Papua New Guinea: Half a century ago, the Church of the Nazarene planted a church in Kudjip, which is located in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, through the work of Wanda and Sydney Knox. This also marked the start of medical work in the area. From the humble beginnings of a health center that also served as a nursing school with only a handful of graduates, the medical ministry eventually blossomed into Kudjip Nazarene Hospital and Nazarene Health Ministries, a community-based health care,  spreading God’s love in Kudjip and throughout six more provinces in the Highlands!

Last week, the community celebrated the 50th anniversary of Kudjip Nazarene Hospital and Nazarene Health Ministries. Inspiring testimonies were heard from some of the first missionaries, nursing graduates and workers at the hospital. Hearts were stirred as they shared their desire to share and show God’s love through medical work.

District Superintendent (DS) Andrew Akus spoke and reminded those present that no matter what they do and where they go, the most important thing is to have at least one person come to faith and know Jesus. This has always been the focus of the hospital, and because of this, thousands of men and women heard of Christ and become followers through the years.

The celebration was also blessed with words from Papa Yapo, who has been serving the hospital with his wife for over 40 years, doing different sorts of jobs- ambulance and tractor driver, maintenance man, cleaner- all for the glory of God. Sr. Kini, one of the first graduates of the Nursing College, told her journey of becoming a nurse and how thankful she was for the opportunity to learn and share Christ’s love.

Global Missions Director Dr. Verne Ward was also present during the event. He shared his story of how he and his wife served in Dusin and shared God’s love with many different tribes who didn’t know much about Jesus, and how many came to Jesus as a result. He encouraged everyone to continue following Jesus, and to obey when He calls, even if it means going out of our comfort zone. God’s desire is for His people to know Him and to use them to fulfill that mission.

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Looking back, the church that was originally started by the Knoxes, has now grown to 13 organized Districts with hundreds and hundreds of churches. The hospital itself has started 30 churches through the ministry of the Chaplains. The healing has not been just physical, but spiritual as well- something that will last far longer.

I have known this hospital and its ministry for the past 10 years, but I feel that its accomplishments have exceeded the number of years I have known the ministry. Listening to the different testimonies, I felt even more encouraged with my chosen ministry, and how I am part of something so much bigger.

I feel truly blessed for the opportunity to be a part of Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, and how it continues to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Not one person who has been a part of this ministry over the past 50 years could have done it on their own. All of us continue to thank God for the people that He has called and ask for more to answer their call to missions to continue his kingdom work.

-Submitted by: Erin Meier