|Fr Luscom Bera and Fr Giles Motisi, NTC lecturers sort through donated books with Larissa the librarian. © Bishop Jeffrey Driver, 2018.|
Newton Theological College, just outside of Popondetta in Oro Province, is the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea’s institution for training people to become clergy. It’s in a very beautiful setting, cut out of rainforest. But life at the college is by no means easy.
The students are in a period of transition. ABM has been working with the Church and the College Council to improve the college both physically and academically. To this end, Bishop Jeff Driver (formerly the Executive Director of St Mark’s National Theological Centre in Canberra) has been appointed to be the college’s Acting Principal by the Church, so that he can mentor the staff and teach the students. He has had visa problems throughout 2019 but is now in possession of paperwork which allows him to travel to and from PNG for the next three years. This means that the positive change that the college has already seen can now go ahead at full pace.
Over the past couple of years some things have significantly changed around the college. Here are some examples: some of the buildings have been repaired, a contemporary curriculum is being developed, some water tanks have been installed, the college is about to be connected to mains electricity for the first time, and the library has been updated with some books. However, with the limited financial support the college is able to receive from the national Church, things are still very tough.
Students (and lecturers) have to grow most of their own food in gardens – which takes them away from their studies – and they also tend a cocoa plot which the college has planted as a way to earn some income, but this again takes the students away from their studies. So too does milling timber and repairing buildings. Until the electricity is connected the college will rely on a generator they can only afford to have on for two and a half hours a day. The library will be difficult to use because of the low light levels, and the same is true for the chapel. Reading in either building is difficult even on sunny days. Work still needs to take place on the water pipes around the college as few of the houses have working showers.
You can help the staff and students of Newton College by making a donation, to allow the improvements we’ve already seen to continue. The surroundings at the college are beautiful, but life is hard for the students, the staff, and their families. Helping the Church to raise up capable leaders who can provide their communities with direction and guidance is a wonderful gift.
ABM’s commitment to the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea goes back to the 1890s when we funded missionaries to go north and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to the people in that country. Since the Church became independent in the 1970s we’ve walked together as partners. Join ABM, other parishes and individuals to help the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea to strengthen itself and the communities in which it works.
» We need your help: this year we are seeking $84,745 for Newton Theological College.
You can help by making a one-off donation, or you can set up an ongoing monthly amount. Please support the college and make a positive difference to the lives of the staff, students, and their families – and to the communities in which they will serve.
April 2020 - ABM has just received news from Bishop Jeff Driver of recent work being done at Newton College. Read more
February 2020 - ABM has received a report from Bishop Jeffrey Driver, Acting Principal of Newton Theological College, detailing the challenges as well as the positive changes taking place at the college. Read more
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