Papua New Guinea: The root meaning of the word “holistic” is whole, from the Greek holos. How does the concept of “holistic ministry” manifest itself in the highlands of Papua New Guinea?
Many of you would answer this question by mentioning Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, Nazarene Health Ministries, or perhaps the Nurses and Teachers Colleges.
While serving at Melanesia Nazarene Bible College (MNBC), missionary Michael Chapman has been adding another component to holistic ministry, that of life skills in the area of wood working and construction.
Students are learning basic wood working skills, are building furniture, and even learning best practices for construction of a building, starting with the foundation to completion. Recent projects have included beds, dining room chairs, tables and desks. Mike’s passion to impart his life-long love of woodworking and building has truly made an impact on these students. They will leave MNBC not only equipped to share the good news of our Lord and Savior, but also with livelihood skills to help sustain their families and ministries.
How about the holistic ministry of music? Music is being heard floating across the MNBC campus from early each morning until late into the evening, thanks to the ministry of volunteers Rev. Joe and Joanne Sturgeon.
Joanne is teaching piano keyboarding classes to 56 MNBC and Teacher College students and staff. There are fourteen students in four classes. They are learning basic keyboard skills and how to read notes. After the first day, students were heard saying, “I didn’t know that your hand and arm would be so sore from keyboarding!” Students are practicing thirty minutes to two hours every day. We are so thankful for the nine keyboards that were loaned for the keyboarding class.
Joe and Joanne are also teaching two choir classes. Each week a different class will be learning the basics of good vocal sounds. The Diploma Three Class recently sang, “When We All Get to Heaven” for Chapel in beautiful four-part harmony. Next week the Diploma Two Class will be practicing their vocals. Through the choir class, all students on campus will have an opportunity to learn and participate in music.
Holistic ministry means modeling our Lord’s concern for the total well-being of persons and communities. It means an incarnational lifestyle of integrity, compassion, and invitation. It means sharing good news both for this life and for the life after death. (Adapted from Ronald J. Sider, Philip N. Olson and Heidi Rolland Unruh, Churches That Make a Difference: Reaching Your Community with Good News and Good Works).
— Submission: Diane Chapman