Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A different kind of campaigning

This month the election fever has gone up and on Saturday 23rd June, the voting begins. While the campaigning has began with stories of people attending rallies and candidates dishing out money, a different kind of campaigning is still part of everyday PNG life. Im talking about street preaching. Young people who pop up at at popular areas and began preaching about Christ. I think we Papua New Guineans are some of the most fortunate people around the world who hear or preach the Gospel without of being jailed or killed. I also think Papua New Guineans are very tolerant to street preachers even to the point of being respectful in the most awkward situations. A person can just sit up and preach wherever he or she feels the need to - in the bus, in front of shops, in the market, in shop corners, on the boat - and people will respect that person and do nothing to stop them..
Last week, I was at the back gate of DWU, next to the Lutheran Day Primary School buying betelnut when i saw two young men just in their teens, who just walked to the centre of the road. One removed his cap and reached into his bag. He took out a bible. I saw these two young men, who stood up at the Lutheran Day Primary School gate and preach about humbleness and obeying the word of God and children who had just finished school, buai sellers, DWU students and the public stood and listened as this two young men preached about God.They preached for about 30 minutes and when they asked people to raise their hands and pray with them, people actually raised their hands and bowed their heads.

In a way, I think most people appreciate street preachers as they get to hear the Word. I think it also is a brave thing when young people choose to do this 'work' and their act shows how much simple people are willing to listen to the Gospel. I think what I saw in front of the school is just a small picture of where our heart is - not in elections because for five years we dont see our 'leaders' on the streets. But our heart is on the hope for better things, a life free of disease and and a community free of corruption.What we seek and hope for in such events as this one described above, we do once every five years - we vote. But unlike parliamentarians, street preachers meet us on the streets and encourage us on themes of faithfulness, hope and love almost everyday for five years!

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