By DESMOND NARONGOU
AS a kid growing up in the Revival Centres Church, I was kept under watchful eyes for not attending church services and programmes, and doing those stupid things kids do.
If I did not attend a fellowship, I would be questioned during dinner time. If I had genuine reasons, dad would warn me and my two sisters. If the reason was just an excuse, we would be severely punished with no dinner, tied up outside the house and, dad with his long cane, made purposely to belt us, would beat us mercilessly.
I was the odd one in the family that would get most beatings as I often miss behaved. Even mum tried to intervene, dad wouldn’t give her a chance.
As I start attending primary school, life got stricter. I had to be home before 6pm and was not allowed to roam the village or visit other families unless permission was sought.
After every dinner, dad would gather us around, have a few words and then prayed together with us before going to bed.
He would tell us of the stories during the time he was a kid, and how he got into the church. He was baptised and received the Holy Spirit, and spoke in other tongues at the age of 16, at around 1985 into the Revival Centres International after it reached PNG from Australia in 1982.
These stories are still vividly recorded in my mind. He was sent to the Amanab and Green River on the PNG –Indonesian border to look after the assemblies there in around 1988 as a young pastor. He recalled he went through a lot of persecution when establishing the church in those areas, and at one stage he was nearly stabbed to death with a spear by one local who didn’t want his wife to be spirit-filled. He, however, escaped death with a single turn of his head when the spear was shot at him one Thursday afternoon after fellowship.
He stayed in that area for the next year before moving to other areas. He was transferred back home in 1990 and got married to mum. He stayed home for a few more months and by 1991 he was recalled to look after the assemblies in the Green River District.
In 1992 he took mum with him to assist him with the ministry work there. By that time I was born and brought up there as a young infant. I remember mum telling me those moments were lonely and the journeys were never easy there, we got lost in the jungles. Mum would teach other church womenfolk how to cook and do other ladies’ duties. We stayed there before returning home again in 1995. As we settled down, Revival Centres International or Revival Centres Church got split with Revival Fellowship due to moral policies.
Dad continued on with the mission of spreading the word under Revival Centres Church from then on. All of us faithfully enjoyed the fellowship and dad continued to move up the ranks from leader and then to pastor. In 2017, he was appointed a district pastor. He had a passion and commitment to the church and just recently on Nov 10, 2019, he was ordinated by Pastor Darcy Ryan to be a zone pastor for Revival Centres Church – Lumi Zone.
As young infant growing up under his guidance and ministry to my adulthood, it’s been a pleasure going through the challenges with dad and mum of being in the church as well as enjoying the blessing of doing the Lord’s work.
He…escaped death with a single turn of his head when the spear was hurled at him one Thursday afternoon after fellowship.
I grew up under his guidance and saw how he tried his best to keep the church going.
As I further my studies from primary to secondary, and then to Unitech where I graduated in 2017, I never let those memories fade away and will try my best as possible to support him in the ministry in every way possible.
He’s favourite word to me and my siblings were:
- God first, family second and other commitments come last.
- Don’t deliberately miss church fellowship and programs.
- Pray always.
In infinite wisdom! The Lord surely knew that we’d need a pastor as faithful as you.
A love of God’s word and a heart for his flock, you give of yourself and you stand on the Rock.
God bless you dad – Pastor Richard Narongou.
- Desmond Narongou works with the information technology department of the National Airports Corporation.