goodmorningpapua.com – Welcoming Christmas and New Year’s holidays, citizens in Puncak Regency, Central Papua Province, were asked to prepare their hearts to welcome the holy month, the birth of Jesus the Prince of Peace. The method, with gratitude and joy, without any friction, without chaos, or the sound of guns.
This was expressed by Pdt. Dr. Hans Wakerkwa, M.Si, as a Chair of GKII Region II Central Highlands Papua in his sermon at the Christmas gate service between the Puncak Regency government and the community which was held at Trikora Ilaga Field, Puncak Regency, Thursday 1 December 2022.
The Christmas gate service was attended by more than 5,000 residents from various church denominations in Ilaga. In this celebration, Muslims also attended the activity.
Present at the Christmas gate service were the Puncak Regent Willem Wandik, together with the Chairperson of the TP PKK Puncak Regency Elpina K Wandik, Acting Secretary of Puncak Darwin Tobing and the Head of the Puncak Police and the Kasdim. Interestingly, in the Christmas gate service, a series of prayers are performed from church denominations and from Muslims.
“Security is what we really hope for, so that the month of Christmas is celebrated with wisdom, without friction, without chaos, without the sound of guns. Don’t pollute Christmas with these actions,” explained Pastor Dr. Hans Wakerkwa, M.Sc.
Said the man from Puncak Regency, as the leader of the church he is grateful because there is an ecumenical combined Christmas gate service between the Puncak Regency Government and the community, even involving all religious denominations in Puncak Regency.
“The people gathered together, praying that Puncak district would remain in a safe condition, until we enter Christmas and the new year January 1, 2023. All those present joined hands in praying, the only wish is that God would restore this Puncak district to be safe,” he said.
Meanwhile, Puncak Regent Willem Wandik was very happy to welcome the Christmas gate service. Moreover, seen from the enthusiasm of the community to attend worship is quite large. He explained the purpose of holding the Christmas gate service to start activities ahead of Christmas on December 25, meaning that today’s worship begins to bring a Christmas atmosphere to Puncak Regency.
“We will start Christmas first in Puncak Regency, so that the Christmas atmosphere can be seen in Puncak Regency. After the Christmas gate service, the community can prepare a Christmas atmosphere, there will be a Christmas church, class, youth, harmony until the peak is December 25,” said the PDI Perjuangan cadre.
The Regent said that for two periods, the Christmas gate services were carried out in order to maintain security in Ilaga, because throughout 2022 there were many shootings which created an atmosphere for the people in the church and society, there was no sense of peace.
“The community is still traumatized, so holding the Christmas gate service is the beginning of God’s presence in Ilaga. People are ready to welcome Christmas with joy,” he said.
The chairman of the Christmas gate committee, Emus Wonda explained that in welcoming the Christmas gate, various competitions were held which were initiated by the Chairperson of the TP PKK Puncak Regency, Ms. Elpina K Wandik.
“Children to adults are very happy about the competition being held. This makes the atmosphere in Puncak Regency especially in Ilaha very lively,” he said.
The Head of the Puncak Police, Kompol I Nyoman Punia, also did not want to be left behind in giving his comments. He was so happy to see the Christmas gate service being carried out, because from the enthusiasm of the Puncak people who came to join the service quite a lot, it proved that the people wanted peace, so they could enter Christmas safely and peacefully.
“The National Police and the Indonesian Armed Forces are ready to support the regent’s program, namely cleaning up the rubble of buildings, former fires some time ago which is planned to be carried out with the district administration on Monday next week, so that the Christmas atmosphere is more felt in Puncak,” he said.