I had a powerful week in Port Moresby from 12-22 September 2008. I conducted a "Principles of Financial Management & Stewardship" seminar with Young Professionals and Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship at the Cornerstone Gateway Church. The seminar was attended by a good number of parents as well.
I started with 5 biblical principles, which are that (1) God wants us His children to prosper in all areas of life;(2) God wants us to love and serve Him, not money and material things;(3) God wants us to become good and fruitful stewards of all His blessings (both to manage well and to multiply;(4) it is God's will for us to be conten with what He has given us; and (5) we must be a blessing to the kingdom of God and the world by becoming liberal or generous givers.
I then spoke on the importance of knowing ourselves and our financial positions, followed by having financial goals and how to achieve those goals. On Tuesday 16th September, which was the country's independence day, I spoke about being financially independent. I pointed out that PNG may be politically independent but is economically dependent, and that this could be true of many people as well. I encouraged participants to think seriously about becoming financially independent and free.
I am glad to report that many people testified at the end of the 5 sessions that the seminar was a eye-opener. I believe that I scattered some good seed in peoples' lives and the fruits will be seen in the years to come. I was particularly privileged to speak to students and young professionals, because they do not have the bad money habits which cause many older people to struggle financially.
On Thursday 18 September I spoke at the University of Papua New Guinea's Main Lecture Theatre. It was good to be back after 20 years of leaving school. The MLT had changed from the last time I had been in it as a student. I spoke on the topic "How To Make Money Work For You". The main focus of my 2-hour talk was on prudent management, saving and investing. I think the students learnt alot. Unfortunately we started late so there was not enough time for questions and discussions, but I know that the students did discuss among themselves after the meeting.
Then on the night of Monday 22nd September I was with the UPNG Medical Faculty students at Taurama speaking on the same topic. I really enjoyed this night because we had a lively discussion after the seminar. One important point which arose was that we need to think as Papua New Guineans and not be regionalistic or tribalist in our attitude towards one another. We spoke of the importance of networking among professional Papua New Guineans, and the need for us to take the economy of the country back from outside interests, not through force or legislation but by playing the game of money through investing in businesses, real estate and stocks.