Editor’s note: Jeff and Susan Myers have been serving in Papua New Guinea since June 2001. They live on the Kudjip Nazarene Hospital compound where Susan is a doctor. Jeff has worked with Nazarene radio programming in Papua New Guinea and is currently working toward ordination.
As missionaries, part of the fun in the journey is the people God brings across our path, people that we can share the ministry with. One of those people is Paul Finch. He was here as a volunteer and was a tremendous help in the work of the hydro-electric project at Kudjip Nazarene Hospital. Before he came, he asked about bringing video equipment so he could show Christian films. He was told yes and packed the equipment needed. Paul said, “Then I remembered that most of the bush churches have no power. God reminded me that my pastor had a small suitcase-sized generator. I brought that along in my luggage.”
A few days after his arrival, he showed his first film (picture left: Paul setting up a screen in a village). After that, it was four nights a week and close to 40 different showings.
Toward the end of his trip, Paul said, “In the 11 weeks I have been here, over 4,000 people have seen a film. The most popular is the film End of the Spear. At first, I was amazed at how much it meant to them. But the longer I am here to see the culture, I realize that revenge killings and brutal treatment of people are expected. This film gives them hope. For the Christian, it is hope that their communities can change. For the non-Christian, it reveals other options to the violence, that forgiveness is possible. The pastors here are so thankful to have it shown in their church because it is very hard for them to get across to their people. This film gives a visual similar to the culture of the Papua New Guinea people of which they can relate to.”
At one of the first services where End of the Spear was shown, a pair of women came up after the film and forgave one another. It seems that one was married to the brother of the other. The sister blamed her for his death. She publicly forgave the wife for accusing her and asked for forgiveness for all the wrong things she had done. Many tears were shed, and a lot of hugs shared.
Also shown was the JESUS film for children. Nearly 900 students, from the school just outside Nazarene hospital gates, packed into a church to see The Story of JESUS for Children and End of the Spear. God planted many seeds that day!
At one church there were so many people that they were pulling the siding of the church back to see. At others, when the windows and doors were full, as many as 25 to 40 people had to leave because they could not get in to see.
As mentioned before, the hydro-electric project is under way to repair a hydroelectric power generator for the Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, so the hospital can have reliable electricity, as the government-provided utilities are intermittent. The administrative team for the hospital has a system worked out with the local village people that every month they rotate workers to get as many involved as possible with the work. At each month’s changing of the crews, on the last Friday that they got paid, Paul showed a video (picture right: film showing for the hydro-electric crew at the hospital chapel). Earl, our project manager for the hydro-electric project, had asked me to be involved with the last one, and to have a wrap-up — an altar call if you will — at the end of the movie. The movie dealt with a friend giving his life for his buddy. After talking with the group for a few minutes, I said any who wanted to repeat a sinner’s prayer after me could do so. I was told that eight people prayed the prayer.
One Sunday night, we showed End of the Spear at Wagmil Nazarene church (picture left) and there were over 100 people present for the showing. At the end of the movie, there were many who prayed the sinner’s prayer. It was also neat that Apa, a national, was translating and helping in the understanding of the movie as it was playing.
Paul said, “I stand in awe of the power of the Holy Spirit to be able to communicate through these films that are in English, to people that don’t speak much English at all. I now have a man named Apa who goes to interpret for the people. He has a passion for spreading God’s saving grace. I hope to return to Papua New Guinea to be able to go to more bush churches and share this film, if that is God’s will. With His help, I am willing.”
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” — Galatians 6:10
(Photos by Paul Finch and Jeff Myers.)