Couple says ‘I do’ after all

The new husband and wife, Geno Koloma and Christine Gavara.

THEY say three times is a charm, but for one couple that proved to be their lucky number as they finally made it down the aisle – after their wedding was rescheduled several times.
Geno Koloma and Christine Gavara tied the knot at Boroko United Church on August 14, in what was described an intimate ceremony.
The pair have been together for five years and had originally planned to marry in June.
However, their plans were halted when the country was affected with the effects of the global pandemic, meaning they had to wait two months to celebrate their big day.
Koloma of Maopa village, Abau, Central is a professional welder and is also a committed worship leader at the Gerehu United Church.
Gavara from Rigo and Irian Jaya parentage, is a compliance officer and is also the superintendent at Boroko United Church Sunday school.
The couple met during a prayer night at Taurama, outside Port Moresby and naturally fell in love.
After living together for a period of time, both finally decided to tie the knot and become husband and wife. Their wedding was witnessed by their families, relatives, and friends from both congregations.
It was an emotional moment for those that attended, especially the brides’ family. It struck them that Christine was now leaving their house and no longer going to bear the Gavara name, as she walked down the aisle. With seconds ticking, the Garava name she had was slowly going to fade; it surely brought tears to their eyes.
Nerves came creeping as Christine headed towards Geno, as usual in these sort of ceremonies, one could see them shaking whilst realising the significance of the moment however, both ensured to remain calm while they shared their vows and were pronounced husband and wife by retired reverend Jino Pala in front of hundreds.
For Koloma he had come a long way as a boy growing up in the suburb of Gerehu, where he spent most of his youth days. At the age of 16, he gave his heart to the Lord and made a covenant that he wouldn’t get married until he turned 30.
Apparently, that promise came to pass when he married Christine at the exact age.

“ Marriage is a commitment you are making with God. Marriage is a gift of God. You have to respect each other and be faithful to yourself.”
The bridal party at the Port Moresby Nature Park.

During the wedding occasion, Rev Pala, the celebrant, challenge the couple to respect and honour their union, because marriage was an institution that God created for men and women.
“Marriage is a commitment you are making with God. Marriage is a gift of God. You have to respect each other and be faithful to yourself.”
Rev Pala stressed that all who entered into matrimonial relations did so with a holy purpose.
The husband to obtain the pure affection of a woman’s heart, the wife to soften and improve her husband’s character and give it completeness – fulfill God’s purpose for them.
The couple formally registered their marriage with the PNG National Identity and Civil Registry so that they were recognised by the State as a legally binding agreement.
Despite their different backgrounds and upbringings, their story testifies the power of love and what it can do to bring man and woman together to become one in the eyes of God.
Both showed everyone the meaning of their love and affection for each other when they exchanged their vows and put a ring to each other’s fingers.
Meanwhile, when asked what their encouragement to the young generation would be particularly, those who were planning on rushing into marriage this was what the couple had to say: “Importantly, we must seek God because He knows the best of what the heart desires.”
They strongly emphasised that it wasn’t right to make fun of someone else’s heart, because that is where Gold holds the plans of the future.

  • David Susuve is a freelance writer.

Repentance: Making a fresh start

THE word “repentance” is not explained enough to the sinner looking for a new life.
When some good mates want to start a new business, they often have all the ideas, all the skills and all the qualifications/licences, but still lack one important ingredient – money. They then go looking for a “money person”, someone who will be a partner in the business but not to be actually involved or necessarily have any knowledge of the business in question.
Is the money person important? Oh yes, very important. Even if he is just the “silent partner”, the business would not exist without him. He is certainly not the “poor relative” of the partnership, but rather the “oil” that makes the wheel turn. The “silent partner.”
I am referring to is one of the big three of Acts 2:38 “Then said Peter unto them, “Repent, and be baptised every one of you – in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Pentecostals can tell you the day they were baptised in water and the day they were baptided in the Holy Spirit, but often forget to even mention the “silent, all important, partner”: repentance. Again, using the above parable, repentance is the “oil” that makes the whole story of salvation work – without it everything falls apart or does not even “get off the ground”. In the parable of the sower and the seed in the gospels, the seed that fell on the way side (Mathew 13:4) are the majority of people who hear the gospel – they just reject it outright. They never come to any form of change of heart – repentance.
The seed that fell “… upon stony places, where they had not much earth” are those who often experience second thoughts immediately following, say, baptism. These people, after getting bapticed and/or get filled with the Holy Spirit, cannot handle the persecutions/rejection of their acquaintance, but as soon as friends/relatives reject and tease them, they leave the Lord.
John the Baptist gives us an insight to the attitude we should have in coming to the Lord. When the Pharisees and the Sadducees, who were the main religious groups at the time of Christ, came to John’s baptism, John rebuked them because of their self-righteous attitude, that they thought they were good enough as they were and had a right to be baptised. He said; “…O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.”
Some people only talk about “asking Jesus to forgive their sins”, and they say that is repentance. I agree that this is very important, but it is only part of repentance. John the Baptist wanted some proof that this move towards God, by being baptised, would be a huge change of life experience.
He was looking for an “amendment of life”. I feel that the word “repentance” is not explained enough by our churches today to sinners looking for a new life.
Note that repentance was the first message ever preached by Jesus and John (Math 3:2 & Math 4:17). “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
I came to realise that a big part of my repentance was the insight first and secondly the courage to walk away from a church that did not preach the truth,had never ever told me how to get saved the Bible way. I feel many people miss out on their opportunity to enter God’s Kingdom by misplaced loyalty to an old family church, which long ago had its “candlestick removed” (Rev 2:5) because they did not repent, when scolded by the Lord.
Our loyalty should only be to the Lamb who died on the cross for all our sins and sicknesses. We are all fully aware but often chose to ignore, scriptures on Christianity “gone wrong”. Rev 17 and 18 describe a system “…full of names of blasphemy … full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication… ”
Here is a simple test. Does your church preach the type of repentance that the Bible talks about – a change of direction; a change of life? Does your church make a stand on important matters of drugs, alcohol, smoking, corruption, immoral relationships, etc ? Does the minister/pastor/priest and oversights set good examples in these matters?
Do they point out the importance and correct method of water baptism? Is it a Spirit-filled church where people “speak in other tongues” when they receive the Holy Spirit? Do they celebrate the communion ceremony, at least weekly? (1 Corinth 11). Do they operate spiritual gifts correctly? (1 Corinth 12, 13 and 14) or are they a church bogged down with traditions, rituals, dogmas and teach the commandments of men instead of the commandments of God?
What to do? Rev 18:4 has a simple answer: “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plaques.”
Repentance is important at any part of our walk in the Lord – it is an on-going process that keeps us right with the Lord.
Repentance is a complete overhaul of our thinking and our attitude. We come under the bright light of the Word of God. When we repent properly we completely die to our old life, whether it be religious or worldly.
Sometimes the “worldly sinner” has an advantage over the good person, the church-goer. The “worldling” knows he/she is a sinner; we do not have to convince them. But the good person suffers often with one of the worst “diseases” one can suffer when hearing the full gospel – self-righteousness. The trouble with self-righteousness is that you do not need God’s righteousness. You are a self -made person. Put bluntly, Jesus died on the cross for nothing, because you are “good” without His assistance.
Do not try to build on an old “churchy” foundation; on the shaky sands of self-goodness, but make a complete new start.
Anything less is fabrication of the word of God.

  • Ps Andrew Ningisere is a minister of the New Beginning Christian Fellowship