Learning to speak a new language | Yauopa’s Story

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When we first set foot in Iokea village, Papua New Guinea, we walked around with a group of locals getting to know the village and the people.

One of the first people we met was an elderly woman, Yauopa. Her arm and leg on her right side were crippled, she lived in a small little house with a leaky roof and broken fence. We made lunch with her, prayed for her, and sat and chatted with her via a translator.

Later that afternoon, we looked out the window of where we were staying and saw the last person we expected to see – Yauopa. She had walked all the way from her house to ours. We spent a couple hours with her that afternoon sitting in the shade and drawing in the sand. That’s when I learned that laughing, smiling, and drawing hearts in the sand can be a universal language.

The next day, a few of us went back to Yauopa’s house to bring her some firewood and fix up her fence. We wanted to serve her and help show her she was cared for. After a little while, many men and children from the village started trickling in to help. They started bringing nails, twine, an axe, a shovel, really anything they could to help us. It was quite touching to see the community rally in their support for Yauopa.

As we were leaving I turned to Yauopa and told her I loved her in her local language, and she responded with“I love you” in English. That is a moment that I’ll never forget.

God’s shown me that love can be displayed in the smallest, most simple ways. Language is not just the words we speak, but our actions and our kindness.

Who can you care for today? Who can you serve and encourage with your actions?

We have opportunities to serve those around us every day, my prayer is that we would have eyes to see those opportunities before us.

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Alana Hewson

Alana is from Ontario, Canada and was a student on our October DTS (Discipleship Training School). She enjoys art, music, photography, and loves being around others and making friends. Alana was in Papua New Guinea with her team for about 3 months on the Medical Ship and also in the villages!

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