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Monday
Oct262015

Commencement of the Born Free Sanctuary Stage 1.

While this picture may not appear to tell a story, there is a great story behind it.

 It is the first photo of the commencement of the Born Free Sanctuary. Stage 1.

 The laundry has been moved, foundations are down, and the building is arising.

 So many in need of a home, love and support will benefit from this wonderful

act of care by the Vaki family in allowing their home to be extended for the benefit

of others.

Photos of work and progress follow:

See previous reports for more information: http://www.offl.org.au/latestnews/2015/6/21/offl-exciting-born-free-sanctuary-project-plans.html#entry35381742

http://www.offl.org.au/latestnews/2015/9/25/ground-breaking-ceremony-for-the-born-free-sanctuary.html#entry35483739

Sunday
Oct112015

Ministering to “the People Living with Aids Ward” Port Moresby General Hospital.

It was just after 6am Sunday morning. Volunteers are busy preparing for our regular visits to terminally ill patients in the People Living with Aids Ward in Port Moresby General Hospital, Papua New Guinea.However, our day started much earlier. At 4am volunteers were slicing fresh fruit.Paw-paw, bananas, apple, watermelon is being put on plates with a fork, in preparation for serving the delicious fruit platter to all the patients, supportive family at bedside, and nursing staff on duty in the ward.

This particular day is routine for all of us when we go to the hospital. After more than 10 years of service at this ward, all of us have a routine we follow on our hospital visit, which always goes like clockwork.

Speaking of clocks we reminded ourselves we need to be out of the ward by 8am, before the doctor does his/her rounds.

Now we are in the ward. Surgical masks are on. As is our usual custom, Phillip Vaki our PNG Director makes a public announcement.

In a light hearted announcement Phillip states “As you see the Operation Food For life volunteers are putting the customary surgical masks on. This is not a hold -up, IT’S A Hope UP!”  Following the introduction smiles can be seen from the patients, family and nursing staff,

As is the usual custom Philip mentions when our volunteers come to the patients with the fruit platter, should they request prayer we would be happy to minister to their spiritual needs. In most cases this offer is warmly welcomed.

 As I cast my eyes throughout the ward I feel it’s now not just air conditioned, but with our arrival, prayer conditioned. Dignity is being restored. Hope is given beyond our “special friends" beds of pain. Tears and emotions flow.

Many patients who are tearfully overwhelmed that complete “strangers” would make them feel the most loved person in the world. Emotions run high and freely by some of volunteers who are confronted by patients so desperately unwell.

 The chorus "God Bless you” can be heard throughout the ward. These words are not just coming from our volunteers, but patients, family and even nursing staff.

God has blessed us by meeting the physical and spiritual needs of the stigmatised, marginalised, and forgotten.

After all this, is we are so proud to be volunteers for Operation Food for Life. We cannot wait to meet the physical and spiritual needs of our “family” in this ward on our next visit.

Experience the visit by viewing the slideshow:

Friday
Sep252015

Ground Breaking Ceremony for the Born Free Sanctuary

This is a follow up to our previous article on this exciting new project.  For background go to: http://www.offl.org.au/latestnews/2015/6/21/offl-exciting-born-free-sanctuary-project-plans.html#entry35381742

A small ground breaking ceremony for the Born Free Sanctuary took place Thursday 24th September. This included s dedication from a pastor, special music from some of the children Phillip and Maureen Vaki care for and some moving and very heart felt emotional, tear filled speeches. The children at the Sanctuary have been formed into a singing group and are called Born Free Praise.  Every person pictured with Phillip and Maureen is a small representation of their household, including a father with some of his children.

What a difference the Sanctuary Project will make. Every day at the moment, at their home, Phillip and Maureen are feeding and clothing 32 people and counting. They are mainly children and teens, mostly all who live with them. Nobody in genuine need will be turned away even if they have to put up tents in their yard.

The pictures do not include 4 children sleeping on mattresses under their house or another 4 children sleeping on another mattress inside an already crowded bedroom. The cost unfurnished to build the extension is approx. $AUD 30,000 based on current exchange rates. The OFFL Team has committed to the project by allocating initial funds and we have faith to believe once we start the project God will bless and help us finish it.

Slide show follows:

 

Monday
Sep142015

El Nino causes severe drought in PNG

The El Nino weather pattern has caused a severe drought and famine affecting all provinces of Papua New Guinea. Gardens and rivers have dried up and people are starving from hunger and drying from lack of food and of disease. Baruni dump, near Port Moresby is no exception. It’s in this area Operation Food for Life volunteers (OFFL) have for many years been providing food, clothing and basic first aid to families living in these horrific conditions. OFFL is the only organisation helping our special friends in this area of great human tragedy.

Amidst this crisis OFFL is out there providing 150-200 desperately needed food parcels (rice, tin of fish & noodles) and biscuits to help sustain at least, their livelihood and ease their plight of starvation. It is a great joy and satisfaction to see smiles and handshakes from the people at the dump. They simply utter one word to us and that is… “Thank you”. We praise God for calling us to serve these families regularly near the Baruni Dump area. We are giving these people hope, dignity and expressing God’s love to them in the most practical manner. This is just one of many inspiring programs OFFL does in Port Moresby, PNG. With your help we can feed many more families like these, who without our intervention may face an uncertain future

This week a team of amazing volunteers are flying up from Sydney and Cairns Australia to support our local national team on the ground. Dennis Perry, Jim Hawkins, David Williams and Julia Legian and family will soon be on this dump providing more food to these folk, ministering in prisons, those terminally ill with Aids and so much more we have been doing for many years. Just a joy to serve and restore dignity, give hope and touch people’s lives in the name of Jesus.

 

 

Wednesday
Sep092015

Small things are important

Children at  the Rob & Jan Patterson Literary School in Port Moresby PNG given a treat with biscuits and drinks donated by Paradise Foods. Some of these children have never had  a drink to themselves and it was a great and unforgettable treat. Operation Food for Life is the proud main sponsor of this school.

Sunday
Jun212015

OFFL Exciting Born Free Sanctuary Project Plans

It’s a standard 3 bedroom residence. ..... nothing unusual when you view it from street level. But when you walk in the house you will note the living room has children and teens asleep on bunks, mattresses on the floor and on the lounge. Every spare inch of space is taken.  Upstairs a similar picture emerges. Two bedrooms full of children and teenagers asleep in bunks and mattresses on the floor.

One loses count of how many one can see asleep …..15 at least.

Every child and young person has a “story”. Some come from poor families, broken homes, unloved and unwanted...

That is until last year, when our volunteer Operation Food for Life Directors Phillip and Maureen Vaki opened their hearts and their house to care for poor and disadvantaged children. This ministry is in addition to all the other projects they lead in the Operation Food for life Ministry in Port Moresby, PNG

Of a week end, our Directors can have up to 35 staying with them. When there is an overflow they pitch tents up in their back yard for accommodation. Nobody is ever turned away. No matter what age!   .....Without discrimination.

It is all part of the Operation Food for Life philosophy taught by Jesus…" "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me,  I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Operation Food for Life has been providing food and clothing for these children and youth.

Phillip and Maureen have charged themselves with the responsibility of repairing children's broken hearts and broken lives and raise them in a loving Christian home …. Until such a time other arrangements can be identified to help each one settle into a permanent "risk free" environment.

We need to extend their house to make a more space for the children, and cater for more children just like these, who have nowhere else to turn.

In February this year a builder and an Operation Food for Life volunteer, Jim Hawkins, from Cooranbong NSW Australia, travelled with co-founder Dennis Perry to Port Moresby to design an extension for the house.

The cost unfurnished to build the extension is approx. $AUD 30,000 based on current exchange rates. The OFFL Team has committed to the project by allocating initial funds and we have faith to believe once we start the project God will bless and help us finish it.

Would you like to join us?  Together through your partnership with us, let’s get this done!

Tax deductible receipts are provided to Australian residents for donations made to OFFL.

Donations can be made via the OFFL web site by clicking the DONATE button. www.offl.org.au.

Through your generosity you will be giving these children hope and dignity and helping nurture each one through a very difficult time in their lives. On behalf of these kids and more, thank you so much for the love you have extended to them through your gift.

Dennis Perry

Co-Founder Operation food For Life

More photos following:

Monday
Jun152015

TOY JOY

The beautifully restored recycled toys prepared by the volunteers at Peninsula Seniors Toy Recyclers, Sydney (http://peninsulaseniorstoyrecyclers.com.au/) have arrived and been distributed in Port Moresby in PNG.

The first toy to be given out was to a 25 year old physically and mentally challenged young lady born with Downs Syndrome. Phillip and Maureen Vaki our Operation Food for Life Directors in PNG said the young ladies’ joy on receiving the bear was a sight to behold. 

 

Children at the OFFL sponsored Rob and Jan Patterson Literacy School were also overwhelmed when given a toy. For both boys and girls this was a real treat to have a toy that was their very own.

Thank you for the  great generosity of the Peninsula Seniors Toy recycling team and our volunteers who collected, forwarded and distributed these toys to bring joy into the lives of children.

Note the slideshow unloading and distributing the toys and the smiles of the children and parents:

 

Friday
Jun052015

OFFL Commitment grows Rob and Jan Patterson School Infrastructure

The Rob and Jan Patterson Literacy School in the large village of Wildlife on the outskirts of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, continues to receive 100% support from Operation Food for Life, resulting in the gradual addition of much needed new facilities. This is all due to the dedicated commitment of our volunteers and the generosity our amazing donors whom we thank sincerely for their wonderful and regular continuing support.

Accommodation for Principal and Teachers

Volunteer Principal Ogasta and her husband Daniel had lived in as bad as any structure you will find on the Baruni Rubbish Dump (see photo).       

Now a small house has been built next to the school where the old structure was and during the time of construction Daniel slept in his car (pictured), reading by candlelight.         

 

 

Two volunteer single teachers, Kessner and Kope, who also have been with the school since inception slept where they could. A single room building has now also been built for them.

Dennis Perry and David Williams from Sydney Australia were there in May 2015 to witness the first use of the buildings provided.  As they arrived at the school late May Kessner ran out to the car with screams of happiness and joy. She was overwhelmed OFFL had built a room for her and Kope.

Dennis says, “To be here and witness the emotion when the ladies saw their room and slept in it the first night, was overwhelming. We soon purchased bunks, a single wardrobe and lino for the floor.

See the smiling photos. They speak more than words.

In the photos Kessner Naomi is in blue top and was raised as an orphan in Lae. Kessner has not had a place she could call home for most of her life. Kope Zipora who is in a black top comes from a poor and disadvantaged background.

A life changing event has taken place at the school by doing this project.

Digicel Donation of an open air Classroom

In the last week of May 2015 an "open air classroom" donated to the Rob and Jan Patterson Literacy School was officially opened. A traditional culture program took place at the school to welcome the new addition. 

The new building was donated by Digicel, one of PNG’s leading Telecommunications companies. During the proceedings OFFL thanked Digicel for their donation to the progress and development of the Rob & Jan Patterson literacy school.

The CEO of Digicel PNG speaking at the opening stated that the school was selected because of the excellent academic record of the students during its brief history and the commitment to the School and involvement of, the Wildlife community.

Dennis Perry recalls a comment along the lines below by Ms Deborah Stokes, the PNG Australian High Commissioner when opening an extension to the school last year.

“From small beginnings a seed is planted and bigger things grow”

From humble beginnings, the Rob and Jan Patterson Literacy School is growing.

Giving God the Glory for the Great things he hath done.

 

A general slideshow of these additions and happenings follows:

 

 

 

 

Monday
Apr272015

Improvements Continue at Wildlife OFFL School

Over the last year a number of improvements have been carried out at the Rob & Jan Patterson Literacy School to help the students and teachers better operate the school.

The families of the village are encouraged and inspired by this continuing support of the School by the Operation Food for Life team and the faithful and wonderful support of Donors who make this all possible.  Donors include both those who donate their time free of charge and those that donate money to our funds. It also includes residents of the community that are delighted to help improve “their” school

New Toilets Built

Funds have been used to have 2 toilets built to serve the school. Have a look at the photos to see how these are built in PNG. It is a much appreciated upgrade/addition.

More light for Classrooms

Some of the corrugated roofing has been replaced with clear sheets to improve lighting throughout the building.  This has dramatically improved the teaching atmosphere and more enjoyable class activities due to much better lighting.

Enrolment growing

Teaching space is at a premium at the school so a temporary wall is being erected at the end of the veranda to isolate an area that is being used as a temporary classroom. It is so good to be able to cater for more children that probably may not even been able to access basic education.

Slideshow follows:

Friday
Apr032015

Toys and Books for Kids in Port Moresby, PNG

Thanks to the senior group of volunteers at Peninsula Toy Recyclers (North Shore, Sydney); we will now be able to provide toys to hundreds of poor and disadvantaged children in the areas our volunteers are engaged with in Papua New Guinea.

The organisation also provided much needed early learning education books for the OFFL School at Wildlife, Port Moresby - The Rob and Jan Patterson Literacy School.

Currently nearly 100 children from the poor village the school is located are enrolled. Without education, these children could face an uncertain future.

Photos following:

 

 

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