GMP supports various projects within the Melanesian Evangelical Churches of Christ (MECOC) in Papua New Guinea, including two Bible schools which equip students to share the gospel with people living in remote villages. Yabru Jerry, MECOC Director, reported recently that the Gandep Bible Training Centre and the Yamen Bible School are doing well, despite COVID. He says, “Our two Bible schools, being in the remote regions of PNG, were able to continue with their mission in teaching the word of God to our spiritually hungry students. ‘Trusting in God’ is our motto. With God, there is no impossibility.”
Yamen Bible School has seven students this year. Thomas, founder and principal of the school, has been faithfully ministering for seven years, teaching and coordinating the program. The Bible school is the centre point of the Yamen community and students from the region make sacrifices to attend. Long-term student Raphael Napon, who is aging and having some hearing difficulties, isn’t deterred from attending classes. He tries his very best with the assistance of a listening piece. Raphael says, “Studying is about the mindset, true worship and character building.” Thank God for such committed people who have a love for God and his people. This group of seven students will go out for practical ministries in August, before they graduate in early October.
The other MECOC Bible school, Gandep Bible Training Centre, is located in remote central north Papua New Guinea. Classes resumed in February 2020, with seven new students enrolled in first year and 11 students completing their second and final year of studies. Steven Yamok, the Bible school principal, says the final year students were sent on their practicals to four provinces. “It is the first of each kind in the history of Gandep Bible College to send students out to do their practicals in another province.” Students were divided into four groups and sent to the Sogeram Area, the Tsumba Area, the Bunam Area and the fourth group crossed the Blue Ocean to Kimbe (West New Britain Province). Steven says, “We are motivated with such results, and we know that God has a bigger plan for our college.”
GMP continues to be committed to the leadership development of student pastors at Yamen Bible School and Gandep Bible Training Centre as well as supporting local pastors and leaders in their communities. Steven says of Gandep, “The college aims to train men and women to be spiritually and physically fit, so they can return and help their local sending churches.” Yabru says of the students in Yamen, “These seven (final year students) are on fire for the Lord and I’m convinced that God will use them mightily wherever they serve after graduation.”
COVID’s impact on Papua New Guinea is growing, with 111 cases in total and two deaths. Please continue to keep the ministry of MECOC and the two Bible schools in your prayers. You can support the PNG church partnership via the GMP website.