Park Ridge’s ‘Adopt-a-Clinic’ involvement results in 42 baptisms

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Pastor Gary Kent baptising one of the 42 candidates. (Credit: Karyn Aldridge)

Park Ridge Adventist Church (Queensland) recently celebrated completed a successful “fly ‘n’ build” to Mt Diamond Secondary School in Papua New Guinea resulting in 42 baptisms and decisions for Christ and 1500 Bibles distributed to the school’s young people and staff.

A team of 15 volunteers recently returned from the 14-day service trip, making them the sixth fly ‘n’ build group from Park Ridge church to contribute to the Mt Diamond “Adopt-a-Clinic” program in the past 10 years.

Park Ridge Adopt-a-Clinic coordinator Alan Aldridge stated, “We are blessed each year through our relationship with the Mt Diamond School and Adopt-a-Clinic program. Mt Diamond Adventist School has become part of our wider church family, and it’s a privilege to be invited to return every two years to work with the school’s leaders and support the initiative.”

Some of the team from Park Ridge. (Credit: Karyn Aldridge)

The “Adopt-a-Clinic” concept was developed by the Adventist Health department as a way to assist the 56 rural health facilities operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church across the South Pacific.

Park Ridge Church first partnered with the South Pacific Division (SPD) under the Adopt-a-Clinic program in 2007, and two years later sent their inaugural Fly n Build team to Mt Diamond to construct the first dedicated health clinic on the grounds of the Adventist school. Since then, a team from Park Ridge Church has returned every two years to support the clinic and conduct maintenance and extensions.

Building the frame in wet conditions. (Credit: Karyn Aldridge)

Throughout 2019, Park Ridge raised more than $A20,000 to construct accommodation for nursing staff onsite.

“Supporting the clinic has been a whole church focus,” said Mr Aldridge, “plus our Men’s Shed members from the wider community were also involved and built the interior fit-out of the ‘Nurse’s Inn’.  Providing this housing means nursing staff are able to live on-site and meet the needs of the local community, who often present for treatment after-hours.”

The opening and dedication of the Nurse’s Inn was officiated by Pastor Rex Koi, general secretary of the Central Papua Conference, Mrs Sai Suwary, principal of Mt Diamond Secondary School and Pastor Gary Kent, director and presenter of the Incredible Journey program. Apologies from the PNG Prime Minister James Marape were received, with his office contacting the team directly after their return to Australia to acknowledge their efforts.

The team laying the concrete slab for the laundry. (Credit: Karyn Aldridge)

Park Ridge head elder Luke Robinson spoke about the blessings that the church receives from helping others.

“Working for the good of others brings a stronger sense of purpose to our local church. Our young people and our seniors work together to achieve a common goal. When we talk with our community neighbours, they see that we are not insular but are eager to help, and they join with us in reaching out to those less fortunate. The gospel is proven to be alive through the value we place on others, just like the love and care Jesus provides for us.”

A dedicatory sign was erected to acknowledge the work of Park Ridge. (Credit: Karyn Aldridge)

The Park Ridge youth team lead a Week of Prayer program for the Mt Diamond Adventist Secondary School at the same time as the fly ‘n’ build. Each night and day, Park Ridge’s ministerial intern Pastor David Penate preached to the 800 plus students and staff at the school, culminating in 42 baptisms on July 27, 2019. The baptism was attended by Pastor Gideon Aguzi, Pastor Kiroko Aruna and Pastor Gary Kent.

Pastor Gideon Aguzi was honoured with the oppurtunity to baptise his son, Junior Aguzi, a year 10 student at Mt Diamond. Pastor Kiroko Aruna also had the honour of baptising his granddaughter Gina Kitoko, who is also in Year 10.