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Mission in the World

ELCIC Mission in the World logo

For more information,
contact:

Kelvin Krieger,
Program Coordinator,
Mission in the World
Phone 204.984.9164
Toll free:
1.888.786.6707 Ext 164
Fax 204.984.9185
E-mail vim@elcic.ca
Evangelical Lutheran
Church in Canada,
302-393 Portage Ave,
Winnipeg MB R3B 3H6

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A Picture-Story Of the ELCIC Mission to Children Papua New Guinea: Providing materials for elementary schools

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea (ELC–PNG) operates schools in villages where "Tok Ples" languages are spoken. The church has been working on developing "Tok Ples" classroom materials.

In 2002, a "Gifts Over and Above" request began to collect funds to enable printing and distributing of these materials. Not only does this help to preserve the "Tok Ples" languages, but it makes education accessible to children who don't know English.

Bonnie Weppler returned to PNG in February of 2002 to begin work as the Administrative Assistant and Training Officer for the Finance Department of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in PNG in Lae, Morobe Province.

Bonnie Weppler in PNG

She writes of the effect of the ELCIC support in PNG. The story…

teachers

students

At the Balob Elementary School there are 131 students and four teachers. ELCIC funds the printing and distribution of "Tok Ples" materials, which directly benefit these students and teachers and help to preserve their linguistic heritage.

grounds of ELC-PNG headquarters

The Balob Elementary School has a kindergarten, an elementary-prep class, and elementary 1 and 2 classes. The school is located on the grounds of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELC-PNG) headquarters.

children sit on the floor

and listen to the teacher at the blackboard

Children from the headquarters as well as surrounding community attend the school. It is one low, long building and it's quite dark inside. The classrooms are not self-contained so noise from one class readily goes into another. The children sit on the floor and listen to the teacher at the blackboard.

morning break

Some students at Balob only go to school until noon. At 10:00, however, they come out for "lunch" and can buy scones, drinks and donuts. Mamas sitting on the ground sell these lunch items.

eating lunch


The children can then sit in the schoolyard and eat their lunch.

outdoor sink

There is also a sink which drains through an above ground pipe into the ditch close by.

Jeremiah

Jeremiah is a former student of mine from Banz and now works for the Rainbow Program of the ELC-PNG in the Education Department.


Rainbow program

The Rainbow Program is a new confirmation/Christian religious education program for the schools. The ELC-PNG is now training teachers to introduce this new program.


Anika

Anika is the secretary at the Education Department, and helps to keep things organized and running smoothly in this arm of the ELC-PNG, as it engages in mission on behalf of the church.

Education Department

The Education Department has its own building which also includes a chapel/meeting space. I'm standing beside a plaque commemorating the erection of the building by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria, to mark the 75th anniversary of the beginning of Christian missions on the Papua New Guinea mainland.

A Anis

Having educational materials available for the classrooms of the church operated schools, that are appropriate to the learning needs of students, is a key responsibility for Moses Mann, acting head of the Education Department of the ELC-PNG. ELCIC funding for the "Tok Ples" series of materials is part of providing basic resources such as alphabet books where each letter of the alphabet has a separate book such as "A Anis" (A is for Ants).

 

The future of the church, whether in Canada or Papua New Guinea, is always found in planting the seeds of faith in the lives of young people who hear the Gospel story of God's great love for all people in Jesus. The children, who gathered on Sunday morning for Sunday School in the village of Buingim (outside Lae), are growing in faith, hope, and love.

 

children in Buingim

After Sunday school and church were over in Buingim some of the children gathered around me. They love having their picture taken. I love them also and thank all of you in the ELCIC who are helping to support our Directed Gifts project to provide materials for children in the elementary schools of the ELC-PNG.

In full communion with The Anglican Church of Canada
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