Russell is using music to bless a remote village in East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. He enjoys creating and performing songs for local church outreach and Sunday services. “I commit myself to be actively involved in the church's worship program,” Russell said. Standing at the front of the simple wooden church building with his guitar hanging over his shoulder, Russell, confidently with a smile, leads the church in worship. This is without other musicians or instruments. No microphone, no electrical leads or speakers. The small congregation sings and claps along to an upbeat worship song in their native language.
For the past three years, while ministering at his church, Russell has been studying social work at university. “Most of my childhood, I dreamed of serving people... of serving humanity,” Russell told us. The degree will enable him to better assist people, he says.
The East Sepik Province is one well-known tribal heartland of Papua New Guinea, famous for the Sepik River. The challenges faced by people there include poverty and little access to education, healthcare and infrastructure. There are many cases of gender-based violence, and unhelpful traditional practices.
While Russell can serve others through music, he is choosing now to expand his skillset to bless his community further. Russell is blessed to be a blessing.
"My mission, my plan, is to work with people in the community.” With his love for the local church and his training in social work, Russell will be ready to meet the spiritual and social needs of the people.
This Easter, when you support Walk for Hope, you help our international church partners share the blessing of Jesus with others. Partners like Russell.