Situated in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea at Tsendiap in the remote Lower Jimi, Kerina Evangelists’ College is a centre for the training of catechists. It is an isolated place accessible, weather permitting, by a sole MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) plane once a week.
Catechists are licensed lay people serving in isolated communities who do not have a resident priest (a parish may have 10 or more remote out-stations or Chapels). Once trained, they represent the Church and minister to many families and individuals. Villagers are sponsored to become catechists and go, with their families, to Kerina to be trained. Most if not all have had only a primary school (Grade 6 -8) education. Catechists are the backbone of the Church in the most remote areas and are unpaid volunteers.
It is difficult to envisage Kerina becoming self-sufficient in the near future; although the land is fertile there is no possibility of land transport in the near future. During dry weather conditions Kerina experiences financial difficulties as the gardens are less productive. Kerina Evangelists’ College is supported by ABM (the Australian Board of Mission), PNGCP – UK (Papua New Guinea Church partnership) as well as Anglican Missions here in NZ.
The staff and students celebrate mass and Sunday school classes with the surrounding communities. They also organise and are involved in sports and other social activities. There is a students’ wives program coordinated by Mother Mary Wali which includes sewing, agriculture, cooking, bible studies. From May 2018 a literacy program for students will run inside the college campus and villagers will also benefit from these classes. These women also organise sporting activities for other women in the communities.
After a difficult year new permanent staff were appointed In March 2018 to fill vacancies from the previous two years. Fr George Kasme is the Principal and Fr Adam Wali the Associate Lecturer. Please keep the new Principal, staff and students in your prayers.