The face of COVID in PNG: Christian leader Verenagi Ravu promoted to glory

The funeral for Verenagi Ravu, church leader in PNG’s United Church, and Secretary General of the PNG Bible Society, is being held today in Port Moresby.

Ravu died from COVID on March 26. Eternity understands that his wife, Kwara, is safely recovering from COVID.

“Vere was a humble and gentle man of God who will be very much missed,” says Belinda Faulks, from the Bible Society Australia mission team.

“I’ve had the honour of knowing and working with Vere since the beginning of 2019, when he took on the challenging role of General Secretary of the Bible Society of Papua New Guinea,” says André Minnaar, from the United Bible Societies Global Mission Team, in a tribute that will be given at today’s ceremony.

“He did so at a very difficult time in its history and when most would have simply said ‘this is too difficult – someone else can do it’. The Bible Society needed a person who loved the Lord and honoured his Word, who was respected in the community, a person of great integrity and also someone with the skills, determination and passion needed for this role.

“Vere met all of these requirements and more.”

Ravu will be buried on Saturday in Alukuni Village, Rigo District, Central Province where he was born in 1956. From there he had a glittering career serving his nation after earning an MBA from the University of Queensland. Among many significant roles he served as Chief Finance Officer for the PNG National Parliament and Secretary to the Ombudsman Commission.

“To see PNG transformed by the Word of God” was the vision Ravu outlined when he joined Bible Society of Papua New Guinea (BSPNG) in February 2019 as General Secretary – the CEO role.

“This is a very challenging Vision [statement]. PNG may claim to be a Christian Country but there are many areas of life that still does not reflect the real meaning of what Christianity is all about.”

“BSPNG believes that PNG can only be transformed by the Word of God. Among the many challenges the BSPNG is facing, it is the dream of BSPNG to reach all in PNG with the Word of God.”

“Vere planted good seed in good soil. Now someone else will water …” – André Minnaar

Minnaar’s tribute remembers Ravu this way: “Sadly, Vere was taken from us before he could see the full implementation of the plans he had worked on. However, the foundation he created is solid.

“Vere planted good seed in good soil. Now someone else will water and many will continue to be impacted by the work he started.”

Verenagi Ravu leaves behind his wife Kwara and six children.