After six months of intense preparation, Bio village welcomed over three thousand guests to celebrate my ordination to the priesthood on October 16. Two weeks before the feast, Tess and I were sitting down with the ordination committee, wondering how we were going to feed so many. How richly God provided! Within days we witnessed several minor miracles. Far-flung communities from different tribal groups and languages sent assistance in the form of pigs and rice. One village even volunteered to do all the catering for our special guests. Our dedicated feasting account suddenly had an unexpected (and unexplained) surplus of $2000.
The day itself was an immense celebration of God’s calling. We were led by panpipes into the church where dancers sang the ‘Gloria’ to open the service. Our Bishop, Sam Sahu, sounded a clarion call to the Church of Melanesia to revive the practices of prayer, fasting and the reading of Scripture as part of her response to God’s calling to be his people. Many heard and celebrated the commission. We’re grateful that this event not only embodied for us the lavish hospitality of the Kingdom of God (and we thank our Melanesian brothers and sisters for teaching us a thing or two about this), but also for arriving when it did, on St Luke’s Day: “Pray to the Lord of the harvest, to send out more labourers into his harvest.”
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