My first medical mission trip to the Highlands of Papua New Guinea was in the early 1990s. It was six weeks of non-stop orthopaedic consultations and surgeries. The work ranged from challenging to impossible. Resources and equipment was stark and my creativity and medical resourcefulness was tested to the limit.
On the last day of my mission, I was scurrying around taking last minute photos of the hospital and staff. The day was beautiful with the morning sun casting an optimistic glow over everything. In my range of vision I saw a patient I had successfully treated for a nasty leg fracture. He was headed home with his bed roll under his arm. He walked east on the gravel road toward the main gate of the hospital. Right outside the gate is a church with a steeple cross on it. As he walked, the rising sun cast the shadow ofthe church's steeple/cross on him. He was walking away from the hospital healed and the healing was in the name of Jesus.
I was struck with the memory of my Sunday School days when I was taught the stories of Jesus. I loved to hear about his healings. As a child, I promised God I would be a doctor and help heal people.
Almost like I was hearing for the first time the story of the healing of the crippled man, I heard Jesus tell him to "get up and walk." Amazingly, I heard Jesus tell me to "get up and walk."
Since then my wife and I have established a non-profit organization called "Na Wokabaut." Na Wokabaut is pidgin for "now get up and walk."
Since its' inception, Na Wokabaut has embraced the Christian mandate of love and justice and built a medical and birthing center, conducted women's literacy classes, supplied 150,000 books to local schools and partnered with Rotary Interntional on a Water and Sanitation (WASH) project. An electrification/education project with the Institute of Electrical Engineers and Electricians (IEEE) is about to be launched. People are "getting up and walking" in the name of love and justice.
But we still need your help to keep Na Wokabaut walking along in the villages of Papua New Guinea.
we need to continue to fund the operation of the medical clinic/birthing center
we need to hire teachers for adult (especially women) literacy
we need to address the grave issue of violence against women and children