The youngest of 7 children, Fleming was kicked out of school in Year 9 for stealing. He quickly fell in with the wrong crowd.
A normal day for Fleming would usually consist of a morning cigarette, some drugs, and then hanging out with his gang. They would spend hours drinking, hassling people, or sometimes taking control of a street.
When Fleming first saw the YWAM Medical Ship, charity from “foreigners” was the last thing on his mind.
“I was used to seeing white people who didn’t care about us,” he says. “They would come to PNG as tourists to see how we lived, but then go home and drive their fancy cars.”
Much to Fleming’s surprise, the people on board the ship were “different”.
“The way they walked and talked. The way they built relationships and explained things to me. I was seeing people who earned $100,000 a year give it up to help us. That really blew my mind.”
Within weeks of meeting the volunteers, Fleming wanted to be a part of the team, a decision that was easier said than done.
Twice, Fleming was beaten because the “boys” didn’t approve of his new lifestyle. There was also the temptation of accessing drugs and alcohol in his neighbourhood.
Leaving behind his old life seemed impossible.
It was the unwavering support of the ship crew and a growing relationship with God that Fleming credits for helping him get through this period of transition. The harsh reality of a life with his “boys” also played a major role in his move.
“If I stayed, I would have died,” he says. “No question about that.”
Fleming is a changed man now. For four years, he has been volunteering as a deckhand on board the YWAM Medical Ship. Fleming also joined YWAM’s staff team last year. He now has a heart to help other people overcome the impossible as he did.
“I want to give the youth in PNG something to live for. My main goal is to make them aware and go, ‘Hey. Life is really important and if you don’t know your part, someone knows your part, and God will help you.’ ”
“All my life I have done bad things to people,” he says. “Now I want to help people.”
The MV Ammari will help us reach more people like Fleming! Will you donate today? Go to: www.overcomeimpossible.org.au to make a donation and help us “Overcome The Impossible” in PNG!