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January 27, 2021
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Stranded Morobean Lutherans Saved

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Hundreds of stranded Morobean faithfuls who attended the Lutheran Synod on Karkar Island were assisted by the Morobe Provincial Government to get home.

Lutherans from the six circuits were given five thousand kina each by the Morobe Provincial government.

They were part of a group of hundreds stranded on the Island after the weeklong meeting of the highest decision making body of the Lutheran church.

The synod brought with it, the weight of high costs of transportation, accommodation and food.

Morobean Lutheran Church elder from the Yabim Circuit, Reverend David Dani, and his group of more than a hundred members from the six circuits in Morobe, were part of a larger group from several highlands Provinces and the New Guinea Islands stranded on the Island.

“We didn’t think this was going to happen… but on behalf of my circuit and the six other circuits, I say thank you to the Morobe Governor,” he said.

The Circuit received five thousand kina each from the Provincial Government and their only option was to travel on dinghies to the mainland across the open sea.

The Church owned shipping company, Lutheran shipping was unable to ferry the passengers as the vessels were grounded.

Church Elder and Morobe Governor, Kelly Naru also travelled by boat on his first visit. 

On his second trip to the Island he flew in by helicopter to assist stranded Morobeans through the Province’s church partnership program funds.

“I understand that there is an issue with transport. The ship that was transporting us has been grounded,” he said.

For the church, the state of the shipping company has become a thorn in its side.

The company has faced challenges of ongoing staff strikes over safety issues.  The management has also faced allegations of mismanagement and corruption.

The shipping company’s fate was discussed at the synod, but the resolution of the company’s future is yet to be announced.

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