By PETER ESILA
PARADISE Company is not going to leave God out of the picture, because Christian values are an important part of Papua New Guinea culture and should be part of our daily life at work, says chief executive officer James Rice.
Perhaps the first Papua New Guinean company, Paradise has created a position of company chaplain to put God in every aspect of business.
It is the hope of Rice that Paradise lights a fire in the country for other companies to consider having a company chaplain to make a difference in the lives of the average worker, who spends one third of his life at the workplace.
“The trend has changed when people now are realising that we need God, that is why people are beginning to open doors,” Rice said.
Rice who has only been appointed in July last year announced the appointment of Pastor Israel Arua to the position in October.
Since then, Ps Arua has been very busy, not to preach denomination, he says, but faith in God.
“Paradise Foods Ltd is the first non-government employer in PNG to create a full-time chaplain position, though it is common in the country’s defence force and police force,” Rice said.
“This is a new role to Paradise Foods and aligns with Prime Minister James Marape’s vision to make Papua New Guinea – “the richest, black Christian nation”.
Rice anticipates that this trusted role will provide a way for employees to seek guidance, counselling, mentoring and advice on any issue they may be facing in the work place or home life.
“This demonstrates another commitment I have made to ensure Paradise Company creates the safest and most desired working environment as we strive to become the most preferred employer in the country. Through developing our staff to their fullest we assist in building capability and productivity across PNG,” Rice said.
Ps Arua has been seen across the company businesses in Port Moresby and Lae to encourage prayer life, hold Bible studies, make home and hospital visitations and coordinate the company’s participation in relevant humanitarian and community programmes affecting people.
“I am humbled to be offered this exciting role with Paradise Foods. I have met all staff here in Port Moresby and Lae and assisting them with difficulties in their work and private life and other challenges we face in our daily lives,” Ps Arua said.
“A chaplain is not about denomination or church but about faith. When I come and talk to the staff, they are not offended. I do not like talking about church, all I want to talk about is God, Jesus and Holy Spirit and the Bible.
Ps Arua is an ordained and practicing pastor with Christian Outreach Centre (COC) in both field and administrative ministry for more than 20 years. His work has given him substantial opportunities and experiences in providing godly counsel and direction to many people of all walks of life from criminals to company executives and politicians. He maintains good relations and works together with pastors and members of churches of all Christian denominations.
Ps Arua said some of the issues that he has dealt with since being in the position were marriage, argument and salaries, adultery, depression, stress, rebellious minds and alcohol abuse.
He had also answered prayer requests and hospital visits for company staff and their immediate family members.
“One of the things that companies in PNG do not realise is that each individual employee is a member of a church.
“I do not preach about church, I talk about the Word of God, and bring in an understanding of who am I ministering about.
“The Bible talks only about the God and my aim is to help members of the churches here in this company to find their place in God. Not only that, the company itself will also recognise that it is a Christian company.
“To administer to their needs so that I give my services as a trained counsellor, and bring healing and restoration so that they get out of their situations. That they are healed physically and mentally, so that they can be freed from anything, so that when they work, they do not worry about the situation they are in.
“They just work knowing that God has opened a door for them and they also work to reflect the Christ-like life here in the company as well.
“It was a divine appointment. We look at ourselves and say that we are a Christian nation but when we put God first and see believers coming out of their situations to reflect Christ, to deliver PNG as a Christian nation, there is punctuality, honesty and dedication.”
Rice said already there were companies contacting him to know how to set up a company chaplaincy.
“There is a funny thing that the chaplin told me. An employee came up to him and said: ‘Now that there is a company chaplin and there is God in our work place, I am not going to steal anymore’.”
“I told my employees, I would rather have God in my company than big rules that you can do or can’t do,” Rice said after offering me some Paradise Foods products that were on the table in his office.
Paradise Company Ltd is the holding company of Paradise Foods Ltd, and Laga Industries Ltd, and is owned by Nambawan Super Limited and Comrade Trustees Limited. Paradise Company Limited is proud to be 100 per cent PNG owned.
About Paradise Foods
Paradise Foods Limited has been operating in PNG for over 80 years with manufacturing sites in Port Moresby and Lae. Paradise is a business that prides itself in perfecting taste in its biscuits, snacks, and beverages and chocolate that everyone loves anywhere anytime.
Laga Industries Ltd owns and manufactures ice cream, beverages, cooking oils and baking products with a manufacturing and processing facility in Lae along with a distribution centre in Port Moresby. Laga is renowned for quality products and their range of trusted food brands such as Gala and Highland Meadows for over 40 years.