“I am quietly resting in the Lord and believing that this is the start of something big.” CLTC’s (Christian Leaders Training College) principle, Dr. Rev. William Longa, spoke quietly, but confidently in our last prep meeting before the conference.
Connect 2016 was a dream of CRMF, MAF, and CLTC for many years. Connect’s purpose was to gather the leadership of different churches and missions and bring them together to share resources, fellowship, build trust, and pursue of ways of cooperation with each other.
Brian Ward was the conference coordinator: making sure the conference ran smoothly and by the time table. He also took on the role of tech support, dealing with the speaker’s mics, PowerPoint, etc. Brian was very excited to have this opportunity to help bring unity to the churches and also to have a chance to get to know some of the church leaders.
I (Grace Ward) filmed and photographed, recorded the speakers, and interviewed participants along with one of the MAF communication officers. My goal was to gather some materiel to promote the next Connect Conference and create a promo video for any uses MAF or CRMF might have.
Dad and I went Wednesday to CLTC the week before the conference to prepare and plan at the facilities. We then spent the weekend in Hogan at a MAF base before heading out again to CLTC for the conference.
At the end of the conference we provided USB sticks to the pastors with all the audio of the speakers’ sessions, along with their PowerPoints. Each resource group provided information and helpful material as well. Thursday night Dad and I stayed up till 3 a.m. processing USB sticks and then distributed them the next day.
Everyday we started with prayer and worship.We then would feature a variety of speakers who spoke on hot topics and problems in PNG: church, pornography, technology in PNG, witchcraft killing, churches involvement in the government, and more. We had many different speakers: Dr. Eric Kwa (Secretary, Constitutional and Law Reform Commission), Bishop (Lutheran) Jack Urame, CRMF General Manager Micheal Wakefield, and others. We invited resource and service groups: Singaut Bookstore, Christian Books Melanesia, CRMF, MAF, Planim Pos, and more. Each night we facilitated discussions around the topics discussed.
It was amazing to see church leaders come together, leave their differences behind, and honestly and openly discuss problems in their church and ways of solving these problems. We pray that this conference and the words spoken will not be forgotten. We are praying that more communication, cooperation, and partnerships will occur between churches.