A journalist’s report

 By Joel Hamago

Joel Hamago is a young man from Sandaun Province in  Papua New Guinea quite close to the Indonesian border. He is the fifth of seven children in his family and currently in his final year as a student at PNG’s Divine Word University. He majors in Journalism and Communication/Development. Joel enjoys reading and travel and does both when he is free. The pursuit of justice among his countrymen is something dear to his person and he hopes to spend his life as a missionary of the Gospel.

Happy Easter! The dense jungle-covered mountains and raging rivers of my home district make for a background very different from the biblical landscape where the scriptures record the events of Jesus’ resurrection.

But the effects of Jesus resurrection have reached into every culture and land, and I too have had my personal resurrection experiences. Some of these were dramatic.  Others were more subtle and I haven’t always easily grasped their meaning.

Mary of Magdala told the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’…
- John 20:18

I’ve always loved the story of Mary Magdalene - when Jesus appeared to her in the garden after his resurrection and how upon her return to the disciples she exclaimed, “I have seen the Lord!” 

As my life unfolds I am becoming more aware of resurrection experiences within it. In one way or another and on a daily basis, like Mary Magdalene, I am moved to proclaim to others what she had proclaimed to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’.  For me that simply means, “He lives!” And I find that the spirit of the Risen Lord leads me to appreciate God’s graciousness in my life, and that is how I know ‘He lives!’ I am now beginning to understand better God’s workings in the world and how he is in the midst of humanity each day.

God is good. Be thankful that because of God, you are! You have the gift of life.
- Angela Hamago

Jesus’ resurrection is indeed a miracle. I do believe in miracles, even the small miracles that occur daily in my life. Though I have had some scrapes with death, it is mostly life’s smaller daily miracles that speak to me. I have been in a serious car accident that could easily have killed me. I once almost drowned in a swimming accident. I was semi paralyzed for three years with a childhood illness. All these events have had an impact on me and I have seen my survival as a miracle.  These days I realize that my personal resurrection is not so much in those crisis events but in my growth as a person, my growing in awareness, faith and gratefulness.

My mother reinforced in me the belief that “He Lives!” I still remember the Catholic faith she passed on to me. “God is good,” she would always remind me, “Be thankful that because God is, you are! You have the gift of life.”

These days, when I reflect upon my personal journey and see the blueprint of God’s handiwork in my life, it is beyond words. I cannot describe or measure God’s goodness to me.

  In PNG we need more people who are courageous to stand up and  speak for the voiceless.

I am a student journalist working in Papua New Guinea. The challenges for journalists here are daunting. So much so that the reasons I had for embracing journalism have completely changed over the course of my studies. In other words, the reasons I started in this field are not the reasons I stay with it. In PNG we need more people who are courageous to stand up and speak for the voiceless and to advocate against those decisions that would mostly benefit corrupt leaders.

I consider journalism in PNG a noble profession. I have been blessed with the experiences of delivering the news on the radio, having many stories published in the national papers and even reading the nightly news on national television. I sometimes wonder why early in life I have had so many chances, so much experience.

       He lives that I might live, and I live that others may

To promote justice on behalf of other persons, I have learned, is to give them life –a life that can become their resurrection story. In this Easter season I pray that Our Lord’s rising finds its expression through all those who stand up and speak for what is right, especially when they do not relent to intimidation and threats. And I pray for all the journalists throughout the world who, in order to give life to others, work to bring justice, peace and truth 

He lives that I might live, and I live that others may live.