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Thursday, 08 August 2019 07:00

God Called Me.... A Story from Patti Jo

 2019.44.Sister Story 2 PJC.main blog image

As a young Franciscan Missionary of Mary I worked as a bush nurse in Papua Niu Gini for eight years and just loved it. These photos were taken at Wati in the West Sepik Province where we had a clinic. As a bush nurse I was the GP (no doctor), the midwife and the community health nurse.

Eleven nights a month I would stay overnight in the villages and do the maternal/child health clinic in the morning, followed by seeing anyone who was sick. It was a wonderful opportunity being a guest in the village and able to share in something of the daily life of the local people.

Most of the time this meant riding my Honda 90 bush bike through a pretty mountainous area, waiting for rivers to go down so I could cross, or being flown in to the more remote villages by the Catholic mission’s Cessna 206 light aircraft. There were plenty of adventures and lots of good missionary yarns to tell.

The Catholic Church had only been in this area for 30 years when I arrived. It was an amazing gift to be part of the faith and culture dialogue that was intrinsic to evangelisation as a missionary nurse.

On the overnights and during sick calls in the villages I was blessed to be part of this early faith journey. On Sundays I sat next to the first couple to be baptised at Wati, and realised in hearing their story what a mysterious gift faith is.

These years in PNG were very much initial and explicit evangelisation - what we would now call the Holy Spirit’s movement in the new evangelisation, and part of the background I brought with me to the MGL Sisters. We sisters are called to the ongoing adventure of bringing the Gospel message of God’s love to the hearts and minds of those we meet in every situation.

Patti Jo Crockett