Amanda in Papua New Guinea

I sat in the classroom, listening to the Discipleship Training School (DTS) students share stories from the outreaches they had just returned from. I was about to travel with my team to Papua New Guinea myself, so I listened carefully to the team that had just returned from there.

One girl shared the story about her team visiting the local hospital and her personal trip to the maternity ward, where she had been asked to name a newborn baby. 

I was really inspired by this story. God, I would like to name a baby! I prayed in my heart. 

I wasn’t reminded of my heart’s prayer until I had been in Papua New Guinea a few weeks and we were in the midst of running medical clinics. Our team had broken up into three smaller teams and had spread out into different villages to set up clinics and provide care for the surrounding people. 

I found myself in a packed-to-the-brim van traveling 45 minutes on a dirt road until we reached the small village.

We were shown to the hospital; a small building with three rooms, a desk, and a few staff.  The locals had graciously allowed us to take over their building. We set up the rooms for eye surgery, wound care, and primary health care.

We spent our first day registering the line of people and directing them to the medical volunteers in each room. Some of us assisted with wound care, while others were with the doctor or eye surgeon. It was a busy day.

We headed back to the ship to rest and return the next day.

When we returned in the morning, the very first thing we encountered was a woman in labor in the surgery room, being helped by a nurse. My friend Hannah immediately went in to sit with the woman as she gave birth and held her hand.

As I waited outside the door, I remembered my previous prayer. What if this is the baby?  I thought.

Soon a nurse came and asked me how I was doing. I told her I was waiting for the woman inside to give birth and was wondering what she was going to name her. The nurse went in and came out again, informing me the mother would like me to name her baby!

I was so excited! I went in and met the newborn girl. I asked if the mother liked the name Lyla. “It means island princess,” I explained. The mother loved it. I promised to pray for the mother and her baby every day.

Wow God, I thought, you really do hear me and are with me. 

I realized in that moment that God really cares about the small things; he had answered a prayer I had prayed weeks ago in such a beautiful way. I reflected on his faithfulness, his fun and creative side that gave me such a special gift.

He cares for the woman, her child, myself, and brought us all together at the perfect moment.

It was an experience I will never forget.

Amanda Alfaro
Port YWAM Kona DTS Alumna

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