Israel Yasaking was born and raised in Teptep, a small village nestled in the mountains of Madang Province, Papua New Guinea. When Israel was a young boy, his father died leaving behind a wife, two daughters and another son who also tragically passed away. Adversity was something Israel was well familiar with and he learned quickly growing up to turn to God in prayer when faced with life’s challenges.
Living in a small village Israel was unable to receive an education, but he was given a Bible by a primary school teacher. Equipped with a Bible and an English-Pidgin Dictionary, Israel was able to learn basic English. Israel recalls that being given a Bible made such a huge difference in his life.
In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter four, we read about Jesus calling his first disciples. They are busy going about a normal day of work as fisherman. But when Jesus calls them they leave their nets, boats and family behind and immediately get up to follow him. For Israel, this story became a reality.
One day Israel was listening to the radio and he heard two men talking about YWAM Ships and the work it was doing in Madang with the m/v PACIFIC LINK — a medical and training ship. In that moment he heard God call him go to the ship to serve with YWAM. Just like the first disciples, Israel left family and everything he was familiar with to follow God’s call.
Israel walked three days and three nights with no sleep through the bush and mountains to make his way to the Madang coastline. From the coast he traveled 100 km by boat to reach Madang city. Upon arrival to the m/v PACIFIC LINK he spoke to one of the volunteers and was then introduced to interim ship manager John Mark Wheeler, who decided to give Israel a one-week trial as a deckhand.
Since then Israel has continued to prove himself as a member of the YWAM Ships team. He has been granted the opportunity to receive training at the local Maritime college in Madang to receive a certificate. Israel is happy to see the work that YWAM Ships is doing to help with the development of Papua New Guinea in teaching the people about the word of God, alongside providing necessary medical services. His dream is to become a chief mate and to continue serving with YWAM Ships.
YWAM Ships Kona is accepting donations for the PNG Mariner Support Fund. The fund is intended to assist marine crew like Israel to continue working full-time on the live-in ship that has 50 beds on board. To donate to the PNG Mariner Support Fund, click below.
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