Nine months ago, I found myself standing in a small costal village in East coast Papua New Guinea with a desire to write down what I was seeing. Here is what flowed from that moment. There are many little miracles we witness each day, and if we are not careful to enjoy them, or write them down, we may miss out on witnessing some of the Fathers Hope and Joy.
All of a sudden, the room went quiet. It was as if for a moment, time itself stood still and everything slowed down. Across the room I could see the lips of the volunteers moving as they spoke to the locals, pointing to body parts in a mime of discovering where it hurt. I could see a child in the corner held tightly in mother’s arms as it was immunised by the Australian nurse, though I could not hear the scream that left his lungs. There was one sound- unlike anything I’d heard before that day- whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. Like a fan underwater. My eyes searched the room to locate the strange sound- where was it coming from? My eyes then stopped in the far left corner, upon a woman lying prone on the cold cement floor. Her hands were drawn to her mouth, an unusual mix of joy and embarrassment and fear filled her eyes. Above her our midwife from England smiled marvellously as she worked gently on the woman’s swollen belly. That’s when I realised- the sound was a heartbeat, and the sound meant life.
Most of the women in rural PNG don’t have access to simple equipment like a doppler that amplifies the heartbeat. They carry on in pregnancy, unsure of what is happening to their child, only knowing that it is growing if the belly continues to swell. And then the labour pains start and they deliver, praying to God their baby will be well and that they will recover. The joy on the mothers face meant more than just the shock of hearing the heartbeat. It was filled with love for her unborn child. It was proof of the life of her unborn child. And most powerfully, it meant hope for her child.
In another village, on another day, two twin girls were brought to us, less that 1 day old, who were born in the village, without basic medical assistance by one very strong mother. They were perfect and I thanked God for the gift of life. I immunised them, cuddled them, and prayed over them. It was more than something routine, it was an opportunity to speak further life. To speak blessing, and to empower hope in their lives. My time with YWAM ships was more than just doing what I do 9-5 in another city, in another country, at another time. It was powerful because it sparked something that was not easily destroyed. It brought hope, and it brought life. Life changing hope. Life changing life. We don’t just come and give and go home again. We empower, we serve and we bring joy. That mother, and many others like her that have heard their unborn babies heart beat, have had hope for a future sparked in their hearts. Those babies and many more that received immunisations have been given a change to do well in life.
These gifts are immeasurable, and having seen them impact lives, I can testify that wherever hope prevails there is always a future and a life. Jesus calls us to be kind, to love our neighbours, as we love ourselves, and to honour the Lord in all we do, But we must have Ears to Hear, willing to do what Jesus has called us all to do. So go, take the Spirit of the Lord with you, and speak life.
“For where the spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom” 2 Corinthians 3:17.