A Volunteer’s Personal Experience



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.

Deni Tonkin

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