In the spirit of Valentines Day, over 100 volunteers aboard the YWAM Medical Ship have sent their love to their home port, Townsville, from Western Province in Papua New Guinea.
Townsville has just been through a major flooding disaster – over 1 metre of rain fell in a week, it is the worst flooding disaster in Townsville’s history with whole suburbs going under water.
So far, more than 1,000 homes in Townsville have been deemed severely damaged or are completely ruined, street after street is filled with people’s destroyed belongings in their front yard. It has been a difficult time for many people across the city.
The YWAM Medical Ships team of 107 volunteers from 13 nations gathered to take a team photo holding the sign, “We ♥️ Townsville!”
YWAM Medical Ships volunteer, Dr Sarah Dunn, said that the photo was taken to help express that their love is with Townsville right now as the city goes from the big wet to the big clean up.
“Townsville is the MV YWAM PNG’s home port, we would not be serving remote communities in Papua New Guinea right now without the support Townsville has given over so many years.
“From free wharfage to volunteers, to hundreds of generous businesses – Townsville has helped make the vision a reality, and literally hundreds of people in remote communities benefit from the city’s generosity on a daily basis.
“We have been following the news from up here and are devastated to see what the city is going through right now. The photo we took yesterday was our small way of saying – our hearts are with you Townsville!”
The team is currently serving remote villages along the Fly River, Western Province alongside local health teams. 27 Townsville residents or students residing in Townsville are currently aboard.
A special highlight from the week was treating 97-year-old PNG veteran who served with both PNG and Australian defence forces during WWII. The man who had had a stroke and was housebound in his village, a ways up a river. The YWAM team ventured out to do a home visit and found a well cared for elderly gentleman proudly wearing his Australia – PNG medal on his t-shirt. His family had carried him outside into the fresh air where the team, including a Townsville physiotherapist, assessed him and provided some education and exercises to help improve his mobility.
The man’s story is a heart-warming reminder of Australia and Papua New Guinea’s special bond!