When we left for outreach in July, we thought the second half of our time would be spent on board the s/y Ruach, YWAM Newcastle’s medical ship, in Papua New Guinea. We were really excited about this opportunity and were looking forward to being a part of the s/y Ruach’s first mission in PNG.
However, as the time for us to leave for PNG came closer, it became clear that our plans would have to change.
With extra preparations needed before the Ruach could set sail, we had to put into action a plan B!
We were still going to stay in the city of Alotau, but now at the YWAM campus that opened in January 2017, rather than aboard the s/y Ruach. This turned out to be such a blessing to our team! When we arrived there was another DTS team from YWAM Kona staying as well. We quickly formed friendships with them and loved hearing stories about their ministry while here in PNG. This was really encouraging and helped us to transition into our new environment quickly and smoothly. They were an all generations team of 18 people from 11 different nations! We loved sharing testimonies and getting to know the local people they had already befriended.
A part of our ministry here at YWAM Alotau has been to run a play school for the local pre-school aged children. Julie, a member of staff here at YWAM Alotau, has had the vision for this campus to run a government registered pre-school, meeting the needs of the local children and equipping them for elementary school.
We, as a team, put our various skills into practice and worked together to start running a children’s ministry program, each weekday morning at the YWAM Alotau campus.
We based our sessions around Bible stories such as Noah’s Ark, and Daniel in the Lion’s Den. The first week we had around 5-6 children attending each day. They loved the stories and activities, and particularly enjoyed the children’s ministry action songs we taught them. It was great fun!
The following weekend we attended a local church, and shared with the Pastor there about the children’s ministry we were leading. As a result, he passed the word around about the program we were providing. The next Monday morning 25 children turned up for play school!
This initially caught us off guard, but God provided and we had a blast, teaching the children the fun action songs, reading and acting out Bible stories, and building relationships with both the children and the parents/carers who brought them. We even had some local volunteers who came to help us run the school. God is such a good provider.
As this week progressed, Julie saw the Lord bringing together her prayers and her plans.
She set up meetings between our YWAM team and the local volunteers, creating the opportunity for us to pass on our ideas and strategies to them so that after our team leaves, the local ladies will be prepared and equipped to keep running the school.
We have been so blessed to be a key part of starting this ministry at the YWAM Alotau campus, and love how God always knows what He is doing, even when we don’t think things are going according to our plan. As they say here in Papua New Guinea: “God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good!” Amen!
by Amy McCallum
YWAM Newcastle April Classic DTS Student