In the spirit of Valentines Day week, over 100 volunteers aboard the YWAM Medical Ship have sent their love to Townsville from Western Province in Papua New Guinea.  

The team of 107 volunteers from 13 nations gathered to take a team photo yesterday morning holding the sign, “We ♥️ Townsville!”

YWAM Medical Ships volunteer, Dr Sarah Dunn, said that the photo was taken to help express that their love is with Townsville right now as the city goes from the big wet to the big clean up.

“Townsville is the MV YWAM PNG’s home port, we would not be serving remote communities in Papua New Guinea right now without the support Townsville has given over so many years.

“From free wharfage to volunteers, to hundreds of generous businesses – Townsville has helped make the vision a reality, and literally hundreds of people in remote communities benefit from the city’s generosity on a daily basis.

“We have been following the news from up here and are devastated to see what the city is going through right now. The photo we took yesterday was our small way of saying – our hearts are with you Townsville!”

The team is currently serving alongside local health teams in Daru Island, Western Province. 27 Townsville residents or students residing in Townsville are currently aboard.

A special highlight from the week was treating 97-year-old PNG veteran who served with both PNG and Australian defence forces during WWII.  The man who had had a stroke and was housebound in his village, a ways up a river. The YWAM team ventured out to do a home visit and found a well cared for elderly gentleman proudly wearing his Australia – PNG medal on his t-shirt.  His family had carried him outside into the fresh air where the team, including a Townsville physiotherapist, assessed him and provided some education and exercises to help improve his mobility.

The man’s story is a heart-warming reminder of Australia and Papua New Guinea’s special bond!