News Release

Young People from Papua New Guinea Serve and Reunite


Whilst most young people are self absorbed as they navigate their way through their young lives, it's unusual to think that some would volunteer to leave their homes and their families for 18 months to 2 years to teach people, who are strangers to them, about Jesus Christ? That is what is happening all over the world. Those young people are missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and some of them are young people from Papua New Guinea.  

Many of these missionaries are making an impact in countless countries as they selflessly lift and build other people, and give of their time in teaching others. They teach people languages, they teach them how to become self-reliant, they teach them how to improve their education, they teach them how to have more loving relationships in their families and most importantly, they teach them of Jesus Christ.

Recently a heartwarming event took place in Gerehu, Papua New Guinea, where approximately 200 of these former missionaries gathered together to reunite and discuss their special experiences.

The reunion included a meeting, games and outdoor activities and a buffet lunch, concluding with a sharing time from many of the returned missionaries. 

Local resident and former missionary Jonathan Liri conducted the meeting, during which a roll call of many countries around the world was presented to the group. As the country name was announced, the returned missionaries who had served their missions in that country stood up. Those in attendance enjoyed seeing where those around them had labored as missionaries, and to also see in the large crowd some of their friends whom they had served with.

Local leaders, Gerehu District (diocese) President Charles Tuigamala and current Port Moresby Mission President Finau Hafoka addressed the group, thanking them for their valued service and offered words of counsel and inspiration. 

Josephine Hasu who served her mission in Fiji reflected, “It was an exciting moment to have all the returned missionaries come together, especially to see some of the first missionaries who served from the Gerehu District.”

In talking about the activity, Elder Evie, a senior missionary and a member of the reunion committee, said, “It was really great. It strengthened and encouraged returned missionaries to get married and start their family.”

President Tuigamala was very pleased with how the event turned out. At the conclusion he said, “I think the whole idea of having this activity was to have a feel of how many returned missionaries are out there in our Gerehu District. Almost 200 returned missionaries came. It was a great success.”

It was gratifying to see how many men and women from Papua New Guinea have chosen to voluntarily take time out of their lives to serve as missionaries and give to others in such a remarkable way. The impact of their contributions will be felt for many years to come.

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