YWAM Ship Update: Day 9

This morning the dental team joined the optometry and primary health teams to teach at the local primary school. We worked together to test vision, assess teeth and teach general health promotion. Simple things like hand hygiene and proper teeth brushing can have a great impact on the health of the community. If the students learn about health, they can teach their families and future families ways to prevent disease and improve quality of life. This school was filled with wide-eyed pikinini (children) between the ages of 12 and 17. Dorothy, the teacher we met a few days ago, was there to welcome us and assist us. The school itself sat about 200 feet from the beach and the waves crashing on the shore could be heard as the teachers spoke. After we finished our education and screenings, the children stood up and sang their national anthem for us. Papua New Guinea has one of the most beautiful national anthems:

O arise all you sons of this land,
Let us sing of our joy to be free,
Praising God and rejoicing to be
Papua New Guinea.
Shout our name from the mountains to seas
Papua New Guinea;
Let us raise our voices and proclaim
Papua New Guinea.
Now give thanks to the good Lord above
For His kindness, His wisdom and love
For this land of our fathers so free,
Papua New Guinea.
Shout again for the whole world to hear
Papua New Guinea;
We’re independent and we’re free,
Papua New Guinea.
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Teaching about good health at the school.

We made it back to the ship and I got to spend the day with the patients again. Most of the patients today were the kiddos who were triaged from the school. They couldn’t speak english that well, so we passed the time by hitting balloons and playing dominos with Jenga pieces. Pari was also there waiting for his uncle to get out of eye surgery. He brought us eight coconuts. It was good to see him again. He said that he will be back tomorrow with his uncle for post-op check up. I love how he looks out for his family. He has patiently waited on the ship several hours everyday this week to ensure that they are not alone. The day was long and we didn’t end until around 6:00 p.m. One of our clinic leaders is sick. Please pray for her recovery.

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Pari and me on the back of the ship.

After dinner a group from the boat went to the village to show the Jesus movie translated to Pidgin. I got to see a cluster of younger girls who I have gotten to know throughout the week. We talked and danced together. I have learned a lot from them. They give generously in their love and gifts. Two sisters, who I met at church last Sunday, gave me mangos, and a couple of necklaces. Another gave me a bilam, which is a bag made of colored fishing string. In exchange, I was able to give them some headbands and bracelets. When I asked them about Jesus, most of them where able to tell me that they know Him and what their favorite verse is in the Bible. I pray that these young girls will grow up knowing that they are loved by a King and that they can make a difference in the world. They have impacted my world.

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