In December last year, YWAM Medical Ships – Australia (YWAM MSA) purchased a new Training and Medical Ship for Papua New Guinea, the MV YWAM PNG.
It had been a dream on many hearts for a long time – including Dorothy and Kaiki – who collected the very first donation toward the MV YWAM PNG from Kapuna Hospital patients and surrounding villages two years ago.
Dorothy and Kaiki are staff members at Kapuna, a rural hospital in the Gulf Province.
Kapuna is not your average hospital; nestled in the dense jungle of the Wame River, they are the only hospital within paddling distance for 15,000 people.
Kapuna’s daily battle is tuberculosis, maternal and infant mortality, isolation and limited resources. Their resilience, perseverance, commitment, and love for the Gulf people is inspiring.
During YWAM MSA’s visit to Kapuna in 2013 with their former vessel, the MV Pacific Link, the ship’s leadership team shared with the Kapuna staff about the dream for a new ship that would have the capacity for an operating theatre, laboratory, training facilities, and small boats that could transport teams on the field to multiple remote locations at once. Kapuna united with YWAM MSA in the dream.
Dorothy and Kaiki were so compelled to see the vision become a reality that they decided to collect donations amongst the hospital patients and surrounding villages for the new vessel.
“We wanted YWAM’s services to continue – it has been a big help to our people since the ship has been coming here – we know so many blind people that can now see because of YWAM’s eye surgeries.”
“I travelled to villages surrounding the hospital and shared with the local mothers about the need and asked if they could give, even if it was just twenty toea.”
“We had only a day to get a donation together – I was so surprised to see the amount of people that gave in such a short time – the men even started giving and very sick patients, they all wanted to give,” said Dorothy.
The following day Dorothy and Kaiki arranged a special ceremony at Kapuna Hospital where they would present their donation to YWAM MSA. Mamas from the surrounding villages traveled to join for the ceremony.
Together they danced in traditional costume and prayed a blessing over YWAM Medical Ships as they presented a donation of over K2,000 (approx 1,000 AUD) for the new vessel.
“We have never fundraised like that before – overnight we raised big money. To see mothers give their coins from their sago was amazing,” said Dorothy.
YWAM MSA Managing Director, Ken Mulligan, said he was humbled and thankful to receive the donation.
“It is incredibly special to know that the very first donation we received for the MV YWAM PNG was from a group of mothers in the Gulf Province; out of having so little, they gave so much.”
“To me it speaks of the cry that is within the people’s hearts – to overcome isolation – to have hope. This group of mothers contributed something deeply significant on the journey to secure this new ship for PNG,” said Mr Mulligan.
Dorothy and Kaiki visited the ship for the first time last week while it was anchored a few hours dingy ride away from Kapuna Hospital.
As they saw the vessel on the horizon from their dingy – their hearts leaped with excitement.
“This ship is the biggest thing I’ve ever seen. After being onboard today I don’t think our donation was a waste! When you come to Kapuna we will plan a big celebration!” said Kaiki.
As Kaiki and Dorothy got into their dingy for their journey home, Kaiki said, “I have joy knowing that the women from this place had a part in buying this ship – I am thankful to God that he gave us money to give.”