Friday, January 30 was a long anticipated day: dedication of the new and improved Kudjip Nazarene Hospital. The festivities began with a parade of special guests, including church leaders, representatives from Australia, hospital administration, and missionaries. We marched to the beat of kanduk drums and through the Tari gate. Hospital staff and community members lined the pathway, singing and and showering us with flower petals. A large tent had been erected for the occasion. The program continued with some special songs, including a wonderful trumpet trip by Drs. Jim, Bill, and Andy. Mr. John Feaks, Deputy High Commissioner for Australia, gave his greetings. And he was followed by several others who had been invited to share a brief remark (LOL... so much for brief, the speeches continued for almost three hours). Dr. Jesse Middendorf, General Superintendent for Church of the Nazarene, was the keynote and final speaker. From there we proceeded to the new hospital. Dr. Middendorf offered a prayer of dedication and cut the red ribbon! Wow, what a day.
The current Kudjip Hospital has been in use for about 42 years now. The structure itself is old and beginning to crumble. The hospital has capacity for 100 inpatients, though this number is often exceeded. Overflowing patients may sleep on the floor because there is no where else to put them. Thanks to financial support from AusAID and PNG Incentive Fund, construction on the new hospital began last year. The building is now about 85+% complete. It will almost double our capacity for inpatients, and will also expand the outpatient area and ER. We hope to move in sometime in the next couple of months!