When I came to PNG, I was anxious to meet Tarp again. When I asked around, I learned that he had been a pastor and an educator. I even learned that our neighbor Tundai Goma was his little sister. Our paths didn't cross for some time, but eventually I had a chance to visit with him briefly.
This morning, I attended the graduation of Melanesia Nazarene Bible College. Among the graduates were members of the first class of a new Master in Ministry program. This is an extension program from Asia Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary in Manila, Philippines. I knew that some of my friends would receive their Master's degrees (that was a big part of why I was there). Tarp was one of the Masters graduates. I visited with him briefly, and had someone take a quick photo.
The kina shell hanging from his neck is not part of the MNBC graduation regalia: it's a traditional PNG symbol of honor and prosperity, and was given to him by his daughter Grace, as he stepped off the platform after receiving his diploma. Grace serves as secretary to the national board of the Church of the Nazarene in PNG, and works here at Kudjip.
In a few days, I'll tell you more about the graduation.