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Accessible only by helicopter or 4 wheel drive vehicle KIVORI - POE village is located in a very remote area of Papua New Guinea. Over three hours west of Port Moresby the nation’s capital. The village is one of many along the coastline. It is estimated some 6000 families live in the area.
Operation Food for Life identified an urgent need for a Christian Early Learning School to serve the villages of the area, aware that at least 60 children, most who had no education, would immediately benefit from the school plant.
With a temporary “bush school” build, two qualified teachers ready to commence, all was in readiness to welcome students for the first term.
With Jim Hawkins, our Vice President, Phillip and Maureen Vaki (who are our incredible PNG Directors for our humanitarian work and ministry in the country,) travelled to the school for the memorable opening ceremony. We were totally overwhelmed when enrolments reached 120 children. ...and still counting as this goes to press.
Education is free for the children who live in very poor communities.
The local village Chief stated "he had been praying for a long time for a Christian school to educate the children, paying tribute to Operation Food for Life’s commitment to Christian education to educate children who live in poor communities. You are also giving these children hope in Christ filled classrooms. Thank you. Thank you" the chief said.
During this year Operation Food for Life will build a permanent two classroom facility with an additional first aid room to serve the school and the community. Jim Hawkins is managing this project. This will be Jims second build for Operation Food for Life having managed the construction for our Born Free Sanctuary which is providing 24/7 care for many children at risk and less fortunate. Thank you Jim for transforming so many lives you touch through Operation Food for Life.
The new school is another welcomed addition to all our humanitarian programs and projects in Papua New Guinea. This includes our first three teacher Operation Food for Life Rob and Jan Patterson Christian Literacy School in Wildlife Port Moresby which has 120 children enrolled this year.
We praise God for his leading and abundant blessings upon our hands and feet, as all our volunteers give ourselves away above self-interest to serve others of less fortunate circumstances.
4th February 2017
Prisoners at Bomana Maximum Unit Church of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea can now finally worship in the comfort of cool blowing air.
This morning at 11am, OFFL President Dennis Perry and Vice President Jim Hawkins donated two industrial sized fans purchased at a total cost of K1,400. It was only one week ago, in which OFFL international volunteers ministered at the Prison and it was clearly evident by the volunteers that the prisoners have been worshipping in extreme (heat) conditions.
‘Donating fans is consistent with OFFL’s ministry of feeding spiritually, emotionally, and physically to those in need’, President Perry stated. Perry further iterated that ‘without the distraction of the heat, the prisoners can now be able to focus more on the word of God during church service’.
The Bomana Maximum Unit Prison Church is located within the maximum unit area and housed in a small brick building built most likely during the colonial period. The building usually caters up to 40 prisoners, often reaching up to 70 present and combined with the year-round hot and dry weather, prisoners experience extreme heat while worshipping.
Picture: The rundown brick ‘house’ used by the Bomana Prisoners as a church to worship
Now into the 4th year of constant use our team last week (Feb 1-3, 2017) undertook a quick paint of the main classroom, installed new fans and provided bricks to be used to enclose a new classroom. Classes commence today with 113 children enrolled.
28th January 2017
‘Remember your Past - what God has allowed you to go through, your present, where God has now brought you and your future - what purpose he has for you’ was the powerful message delivered by former inmate turned evangelist Operation Food For Life’s (OFFL) Country Director Phillip Vaki this weekend in front of 70 plus prisoners and volunteers this weekend at Papua New Guinea’s Bomana Maximum Prison Unit.
This weekend’s visit at Bomana’s Maximum Prison Unit marks OFFL’s first Papua New Guinea (PNG) international volunteer visit in 2017. Together with leaders of OFFL from Sydney, Australia the international volunteers on this visit include some new volunteers. They are visiting Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea to observe and take part in some of OFFL’s core ministry activities. This brief visit commenced on Saturday 28th November 2017 to which the in-country and international volunteers have so far visited and ministered at various places. Fruits funded by Donors were distributed to prisoners at Bomana Maximum Prison Unit while donated stuffed animals were given to the physically and mentally challenged at The Cheshire Homes. Volunteers and donors also took time to visit the recently built and refurbished Born Free Sanctuary Home build for homeless, abused, and neglected children.
The brief visit is expected to last for a few more days through which more visits will be undertaken. OFFL Executives are also expected to meet and plan for the 2017 activities. Steven Matainaho
Figure 1: Donor/Volunteer and newly appointed OFFL Vice President Jim Hawkins looks on to the preacher along with the rest of the prisoners at the Bomana Maximum Security Prison Church, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (28/01/17)
Figure 2: International Volunteers worshipping together with Prisoners at Bomana Maximum Security Unit Church (28/01/2017)
Figure 3: International Volunteer shares and ministers with Prisoners at Bomana (28/01/17)
Figure 4: OFFL President Dennis Perry entertains a resident at Cheshire Homes before giving her the donated toy. She is physically disabled and therefore unable to sit up, walk, and talk (28/01/17)
Recently I went with OFFL to PNG as part of their yearly volunteer program.
I certainly was not prepared for the amazing experience that awaited me. I
had little knowledge about OFFL, their numerous projects and the huge impact
they have on the day to day lives of the many PNG peoples they visit and support.
I was away with OFFL for 9 days. Every day was an inspiration. Dennis and
David had arranged a full-on program so we were introduced to many aspects
of their ministry. We visited the Men's, women's and adolescence prison, the
general hospital children's and AIDS wards, the residential clinic for
people with severe disabilities, the villages near the dump and the people
living on the dump. I must admit I was overwhelmed at this site, the heat,
the smell, and the people with so very little. Yet they greeted us with
smiles, friendship and invited us to minister. We brought toys, shoes,
clothes, juice and dry food rations. They laughed and hugged us and appeared
very grateful for the little we could provide. I think OFFL provide a stable contribution to the little they have.
Another strong memory is the sanctuary opening day, Born Free. So much love
and money has gone into creating a safe place for the 28 kids that live
there under the care and guidance of Phillip and Maureen. The younger
children taught me, with much patience and laughter, some pidgin phases.
The small school OFFL support and sponsor, Jan and Rob Patterson School,
celebrated their 3rd birthday while we were there in September. The children
prepared songs and dance for us and we shared a HUGE cake. It was an amazing
day of joy and celebration and demonstrated how a community in Australia and elsewhere can support a community in PNG providing education and employment to a small village community.
The OFFL programs provide hope to the adults and children of PNG for a
better future, through ministry, food, shelter, education, moral guidance,
love and prayer.
Thank you for the amazing opportunity to share in the volunteer program. I
will certainly continue my cooking fund-raising to support the ministry of
OFFL and encourage others to get on board. OFFL makes a difference in the
lives of the most vulnerable citizens of our closest neighbour.
Junior Operation Food for Life Ambassadors, Lara Hawkins and Olivia Moreton,
have involved friends in their fund raising programs to benefit
disadvantaged children who live in the OFFL Born Free Sanctuary in Port
Moresby, Papua New Guinea. You can read about the Sanctuary on this website.
The photo included in this report reveals an incredible range of items they
were able to purchase for the children and young people. What a wonderful Christmas these
children and young people are going to have this year.
For many it will be their first Christmas living in a safe Christian residence, filled with love and hope. One which the children are proud to call home.
Thank you to all the donors and people who supported Lara, Olivia, and their friends in the fund raising campaigns.
With your help, we can do so much more to help children at risk in Papua New Guinea.
Many of whom, would face an uncertain future without the Born Free Sanctuary.
Donations for Australian residents are tax deductible.
Today (Sunday November 20, 2016) a container arrives in Port Moresby, Papua
New Guinea partly filled with donated items to be used/distributed by the
Operation Food for Life team in their work for others in need in this city
and its environs.
Executive Committee members and volunteers collected and loaded a large
variety of clothing and other donated items in Sydney just a few weeks ago.
12 November, 2016
‘Uniting of believers for God’s calling’ was ex-convict turned church Elder and PNG Operation Food for Life (OFFL) Director Philip Vaki’s spiritual message today at the Papua New Guinea’s Bomana Prison Minimum Security Unit (MSU).
Relatives of prisoners joined today with OFFL volunteers to take lead in the church service at the Bomana Prison MSU. OFFL Director Philip Vaki urged all prisoners to unite through Jesus Christ and that God’s calling was now. Church Service was followed by the usual physical feeding of the prisoners with fresh watermelon, pawpaw, banana, juice, and ice-cream. The prisoners’ daily diet is hard biscuit for breakfast and boiled brown rice with tinned-meat for lunch and dinner and as such it was evident that Bomana prisoners look forward to this treat.
In 2016 Bomana has had up to 50 female prisoners, 105 male at MSU, and 435 at the Main Unit making a total of 590 prisoners at one time. Prison ministries continues to make a major impact as it was recently found that 218 prisoners have found God over the last 10 years, partially as a result of the ongoing OFFL Prison ministry.
Steven & Esther Matainaho
PNG OFFL Director Philip Vaki sharing the word of God to prisoners and family members.
OFFL volunteer Mrs. Vaki sharing bananas with prisoner friends.
OFFL’s Born Free Sanctuary children and relatives of prisoners distributing fruits to prisoners.
Here are 2 stories of the 28 children cared for lovingly in a family
home setting at the OFFL Born Free Sanctuary in Port Moresby. Without the
Sanctuary all the children would face a very uncertain future.
Meet Marida age 14 (in blue school uniform) Marida comes from a broken home.
Her mother/grandmother found it very difficult indeed to provide for her and
other siblings. Jean (Daughter of Phillip and Maureen Vaki) found her at
school and befriended her by sharing her lunch and brought her to the
Operation Food for Life Born Free Sanctuary. Marida now has her own room and
bed. She is a Pioneer of the Sanctuary and has been living with the
Operation Food for Life family of God for 4 years. Marida is a top student
in school and wants to be a Pilot when she grows up. She jokes and says
"Attention please this is Captain Marida who will take you on Flight PX101
to your next destination, please fasten your seat belts and enjoy your
Meet Helen age 15 (in yellow and purple uniform). Her dad died when she was
5 and this made it very difficult for Helen's family to be adequately cared
for. Helen while growing up always prayed to God to provide a way for her to
go to school, a new home and a family that would care and love her. God
answered her prayer and she was brought to the Operation Food for Life Born
Free Sanctuary which she now calls home, has loving care from her new
Sanctuary parents and is going to school and has 3 meals a day. Helen wants
to be a School Teacher.
Loving care and a good education are the keys to being a valuable and
contributing member of society in the future.
Phillip and Maureen Vaki - PNG Directors Operation Food for Life