Tuesday was “Covenant Day” also known as the “National Repentance and Prayer Day” and was a national holiday. In the Melanesian world view where the spiritual and physical are intricately entwined and the government openly Christian, this holiday takes on a very different flavour than a national day of prayer in my home country.
Here in Wewak, all the stores were closed in celebration of this day. There was a crusade organized by the Wewak pastors fraternal for all of Tuesday morning that was well attended by the local pastors, government leaders, and the people of Wewak. The Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare was the keynote speaker. He was the first Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea and has been the Prime Minister of PNG for half of the time since independence in 1975.
Covenant Day refers to August 26, 2007, when the then Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare signed a covenant between “the people of PNG… and the God of Israel”. The main speaker for the multiple day crusade, pastor Jack Edward, saw the signing of the covenant as a pivotal day in the history of PNG that will open God’s blessing on the people and country of PNG. He compared it to the covenant agreement between Abraham and his descendants and God as found in Genesis 15. The crusade concluded with prayer for the local government officials.
This picture of the covenant was found in this post by http://masalai.wordpress.com.