A year packed full of action.
Friends – it’s been a while….and what an exciting while it’s been! The last few months have been packed so full of action, that even I've had a hard time keeping up with it all.
I’ve spent most of this year up in Papua New Guinea as part of our Medical Team on board the MV Pacific Link. I’ve been leading our optometry clinic team and also travelled up to the highlands as the guest speaker on a Discipleship Training School (DTS) run for nationals. I had visited this YWAM base up in Yonki the last two years with teams that I've led, so it was a joy to go back and be able to continue to encourage this amazing group of people. In Yonki there is no electricity, toilets or showers, so I was living the way that many Papua New Guineans do on a daily basis.
I spoke on Missions and arrived to find that they had 22 hours of lectures slotted in for me to teach! Let's just say that it was a busy week, but I loved the challenge and it was a wonderful committed group of students. I was privileged to be able to encourage them in their walk with God and inspire them to live their lives devoted to him.
As many of you know YWAM Townsville has recently acquired a new vessel on a lease-to-buy agreement. We have already raised 1.8 million and are in need of a further 4.7 million before the purchase date in December. Positive discussions are ongoing with those in positions of influence, and we would love your prayers for break through and closure during this time. This new vessel, the Ammari, is currently on a tour of the East Coast of Australia. The motto of the tour is “Overcoming the Impossible,” with the aim of raising awareness for PNG and calling volunteers and partners to get connected.
As well as the optometry team we have a primary health care team (doctors, midwives, and nurses), a dentistry team, and also a community engagement team on board. In many of the villages we've visited our community engagement team has been able to install or repair water tanks, distribute mosquito nets, meet with village leaders and church leaders, run Bible studies and men's and women's groups, and present many health teachings. Training continues to be a major focus of the Ship as we desire to bring a wholistic change to communities and help see development take place physically, mentally, and spiritually.
There are so many more where this came from.
A favourite story from yesterday (at time of writing) was a little girl who arrived with her father having paddled a few hours to find us after hearing the Ship was down river. A few weeks back this little one had cut her eye on a tall blade of grass and it was still obviously painful and unhealed. We were able to provide her with medication to assist the healing, and to find her some sunglasses to bring relief from the discomfort. They were delighted and so grateful and it was wonderful to be in a position to help with prevention. We see so many children with a similar story who have lost their sight and it’s a joy to know this little one will have a different story.
And a time of transition.
Time has flown and in the last few weeks outreaches up in Papua New Guinea have wrapped up for the season and with that, a major change is happening in my life. I have tried to share with many of you individually, but if you haven’t yet heard, I’ll be finishing up my time with YWAM Townsville in the near future. Yes – you heard that right. After eleven years with this amazing ministry I feel that God is stirring something new in my heart and it is very bitter sweet that this time is drawing to a close. I love what we do, and this nation of PNG is a place I consider to be a second home. Through much prayer and guidance over the last few years, I feel confident that God is leading me on at this time. I’m thankful for my leadership in Townsville through this process, as well as from my home church in Canada and I am prayerfully continuing to seek God in each step of the journey.
In November I’ll begin a few month sabbatical rest period, where I’ll spend time refreshing, processing, seeking God, and praying into this next season of life and ministry. During this time I’ll be staying with a few of my good friends, and also visiting various ministries and locations. In the New Year I will be making decisions as to the next steps God has for me. I appreciate your continued love and support even more than normal in this season. As you can imagine I truly have a deep seeded peace from the Lord. But, in the midst of that, the reality of the unknowns are certainly confronting and scary, as I step away from the life I’ve known for the last decade into the new things God has.
If have any questions or would like to know more, I would really love to catch-up! During this period of transition I will continue to trust God for finances for the coming few months. I will keep you updated during this time as I move forward.
Thank you again so very much for your love, prayers, and support.