By ALPHONSE BARIASI
CHRISTIAN Mission Fellowship International in PNG now has a Southern Region office which was opened last Saturday at Kemabolo Village in Rigo, Central.
The colourful dedication ceremony complete with lively entertainment and a sumptuous meal was witnessed by church leaders from the local congregation and visitors from Port Moresby plus believes from other denominations.
Outgoing missionary and senior pastor of the CMFI Southern region, Inia Rokovosa and his wife Marama Bose officially opened the small office building funded by local church elder Boki Raga.
The Fijian missionary couple will soon leave PNG after serving for a number of years for a new calling in the United Kingdom.
Rev Ezekiel Opet, the leading minister who established the CMFI church in the country, delivered a message of encouragement to the congregation based on Isaiah 54:2,3, saying the office building was indication of elevation and extension.
“The gospel has the power to elevate us to another level,” Rev Opet told the gathering. “This office is an indication of that elevation. Kemabolo is so different now; it has gone through developments.”
He said CMFI has plans to expand into 15 regions in the country from the existing five regional settings.
He urged the church to have bigger dreams and believe in God to expand the work of the church not only in the country but to also reach out to foreign lands with the Gospel of Salvation.
“Pray big prayers. Ask God for big things.
“Think big. Where we are today is a result of somebody thinking and planning.
“Believe big. Believe God for big things and don’t dwell on what you have now. Never be satisfied with where you are right now.
“The office is a step to go up and bigger,” Rev Opet said.
CMFI in PNG
Rev Opet was on a three-year training at the Pacific Theological College in Suva, Fiji when he met Rev Suliasi Kurulo, founder of CMFI based in Lambasa and was drawn to his fellowship.
Back in Bougainville, Rev Opet set up the first CMFI church at Wakunai and invited Rev Kurulo who visited in 1999 and on Jan 28, 2001 CMF was launched at Wakunai, Central Bougainville.
The church has since grown to other parts of PNG including the capital.
The Port Moresby church has reached out to parts of Southern region including the Kemabolo fellowship.
Kemabolo elder Boki Raga, who retired after 38 years of serving the PNG Electoral Commission, joined CMFI and learned about “planting seed in fertile ground” from Pastor Rokovosa.
Raga decided to spend K25,000 of family business finances to erect the church office when the need arose. The office building was completed in 15 days by local builder Tau Vali and a team of village youths. The electrical wiring and installation of an air conditioner was done by Raga’s eldest son, Gulu an electrician and refrigeration mechanic employed by High Artic in Moro, Southern Highlands.
During the dedication last Saturday another church elder and successful businessman Peter Heno of Kutubu, Southern Highlands, also a firm believer in sowing financial seeds in fertile soil, pledged a laptop computer and printer for the new office. Heno is married to an Inland Rigo woman. Church elder Gima Veali who oversaw the programme of the day paid tribute to members of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Apostolic and United Churches for being part of the community of believers witnessing the significant occasion for CMFI.
The land on which the church is located was given by Gaba Tau and his family.
CMFI has a long standing relationship with the American-based Oral Roberts Ministries and adopts its theological training and accreditation for its ministers and missionaries.
CMFI PNG has trained a number of missionaries who have been sent to serve in other countries.
One such missionary, Paison Kedukwakwa, from the Rev Sione Kami Memorial Church in Port Moresby, went away to minister to a rural nomadic community in Tanzania.
CMFI PNG has sent three of its own missionaries, Pastor Israel Kolita from Matalau Village, East New Britain to Mozambique, Pastor Kenny James from Bougainville to Uganda and Pastor Jimmy Bill and his wife from Northern to Laos in Asia. Two of the church’s young women Sheilar Kore from the Gulf and Veronica Taramana from Mortlock Island in Bougainville are also currently serving as missionaries in the Solomon Islands.
“PNG is a missionary-sending nation,” Rokovosa said.
CMFI Kemabolo church pastor Nicholas Haraha is now the regional minister and overseer of the work in Milne Bay, Northern, Central, Gulf and Western.
Thanks to faithful elders Boki Raga and Peter Heno, Pastor Haraha will do his work in the comfort of a new office with the convenience of a computer and hopefully internet connectivity, depending on mobile network service.
God’s work through CMFI Kemabolo is coming of age.
By ALPHONSE BARIASI