Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, Papua New Guinea:  The global emphasis for missions in January is “Volunteerism.”   Volunteering is just one way to offer your life in service to others.  This month we are honoring a very special lady who offered her life to God for Kingdom service in her home country of Papua New Guinea.

Cathy Mia was born on April 12, 1956,  in Waramis, a remote village deep in the western Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG).  From an early age, Cathy attended a Church of the Nazarene under the ministry of pioneer missionary William Bromley.  She did not attend school because at that time, there were no schools in that area of the Highlands.

Nazarene Mission Station, Jimi Valley, near where pioneer Missionary William Bromley is buried. (photo credit Jeff Meyers)

Nazarene Mission Station, Jimi Valley, near where pioneer Missionary William Bromley gave his life in service and is buried. (photo credit Jeff Meyers)

In 1973, Dr. Irwin invited Cathy to Kudjip Mission station, where she assisted in the care of the Irwins’ son, Walter.   While on the mission station, missionaries Ruth Irwin and Mona White, worked with Cathy, teaching her how to read and write.

One day Dr. Irwin asked Cathy if she was interested in nursing.  He invited her to the hospital and introduced her to one of the nurses.  As time progressed, Cathy began to sense a call to nursing. Knowing this, the Irwins paid Cathy’s school fee and she began the nurses training program.

Cathy continued to study English with Ruth Irwin while pursuing her nurses training.  In 1975, through God’s strength and provision, Cathy completed her training and followed her calling as a nurse, serving with Nazarene Health Ministries.   Even more special, this was also the year that Cathy was baptized.

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Entrance to the Kudjip Hospital in Papua New Guinea.

Entrance to the Nazarene Hospital, Kudjip,  Papua New Guinea.

“Several years ago we did a staff appreciation,” explained Dr. Scott Dooley, Nazarene Hospital Administrator. “We gave a bronze medal for those serving 10 years, a silver for those serving 15 years, and gold for those serving 20 years or more.  Of course, these weren’t real gold, just a way to honor our staff and say thank you for their service.  The day after the celebration, Cathy came to my office in tears.  She said, ‘I never expected a gold reward this side of heaven.’  In the same way, her retirement party the end of 2014 was a real testimony to a life of faithful service. She shared about the impact of those early missionaries when she was young, asking her to join the Community Health Worker Program, when she didn’t even know how to read. But they believed in her and helped her believe in what God wanted to do in and through her.”

Cathy has honored that initial investment with a lifetime of service with Nazarene Health Ministries.  While she may be retiring from nursing, she assures us that this is just a transition, as she plans on continuing to minister to her family and local church in the Banz Jiwaka Province.

The Papua New Guinea Team and Asia-Pacific Region honor Cathy Mia.  Well done, good and faithful servant!

— Submitted by:  White Kintak & Scott Dooley