GLOBAL PARTNER STORIES

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Bringing Physical and Spiritual Healing

AUTHOR: Mail Endolo, Wesleyan Health Secretary for PNG, with Cheri Floyd, missionary to PNG | CATEGORY: #GenerosityInspired, #PartnershipsEngaged | POSTED Feb 08, 2018

Papua New Guinea is one of the last reached places on earth. Until the twentieth century, this island country was cut off from the rest of the world. From the time Wesleyan missionaries set foot in Papua New Guinea in the 1960s, demonstrating the gospel through word and deed has been the priority.

Wesleyan healthcare worker checks patients who may be eligible for cataract removal. In addition to extensive sunlight exposure and age, living in homes with open fires and smoke is a common risk factor for developing cataracts in Papua New Guinea.

This passion to proclaim the total life transforming gospel continues today. September 2017 saw the dedication of a new wing in the Fugwa Health Centre. Our Papua New Guinean health workers and local volunteers had decorated the new wing beautifully. Wesleyan pastors joined us to celebrate. But we were doing more than just celebrating the new wing—we were also celebrating a legacy. And we were praying for the future.

In 2016, the Fugwa Wesleyan clinic served 12,491 outpatients, as well as 312 inpatients. The staff also traveled to run nine other satellite clinics, serving an overall population of 19,000 people. However, the Fugwa clinic’s reputation is so good that people outside the clinic’s service area come for medical care, thus keeping outpatient numbers high. In addition, there were 12 volunteers working as village birth attendants and in Community Health Evangelism (CHE).

We celebrate all of this. But we also celebrate

  • the faithful service of Tau, the only full-time trained medical personnel at the remote Waposali Wesleyan Health Centre.
  • the work of Wesleyans offering healthcare at the church district centres of Alia and Taguru.
  • Wesleyans currently in medical training, offering some scholarship assistance on a case-by-case basis.
  • the legacy of nurses like Australian Fran Leak and American Nancy Rose, who helped during the years that medical missionaries were with us.

Tau Hopokai is a graduate of the Wesleyan Bible College of Papua New Guinea who believed that God could best use him in health ministry. He went on to receive medical training and now serves as the only full-time worker at the Waposali Wesleyan Health Centre. Tau serves his church as the secretary for the Upper Poloba District.

We also pray for the future. This year will see missionary Don Floyd’s building team kick off phase two of the clinic improvements. We would like to find effective ways in improving our ability to serve our communities. We pray for more Papua New Guinean health workers to join Tau’s ministry at Waposali. We dream of health professional missionaries joining us again for a season. And we hope to someday have our own nursing college.

With God’s help, we believe some of these dreams will be achieved in the next 12 months. Others will require sustained effort over the next decade. And there are some dreams that will not be achieved in my lifetime. But if God gives us time, then I will leave those dreams for our children’s generation to take up. In all this, we wish to give glory to God and to serve the people who he has created in his image.

In Papua New Guinea, we do not believe spiritual needs can be separated from physical needs. Nor can the individual be strong without a community. And so, we invite you to join us through prayer, giving, and volunteering in this great work God has given us.

Cover Picture: Nurse Ibiya is the longest-serving Wesleyan Health Services worker. She was born around the time that Wesleyan missionaries brought the good news of Jesus to her tribe. She was among the first females in the Fugwa Valley to learn to read. Ibiya has spent her life in grateful service to God, The Wesleyan Church, and the people of the Fugwa District.

Global Partners Health Network (GPHN)

Amplifying the healing power of The Wesleyan Church

º  A CALL TO PRAY – Pray that many would meet Christ through Wesleyan Health Services in Papua New Guinea.

°  A CALL TO GIVE – Create scholarships for Papua New Guinean nursing students. Target: 9 scholarships at $750 each for a total of $6750. Give to GPHN fund WM06-1422.

°  A CALL TO GO – GPHN would love to find individuals, churches, and districts that are interested in working with PNG Wesleyan Health Services by sending a medical team to Papua New Guinea. For more information, contact GPHN Director ScottAddison, M.D. at scott.addison@gponline.org.