The Advocate - June 2021

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news JUNE 2021

New hope for PNG hospitals Three Baptist-run hospitals in rural Papua New Guinea were set to close in April due to a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other challenges, placing the staff in a precarious position as the number of COVID-19 cases rose. Without measures like PPE and other provisions, the hospitals were due to close and would have had a catastrophic impact on the community. Baptist Union of PNG General Director, Joseph Lakai said that many people would have died because they serve rural communities in very difficult circumstances.

We knew our PNG neighbours were in desperate need.

Baptist Union PNG approached Baptist World Aid with the urgent request to help keep the three hospitals open. The funds raised provided initial equipment which enabled them to keep operating, including 3,000 pairs of gloves, 2,750 face masks, 1,100 face shields, 550 pairs of shoe covers, 330 protective coveralls and 300 bottles of hand sanitiser. They will also continue to help with ongoing administrative

and equipment needs for the hospitals. “I feel overjoyed and feel like crying when I see the overwhelming support that our Australian friends provided in such a short period of time,” Joseph said. “Thank God, it’s a blessing to have support connected through Baptist World Aid – thank you.” PNG’s Department for Community Development and Religion has requested that churches continue to play an active role in combating the spread of COVID-19. The support to the three hospitals in Kompiam, Telefomin and Tinsley has been an incredible example of our communities coming together and making a difference. “I am sure the hospitals will remain open and we will continue to operate, but it is difficult knowing COVID-19 is here to stay,” Joseph concluded. Baptist World Aid’s PNG COVID Emergency Appeal will remain open for continual care of the people in PNG.

Photo: Baptist World Aid Australia

Thanks to the generosity of Australians, the hospitals – Kompiam Hospital, Tinsley Hospital and Telefomin District Hospital – were able to keep their doors open to care Papua New Guineans during the COVID-19 crisis. After an emergency appeal from Baptist World Aid Australia, 95 churches and 1,664 individuals throughout Australia offered donations as little as $7 and as large as $12,000. The funds raised exceeded the organisation’s goal and were immediately used to help the hospitals with operating costs such as fuel, utilities, hospital staff salaries, PPE, sanitisers, and other emergency equipment. The funds have also been used for an information campaign across PNG to help reduce the virus spreading. “We knew our PNG neighbours were in desperate need,” Baptist World Aid CEO, John Hickey said. “When we prayed and asked, we experienced the reality of Ephesians 3:20, that “God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power at work within us.” “God, once again, has provided abundantly through His people and we’re so grateful.”

For more information or to donate, visit baptistworldaid.org.au/appeals Author – Jo Kadlecek

Baptist World Aid Australia funds enabled the delivery of personal protective equipment to Tinsley Hospital in Papua New Guinea in April.

Home is where the heart is for Wally and Beth Remaining active and connected to family and friends as we get older is a philosophy 88 year old Wally Meacock wholeheartedly embraces. Baptistcare team members now regularly help Beth with personal care and practical support, including meal preparation, cleaning and gardening. “For Beth and I, being able to remain at home with support and care means we can stay connected to our family at such an important stage in our lives,” Wally said. “Arranging for home care has given me my independence back, and I can continue to do the things I love knowing that Beth is well looked after.” Photo: Elsa Samuel

The octogenarian starts every day with a 6am swim with his fellow Port Beach Polar Bears in North Fremantle. Every Thursday, he plays 18 holes of golf, and each month he visits his local Probus Club to catch up with friends or listen to a guest speaker. However, keeping fit and in touch with mates became challenging a few years ago when Beth, his beloved wife of 67 years, began to develop dementia. “It became difficult to care for Beth on my own, and while I would do anything for her, we decided that we needed to get some help,” Wally said. That help came in the form of a Baptistcare Customer Engagement Consultant, who helped Beth and Wally find the right level of home care.

For more information, visit baptistcare.com.au

Being able to live in their own home has helped Beth and Wally Meacock remain independent.