Nazarene Church is a well-known Church which started in Kansas City, United States of America. It talks about holiness without compromising sin. It addresses only rightness to influence people who commits sin in their lives to change and focus kingdom in life. This church rapidly spread all over the World and many souls have been saved. So, how did the first Missionaries bring it into this Pacific Island country called Papua New Guinea? They faced challenges or committed themselves to bring Ministry to save people, their services that was delivered to develop both the physical and spiritual, will be highlighted.
Founder of the church and teachings
The interview contacted from Rev. Pastor David Dorome on 29th August, 2019 said that founder of the Nazarene Church was Dr. Edward Husband. Nazarene church is a holiness church that was started in the 19th Century. Since then, it widely spread to 169 countries with 30, 000 churches respectively. The Nazarene Church teaches that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God, and refer to people who have faith and follow Jesus in their lives in terms of pray, share bible stories; forgive wrong, ignore sin, follow ten commandments or go around to produce disciples. Nazarene Church was deeply believed the teaching of the Bible that purified followers must free for sin, transformed in spirit and become like God (Dorome, 2019a).
History of first Nazarene Missionary
Wander Knox female who was born on 21 March 1931, gave her life to Jesus while she was eight years of age. She was faithful in Christian life and finally got baptized in Oklahoma Nazarene church, United States of America. She was faithfully involved in serving Christ and ministry work while she was a teenager. She got married to Sidney in the same denomination. They were called to go out as Missionaries, so both of them accepted it. In 1953, they left the United States with their two sons and leading to go out as Missionary to an unknown place called Papua New Guinea. They first, arrived in Port Moresby and came straight to Mt Hagen. “Then spirit of God leads them to Kudjip and people were gather there but it was very hard to communicate with them due to different languages” (Sidney & Wander, 1956, p. 5).
Sidney gave salt to treat counted people first using hand gestures and eye contact with them and later number increased. Sidney and Wander Knox shared bible texts to them but they could not understand the mode of message being relayed. They prayed and God changed a man called Mr. Tal who helped them to interpret. “At that moment, Sidney showed a picture while sharing a bible text and 175 both men and women changed their lives” (Sidney & Wander, 1956, p. 6).
Actually, spirit of God was working there and people were eager to hear the word of God. They also treat sick people so majority of them taken for treatment. Wander treated patients very well. Then the first church was built with bush materials and another for the missionaries to reside which was named “Sidney Knox Memorial Church” (Sidney & Wander, 1962, p. 7). Every Sunday, Wander deeply took music like playing guitar while Sidney preached. In March 1957, Sidney cut a timber for building a church for a Sunday school, unfortunately, he cut his finger and it was hard to treat. But they sought medical Aid from the United States, and treated his injury.
They continued to spread out the ministry of God, but Sidney got seriously ill. It made him loose weight so he came in Madang to see Christian Doctor and found out that it was Cancer. Sidney was willing to extend the ministry in PNG but sick was getting worse in his body so he went back to the United States. “Wander face critical challenge in spiritual work and felt worried about Sidney, unfortunately, Sidney died” (Sidney & Wander, 1958, p. 7). Wander prayed for Papua New Guinea Christian members while she was at United States. In October 1960, Wander came back to PNG with her two sons. Some missionaries also came to take Sidney’s place and they worked together. Wander Knox committed herself and created some preaching points, and as a result, many churches were built. She spent many years here in Papua New Guinea, later she reached an old age and went back to United States and died.
Nazarene Missionaries provide many basic services towards the development of Papua New Guinea and those are essential for the future generations to use. They brought both physical and spiritual benefits where it can continue to develop mental for the young people to be a wise and knowledgeable person to success in life as mentioned below;
Kudjip General Hospital
Arrival of the Missionaries at Kudjip, people were very frightened due to the color of their skin, and thought they were spirits of their ancestors. They intimately become friends with them at a later date when they treated them with word of God. Sidney Knox saw many people had a sick and some were eventually end up losing their lives so they got medicine supply from Kansas City (U.S) and gave them. God’s miracle appeared on Sidney and Wander Knox’s’ Ministry, half of the patients were healed, and news spread to Kudjip community. More patients were taken to where the missionaries were, it was God’s plan so miracle took place. They saw Gods power, started to believe and share their testimonies to glorify God. Sidney and Wander Knox built Aid-post using bush materials next to the Nazarene Church. Later Kudjip Aid-Post was built with roofing iron but now it is fully developed and turned to be a General Hospital in the Western Highland & Jiwaka Province (Dorome, 2019c).
Nazarene Bible College, Ninga
Nazarene missionaries delivered the word of God which really touched a man from Ninga and he gave his life to Jesus. He invited God to be a personal savior in his life and gave his land. They built a church and preached the good news & few people surrendered to give their life to God. Those missionaries prayed for donations and Cancer City Nazarene Church help with funds and they built the Bible College (Markus, 2019a). Purpose was to produce more Nazarene pastors who can bring ministry far as they can and spread Holiness of God. Through Ninga Bible College, many people learned to know the richness to live in an ethical way.
Nazarene Radio Broadcast, Ninga
Nazarene Missionaries preached about truth and holiness to meet the presence of God. When highlighting the holiness, people were really blessed and each tribe built the Nazarene Church while far places were not reached by the Word of God and still practice their traditional beliefs and customs. Nazarene Missionaries brought Radio Broad-Cast within Bible College, Ninga (Markus, 2019b). All day and night, Nazarene Pastors used to preach the word of God using radio. Non-Christians were afraid to attend Sunday services but were easily motivated Christ life through radio and dynamic words which convince them to change their lives. It is one of the development program for both physical & spiritual path that really equips the skills of Christianity to follow Jesus.
Nazarene Teachers College, Ninga
Ninga Teachers college is close to Mt. Hagen town. The college is run by Nazarene Senior Pastors and Missionaries and it progressed well. Time for getting new intake, firstly they prioritize Christians because they grow up in the church where they can conduct devotion, tell bible stories and fear God (Markus, 2019c). When they graduated and move on to their field to work, teachers are important who can direct the children in the primary schools with the spirit of faith, willing to attend the Sunday school. Reaching adult stage, eagerness to worship God is thicker and find it hard to compromise with evil. It’s good that Colleges trained teachers in a Godly way to impart the spirit of God.
Kudjip Nazarene Nursing College
Kudjip Nazarene Nursing College is located together with Kudjip General Hospital near to Highlands Highway. It was set up by early missionaries after establishment of the general hospital. The main purpose for putting nursing college was to train the trainees with Christian doctrines because it can transform them to live positively in the presence of the Lord. They learned to bear God in their lives, share kindness to others to meet their needs with courage to fulfill their crier ambitions. They want well-disciplined graduates to run Kudjip General Hospital (Markus, 2019d). Before missionaries were working but now, majority of the Papua New Guineans were there to serve patients. Now, Nazarene Nursing College continuously producing many Papua New Guineans with quality attitudes towards the development of this Nation.
Today’s challenge or encounter through mission work
The mission work is not an easy path where missionaries go to deliver the message of God. It is a very complicated job where believers of God lose their lives. Most of them were either killed, or ended up having serious illnesses and dying without saying good-bye to their friends, families and love ones. It is very challenging and difficult to extend the ministry of God but Pastors or Christians in the Nazarene Church offer their life to God and continue spreading the ministry to all parts of Papua New Guinea. “When they called to go to new place and get souls by preaching the truth of God, there is no reluctance in the work of the Lord. Believers followed even in the sun or rain, mountains and valleys, day and night to extend the ministry. They do not fear anything at all; trust only God and believing that there is a new life. They believed that God would compensate them with eternal life in Heaven (Dorome, 2019b).
Ancestors were concentrated only on customs and when making mistakes, they knew that there was a god who stayed above and keep on watching. Actually, they did not know about the death of Jesus Christ on Mount Calvary and His return to Heaven. However, through the commitment of the Nazarene Missionaries, Good News of Jesus Christ was brought to Papua New Guinea and people were very happy and fortunate to learn about salvation and eternal life. Missionary also provide basic services like Colleges, Hospital, Schools to bless and develop both physical and spiritual at Kudjip towards the development of this nation. Therefore, I highly appreciated the Nazarene Missionaries because it is not a payable job but they committed their lives, facing problems, struggled to spread the truth and holiness of Jesus Christ to Papua New Guinea. It is a legacy of Sidney and Wander Knox for accepting Gods called to save the lost souls of Papua New Guinea.
- Dorome, D. (2019a). Founder of Nazarene Church: Madang, Madang Town Church.
- Dorome, D. (2019b). History of Kudjip Nazarene Hospital: Madang, Madang Town Church.
- Dorome, D. (2019c). History of Nazarene Church: Madang, Madang Town Church.
- Sidney, K., & Wander, K. (1955). History of Nazarene Church in PNG: Victory Books, Mt. Hagen, Papua New Guinea.
- Markus, K. (2019a). History of Nazarene Bible College: Ninga, Jiwaka Province, Papua New Guinea.
- Markus, K. (2019b). History of Nazarene Radio Broadcast: Ninga, Jiwaka Province, Papua New Guinea.
- Markus, K. (2019c). History of Nazarene Teachers College: Ninga, Jiwaka Province, Papua New Guinea.