Hi Pastors and Leaders,
Please see below an urgent email we have just received from John Hickey, CEO of Baptist World Aid Australia/Transform Aid International regarding critical and immediate needs in Papua New Guinea around COVID-19 and how we can be partnering in particular to support Baptist run hospitals with basic PPE needs that here, in Australia, we take for granted.
We understand that this comes late into your preparations for Easter services and may require some changes to your programme – but we ask that you might consider over the next day or so, how to incorporate some communication about this situation and the need for both prayer and financial support in your Easter services.
Here in Victoria, where in 2020, we have faced harsh lock downs, we can empathise with the anxiety that so many of our PNG communities must be feeling as the virus spreads through provinces and hospital struggle to cope.
- Please be in prayer, personally and corporately, for PNG and in particular the Baptist run hospitals as they cope with increased COVID-19 cases
- Please prayerfully consider financially supporting these hospitals – in particular, funding the transport of PPE equipment from Goroka to the Baptist run hospital in Tinsley
- Click here for information for Church Treasurers: Church Treasurer Form and Church Donation Slip
Earlier today, we received an urgent email from our Baptist partners in Papua New Guinea:
‘We don’t know where the funding will come through to help our three hospitals, but we will need financial assistance for all PPE for our workers. Our hospitals, Tinsley, Telefomin and Kompain, care for rural people and the virus is spreading so fast. BUPNG is struggling.’
The Baptist-run hospitals do not have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for their frontline staff and because of this are facing closure. Our neighbours and fellow Baptists have run out of swabs, sanitisers, surgical face masks and other essential equipment that keep hospital workers safe – things we take for granted in Australia.
Almost 40,000 people in the region surrounding Tinsley Hospital, will be affected unless the hospital receives emergency funds. The virus is spreading across the entire population right now and many more will be infected.
But because God has been so gracious to us in Australia, we have the opportunity right now to give out of our abundance to ensure these hospitals can stay open and health workers have what they need.
Our partners at Baptist Union Papua New Guinea (BUPNG) have already confirmed with suppliers that the protective personal equipment is available and can be secured and distributed within a week. They’re also working to make sure information and awareness reach the people so they can get the care they need.
One partner has also told us that, ‘The board chair of the Telefomin Baptist Hospital in the Sandaun Province is in isolation and thanks for your prayers. I am sure he will recover from it. We don’t have any testing facilities at Telefomin and it’s only fly in and fly out so it’s hard for our staffs to do swabs on suspected patients out there. But we will get through this soon.’
So how can you help? Pray! Then please consider giving now to help fund Personal Protective Equipment through this link.
I’m also asking you to forward this email to pastors and leaders so they can pray for our PNG neighbours this coming Sunday and consider organising a special offering for our PNG hospitals.
PNG Is closer to mainland Australia than Tasmania. And God has given us a unique opportunity to act immediately to help our neighbours through this COVID-19 crisis.
Thank you so much for your gifts and prayers. By helping Tinsley, Telefomin, and Kompain hospitals, we will continue the long Baptist tradition of loving our neighbours.
With sincere thanks and through God’s grace,
CEO, Baptist World Aid