Missionaries return to celebrate church’s 30th anniversary


A missionary couple from Holland who had served in Papua New Guinea in the 1960s have returned to officiate in the 30th anniversary of the ministry they founded which tried to move people away from a life of crime.
John and Coby Pasterkamp served under the Christian Life Centre Church from 1968 and established Life Outreach Ministry International in 1987.
“To me, there is a beautiful story connected to that,” John said.
“We were in (Port) Moresby at Waigani and that week our house had been attacked by rascals.
“When I rang the police, they said they were busy, and our house was being attacked by the whole gang.
“My boys still remember that and I’m really upset that the police couldn’t do anything.
“That time we used to come together and pray with all the missionaries –  Lutheran, Catholics.
“Before we started to pray, I was actually grumbling and complaining about the police.”
John said he was then told by a Lutheran missionary about the story of a pastor in the United States who had changed the lives of many criminals.
“He said, ‘This city needs a David Wilkinson’,” John said.
“And it really struck me and I knew that he was right. That Sunday, I preached on the scripture that talked about Jesus who was a friend of sinners and I challenged the congregation on what the Lutheran missionary had told me.”
John said Pastor Charles Lapa took on the challenge and started the work.
“After hearing him preach, I just thought I should talk to gangs because criminals had broken into my house.  That was the beginning that I started talking.”
He said a book about the ministry would be launched on Saturday.