call you,” he told the group July 29.
Especially needed, he said, are teachers and theological educators, as well as medical teams.
The mission society — composed largely of former LCMS missionaries and their families — met July 29-30 at Timothy Lutheran Church in St. Louis. More than 70 people attended the meeting, including Ipatas and five other government and church leaders from Papua New Guinea.
To learn more about the Papua New Guinea Mission Society, visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pngms.
Also meeting in July were former LCMS missionaries to Japan (July 18-22 in St. Louis) and to the Philippines (July 12-15 in Allenspark, Colo).
Posted Aug. 11, 2011