DTS Team Puts On Medical Clinic In Lae Atoll
The YWAM Ships Kona outreach team currently in the Marshall Islands sailed 20 hours earlier this month to bring medical care to the archipelago of Lae Atoll. The team — part of the Discipleship Training School that began at Port YWAM Kona in April — did clinical work as part of its two months of assistance to the Pacific-island nation. Members of the team said they felt just as well served even as they were of service.
“They want to give you everything you could ever want or need,” said Emily Potter, one of the team’s leaders. “They are people who understand what it means to serve like Jesus.”
Lukas Späth, a student from Germany, said the hospitality of Lae’s residents is constant.
“The people of Lae are very humble, generous, and very loving,” Späth, 20, said. “Wherever you would go, they would welcome you with a smile and offer you a coconut.”
The team spent eight days in Lae bringing health care to one smallest political jurisdictions in the Pacific Islands. Fewer than 400 people live on the corral atoll, and access to health services there is scarce.
“They are definitely in need of any sort of medical care — i.e., a fully trained doctor — as well as a lot of supplies like antibiotics and a properly-equipped hospital,” Späth said. “Also, basic medical education would prevent a lot of problems — that being heavily infected wounds and diabetes.”
Members of the team brought antibiotics and oils. Prior to the team’s arrival to Lae, those treatments were nowhere to be found there. The team also provided eyeglasses to residents. YWAM Ships partner Katie Suderno — who sailed from Port YWAM Kona to the Marshall Islands in April with her husband Scott and their two children — trained the team in first-aid practices. Members of the team were taught to clean infections and wounds properly and bandage them.
Joseph Bradshaw, a 20-year-old student on the team, was struck by the lack of access Lae’s residents had to basic medical help.
“I would say their greatest need is health care. Diabetes runs rampant in the adults, and a little bit of education would do wonders for their lifestyle,” said Bradshaw, of Idaho. “We need more doctors and dentist to invest in the Marshallese.”
Photos by Christopher Michel and Emily Potter.