Thursday, March 05, 2009
World Day of Prayer today
The theme this year was: In Christ there are many Members, but one Body, and it was written by the women of Papua New Guinea. The 2009 WDP worship service will begin at the first sunrise of March 6, 2009, and will continue until the last sunset so it probably starts in Tonga and Fiji. It's a lovely way of connecting men and women from all over the world, and no doubt there are services in many towns and villages in Fiji today.
I went to the Geelong City Salvation Army serice at 11 a.m. and it was nice to meet up with friends from various different church groups. There was an abundance of material about Papua New Guinea with a focus on the life of women with stories from Bouganville and the Highlands. We started off by saying a greeting in Pidgin - Gutpela moning tru, which makes sense when you say it aloud! The Salvation Army choir of about 28 members sand beautifully accompanied by a piano and flute. Afterwards we had a lovely lunch together.
Papua New Guinea has been described as a "mountain of gold floating on a sea of oil." Land is the most important resource and an overwhelming majority of people's lives revolve around land. While the majority of Papua New Guineans depend on semi-subsistence agriculture for their livelihood, there are increasing numbers of people who earn a living from operating small scale informal businesses in the urban areas. Papua New Guinea has one of the most diverse indigenous populations in the world. More than 800 languages are spoken between several thousand separate communities. This diversity is described well in a Papua New Guinean folk saying: "For each village, a different culture."
Every year a particular hymn is always sung: part of it goes like this.
Across each continent and island
as dawn leads on another day,
the voice of prayer is never silent
nor dies the strain of praise away.