“My experience was amazing and would highly recommend getting involved.”
Lisa Maurette is a registered nurse from Brooks, Alberta, Canada. When asked by a friend about volunteering with Youth With A Mission (YWAM), she didn’t give it a second thought.
The thing that drew her to helping with YWAM was the timing.
“We only had a small window [of time]. We’re both moms, have jobs to negotiate and we were only able to go on a short term mission [trip] and it was preferable in the summer months.”
The team Liza ended up being a part of started in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and then they sailed into Kimbe, West New Britain, PNG.
A typical day in PNG started with breakfast followed by packing all the supplies necessary for that day.
Everyone on the team was on the daily roster for cleanup and housekeeping. Once those tasks were completed, zodiacs were loaded with equipment, staff and volunteers to head to shore for the day.
Various medical stations were set up on land. OB/GYN clinics offered prenatal check ups and birth control implants, general health checks were given by physicians, dental services were provided, eye surgeries were performed on patients with cataracts and pterygiums, and immunizations were available for all the children.
The team stopped for a quick lunch break and then continued on until 4pm where they would head back to the ship on the zodiacs.
Lisa and her team members were given the opportunity to go on some treks and visit the local people. Some of them hiked for 2 1/2 hours up a large hill in the jungle to reach a remote village to do an immunization clinic.
The group worked so hard to make sure they were able to immunize all the children. One of the local elders jumped in to help organize the kids. With the time it took to reach the village, the team only had an hour there before they needed to head back or they would be traveling in the dark.
“The trail was nothing more than a goat trail and without a local guide, we would still be trying to find our way out.”
During all the clinics, including the one they hiked to, there was always a team of interns ministering to the locals and children. There was singing, games and one on one interactions.
“We prayed for the sick and shared our faith. We felt safe and comfortable doing so.”
A moment that sticks out to Liza is when she hiked to the clinic with the team. The ground was muddy and the day was so humid. They choose to walk barefoot to help prevent them from slipping. It wasn’t ideal but walking was a lot easier because of it.
Liza has a phobia of spiders and had prayed to God that she would not encounter any on her trip. Midway on their journey, however, one of the girls screamed when she saw a HUGE spider in a HUGE web in a tree above them.
“I prayed and kept my eyes down and just kept walking. On the way back, one of the team members kept me talking and distracted so I wouldn’t see it.
The group we were with were awesome. Everyone was so willing to jump in and help. It’s so beautiful when a group of over 40 individuals from all over the world can live together for 2 weeks and function as a team in unity serving God and his people.”
For Liza, who has always wanted to be a nurse and was inspired by her mother, this was an experience of a lifetime; a time to see how God can grow you and lead you.
If you’re thinking about volunteering, Liza encourages you with, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You will never regret it, but you will regret NOT doing it. Just say YES!!!!”
By Jaime Gomez
Port YWAM Kona Communications Staff