Urban Region ministries launched

Vabukori youth entertaining the guests at lunch time with creative dance performances.

THE family unit is made up of father, mother and children.
Of course there are variations in that you can have a childless couple and theirs is still a family. On the other hand, you have the ‘enlightened’ ones of today espousing same sex unions as ‘normal’ marriage.
However, the ‘Book of all books’ says differently. God’s word lays out the family unit as the basic social unit of society, comprising of only two genders. The institution of the family is the first form of community and government. It is said strong families build a strong church, which results in a strong nation. As such, many churches in PNG seek to strengthen the three main arms of ministry that builds that fundamental entity – the family.
On Friday, Feb 5, 2021, the Urban Region of the United Church had a combined launch of these key ministries. Pastors and their wives, plus leaders of the Women’s, Men’s and Children and Youth ministries (CYM) from the three city-based circuits (North, East and Poreporena) gathered at the Mahuru Gaudi

Guest speaker Rev Sam Mea (left) with Regional Men’s Fellowship coordinator Gaudi Toka (right), and Rev Laio Poka (centre), the Regional Justice and Social Concern committee coordinator.

Memorial Church, Vabukori Village, for the launch.
The combined launch was a first of its kind, and was the initiative of the newly appointed bishop, Rev Jacob Harry. Rev Jacob’s vision is to see unity and cooperation amongst these three pivotal ministries. Just as the father, mother and children are supposed to live in harmony as one strong unit in the home, so should that be reflected in the church.
The men’s and women’s ministries are to build up and equip strong parents, while the children and youth ministry develops the young people to become obedient God-honouring children whose submission and respect towards their parents will see them grow and prosper in life.
Empowering leaders
The launch was to empower the clergy and leaders to take the message back to their respective circuits and local churches and begin to make it happen.
Unfortunately, the main celebrant for the occasion, Bishop Jacob, was not able to attend. He and his wife were stranded in Lae due to the airline system’s infamous off-loading practice. They had been there on transit from Madang where they had attended an official engagement. Thus, they were not able to get back on time.
However, the stand-in speaker, the newly appointed regional secretary, Rev Sam Mea, did the honours quite admirably. Rev Sam was a former principal of the Malmaluan School of Leadership in Rabaul and was the deputy director (Admin) of the former United Church College of Higher Education (UCOHE).
Secretary Mea spoke on the topic, “The anatomy of a backslider” (2 Peter 2: 20-22), sharing some thoughts from the life of the Apostle Peter. He spoke on the ups and downs in the life of the apostle, and gave some hilarious accounts of similar situations he had witnessed over the years in his ministry.
However, the main message was clear: As pastors and leaders, our dedication and commitment to the Lord and our faithfulness in our respective ministries will build strong men, women and children in this nation, for the glory of God!
The day was graced by the typically beautiful peroveta singing as well as a lively praise and worship session led by the village’s Lagi Ministry. Lunch time entertainment saw some excellent creative dance performances by the village youth. The launch set the pace for what is to be a powerful year of ministry in the United Church Urban Region.

  • Rev Seik Pitoi is a freelance writer.

Max wants Goilala food in the city

Max Bauai wants is urging governement and private sector to consider a freight subsidy arrangement to get produce from Goilala to Port Moresby.

THE agricultural produce out of Goilala is just a 45 minute flight by light aircraft away from the country’s largest market. But the cost of that short flight is what keeps the vegetables and fruits from the cool interior of Central from reaching Port Moresby at the moment.
Former soldier, Max Bauai, a Goilala man wants to see fresh produce from his district flown or driven into Port Moresby.
“I call on political leaders from the province and other stakeholders to do something and unlock this agricultural potential.”
He says unlike fresh produce from the highlands which reaches Port Moresby in containers days or weeks after harvesting, Goilala’s vegetables and fruits can be on the dinner plates of city residents only a day after they have been picked from gardens.
“This is something that should be seriously considered. Opening up and connecting the Goilala area to source the fresh produce from there would benefit the farmers and the consumers would enjoy nutritious temperate fruits and vegetables from the mountains.”
There is an existing road link to Tapini but it has been damaged by flooding and landslides in multiple places so in the interim, airfreight is the only option to take fresh produce from the mountains into the city.

“ Opening up and connecting the Goilala area to source the fresh produce from there would benefit farmers and consumers alike.”

Bauai is originally from Kunimaiapa in the Guari LLG of Goilala district. All three LLG stations of Guari, Woitape and Tapini have airstrips used by light aircraft, the largest of which is the Twin Otter.
Bauai says a freight subsidy arrangement either by the Government or in partnership with private sector stakeholders should be discussed to assist farmers in the district.
“Goilala is called the back page. We have quality foodstuff and fertile land to produce food in large quantities but we can’t bring all that produce into Port Moresby markets. The existing road, the Mona Highway from Bakoidu in Bereinu to Tapini in Goilala is affected by rain and mudslides and there are no bridges over rivers and streams. It has remained that way for the past five years or so.
“We need airfreight to deliver our produce like broccoli, cauliflower, avacadoes, choko, lemon, kaukau, potatoe, cabbages, ginger, taro and citrus”
Goilala also produces high quality organic coffe.
Bauai, who now lives in Brown River outside Port Moresby, last visited his village in December 2020.
He says he has already spoken to the City Pharmacy Group of Companies (CPL) in Port Moresby to consider flying fruits and vegetables out of Goilala into Port Moresby.
“There will be a middleman on the ground to buy produce from local farmers and have it packed ready to be air freighted to Port Moresby,” he says.
From his Brown River settlement where he lives with other Goilala people, Bauai is also growing and selling fresh produce to Port Moresby city residents.
Max has been one of CPL Group’s regular supplier for its supermarket brand Stop & Shop (SNS) for almost 12 years. He supplies SNS three times a week with fresh produce; mainly aibika, pumpkin tips, aupa, pumpkin, turmeric, tapioca, pitpit, lemon grass and lemons with the help of almost 15 farmers that live around Brown river.
Max is able to deliver on time and supply the required quantity on a weekly basis, because of his local farmers network.
A company officials says SNS has its own quality standards for fresh produce and Max does his best to deliver the best and also educates his fellow farmers at Brown River on quality control requirements.
“The fresh produce team at CPL Group try as much as they can to attend to problems or issues that arise that may hinder their consistency of supply. Ad hoc visits to farming sites are conducted from time to time to ensure best farming methods and practices are maintained.
“The fresh roduce team also provides specific technical advice to the farmers as to how they could manage their farms better for best results and outcomes,” the official says.