MY EXPERIENCE - Captain Flora Pala
For a first time traveller like me, it was really an eye opener for me to see the different wonders of the world. It was really scary to get on to very long escalators which I was never used to, but I learnt to get on and it was fun. Even getting on to trains was a new experience for me too.
It was a blessing to meet and see Salvationists from all over the Salvation Army world and that made me feel that I am not alone. I was also blessed, when expatriate Officers who have come to serve in PNG met and made us feel welcomed, made me feel that we had wantoks who loved and cared for us. I didn't have the time to personally meet the General and his wife, but I was glad that I saw their face and heard them talk.
One of the highlights of the congress that I will never forget is the story of Major Michael Dengi that was dramatised in one of the sessions. Among the many nations, the story of Major Michael Dengi made PNG known to the Salvation Army world. This drama brought tears to my eyes to see and hear our national man talking about how he saved a young girl who was discriminated by her family members when they realised that she contacted the HIV Virus.
Another highlight was the march down the mall in which different countries marched in their uniforms. I was lost with words and couldn't believe that I was standing outside the Queen's palace during and after the march.
Having seen and experiencing the setting in the arena and all the events that took place in each of the seven sessions, I can truly say that God was present in all. All these has made me realise that I am serving a Big God and He cannot be compared and measured by the things of this world. The story of William and Catherine Booth that was dramatised also placed a challenge in my heart.
What am I really doing to save the lost? Am I William and Catherine Booth of today?
The General spoke during the Officers Council and this was what he said: Officers, where ever you are and whatever you do, you must always remember that you are on 'DUTY'.
I brought these words with me, and I pray and believe that wherever I am I will be an agent of change by making a difference with the boundless grace of God.