(photo credit: YWAM Medical Ships – I Want to Live)
It’s been a long time coming… and Ryan is finally on outreach in PNG on the YWAM Medical Ship where we have teams of dentists, nurses, doctors, optometrists, and primary health care workers, as well as Discipleship Training School students all working together to serve the people of the Gulf Province.
After a week in Port Moresby (the capital) and then a 24-hour sail this weekend, the ship arrived in the Gulf just in time for Easter. Ryan and the teams attended church, spent time enjoying Easter Sunday with the locals, and then dove into the first day of clinics today. Just today the Primary Health Care team saw roughly 70 patients and the Dental Team saw another 70 or so patients. (No “official” stats as of yet.)
To give you a better idea of some of the fruit of the ship ministry, here are the official stats from our first two-week outreach (of 2011) that was completed a week ago:
- Served 13 villages.
- 1459 primary health care and dental services provided.
- 776 people attended education seminars.
- Gave away 1069 resources (toothbrushes, mosquito nets, etc.) and that number doesn’t even include Bibles given away!
Isn’t that incredible?! To think that teams of volunteer medical professionals and YWAMers of all ages acheived this in a two-week timespan is almost unbelievable. But they did! Our friends, working side-by-side with our God, are making an awesome difference in the lives of so many grateful people.
Ryan is leading the second outreach of this year, and we hope to continue to pour into these communities in similar ways to the first outreach.
Please pray with us:
- for the teams
- for the services provided
- for access into the villages who are most in need
- for the ongoing maintenance and running of the ship (mechanically, financially, and administratively)
- for Ryan as he leads this outreach
- and for Jesus to make an eternal impact on every single person we serve
And now getting personal:
On a more personal note, Ryan is enjoying being on outreach! Being in the nations and serving cross-culturally is one of the biggest reasons that we even feel called to minister in YWAM… so you can imagine how refreshing it is to actually be out there doing the work himself (instead of just training and sending others, which is also a great privilege).
Today he spent a few hours playing with a young boy who has multiple sclerosis in order to give his mum a break from her full-time caregiving while she went to the pharmacy and gathered more supplies. No doubt Ryan was blessed by this little boy as much as he was able to bless the little boy and his mum.
The living quarters on board the ship are cramped and close, but Ryan’s been given a wonderful tiny room to call his own and he’s plastering it with photos of the family that I snuck into his suitcase before he left (one envelop with a photo to open each day). He’s told me it’s helping him to feel more at home and comforted as he hits the pillow each night.
At the moment he has phone reception so we’ve been able to hear from him briefly every day so far, whether by text or call. We’ve even had a couple of phone calls between Levi and Daddy and I’m pretty sure those are Ryan’s favorite. We’re not sure how long the reception will last for (praying it’s the whole outreach!!) but we’re grateful for it as long as we have it!
We all miss each other terribly but God is good and He is our Sustainer. Ryan will be gone another two-and-a-half weeks… and I’d be lying if I said we’re not counting down the days. 🙂 But despite our missing each other we are so glad for the opportunity to do what we love (even if it is just part of the family “out there”!).
Levi and I (and baby) are also doing well. I’m hugging him a little tighter and stretching out our bedtime songs a little longer… and thanking God that we are never alone.
We’ll be glad to be back together again soon. Thank you for upholding us in prayer during this important time.
Adriel (& the boys)