By ELIAS LARI
WHEN Samuel Angalu left school at Grade Six in 1975, the then 13-year-old from South Koroba in Hela did not lose hope.
He knew, with God’s intervention, that another door would open for him.
It did. And he has never looked back since.
“I have been walking for hours to reach communities to preach the Word of God and encourage people to know what the ministry is doing. I have come this far to help others because I have lived that life and understand exactly their pains and struggles.”
Samuel was born on Dec 26, 1962 at Kunduka village, South Koroba, Hela.
He is married to Tapita also from Hela. They have six children and seven grandchildren.
He left school after completing Grade Six in 1975. The Christian Brotherhood Church in South Koroba engaged him as a literacy teacher from 1978 to 1980.
In Dec 23, 1980, Samuel left Koroba to teach literacy at the Christian Leadership Training Centre in Banz Jiwaka.
He was paid K13.46 a fortnight. And he realised the struggle and pain of workers in tea and coffee plantations.
He wanted to help them and in 1981 formed the Plantation Fellowship Ministry offering literacy courses, life skills and management and financial skill.
He believed then God wanted him to help the unfortunate, the disadvantaged, unemployed, under-privileged, the illiterate, the outcast and those who have lost their way.
He started the ministry using banana leaves as the shelter for members at Kinjimbi in Western Highlands.
“ Without hope life is useless. I have been setting my hope high. That is why I have come this far and develop something out of nothing.”
He also supported the workers with projects such as poultry so that they could look after their families. More than 1000 plantation workers who started their small businesses are still running them today.
Samuel also managed to complete a Diploma in Supervising Tokples Education Programme course and attended other training courses on management and financial literacy.
Today, his ministry has more than 60 cell groups around the country addressing issues such as child abuse, women abuse, sorcery-related killings and gender equality.
It is supported by the National Literacy and Awareness Secretariat through grants.
It also receives funding from the United States and AusAID which had been used to develop properties. The ministry owns properties valued at K5 million and a 1.3hecatare piece of land for development purpose at Avi in Jiwaka.
Samuel’s mission to help people will continue.
He believes that nothing is impossible with God who helps those who help themselves.
“If I fail at any time, I will get up and finish what I have started.”
He also believes that “hope” is what drives success and achievement.
“Without hope life is useless. I have been setting my hope high. That is why I have come this far and develop something out of nothing.”