What is Better than National Recognition for Goroka Baptist Bible College?

Patrick Melson on November 13, 2019

Our Pastor Training program in Papua New Guinea, where I teach, was recognized in one of the national newspapers! 

Inside the article are glimpses of "what" we are doing, and while it is an honor to have our Bachelor's Program recognized nationally, it is a greater honor to teach and work alongside these godly students, who give their lives to help their people and share the good news of Jesus Christ. They are the reason, they are the "why" we do what we do.  There are many unreached in Papua New Guinea (PNG), an area the size of California with over 850 languages, almost 1,000 tribes.  Training faithful nationals who already know the language and culture is one of our best strategies, and they need our help!  They ask for our help!  We're hoping to go back soon. 

This strategy is accomplished through partnership with you, American churches, individuals, missionaries, and with PNG national churches to train pastors and Christian workers.  Goroka Baptist Bible College (GBBC) has added to its Pidgin and English Pastor Training programs to include the Bachelor's Program (mentioned in the article), Christian Teacher training, a variety of women's programs, and a partnership with Asia Biblical Theological Seminary to offer affordable Master's level training in Papua New Guinea.  We hope this national exposure will bring more students to these programs you and I can provide.  

A great group of guys were in the Bachelor's class I taught in August on the Goroka main campus. We often discuss teaching in terms of content, "What did you teach? What class was it? What subject?"  The rigors of education have always demanded that "content" be taught, this class was Biblical Counseling.  But we often miss the most fundamental answer to the question "What did you teach?"  "Students!"  I teach students, individual students.  8 were married, 6 were single, and the culture creates difficulties for single pastors.  One student was a new pastor, many were seasoned pastors, another has been a pastor for 27 years.  As they serve in churches and their communities they help people face issues like marriage and family problems, drug addictions, witchcraft and sorcery, even persecution from other denominations, often common in tribal societies.  A few had recently graduated from Bible College while it has been many years for others, but they came to continue growing and learning how to be better pastors, how to love Christ and his people more.  What great hunger, and what great ideas they have for seeing the gospel transform lives!  

Their desire to reach PNG with the gospel fuels their desire to learn.  Their desire to learn compels us, the lavishly trained western church, to share our abundant knowledge by sending trainers and teachers.  We must help them, these faithful students, our brothers and sisters, and those yet to be taught by them. Revelation 5:9 describes a future scene of those redeemed by Christ "from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation."  Where do these people, these tribes and language groups come from?  They come from PNG, and are the fruit of our growing partnership, of students who themselves have now become teachers.

So what is better than national recognition for Goroka Baptist Bible College and these students?  The newspaper article is good and helpful, but it is not the greatest recognition.  No, the greatest recognition is always a personal one.  A personal recognition that you can make a difference.  You can pray, ask for more information, encourage missionaries, give to send others, or go yourself.  You can be a part of transforming PNG with the good news of Jesus Christ!  You can help these worthy students. They await our answer.