Lepi celebrates the opening of its own Holy Trinity Church
By EDDIE OSIFELO
AFTER 33 years of encountering challenges, the people of Lepi village in Gao Bugotu constituency, Isabel province consecrated their multi-million-dollar church building on Saturday.
It is called the Holy Trinity Church.
Thousands of people from villages around the constituency flocked Lepi village for the two days’ celebration which ended on Sunday.
Anglican Bishop for the Diocese of Isabel, Reverend Ellison Quity was the guest of honour on this historical occasion.
Initially, the people of Lepi attended church service at the neighboring Japuana village.
However, the condition of the church building was deteriorated over the years because it was built on limestone.
As a result, the villagers relocated to Lepi in 2010 and built a temporarily church building for worship.
During those years, the community took the initiative to commence the project of the building new church building.
However, the progress was delayed because of finance, ethnic conflict, disunity among community and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bishop Quity told the gathering that good planning results in success.
He said you have started the race and ended up good.
“In Revelations 3, God opens the door where man cannot shut it,” he said.
He assured the people that your blessing is coming like healing, aspiring for good education and so forth.
Vice Chairman of the Consecration Committee, Ben Devi said its was not an easy journey because it encountered dis-integration and disharmony between families.
However, he said at the end, joy, peace, harmony and cooperation have restored among the people.
Mr Devi said two major challenges encountered during the journey was the ethnic tension started in 1998 and the COVID-19 pandemic in October last year.
He said the during the ethnic conflict, there was no work for nearly three years.
Devi said there were about four committees changed and appointed to head the fundraising drive toward the project.
Further to that, Chairman of Honiara based committee, Joseph Majo said there was challenges in the coordination and implementation.
However, he asked the village to pay tribute of silence to past leaders who have left and could not witness the grand opening of the church building.
Majo thanked the government through their MP, Chiefs for their strong decision and the people.
He said most of the costs involved in the church include hardware materials, freights, food, labour, timber, fuel, printing and hiring which adds up to more than $1.2 million.
Moreover, MP Manetoali said no matter it takes 30 – 40 years, today was the day of celebration.
He reiterated the church is the home for sick, lame and blind people.
Retired Fr Walter Devi said church is aside for the people to be empowered by the spirit of God.
The two days celebration also ended with cultural performances, dances, feasts and presentation of gifts to the guests.