My reflections of OFFL trip to Port Moresby September 2012.
I had the privilege of joining the OFFL team in Port Moresby in September 2012, for an 8 day program. This article is my personal reflection of that trip.
It was my first time to PNG and after arriving in Port Moresby, my first impressions were how hot it was and that I was obviously in a third world country, Rafferty’s rules on the roads and areas of poverty, etc. We stayed for the duration of the trip at Pacific Adventist University (PAU) which is situated on a beautiful 84 hectare property some 20kms from the centre of Port Moresby. After a good first night’s sleep the next day began early. We were up at 4:45am and off to Cheshire Home to visit the mentally and physically disadvantaged people there. We had a wonderful time feeding, fellowshipping, and singing with the residents who obviously enjoyed our time with them.
We then travelled back to PAU to stock the vehicles with food. From there we proceeded to Bomana prison where we spent the rest of the morning worshipping and fellowshipping with the inmates and prison guards. I had the privilege of giving my personal testimony to the prisoners in the maximum security unit. We also enjoyed some wonderful singing and powerful testimonies of God’s grace.
After our time at Bomana prison, we returned to PAU to restock with food parcels and clothing. We then headed off to Baruni rubbish dump to distribute food parcels and clothing to the underprivileged living on and around the rubbish dump. My heart went out to the people living in such terrible conditions with the heat, smoke, and high risk of disease that were present there.
The rest of the week was similar to our first day, with early morning starts. We visited various schools in marginalised areas and provided meals for the children and teachers, distributed clothing, sang with them, and gave spiritual talks. We visited the Aids, tuberculosis, and children’s wards at Port Moresby General Hospital. We also made several other trips to Baruni rubbish dump and Bomana prison.
Overall, I was blessed by the whole experience which made me thankful for the many blessings I take for granted living in a first world country like Australia.
I would like to commend the wonderful work OFFL do in Port Moresby on an ongoing basis and for the many lives that have been touched by this ministry. I would recommend that if you have not had the opportunity to volunteer in some way to help others who or marginalised or disadvantaged that you do so, as you will never forget the life changing experience.
Wayne Cooper (December 2013)