Toilet-and-shower-block

What is Work and Witness Worth?

Papua New Guinea: It’s all there in the name, “Work and Witness!” Teams that come to do work and to witness to who Christ is.

Work and Witness LogoSome people question the pragmatics of spending so much money to fly to the other side of the world rather than just sending money…. but God’s economy is an “economy of grace” not of finance. He is not fretting about the bottom line or how He will provide – no His is the business of changed hearts.

The latest Work and Witness Team from Joplin District (parts of Kansas and Missouri in the US) is a great illustration. They came to build a toilet and shower block (feature image).  From a construction point of view a small building for sure, but as I always tell teams – the fact that a team of people would fly around the world at their own cost to do it adds special significance. It demonstrated a real sacrifice of everyday people, and helped our staff realize that they need to take care of the investment.

100TopBannerIt was also a witness in another way. This was part of the NMI 100 year projects, which have been a big part of the Church of the Nazarene’s contribution to our Housing and Water Project.  This contribution has resulted in exponential matching on the parts of our foreign aid partners.   Because of the sacrifice of so many, the  Church will exceed our promised matching commitment to this project!

Towards the end of the Joplin District’s time at Kudjip, we had a visit from Australian Aid, the majority donor on this project. They were amazed when comparing our project to many others. We do not use contractors,  so all funds go directly to the actual project / building. On top of that, dedicated church people come to contribute money and free labor.

10 Single-Family Houses that are part of W&W Projects.
10 Single-Family Houses that are part of W&W Projects.

In the world of foreign aid, there are naturally concerns regarding corruption, inefficiency, etc, so as Australian Aid reviewed the project they were very pleased,  They witnessed an organization not only using funds efficiently but going above and beyond the expected matching contribution.  This commitment was a real relief to them and served as a vitally important building block in cultivating solid partnerships for the ministry of the Church of the Nazarene and Nazarene Healthcare Ministries in Papua New Guinea and beyond.

The team not only worked, they came and experienced the outreach and impact of the hospital ministry. One of the highlights was the opportunity  to encourage and prayed with patients.

Baby Helena thriving after answered prayer!
Baby Helena thriving after answered prayer!

One day while visiting the wards and singing with patients, the team witnessed a baby, Helena who nearly died.  The team prayed for the medical staff  as they continued to resuscitate what looked to be a hopeless case from a medical standpoint.   But…God was gracious and Helena not only survived but a few days later was thriving!

The team visited churches and followed up with patients who, after experiencing the love of Christ in the hospital, had become new believers.  One of these churches was a brand new preaching point where a patient has given land for a new church. The first week they had 4 people, the next week 25, and the third week when the team came they had 83!

Each of these opportunities is about changing hearts. Those that go on work and witness trips see God at work in different ways and gain a new understanding of the impact of foreign missions.  These members also leave challenged to serve God in new ways in their home context.

People on the receiving end are always moved at such an extravagant gift of love – not only sending money, but sending themselves – giving of their own time for someone they have never met in a place they have never been. In the economy of grace it is an extravagant, generous gift. It challenges all of us to consider what we will sacrifice to help others.

Work and Witness teams touch the lives of our staff, patients and communities.  They encourage our missionaries.  The funds raised support the work and show the world how people from all walks of life can make a difference.  These teams unite the body of Christ in a way you can’t put on a budget spreadsheet. It is God at work through His people around the world.

The value and kingdom impact of Work and Witness?  IMMEASURABLE!

— Submitted: Dr. Scott Dooley – Hospital Administrator

See more stories of Nazarene Healthcare Ministries here.


3 thoughts on “What is Work and Witness Worth?”

  1. Thank you Dr. Scott for putting this so well. I agree with everything you have said. Please allow me to add comment on an important aspect you haven’t touched on, using my own experience as an illustration. It is to do with people returning from W&W trips. All of them can, and do, encourage their congregational friends to take a more active interest in the place they have been. Some, God calls to take an ongoing role. I personally know of those who have returned to further serve the people they have met, even several times over several years. I first went on a W&W Trip to help with the Mango Tree Building in Tonga in June 2004. I stayed on for several months. As an Offshoot from this, I was able to help Tonga’s Ministry of Health begin an Ambulance Service, liaising with Queensland Ambulance Service. This was all God as I had NO experience in such a thing. I have returned to Tonga a number of times since 2004, As I think you know, I have for 8 years lived where there is no near Nazarene Church and worship with a Lutheran Congregation. I have a 450 tree Apricot orchard in South Australia’s Riverland Irrigation Region. Since 2008, with the help of volunteers from nearby Lutheran Congregations and other Churches, I harvest the apricots, dry them and sell them to raise funds for Compassionate Ministries. The majority are sold through many Lutheran congregations. Substantial amounts of money have been made available to The Mango Tree Centre. From 2014/15 harvest, over AUD$20,000 was raised and close to AUD$11,000.00 was sent to the Mango Tree. Most of the balance was sent to Lutheran Compassionate Ministries in Cambodia. As a result of this, The Australian Lutheran Leadership, many Pastors and many laypeople know about the Mango Tree Centre in Tonga as do Pastors and lay people from other Churches near me . They are all very supportive of the Ministry of the Mango Tree. This has all grown out of my initial 2004 Work and Witness Trip . I think God’s economy speaks for itself. I sometimes refer to W&W Trips as “God throwing pebbles into a pond.” I have also been God Blessed being able to serve in The Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and at Kujip. As I have said, my case is just an illustration, I absolutely could not do it by myself. If God was not in it the Apricot Project would not exist In many other ways I know W&W Participants are continuing to serve God in Missions long after their “Trip”. I recommend the Ministry of Work and Witness. It is so much more than “Just send the money”.

    1. Dear Lou,

      Thank you for such wonderful insight on W&W. You are such a blessing for what you do, and may God continue to bless you so you could spread his love to his people all over the world. Have a great week ahead!

      Sincerely,
      Laurice

  2. Thank you Laurice. All over the World ? I’m not so sure about that. But like I said. “Pebbles in the pond”. Once in the pond, I don’t see where the ripples go. Only God sees that and they spread wherever He wants.

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