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Meet Christina

Meet Christina

SPRING/SUMMER 2020    |    4 MINUTE READ
DIANE BENNETT, FORMER GLOBAL WORKER TO PAPUA NEW GUINEA


When we look back on the history of WGM, we see a strong legacy of God’s faithfulness, often demonstrated in the joyful obedience of His people. While we rejoice as we recognize all the things God has accomplished in the last 110 years, we also look ahead to the ways He is continuing to call believers to fulfill the Great Commission. One incredible example of this is found in the story of Christina, a woman from Papua New Guinea (PNG) who became a missionary to her own people many years ago and continues to be attentive to God’s call to go wherever He sends her. Her story was originally recorded in the 2005 November/December issue of The Call in the article “Meet Christina,” written by former WGM global worker Diane Bennett, who served in PNG and Grenada with her husband, Tim, for twenty-two years. It has been adapted for this issue.

Christina was born a twin. The commonly held belief in PNG at the time of her birth was that one mother wouldn’t have enough milk for two babies. If twins were born, either one was left to die or one child was given to a relative to raise. As Christina was the female sibling, she was given to her grandmother while her brother was raised by their birth mother.

When Christina was about six years old, she was sent to live with her birth mother. This was the first time she had heard that the person whom she thought was her mother was actually her grandmother. Christina was devastated. She didn’t want to leave the only mother she had known.


“I only have a desire to learn all I can about God and to serve Him.”


Because of the lack of birth records at the time, many people in PNG do not know how old they are, so when it was time for Christina and her twin brother to begin school, they were told to hang their hand over top of their head; if they could reach their ear, they were ready for school. Though neither Christina nor her brother could reach their ear, they pleaded and were permitted to attend. Christina completed school through the eighth grade. When she was ready for ninth grade, her parents didn’t have enough money, so her formal education ended.

Around that time, her family fell apart. Her father, who had been a Christian, turned his back on the Lord and took a second wife. Christina split her time between her father’s and her mother’s tribal lines. When she was with her mother, she began attending church, eventually coming to Christian Union Church. At one of the church services, Christina gave her life to the Lord and was baptized on Christmas Day in 1997.

Christina attended the Sunday school classes which, at that time, were taught by one of our missionaries. When she became too old to attend Sunday school, the church asked her to help teach. She taught for several years and eventually began coordinating the teaching efforts between multiple Sunday school classes. She was always involving new people, showing them how to teach and encouraging them as they served the Lord.

For years Christina worked in the homes of missionaries. However, she wanted to serve the Lord in a different capacity. A secret prayer of her heart was that she could receive more education. While she was encouraged to attend the Wesleyan Bible school in PNG, she knew she couldn’t afford it. She also knew that the school was taught in English, and she didn’t feel her English was strong enough.

A photo of Christina teaching at Christian Union Bible College

Christina teaching at Christian Union Bible College

In 2002, Christina left the Southern Highlands and found work in the Western Province with a timber company. She quickly realized that the Western Province was highly unreached by the Gospel; there were very few churches and black magic was common practice. A young man from the Southern Highlands who was also working at the timber company died an unexplained death. Because of the superstitious beliefs in the Western Province, all the employees from the Highlands were sent home and had to stay away for two weeks. When the workers were asked to return after the short layoff, Christina was the only one not invited back. While this answered the prayers of her family and other church members who had feared for her spiritual wellbeing in the Western Province, Christina was angry. She just wanted to work.

In 2004, missionaries from WGM asked Christina to attend Christian Union Bible College. She felt this was God’s answer to her prayers. She went home and cried because she knew God had heard her.

She said, “God answered my prayers and opened the way for me to go to school and to be His worker. There are so many who are hungry to hear God’s Word.…I only have a desire to learn all I can about God and to serve Him. I don’t think about my clothes or what kind of house I live in. I only want to do God’s will. I will leave my village to go wherever God sends me.”

Editor's note: Christina’s father came back to the Lord before the publication of this original article in 2005. Just recently, Christina married the pastor of a local church (who also graduated from Christian Union Bible College), and they are serving together. Christina began a new job at Christian Union Bible College, where she teaches the spouses and children of students at the university who are studying to become pastors.

WHAT NOW?

PRAY: Like He called Christina, is God calling you to a specific place or people? Ask Him to make it clear to you and help you know how to fulfill that calling. Whether you’re meant to reach out to your neighbors or move across the globe, pray that He will give you wisdom in your next steps.

GIVE: Do you know someone who is passionate about serving those in a different culture? Consider joining them on that journey by providing financial support. Giving is a vital part of ministry around the world. Find a global worker to support at www.wgm.org/give.

GO: Short-term and mid-term missions are a great way to see whether God might be calling you to long-term service. We’d love to talk to you about your passions and opportunities for you to use them to serve God and others! Go to www.wgm.org/get-involved for more information.

The Call (Spring/Summer 2020) 110 Years of Prayer

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