By ERIC PIET
Saiwara Seventh-day Adventist church at Air Transport Squadron (ATS) settlement in Port Moresby marked its first anniversary with cake cutting and gift presentations by church members on Sunday.
The church was established in 2004 but served under the governance of Gordon SDA church until Nov 25, 2017, when it was granted its independent status. Senior church elder Kumba Wapp said the church had seen a surge in membership since its establishment.
“The church membership now stands at 500 and it’s still growing,” he said.
“Back then in 2004, it was only about six people who, in their wisdom, deliberated on planting a church whose first anniversary we now celebrate after being under Gordon church for almost 13 years.”
Church pastor Marty Joel said its membership was divided into five local mission groups consisting of South-West Papua, North-East Papua including Central Papua Conference, Western Highlands, Eastern Highlands and Chimbu Mission, and Sepik which included Morobe, Madang, Manus, New Britain, New Ireland and Buka. Not only had the membership grown, but the church building itself had been extended both length and widthwise to accommodate for increased membership. The church executive body had plans to construct a bigger one as membership increased.
The church also planned on introducing education and health services in the area for its members and the general ATS community, Wapp revealed.
“We have plans to establish a primary school and a health post in our precincts, which the mission will operate,” he said.
“Instead of sending kids in primary level education to Gordon and other schools in the city, they will be offered same services here.
“This also applies for patients.”
Wapp said that their only setback now was the acquiring of the land title.”
By ERIC PIET