District Pastor Philip Siei is in charge of Revival Centres of PNG sub-centres and house meetings around Aitape area of Sandaun Province.
Philip Siei was born in July 1962 at Karaite Village, Lumi District, Sandaun (West Sepik) Province. Born into a remote village, young Philip knew Education would provide a way out for him, he joined other young children his age, and attended Preparatory School (Prep) in 1970 at Lumi. From 1971 to 1974 he did grade one to four. Halfway through grade four he was suspended from school after being involved in fighting a school teacher.
After being suspended from school in Lumi, he traveled to Aitape, and did his grade five and six at Aitape Community School. At the end of grade six Philip was unable to pursue further studies elsewhere. Philip recalls “From grade one to grade four, I was a clever student, however after getting myself involved in fighting a school teacher, and being suspended from school, my eager to study faded, I could not make any further after grade six.” In 1977, Philip spend the whole year at home in Karaite Village, Lumi District.
In 1978, Philip traveled to Aitape and attended the Aitape Vocational Training Centre, attending from 1978 to 1979. After two years of Vocational Training, Philip went back to his village at Karaite. While at Karaite, in 1982, he got himself into another trouble, this time bashing up a Catholic Sister at the sisters convent at Lumi District. Philip was arrested and imprisoned for several months for his actions. While Philip was in prison in 1982, a small Revival Fellowship was started by Pastor Godfrey Wippon at Karaite village when the first nine (9) converts got baptised on 1st September.
About a year later, in 1983 Philip was released from prison. When Philip arrived at Karaite Village, he was witnessed to by Pastor Godfrey Wippon, who happen to be his nephew. Pastor Philip was told about the great Salvation Message, the Good News of being Born Again of Water and The Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38, John 3:3-5). Philip observed the small fellowship at Karaite, and got baptised by full immersion on the 31st of July, 1983. Philip recalls, “from that point on, after I received the Holy Spirit and Spoke in tongues, my spiritual mindset opened up, when I read the Bible I can understand it very clearly.”
After some months Brother Philip Siei was appointed a Leader in the fellowship. In 1985, Philip got married in the fellowship when he was a Leader. Between 1985 and 1990, Leader Philip was full time involved in Ministry Work. In 1990, Philip Siei was appointed as a Pastor of the Revival Centres and was sent to Yangoru District in East Sepik Province. He was a pastor until year 2000. In 2001, Philip was appointed as District Pastor for Aitape Assembly, a position which he currently holds.
After nearly ten (10) years of being a District Pastor for Aitape Assembly, Pastor Philip and the Aitape Assembly hosted the 13th RCPNG National Rally in 2010. The 13th National Rally in Aitape also saw 932 people getting baptised.
Pastor Philip vividly recalls back in early days when Revival Fellowship first started in Karaite. “We went through a lot of persecutions; we were mobbed, they threw punches at us, they swung bush-knives at us. We were even imprisoned for preaching the Gospel.” When the small Revival Fellowship started at Karaite, God performed extra ordinary healings and miracles at that time (Mark 16:17-18). Many newly converts were healed of their sicknesses. Many people left their traditional beliefs, customs, cult practices, and even mainstream christian churches, and joined the small Revival Fellowship.
Pastor Philip recalls, “at that time, we were a small church starting out, and the already established churches started persecuting us. They tried their best to suppress us from preaching the truth.” One of the highlights of those persecutions happened in 1986, the main line churches in collaboration with local authorities tried to stop us from Preaching about “Speaking In Tongues”. Pastor Philip and eight others were locked up at the Aitape Police Cells for preaching about Speaking-in-tongues. The next day, they were released from police cells after Pastor Godfrey Wippon negotiated with the authorities.
Pastor Philip says, “even though we went through a lot of persecutions, God never at one time abandoned us; God Himself is the motivating factor, that is why, We Are Here to This Day”.
Pastor Philip says happily in Pidgin:
Ol laik stopim long hia, God i kirapim long hap. Taim ol laik stopim long hap, lek nogut man i wokabaut long hap; taim ol laik stopim long hap, aipas man i lukluk long narapela hap. Ol i laik stopim, God i kirapim long nupla ples, ol wokim i go an ol i sotwin; na mipla i stap, na stap, na nau mipla i stap yet.
The already established mainstream christian churches were persecuting us, that was the downside, while on the upside God kept performing great miracles. At that time, it was a phenomenal encounter, our preaching shook the foundations of established churches.
Pastor Philip says, “even though they went through a lot of persecutions, Principal Pastor Godfrey Wippon gave them a stern warning: We have a mission to accomplish, and that is to save the people of this country. If we retaliate, fight back or get involved in physical confrontations, we will spoil Gods work, and the blood of all people in this country will be in our hands. We have always followed Pastor Godfrey’s advice, we humbled ourselves and here we are to this day”.
“I’ve seen many, many signs, wonders, healings, and miracles in my personal life as well as the lives of many of our brothers and sisters in the fellowship. When Pastor Godfrey first started the small fellowship at Karaite, he had a vision, and that is for every person in this country to receive the Holy Spirit. Over 30 years, and his vision is being fulfilled, many people from right across Papua New Guinea, have received the Holy Spirit, with evidence of Speaking in Tongues. Sickness are being healed, lives are restored, people have a sense of purpose in life. Their faith in this God is not in vain but they are seeing the fruits of their salvation.”
I never attended any Bible School, nor did I studied theology, let alone secondary school education, but I can read the Bible and explain its meaning and preach from the pulpit. Through the Holy Spirit, God has given me the ability to understand the Scriptures and preach, and this is a miracle in itself, Praise The Lord!
On a personal note, Pastor Philip is married with seven children, five daughters and two sons, and four grandchildren. He has traveled around all provinces and districts of Papua New Guinea in the last 30 years. He even climbed PNG’s highest peak, Mt. Wilhem in Chimbu Province in 2008 during a camp at Gembogl. Pastor Philip encourages all who have received the Holy Spirit, to go out and preach boldly the Truth, the Good News about: Repentance, Baptism and Receiving the Holy Spirit. We have a duty to spread this Gospel everywhere, in line with Pastor Godfrey Wippon’s vision and theme: From Samarai to Sorom, all must receive the Holy Spirit.