In late 2021, due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to cease operations at Kunai Health Centre after over 13 years of service to our dear Kamea people. It was a painful decision for all of the staff involved. Some of the reasons were:
- A lack of funding for the Health Centre. We paid our PNG staff from our own support, including one CHW nurse graduate. We could not afford to pay anyone else, and we needed more PNG nurses. The reason for that was:
- We were no longer able to use the visa we had used to bring in our nurse volunteers from the USA and Australia. We had been informed by the government we could use that visa, and we did for over 8 years. In early 2021 they changed their ruling regarding how we used it. Going forward we would need to get all of our incoming expatriate nurses full PNG visas and PNG nursing licenses. Since all of our nurses were coming as self-sponsored volunteers, none of them had the time to wait for all that paperwork. They were not sponsored missionary workers, and it just would not work for them or for us.
- We needed full-time management of the clinic on the ground at Kunai. There was no one who could take that position, which would include doing all the supply and medicine buying and taking care of all the transport costs of procurement and delivery to our remote site.
When Kunai Health Centre closed, we no longer had a means to administer the Baby Milk Program. The remaining cans of milk were given to our national pastor to distribute to those who were on the program. He continued to do that until the supply ran out. The final cans were distributed in mid-2022.
We are so very grateful to those who gave to this program, and for those who kept our dear moms and babies in prayer. The Lord did much through this ministry, not only helping babies get a good start on life, but also through showing the love of Jesus through the hands-on labor of loving these dear families.