This time last week I was preparing for my last full day in Wewak after what was an incredible visit to Papua New Guinea. I remember thinking that so much had happened, could there be anything else to happen that day. I woke up expectantly. I was gaining confidence to do this. When God is in something, expect great things to happen!
It all began at the end of last year while I was in Kenya providing a reproductive health training workshop to field workers with a humanitarian organisation called Medair. While spending time with these incredible people who were working in war zones in the toughest places on earth: South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan (you get the picture), I had a real sense that I needed to return to PNG early in the year, on my own, to set up the program for 2016/7. I also felt that I needed to connect with the government and formally partner with them somehow.
So, I booked a plane ticket for a 2 week visit.
A week before I left I had a dream. God asked me to get into a space rocket with a man I did not know and fly out into space. I asked Him where I was going, but He said that I didn’t need to know the destination. I was then scrambling around trying to pack the right clothes and He said that He will provide for all my needs, all that I have to do is trust Him. So I said to Him, ‘you are sovereign father God and worthy of my trust’ and stepped into the spaceship…A bit weird, I know, but true.
On Feb 14 I flew out of Perth. The checkin lady made quite a few comments about how dangerous Port Moresby is. I reminded myself that I was meeting people I knew and wouldn’t be wandering around by myself.
Arriving in Port Moresby on my own was a little daunting, but the hotel pick up worked and I now knew exactly where to get my SIM card topped up and data connected so at least I could phone a friend. I went for a swim and noticed some women with bilums from the Sepik area so went up to them and had a chat. I was starting to relax.
In the morning I went down to breakfast and sat with the Sepik women. They were very interested in the work of Living Child and asked what I was planning to do when in Wewak. I mentioned that I was hoping to connect with the Angoram District Administrator to let them know what we’ve been doing for the past 3 years and find a way to work with them. One of the women turned to me and said, ‘the Angoram DA is here now’.
I looked at her in disbelief thinking I’d misheard her. ‘Here? At Comfort Inn?’.
‘Yes’, she said, ‘there he is over there in the red shirt’.
Her finger was pointing in the direction of the pool. She got up from the table and went over to him. The next minute I was sitting at the breakfast table with him sharing about the work of Living Child so far and our vision for the future!
‘Sara’, he said, ‘we are very interested to partner with you to bring health to our people in Angoram district. Can you come to Angoram for a meeting next week and we can discuss your plans further with the Member?’
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. On my first morning in PNG the meetings that I was hoping would happen, but wondering how they’d come about, were being planned without me doing anything really!
I went back to my room literally jumping with joy. I had an incredible sense of God going before me. All I had to do was trust him.
The next morning I had a call from the DA requesting I come downstairs to meet the Member of Parliament for Angoram District. I couldn’t believe it! Finally I was meeting the man a friend of mine, Steve Combe (who died tragically in a helicopter crash exactly a year earlier) had advised me to meet. The member and the DA were very welcoming in a gentle way. They have a vision to get health and education back on track in their District and would like to partner with Living Child.
What a start to this spaceship ride. I knew I was serving and trusting an amazing Heavenly Father who was going before me and preparing the way…I also felt that it was significant that these events were happening over the first anniversary of Steve’s death. A man who had a vision to bring midwives into East Sepik Province to provide training to prevent deaths of mothers and babies, and who played a significant role in assisting Living Child become established and connected in PNG.