87% of the population live in rural areas
1 dentist for every 100,000 people
Five women die in childbirth every day
1 in 13 children die before their fifth birthday
94% of the population live in malaria affected areas
Someone dies from Tuberculosis every two hours
Four years ago, I had the privilege of visiting the nation that these statistics represent – Papua New Guinea. It was my first time leading a team in cross-cultural missions, and as I met the beautiful people of this nation, I knew that not only would this experience but these people would forever change my life.
Now four years later, I am engaging with this nation again, albeit in a very different way.
Nearly two weeks ago, my dear friend Faith and I ventured up north to Townsville to connect and learn for our upcoming Ship Tour in Newcastle at the end of September. YWAM Australia has what is called YWAM Medical Ships Australia (YWAM MSA), and for the past five years, the MV Pacific Link has been offering medical services to the people in PNG in the most remote areas. Now as this 34-year-old ship is due to retire next year, this incredible vessel, the MV Ammari, will take over.
The MV Ammari will tour the east coast of Australia for the next several months, stopping in Newie for 3 weeks. The tour is called “Overcoming the Impossible“, and as we engage with this theme, we are coming up with our own “Impossible” challenges.
Faith and I have decided to do 3 weeks of a challenge on our own before inviting our broader community into another 3 weeks, all leading up to the ship’s arrival.
What’s our “Impossible”?
6 weeks without sugar, as defined by desserts, candy and sugary drinks.
I’m nervously excited for this challenge. I am excited because it literally does feel a bit impossible for two reasons.
1) I have an insane sweet tooth
2) My birthday is next week.
A birthday without cake? It’s an impossible I’m willing to face because I was forever changed by those beautiful people in PNG who are facing all sorts of impossibles every day.
I’ll try and update as we go, but in the meantime, I’d encourage you to check out more with YWAM MSA. Here’s a video about the tour to start with.