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First communion

Sweet potatoes and raspberry juice used for first Wusaraambya communion

Their first communion was a time of rejoicing for the 70 Wusaraambya believers who had just learned the importance of commemorating their Saviour’s work on the cross. But the question was: How would they choose to celebrate communion?

Canadian missionary Andrew Goud decided to leave it up to Bible teachers Willis and Jesi to decide how the communion would be served. He shared with them how the North American church took communion, with little cups of juice and with pieces of bread.

“But you have to do it your way,” Andrew told Jesi and Willis. “We want the Wusaraambya church to do it in a way that you can continue after us missionaries leave! It has to be your own food and your own drink!”

Willis and Jesi discussed the matter between themselves, with their friends, and then with the church as a whole. Finally, they decided to cut up pieces of sweet potato as their “bread” and to make a juice from crushed raspberries and water.

When the day came for communion, Willis and Jesi proudly distributed the juice in little medicine cups inherited from the local clinic as the “wine” and cut up slices of sweet potato to eat as their “bread”.

“Every time we eat this bread and drink this cup, we are remembering the way that Jesus died for us on the cross,” Willis told the congregation. “Let’s be joyful today as we remember what He did!”

As the congregation ate the sweet potatoes and drank the juice, the young believers looked at the floor in wonder and reverence for what Jesus had done for them. Two old ladies in the back started to wail, ashamed at their own sin. Many eyes were wet as the congregation partook together, and a sense of fellowship was born amongst them as they all realised what Christ had done for them.

But the greatest rejoicing came from Andrew and Cathy Goud as they praised God for rewarding their painstaking efforts of translating the Bible into the Wusaraambya language. What a privilege to share the gospel with and then disciple these young believers.

Soon, the service turned into a time of rejoicing and fellowship as Willis and Jesi led the congregation in songs of worship. After worshipping God, the believers shared testimonies of what God had done in their lives, encouraging and strengthening each other for the week ahead.

The service lasted for more than five hours because as the Wusaraambya believers have mutually decided, “Sunday is a time for God. What else would we do?”

Posted in Asia-Pacific, News, Papua New Guinea, Prayer Requests, Wusuraambya People