THE beach was already packed with worshipers when we arrived: men in shirts and ties; women in colourful dresses, all singing and clapping.
As I set up the camera, a dozen men waded out and formed a line in thigh-deep water, ready for the baptisms.
One of the converts was carried out with a friend following behind clutching a bag of urine still attached to a catheter. He looked like he'd come straight from hospital and he looked very ill.
According to the Revivalist Centre of Papua New Guinea, these baptisms are the moment when people accept the power of God: a power that extends to healing the sick.
After the baptism, the ill-looking man did manage to stumble out, sort of on his own two feet, but mostly supported by a friend on each arm.
As he stood unsteadily, receiving further blessing, his eyes rolled around and he still looked very ill.
Other converts had gone in a different direction. The preachers stood in a tightly-knit group with their hands on the heads of the newly baptised and began talking in tongues, working themselves up to fever pitch.
My colleague Wesley and I left the revivalists to their babbling and walked about a hundred meters away to shoot a piece to camera. The wind was roaring and we knew getting clean audio would be a challenge.
But we also couldn't take too long: my piece to camera was about how this sort of faith healing is killing Papua New Guineans with HIV. The last thing I wanted was for someone to hear what I was saying and a crowd of worked-up believers turning on us.
The head of the Revivalist Centre of PNG says it's the fastest growing religious movement in the country.
Sure enough, the huge open-sided church, where we met Pastor Godfrey Wippon (pictured above), could seat thousands.
He told us what he thought could be achieved with just prayer.
GODFREY WIPPON: It's not AIDS only: ulcers, cancers, TB. We have dead people being raised from the dead here.
LIAM COCHRANE: Raised from the dead?
WIPPON: Raised from the death.
COCHRANE: What do you mean by that?
WIPPON: Sleeping! Dying! Dead for 10 hours, eight hours, six hours, a day. And people come and prayed.
COCHRANE: It was an astonishing claim. But there was another surprise in store. It turned out Pastor Godfrey Wippon is a former journalist with the ABC's international broadcaster Radio Australia.
This was a good 30 years ago, but Godfrey Wippon had at one time been employed for his ability to be rational, fair and accurate. And now he thinks prayer can bring the dead back to life and cure AIDS.
It was hard to reconcile, and yet, in the context of Papua New Guinea, not too hard.
Most people here believe in sorcery, and that includes educated professionals, politicians, police officers and, yes, journalists.
But the sort of misinformation being peddled by Pastor Wippon and the Revivalist Centre of PNG is clearly dangerous. Preachers are going into hospitals and encouraging people living with HIV to throw away their medication and be healed by God.
And then they die.
I can't help but wonder if some of them die still holding on to the hope that the power of prayer will bring them back from the dead.
From One Mission Revival website....
Godfrey Wippon, a young man from PNG, was witnessed to and healed from pneumonia following prayer at a Revival meeting in Melbourne in 1981. After being baptised and spirit-filled, speaking in tongues, he headed back to his home town in Lumi, PNG in 1982 where his mother was very ill.
Believing on God’s promises, Godfrey laid hands on his bed-ridden mother and the next day she was completely healed, walking around freely. Word spread of the miracle performed by God and Godfrey was invited to go and speak of his experience - soon after a small assembly started.
Wonderful healing testimonies of the lame walking, the deaf hearing and complete healings from HIV AIDS and cancer has fuelled the growth of the assembly which has now grown to well over 50,000 saints spread throughout every province and major town in PNG. Every Sunday there are approximately 200 baptisms across PNG