News Release

Worshipping with Love in Papua New Guinea

Gathering after church in Papua New Guinea. Chapel right, classrooms left© 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

On a beautiful Sunday morning, more than ten minutes before the scheduled worship service, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Papua New Guinea were already seated in their open-air chapel, spontaneously singing hymns while waiting for the service to begin.

In this roofed structure on stilts, their angelic voices carried on the breeze to the surrounding rainforest, inviting a spirit of reverence and revelation to all who came to worship the Lord. Even 40 young children, sitting reverently on the floor, had their turn to join their voice in song, inspiring their audience in English, Tok Pisin, and in their native tongue.

Evidence of the maturity of the young people of the Church here, a 19-year-old woman was given the responsibility of leading and caring for the younger women, ages 11-18. Meanwhile, young men of the same age administered the Sacrament, fulfilling their sacred responsibilities.

Visiting speakers arrived and were greeted with leis made from leaves. They each felt the warmth, love, and appreciation of these humble and devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

The meeting was a peaceful setting and is repeated often throughout Papua New Guinea each Sunday. The Church is growing rapidly in this nation of over 10 million people.

Following the meeting on this beautiful morning, Elder Barry Bennett, Area Mission Medical Advisor, and his wife, Christine, traveled with the mission president and his wife away from the big city about 90 minutes on rough dirt roads out to the villages surrounding the city of Lae. It rains every day of the year here, and the area is spectacularly beautiful and green. The humble homes are often built on stilts so when the floods come, they don’t get washed away.

With the country’s growing population, there is one physician for every 20,000 people. Local medical challenges include tuberculosis, dengue, and malaria. The purpose of Elder Bennett’s trip to this country was to assess available medical care in Lae. He was pleasantly surprised with the capability of the three hospitals he visited.

During their visit the Bennetts also met with missionaries and spoke to them about these medical issues and how to stay healthy.

Area Mission Medical Advisors, Elder and Sister Bennett, meet with missionaries in Papua New Guinea© 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Papua New Guinea houses two missions (Lae and Port Moresby Mission) and between them they have more than 100 missionaries (young as well as mature senior couples) serving the people of this beautiful country. Keeping them strong and healthy enables them to better serve the people in the villages and communities where they serve.

More than 17 million members of The Church worship worldwide in 31,330 congregations in 188 published languages. They are a diverse people having a unified experience worshipping Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

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