It’s a wet day in March when the YWAM team visits a tiny village off the coast of Western Province, Papua New Guinea. They are there alongside the Middle Fly District Health team to continue building upon the efforts of previous outreaches, bringing primary health care, dental, optometry and educational services to the small community.
As the rain clears, the village community centre begins to fill with residents. Joyous greetings are exchanged between locals and team members, highlighting the personal relationships which are forged through service over time.
A village elder calls, ‘My son! My son! You have returned to me!’ as he runs across the grass to YWAM volunteer refraction worker, Steven Fapa. His delight at Steven’s return is palpably expressed – through his tears and his heartfelt embrace.
Steven shares that during a previous visit, he had assessed the elder’s eyesight. After determining the man’s prescription, Steven provided a pair of glasses to improve his sight.
In a later conversation, Steven shared his passion for helping people in rural areas, ‘Many people in remote parts of PNG can’t improve their eyesight, whether it’s for prescription glasses or reading glasses. After receiving prescribed glasses, it’s like opening a window and being able to see in close or far distances.’
Steven describes YWAM’s impact on his life, sharing ‘Working with an international organisation like YWAM has expanded my knowledge and I am learning new things.’