From time to time I'm still invited to preach at churches in the area. Today was my third time to speak at Wagmil, the Todd Winter Memory Church of the Nazarene. You'll remember Dr. Todd. He's the one who loads up those containers with donated supplies for us every few months. He has been to PNG several times, once staying for 3 months as a volunteer doctor.
During that time he met some of the folks from the Wagmil church, and learned of their disire to build a permanent church building. He gave some of the money needed for this, and they wanted to honor him by naming the church for him. They probably wanted to call it the "Todd Winter Memorial..." but someone told them that would imply that he's dead. Several churches have been similarly named as memorials for people who are still alive. I think someone spread the word to the, and several of them have beeh "un-named".
Our friends Kunje and Kenem, and their daughter Margie and son-in-law Nensol all attend this church. Since Judy is away at Dusin (this is a reminder to pity me), it was good to have volunteer doctor Niles Batdorf and his wife and physical therapist Patty, as well as medical student Michelle Carlson and Dr. Becky Wallace along. Margie was Dr. Becky's language tutor, and Becky wanted to visit with her, Nensol and the kids.
For me, the service was a much needed time of worship. I believe that one can worship alone, but I strongly believe that we all need corporate worship as well. We really do need each other. The music wasn't great. But singing with these friends brought me closer to God. Sitting with my brother Kunje inspired me to want to walk with Jesus as closely as he does. The preaching wasn't great, either, but (as He always does) God spoke to me through my own preaching!
1. The Wagmil congregation worshiping in their new building
2. Pastor James and his wife and daughter singing a special song in the service
3. The back row is Dr. Becky, Margie, Nensol, Kunje and Kenem. The front row is Margie and Nensol's kids and some other people who just got into the photo.