As part of the DNA teaching on worldview, I share my “life message,” The Transforming Story. We talk about the need to tell the whole of the Biblical narrative and that our lives need to be understood and lived out within the framework of this story.
On a recent trip to Australia I taught this material during a workshop in Toowoomba. After the session, I was approached by one of the participants, Nancy Thomas, who told me that she had an illustration of the importance of sharing the Biblical narrative as it relates to women’s health. Nancy and her husband, Deryck, work in community development in Papua New Guinea.
Here is Nancy’s testimony. I believe you will be encouraged to see in a new way the importance of the Biblical narrative for your life and work.
In February 2008, in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, a Canadian doctor who had worked there for many years introduced us to two Christian Health Workers he had trained. They told us that their work was to run a government-sponsored clinic for women with sexually transmitted infections. When they first began, the local women, ashamed of their symptoms and circumstances, were reluctant to receive advice and treatment. Only five or six came to the clinic each week.
After this had been going on for some time, the medical officers decided to teach the Word of God while treating their patients. They taught that women are made in God’s image, that He loves them, and that it is Satan and our own sin that have made sex seem shameful. As the health workers encouraged sexual purity, they also taught that each woman has a ‘Garden of Eden’ within her body and she can pray over her baby’s future, even before birth.
From that time on, thousands of women began to flock to the clinic to be treated – hundreds every day! For two years, the assistants worked twelve hour days, with no time for breaks, even for lunch. The women congregated to hear the life-giving message of the wholistic Gospel as it applied to their own lives and circumstances before receiving medication. By 2008 the numbers coming to be treated had dwindled to between 150 and 180 each week and the workers testified with joy and thankfulness the enormous impact God’s Word had made on the women, significantly reducing the incidence of sexually transmitted infections in that whole area!