During one of the transition time between one of our outreaches, our volunteers realized that the clinics were lacking a focus on God. They were about to start their second to last outreach in Bougainville, a beautiful and historically complicated island in Papua New Guinea when they felt like they needed God to guide them.
As we prepared for outreach, our leaders recognized that the physical and spiritual needs were too big for us to handle on our own. We all prayed and brainstormed ideas for how to truly meet the needs of the people.
The week of clinics at the Lemanmanu Health Clinic was a consistent evolution of little tweaks from tarps for more rain and sun protection to daily programs of preaching and health teachings.
We also saw how the Lord led the right patients to the right people for care:
Paul, a dignified seventy-four year old patient had come in on Monday for an extensive sore on his foot that was infected and caused him to walk with a crutch. Our Norwegian primary care physician, Dr. Harold Salbu, drained the wound, cleaned it, prescribed antibiotics that were filled by our pharmacy clinic and asked him to come back the next day. Paul came back to the clinic every day to have the wound checked and re-dressed. By Friday, he was walking without his crutch and without pain.
Emily West, who used to be a nurse in a Burn Unit, treated several patients with severe burns. One fifteen-year-old girl who had her arm in a sling had been badly burned from her shoulder down to her hand. After digging in our wound care box, Emily found a specific kind of burn cream that not only helped the girl but also eased some of the pain.
Then during church, our captain heard about a man who needed medical attention for a machete wound. He called Sierra Cloer and Katie Cooper, two nurses to come from the ship to the shore immediately to take care of the wounds. However, when the two nurses arrived they found that it wasn’t just one man with wounds but a group of four!
Due to the extensive nature of their wounds, Sierra and Katie called in our dentist, Luis Choy, to come assist with suturing the injuries on their heads, ribs, and sides. Because we stayed an extra week there, the medical team was able to do follow up care to make sure no infection set in and the team was able to build more relationships with the men and their families in the area.
With back pain being a major issue, our team also got creative by making health teachings that focused on stretching and proper lifting techniques. From little kids to the adults, every patient and volunteer stretched during the lunch hour program. During this time, there was also a lot of prayer for healing and release from pain.
YWAM Ships Kona