MADANG, Papua New Guinea — The m/v PACIFIC LINK arrived here Monday after a three-day sail from Port Moresby. The 50-bed medical vessel is embarking on a series of two-week outreaches that are to continue until taking a break in July. Ship manager Julie McLaughlin said the trip to Madang was a pleasant one after having completed dry dock and sea trials earlier in the week.
Meanwhile McLaughlin and her team have been in discussions with local medical officials to arrange primary health care outreaches to villages in and around the outskirts of Madang. The talks are intended to determine the most effective strategy for providing care to impoverished Papua New Guineans. This month the volunteer crew aboard the ship will focus on serving the people of Madang.
“In addition to field clinics the medical crew of the PACIIFIC LINK will perform dentistry on board while docked in Madang,” McLaughlin said. She said Dr. Vincent Atua, a local physician from Madang and CEO of the hospital, has proved to be an eager bridge-builder connecting YWAM Ships with a wide range of health care workers who might serve aboard the ship over the coming months.
For now, McLaughlin said University of the Nations students on their field assignments from various Youth With A Mission campuses around the world will be assisting the ship’s medical crew in registering patients.
“It takes an international effort of volunteers who freely give of their time to make something this like possible,” McLaughlin said. “Working hand-in-hand with local volunteers is a highlight for many of our team.”
McLaughlin said the PACIFIC LINK crew has receiving numerous testimonies about the positive influence YWAM has had on the nation. She said the ministry’s reputation has proved an asset to the growing partnership between YWAM Ships and Papua New Guinea.
“During the meeting today, two of the key doctors were telling stories of YWAM and how it had impacted them,” Mclaughlin said. “One doctor’s son had been on the PACIFIC LINK in Daru earlier. They were great advocates for us today.”