During World War II, 12 Anglicans working for God’s Church in PNG lost their lives. This year marks the 70th anniversary since the death of the Martyrs of New Guinea.

The 12 Anglican Martyrs of PNG who died between 1942 and 1943 were Lilla Lashmar (teacher), Margery Brenchley (nurse),  John Duffill (builder), Bernard Moore (priest), Mavis Parkinson (teacher), May Hayman (nurse), Vivian Redlich (priest), Lucian Tapiedi (evangelist and teacher), John Barge (priest), Henry Matthews (priest), Henry Holland (priest) and Leslie Gariardi (evangelist and teacher).

We remember these brave and courageous people by celebrating Martyrs’ Day on 2 September and ABM has launched a special campaign to continue God’s work in PNG. The focus is on St Margaret’s Hospital in Ono Bay, north-east of Port Moresby.

In recent years, ABM has been working with the Anglican Church in PNG to upgrade St Margaret’s Health Clinic to a Level 5 hospital. The hospital will now operate as a satellite hospital to the state-run Popondetta General Hospital while recruiting staff and improving skills.

The renovation and building of staff housing is one of the main priorities at present as quite a large number are needed. Currently the focus is on the construction of houses for the Hospital Manager and the Doctor.

Once the upgrading is complete, it will greatly benefit the local community living in this remote region of PNG.

The Fundraising Manager for ABM, Christopher Brooks, said: “We hope our supporters will be inspired by the Martyrs of PNG and contribute to the work of St Margaret’s Hospital.

“St Margaret’s Hospital has been undergoing refurbishment but the project, supported by ABM, is living up to PNG’s name,  known as the ‘land of the unexpected’.”

There have been setbacks due to weather, sporadic riots nearby, flooding and a lack of skilled professionals. Despite this, the staff of St Margaret’s hospital remain committed to the communities and continue to provide services, despite these challenging conditions.

The hospital will need a clean water supply before approval to commence services will be granted.  The current supply from a nearby river is so highly polluted that it is not possible to safely use this water supply.  ABM has hired a hydrologist to assess the feasibility of drilling and sinking a bore, which will provide uncontaminated water to both the hospital and to staff houses but this is at a cost of $50,000. Additionally, medical equipment still required before the opening, planned for October, has been valued at an additional $40,000.

For St Margaret’s to be fully operational, and fully staffed, the Anglican Church of PNG will need to build approximately 13 new houses over the next three years at a cost of $60,000 per house.  The houses will be sourced in PNG and built by local people.

The Martyrs’ campaign is also supporting ABM’s Encounter Program. The Encounter Program allows especially-selected clergy and lay people from other countries to spend three months in ministry environments in Australia. The program enriches Australians by sharing in the lives of Anglicans from other parts of the worldwide Anglican Communion. These future leaders take home all that they learn and experience here, and the relationships formed make a positive difference to us all. Your donation will help plan visits and support hosts of the Encounter Program.

ABM encourages its supporters to remember the Martyrs in prayer and contribute to the work of the Anglican Church in PNG through ABM’s Martyrs’ Day Campaign. You can donate online at donations.abmission.org or phone 1300 302 663.

Media contact
Elizabeth Baker
E: media@abm.asn.au
T: 0425 814 134.
For more information: www.abmission.org/appeals

A Prayer for the 70th Anniversary of the MNG Martyrs
Almighty God, for seventy years the church has been encouraged by the Martyrs of New Guinea who followed your Son in laying down their lives for the sake of your kingdom.

Inspired by their story, like them, may we leave all other cares aside to make it known that you rule with love over all the world.

This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and for ever.

Amen.
 

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