I am not a writer in any way… But I have a dream, a passion, a vision! I want to be part of something greater. Part of bringing life and hope to the Nations of the World.
Coming to YWAM Townsville, I knew that I wanted to be involved with their Primary Health Care school (IPHC). Since you first have to”do one, to teach one”, I took the IPHC in January of 2013. This year I was asked to consider not only staffing, but co-leading the IPHC. No need to twist my arm, this felt right. Ever since I first stepped into Papua New Guinea (PNG), I’ve wanted to bring more, help more, educate more. The IPHC trains Health Workers for the Developing Nations. Bringing an IPHC team to PNG means bringing life saving training, teaching and medicine.
Every year as a school leader we are asked to write a compelling vision for our schools. I feel very much called to medical missions and so when I wrote this, I felt like it is a little piece of my heart. This one feels extra special because it will be the first school I am leading, plus I got to write it with a great friend. Enjoy!
IPHC 2014 Compelling Vision
In this day and age there is not much that is withheld from the grasp of this world. Most are not denied the riches and treasures that this life is awarded. We can do and have anything that we want. But this isn’t the reality for everyone. How many are willing to see beyond what lies in front of them? To see the pain and anguish that so many have to face on a daily basis. To live a life where sickness haunts every corner and bellies ache from an emptiness that reaches the soul.
The Introduction to Primary Health Care School (IPHC) does not mould and train students for a life geared for the ordinary. It’s a magnet that draws the courageous, the compassionate, and those that are not willing to stand on the sidelines and watch as God’s people suffer under the weight of poverty and injustice. It’s for those that have renounced the comfort of an easy life and refused to accept that nothing can be done. Students will not be ‘just’ health care workers; they are warriors who will fight to bring life and offer solutions for both the physical and spiritual. We are commissioned as forerunners for YWAM Medical Ships – Australia to bring awareness and prevention of health care. This path may lead to the developing nations but the well-worn path that the Lord has paved leads YWAM Townsville’s IPHC directly to the nation of Papua New Guinea (PNG).
With only 4 km separating these two nations, PNG is Australia’s closest international neighbour. It is a nation that runs wild with vegetation and keeps secrets of places that are still to be explored by the curious traveller. You walk through a village and it is laden with genuine smiles and hearts of generosity and love. Yet it is still plagued with diseases that have been eradicated in the Western World for decades. One out of seven women die in childbirth in rural PNG, one in 13 children die before they reach the age of five, 94% of the population is exposed to malaria, and tuberculosis is present in most communities with over 3700 afflicted nationwide. Death is not a stranger to this country, but we serve a compassionate and loving God who hears the cry and prayers of His people. God has heard the Orokaiva people of the Oro Province and has made a way for us to walk into our long standing desires to help our neighbour.
Oro Province, also known as the Northern Province, is one of six provinces in which YWAM Medical Ships has begun to weave and create a story with the people of PNG. Last year we went on a journey to discover and learn the history and heritage of a people where war and destruction ravaged the land. The need continues to grow and the cry of the people beckons us back. As the IPHC we aim to tend to the sick, bandage up the broken, and love on the suffering. We take a skill that allows us to salve a wound, monitor a heartbeat, and deliver a baby. Imparting lifesaving knowledge, sharing life and demonstrating healthy habits is a must, but we also teach truth and bring revelation to empower God’s people. Are you willing to be a history maker? To be part of a strategy that brings freedom and leaves a legacy?
Orokaiva in village language means welcome. So with the thrill of adventure the IPHC has travelled over land and by sea only to find ourselves welcomed into the families and hearts of the people of PNG. Familiar faces that bring fond memories but also bring stories of heartache because of what they have had to endure, strengthen the call to return to this land. With our medical backpacks in one hand and words of truth in the other will you be an answer to their cry?
A similar passion and calling is what can be said for the drawing of two North American girls across the expanse of an ocean. One with a nursing background and a love for adventure and remote places, the other with no prior medical background before joining YWAM following a faint whisper which continually encouraged her to uproot everything she’s ever known. The drive to follow the Lord, to be a voice for those who are never offered the opportunity to be heard, and to make a difference is what caused both to plant a foot in a nation known to many as the land down under and the other foot in a nation called the land of the unexpected. With different backgrounds but a similar war cry we uphold a mandate which fuels our charge into a battle that will help someday see the end to the world’s lifetime of suffering from sickness and disease. Will you join us as we seek to make a difference? Will YOU leave a mark in the plans that God has for the nation of PNG?