Ashes & Hope – the rise & fall of a Highlands church

WRITTEN BY MIN TOBITT, INC SOUTH PACIFIC

In December 2001, an old rundown sawmill workshop situated an hour south of Mount Hagen in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea began its transformation. It became the home of the Kaupena COC/INC congregation under Pastor Alex and Jerrie Koyaiye.

During the next 8 years it was transformed from an old kunai grass building strewn with old engine parts, oil and grease into a colourful house of God where the local Christians worshipped, prayed and celebrated.

Souls were saved, people healed and delivered and the church hosted many camps, crusades, conferences, training sessions and meetings of pastors. The church operating as a base for the Southern Highlands churches also housed musical and office equipment.

On March 21st 2017, disaster struck. Motivated by jealousy, human hands set fire to the buildings which also included the pastor’s residence and vehicle. The local people stared in disbelief as an estimated five million kina worth of buildings and equipment went up in smoke.

2017 March 21 Kaupena church2017 March 21 Kaupena church (3)

Payback was the cry and intent of the locals and some from further afield, when they saw what happened. However, the amazing thing is that Pastor Alex by the grace of God, stepped in to prevent such action and declared his forgiveness of the perpetrators (who he knew well), and belief that God would provide even better in the future.

So at the moment the church people are having their church services under a blue tarpaulin, learning what God is teaching them through this experience and believing in the goodness of God. Pastors at the National Conference in September ministered their love and encouragement.

2017-ps-alex-and-jerrie-koyaiye-e1509415115457.jpg
Ps Alex & Jerrie Koyaiye

 

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