Outreach update

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How I enjoy this (primitive) life in Papua!! And what a privilege it is to be able to get on a plane and, land in a completely different world; being received with open arms and to be part of the families we stay in, with a culture in which hospitality is one of the most important values. And how wonderful to see how adapting to local standards goes so smoothly. We have been on outreach for 4 weeks now and it feels like normal to sleep on the ground, have no electricity, get water from the well, daily being drenched in sweat, having a pit toilet and a shower consisting of 4 sails, a bucket and a cup. Although my bowels have a little more trouble with the adjustments, I'm still just all in!

As I wrote in my last blog we spent the first week in Hula. The second week we moved on to Makerupu. Here we stayed with family Tauo (the pastor of the village), in their house next to the local church. From Makerupu we went to different villages (walking or by PMV) where we spent 2 days per village. In the mornings we taught (often for hundreds of inquisitive villagers) about topics that we covered during the lecture phase in Australia. It's great to see that they really understood what we thaugt, during the small group sessions.

In addition, we went to different (secondary) schools where we ran programs with topics such as identity, purpose, relationships, alcohol, etc. I thoroughly enjoy witnessing God's greatness and passing on insights to more than 700 students. gained myself during the lecture phase.

During our stay in Makerupu there are about 8 youth workers (between 20 and 30 years old) who join us everywhere we go. We involve them in the programs we do (with dance, drama, testimonies, prayers, etc.) in the context of discipleship. It is special to see how they too grow quickly in confidence and how they learn more and more about a personal relationship with God and the strength and authority that we have in Jesus' name.

After 2 weeks it is time to leave Makerupu behind. It was touching to see how emotional our temporary family was and what an impact we have made. The last evening we had a large goodbye party, organized by the village. First, we were allowed to watch how a large pig was slaughtered for us (which is normally only done for weddings or very special occasions; big sacrifice!). Then the whole village brought food (coconuts, fried banana, rice, caucau, etc.), after which we danced for hours with dozens of people (under the watchful eye of hundreds of villagers).

After a short night we continue to Sabusa (3 hours drive), where we end up in a beautiful landscape, surrounded by high mountains. During one of the home visits, we meet a man who has problems with his eyes. We test how well he can see; at 2 meters distance he can say how many fingers we show, but 4 meters is too blurry to distinguish. After we pray for healing in the name of Jesus, he is able to see sharply even from a distance of 8 meters! What an amazingly powerful God we serve! It's indescribable what joy that brings!

After a successful 4 days in Sabusa, we fly on Thursday with a domestic flight from Port Moresbey to Alotou. Here we board the YWAM MV PMV, the medical ship where we will spend the last 2.5 weeks of the outreach. It's great to experience relatively normal things as a huge luxury! Faucets and a shower with running water, a bed, electricity, varied food, a washing machine and even air conditioning in some parts of the ship!

The other volunteers (115 people in total) arrive on Friday as well. Saturday was the orientation day in which we heard everything about the ins and outs of life on board; Saturday we started sailing for the first time. When we woke up this morning (Sunday) the view was breathtaking! Clear blue water, mountains, tropical rainforest, white beaches, it seems like a dream!

We went to a church this morning (with smaller boats from the ship) and made further preparations for the clinics. There are different teams with different roles. Due to my medical training, I have been placed in one of the three primary healthcare teams, which I am super excited about! Our team consists of 10 people from all over the world (PNG, Australia, Denmark, Norway, Alaska, Japan & New Zealand) with different professions; a doctor, midwife, physiotherapist, 5 nurses and 3 other experienced health workers).

Tomorrow we start with the daily clinics where we enter the villages with smaller boats to do medical check-ups, vaccinate babies, wound care, family planning, etc. We can test for malaria, TB, AIDS and syphilis and we bring a lot of medication with us. In addition, there is an optometric team and on board the ship is a dental clinic, where hundreds of patients are treated.

I am really looking forward to do more with my medical expertise, I am very curious about the adventures we will experience! Unfortunately there is no WiFi on the ship, but there is a computer with internet that we can use. You can reach me via Facebook Messenger, I will read Whatsapp after March 8 (when we go back to Townsville, Australia).

Thank you for your support and prayers! I'll keep you updated!

February 23, 2020

3 Comments

  1. Saskia

    So cool!! Enjoy, because time flies when you are having fun xx

  2. Piet

    Hi Daphne,
    All very special. I am increasingly jealous of this special adventure.
    All blessings there and together,
    Piet

  3. Erik van Halsema

    Hi Daphne,
    Great to read what you are going through. Thank you for applying your medical skills again!
    greeting,
    Erik van Halsema

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