Papua housing fundraiser

January 08, 2019 at 6:00 AM

bugalaga_donor.jpgBugalaga residents gather on the air strip to greet a Mission Aviation Fellowship airplane that has flown into their remote mountain village.

Papua housing fundraiser

By Dr. Wrede VogelWrede short.jpg

Imagine going back to a time in history when people hunted with bow and arrow, dressed in nothing more than grass skirts and occasionally practiced cannibalism. Some of those conditions exist yet today.

Bugalaga is a small mountain village in the interior of Papua, on the most eastern chain of the Indonesian island archipelago. It’s accessible only by small aircraft. Our partnership, established in 2000, is the most remote and inaccessible of all Luke Society ministries. Led by Dr. Julius Surjadi, this medical ministry cooperates with Mission Aviation Fellowship, Bible translators, the local Christian church and other mission organizations to bring the Good News and compassionate care to numerous tribal groups. This ministry partnership is especially exciting because it is bringing the Gospel to unreached people groups and is working with the indigenous Christian church.

On my first visit to Papua more than 15 years ago, our accommodations were the small tents we carried. Later, a small hut was constructed to provide a place to sleep while Dr. Surjadi and others on his team provided medical care. Rats and other animals have found access to the structure as it has aged. It has become a poor place to stay even for the most hardy and adventurous workers. Dr. Surjadi has proposed building a more substantial structure that would provide a safe and secure place for him and other visitors to sleep and eat during their periods of work in the interior.

The cost of a simple two-bedroom facility with an outside latrine is $30,000–40,000. Most of the building materials must arrive by airplane. A generator is already there. Water will be available through a rainwater collection system.

I respect Dr. Surjadi and his wife, Debby, for following the call to serve in Papua even when the living conditions were very difficult. Upgrading the living quarters at this time is a good strategy in moving the ministry forward. Please help us equip Dr. Surjadi with this building.

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January GAP Newsletter