Tell Robert Oeka ‘mi go lukim pinis lo Kerema’
Lessons learned from my mother & my culture

Missionaries with vision

Joseph Tambure
Joseph Tambure


Missionaries with vision on a mission
People with vision on a mission
To tame and conquer from dark to light
To teach, encourage and impart
From end to end of the world

Missionaries with vision and passion
Nothing so sweet than vision fulfilled
Leaving behind comfort and luxury
Pushing through unknown to reach the goal
Missionaries with vision on a mission

Mission in government, company or church
Bringing new light, new thought, new life
Converting old tradition and custom
To a new modern era, yes confusing many
who feel threatened, dislocated and awry

But missionaries still push to see change
Slowly but surely their teaching succeeds
Extinguishing tradition, custom and habit
Finally the vision will be completed
Missionaries with vision on a mission


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Porap Gai

Hi Joseph - I am very inspired with this thought. It's true that everyone must have a clear mission and vision. If someone does not have a vision, they ens up at the wrong place.

Philip Fitzpatrick

You were lucky that you were both Irish and Catholic, Garry.

To my knowledge none of the Catholic missionaries sought to destroy established traditions nor the many artefacts and rituals that accompanied them.

This is true of Catholic missionaries in both PNG and Australia.

In the latter case ancient traditions like the Dreaming now happily co-exist with Christian belief. Many Aboriginal people will tell you that God created the Dreaming.

It's a great pity that other missionaries didn't follow the Catholic lead in this matter.

Garry Roche

Joseph - Your ‘Missionaries with Vision’ is thought provoking. However, I hope that as a missionary I never ‘extinguished tradition’.

We believed we came ‘not to destroy the culture but to fulfil it’ (Matt. 5.17). Perhaps at times we were like ‘a bull in a china shop’ - damaging precious items all around us.

At the same time, missionaries often did strive to preserve the local languages and even today the SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics) continues to record and promote the local languages, preserving tradition.

Bernard Corden

Well done Joseph:

"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." - Carl Jung

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