This assurance was given in a keynote address by Planning Minister and Alotau Open MP Charles Abel when declaring the 16th Biennial Papua New Guinea Adventist Tertiary Students Association (ATSA) Convention opening on Monday, December 19 at Alotau’s Kenu and Kundu Festival site.
The convention ran from December 19-25.
The theme of the convention was - Set Aside, Unified and Empowered for Jesus Christ.
Local Member and National Planning Minister Charles Abel commended the Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) for its development efforts through nation building in PNG especially in education and health. Abel thanked the SDA Church also particularly for its development efforts in Milne Bay apart from its spiritual assistance to the people.
He said that the Government through its Church Partnership Program will assist the Milne Bay based mainline church like the Catholic Church with a Boat, Alotau 4.
“All the Pentecostal Churches will be assisted by being presented buses,” he added.
He also called on the SDA Church in partnership to build a new High School at Biman, in the Milne Bay highlands,
He pledged K50,000 to the convention.
The convention began in a two pronged approach with a colourful procession by foot where all the students marched behind a heavily decorated vehicle float from Sanderson Bay through the main Alotau shopping centre while the VIPs accompanied Minister Abel on Board the Kula Spirit sailed from Sanderson Bay to the Kenu and Kundu Festival site.
Meanwhile, ATSA deputy president, Melkizenderk Nili, challenged his fellow students about the reality of their faith as students considering helping in develop PNG.
A moments silence was acknowledged for ATSA students that tragically passed on during a similar convention in East Sepik.
The ATSA students numbering well over 500 started arriving in Alotau since last week.
According to student organisers there were two parts to the convention.
One part being a pre-convention phase where the ATSA students were divided in the various areas of training to assist the Milne Bay people in 12 different locations in the province.
The health and medical students travelled on board the Kula Spirit to attend the various medical needs of the people around the province.
Picture: The official float that led the ATSA procession