Waitaki Herald : July 30th 2014
WAITAKI HERALD, JULY 30, 2014 Mission a ‘lesson in humility’ FROM Page 1 served in were isolated. In Papua New Guinea, for example, the people have dreams but they can’t chase them because of their family circumstances. ‘‘Our job was to impart hope and tell them it is possible to achieve your dreams. To impart hope you need to know who you are.’’ Part of gaining an understand- ing of who she was began before she left New Zealand. YWAM is a completely self- funded organisation, with students, volunteers and staff raising enough funds to meet their individual financial needs. Schieving spent two years saving, fundraising and gaining sponsorship to reach her target goal. ‘‘I saved money I earned work- ing for Trust Power, and I wrote letters to groups like the Lions Club requesting sponsorship. We also ran a quiz night to fundraise.’’ She is also grateful for the financial support of friends and family and Christian Life Centre Oamaru (CLCO), her church. ‘‘It taught me a lot of humility,’’ she says. ‘‘It was incredible to see how much my friends, family and the community were supporting me, which was encouraging.’’ It revealed a courage she didn’t know she had. ‘‘I had to have courage to ask people for help, which was hard.’’ She saved $17,000 in the end and it was ‘‘worth every cent.’’ Apart from lectures, the students were required to undertake a number of service placements. ‘‘Every day we would have min- istry placement for a couple of hours so we would serve on base – some did cleaning, some worked in the kitchen, and others on maintenance. ‘‘I got to work in the ships office and help prepare our medical ship to go up to Papua New Guinea. ‘‘I got to sort out prescription glasses, toothbrushes, clothes and various items that had been donated to us to take to Papua New Guinea.’’ In Daru, Papua New Guinea, the team visited the hospital, schools and churches, and helped in whatever way they could. Schieving says the generosity and hospitality of the Papua New Guineans was ‘‘mind blowing.’’ ‘‘One highlight was travelling three hours on a boat to a remote village where they hadn’t seen white people before. ‘‘They were told we were coming the day before and prepared a feast for us. They gave us a home – which was a shack – and they found us sponge beds somehow.’’ They went out of their way to make their guests feel at home. ‘‘They managed to find me a pineapple – which I had been craving for – out of season. I was so excited I was jumping up and down.’’ ‘‘It changes your perception see- ing the generosity of a people with nothing.’’ After graduating from the school, Schieving stayed on at YWAM with several others and staffed a programme called Youth Adventures. The programme focuses on preparing and sending high school students on shortterm missions trips. As part of the programme the team had an opportunity to visit Connecting with culture: Learning some traditional dances from the local women. Life story: Part of the trip was about connecting with and learning from the local culture. aboriginal community Palm Island. Up until recently, only those invited by the tribe were allowed to visit, Schieving says. ‘‘It was an opportunity to learn about and celebrate their culture with them,’’ she says. Back in the land of the long white cloud her view has changed. ‘‘It has changed my perspective on the way I view things. It makes me want to be more generous, and has shown me that there is more to life than just money – it’s more about what hope and life we can bring to people. ‘‘It has stirred my heart and shown me how much need is out there, and that I can do even more to help,’’ Schieving says. She plans to head back to Townsville in September, where she will work as a staff intern with YWAM while completing the next level of her studies. Part of her work will be to raise the profile of YWAM Townsville’s new medical ship as part of the ship’s Overcoming the Impossible tour. YWAM first launched a medical ship in 2010, Schieving says, pro- viding much-needed dental, optometry and primary-health care to the people of Papua New Guinea. ‘‘There is one dentist to every 100,000 people in Papua New Guinea,’’ she says. ‘‘We are hoping to raise $5 million by the end of the year to get it up and running. We want to build a clinic and a lab,’’ she says. Connecting with locals: Ashleigh Schieving’s Youth With A Mission (YWAM) adventure enabled her to forge a connection with PapuaNew Guineans.YWAM particularly focuses on children and youth. 11 On a mission: Oamaru woman Ashleigh Schieving returned home last week after spending seven months training with Youth With A Mission in Papua New Guinea. New friendships: Visiting the markets with a new friend.
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August 6th 2014