By Rev SEIK PITOI
CHOOSING to walk away from the allure of the world in order to serve God full time is not easy. It requires an assurance in your own heart that you have heard correctly from God. Then, once the move is made, there is no turning back.
So it was for Rev NekeMisina, a familiar name at one stage on NBC radio. He retired after 40 years of fruitful and faithful service on Sunday, Dec 3, at the Gerehu United Church. Right by his side was his wife, ministry partner, and ‘suitable helper’, Marama Betty. They were joined by their six children who have been a very important part of their journey in the Lord’s service.
Hailing from the Boku area of the Rigo hinterlands, this dynamic couple, who were children of earlymission’s pastors,began their ministry together in 1977 at Taijaka in the Tari area of Hela. They continued in the highlands in Nipa Mission station, then to Mendi. That was followed by a stint with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) producing religious programs and which included a four-month attachment with the British Broadcasting Commission in London. The balance of their ministry was as pastors of various congregations in Lae and Port Moresby.
Rev Neke is known to be passionate in his views on church matters and is not afraid to engage in a hearty debate. He is known to stand uncompromisingly on issues of importance. Having said that, he is also quick to counsel and encourage younger pastors in areas of ministry.
One encouraging aspect of Rev Neke is how he encourages his wife MaramaBettey, a powerful evangelist in her own right, to fully exercise her gifts and calling as a full partner in ministry. Marama Betty is articulate and dynamic in her presentations, often using humour and even an array of languages to communicate her message. She has led countless numbers of people to faith in Christ, whether it’s preaching to prisoners at Bomana Prison or going from house to house with her band of women in Vanuatu. Making Christ known has been the lifetime ministry of this special duo.
At their retirement, the United Church has lost a faithful couple who served God selflessly for over 40 years. However, the nation will be richer because they both have indicated that retiring from the church now means they will be open to serve in the wider Body of Christ, as the Lord opens doors.
For now, though, the words of the Lord in Matthew 25: 23 ring true: “Well done, my good and faithful servants.”
By Rev SEIK PITOI