Up the river from Rumginae a couple of hours is a village high up on a bank commanding a beautiful view. It was the location of my Aid Post visit with the health worker, Bamson.
The people were warm and friendly, enjoying the health education and getting screened for TB. Bamson appreciated the support of his ongoing work in the village.
But they have no pastor. Most people are following the “Rainbow Church” cult, based on an enthusiastic founder – although an ECPNG church had been there before.
One evening I shared with the family on “Why did Jesus come?” from Marks’s gospel. They discussed enthusiastically and expressed a desire to have fellowship again. Pray for them
PNG is changing rapidly with a big influx of oil and mine companies, creating employment, but looking for preferential treatment for their workers. There are also many social issues increasing, with land ownership disputes, marriage problems with men working away from home and alcohol abuse. There is rising teenage pregnancy, unsupervised deliveries, violence against women, environmental damage, incomplete TB treatment, directionless youth and blaming sickness on sorcery. Meantime there is still only 1 doctor for 20,000 people and it is difficult to keep staff in the remote bush aid posts.
What we Need :
Some oil company people on an exploratory visit knocked on the doctor’s door on Friday.
I was in the middle of trying to organise transport home for a sick lady before she died and needing to see a sick girl on the ward.
We are having a number of visits from oil companies setting up their exploration in our area. These ones seemed to think they should be seen right away, because they gave us a box of medicines on their last visit.
It has taken us by surprise. We are having an influx of people sick with HIV: some very sick. Last year my focus was on implementing good TB care and learning about drug- resistant TB. But now we are having a wake-up call about HIV. Pray for us we address prevention and provide treatment. It is an exciting witness.
So in these changing times, what do we really need? Not much of this is solved by money or things. A box of medicines is not going to fix our problems. For us at Rumginae it does mean seeing how we can work better with our potential donors. But more important, it means focusing again on our main priority.
Rumginae hospital was set up as a ministry to rural people – training community health workers, treating sick people and evangelism. Now there are doctors at the district hospital in the nearby town and we can refer patients for more complex care. We want to get back to basics of doing community health well – but move our activities to what the changing needs are.
The greatest resource is people who love God. Pray that Rumginae staff will have hearts that want to serve. Jesus came to the outcasts and needy “for it is the sick that need a doctor”.