We have just finished Central outreach and also our time in PNG. The last week has been amazing. We have particularly enjoyed Central outreach as the people in the villages have been very friendly and appreciative of our coming; not to mention it is beautiful here as well. We have seen a strong focus on God, and the villages we visited were very well kept. It is definitely true that if the leaders and pastors of the village are really invested and involved with their people it leads to a much better off village. There is also a great need for health assistance here as there are not many health centres and also this province does not have its own hospital which makes it difficult for those needing hospital review as they are not prioritised when they go to hospitals in other provinces. It has also been interesting to see how the villages are more developed the closer they are to Port Morsby.
The outreach was again busy with lots of physio and community engagement. Ben had a really fun and motivated team that he was leading which was a blessing and they were able to really get along side the locals to teach and develop good relationships. He was able to run men’s talks, bible studies and talk to the village leaders which is something he enjoys a lot. Angela had a very memorable experience earlier in the week when she went on a home visit to see a 21 year old girl as she describes in the story below.
My leader asked me to go on a home visit to look at a girls hip who was not able to walk. The father was pointed out and I went to see him and discovered he too had broken his arm. So after the arm was plastered Debbie from CE and I headed off to see this girl who had “dislocated her hip 5 years ago”. When we got to the house I saw a girl who was skin and bones, struggling to breath and profusely sweating. She sat up and we gathered some information about what was going on and discovered she had been sick for some time and was getting worse; she had a temperature, chronic cough, severe contractures of her hip and knee due to her previously dislocated hip and had also developed pressure sores as well as skin breakdown and infection from poor hygiene. But on top of all of that she did not smile or talk and had no light or hope in her eyes. It was heart breaking.
Debbie and I rushed back to the clinic to get some assistance and medication and returned back to the girl with the community health worker Ravu and our clinic leader and nurse Kaylee. Further testing to rule out HIV and malaria was done as well as a sputum sample taken to test for TB. Her wounds were dressed and she was given medication for her shortness of breath, temperature and infection. With all the medical stuff sorted I then was able to sit with her and do some physio as well as talk and pray with her. We had some crutches sent over from the ship (as she had been unable to walk on her left leg since the hip injury) and when we adjusted the crutches to her size and she stood up and walked her face lit up and she smiled. Debbie and I were close to tears, as was the parents of the girl. On top of this the girls brother was blind which was yet another struggle for this family. As we were going to leave the girl gave us all a gift of shell necklaces that she had made. It was so beautiful as she placed it over my head my heart was full of joy and but also sadness for this young girl and family.
Over that night there were a lot of prayers over her and over her test for TB and in the morning we found out it was positive. This was such a wonderful thing that we were able to test and determine the reason for her sickness as the people in the village had decided it was sorcery and that nothing could be done and she would have likely died very soon if God had not brought us there to bring her hope and treatment. So the next day Ravu went back to start her on the treatment for TB which is a strict daily treatment for 6-8 months with good prognosis if kept on schedule and he will be able to come back to the area to monitor her progress. It truly was a blessing for this family and an honour to be part of her story and be able to see how God is working in Papua New Guinea and using YWAM to bring new hope and life to these villages.