Papua New Guinea

In 2004, while on a short trip to Papua New Guinea, I (Jeff) recall one particular flight in a small plane from the village of Bundi to the town of Goroka. While on this short flight, about 15 minutes long, I remember looking down at the mountains below and noticing many small villages nestled throughout the mountains. Realizing that many of these village have very little contact with the outside world, I remember thinking to myself how most of these people will never hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ unless someone goes to their village to tell them. It was through this experience and others that the Lord began to give me a burden to reach people living in the remote parts of the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

The country of Papua New Guinea is located on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, which is directly north of the continent of Australia. The island was first discovered by European explorers in 1527, and its eastern half was divided between German and British colonies. These were later turned over to Australian control which continued until September 16, 1975, when Papua New Guinea became an independent country under the leadership of its own independent government. PNG is approximately the size of the state of California with a population of 6.3 million people.

Papua New Guinea is a country of diversity, ranging from coastal lowlands, home to the world’s largest swamp, to rugged inland mountain ranges with the highest peak soaring more than 14,000 feet above sea level. The people are also very diverse with over 800 indigenous languages and around 1,000 different tribal groups. Nearly 80% of the population still lives in rural tribal village settings, often located in remote areas. These people live a life of subsistence farming, growing most of their own food in gardens. Many of these tribal people continue to live under the powerful bondage of sin and their traditional religions of spirit worship and animism, often times mixing them with the beliefs of other false religions and cults. Despite the spiritual blindness of many of the people of Papua New Guinea, the country is very open to missionaries and the hearts of many people are spiritually hungry and receptive to the Gospel.

Our hearts’ desire is to be involved in reaching the tribal people of Papua New Guinea with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That gospel alone can set them free from the bondage of sin that has oppressed them and their ancestors for so many generations.


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