Last Sunday we were able to visit our first Papua New Guinean church. Wow. What an amazing experience it was to worship with other believers in Tok Pisin. We hiked up the hill from our POC Centre and went to a Lutheran church. One of the main things that was different other than the language was the fact that all of the men sat on one side of the building and all of the women sat on the other side. That was different! Our class learned a song in Tok Pisin that we sang in front of the whole church and Evan was able to play his guitar for that. It was an open air church, full of people, even spilling out the doors. There were even a few dogs who joined the service at times! Lots of the kids hung outside the windows listening to the message and everyone was very welcoming and kind. They all wanted to know our names and where we came from.
Before the service started one of the missionaries, Verna, who has been here in this area for 37 years asked me if I wanted to see something cool. Of course I did! So she took me to the Sunday school class just across the path where all of the kids were singing. It was amazing hearing the kids rejoicing God in their own language.
Later that night we had a special treat. A couple of the local guys from the church were invited to come sing in their own language (one of the 850+ languages in the country!) to our group. Wow. They were so talented. And what was even cooler was that Evan was able to play his guitar with the guys and learn their music! They also sang with Evan and I as we led worship. It was definitely one of those moments you could feel God in the room.
Here are a few pictures of the church service that morning.