Papua New Guinea hospital advances ‘two cents’ at a time

Kudjip, Papua New Guinea

Scott Dooley, his wife Gail, and their three daughters, Allison, Emma, and Olivia.

In Kudjip, Papua New Guinea, stands a Nazarene hospital that served nearly 70,000 patients in 2017 alone. This mission hospital employs more than 230 staff from all over Papua New Guinea and regularly plants churches through patient follow-ups, including five churches just last year.

But a mission this vast and impactful isn’t free of obstacles — particularly financial ones. Kudjip Nazarene Hospital Administrator Scott Dooley shared some of the trials the hospital has faced.

“We had tried for a few years to get donors for a multi-million-dollar project that was critical to keeping the hospital functional,” Dooley said. “The church gave, and over time, we got enough donations to try to begin to piece together a solution.”

The result wasn’t up to the standards the hospital had hoped for, but it was a blessing because it kept the hospital functional.

Later, the hospital was given an opportunity to apply for a larger source of funding, but the hospital hit its fair share of speed bumps during the application process.

“The truth is we didn’t really qualify,” Dooley said. “[At] every step I would find things that technically disqualified us.” 

Just as the hospital staff and administration team were expecting the worst, they learned the donor believed in their mission so much that they were willing to openly make exceptions.

“We have seen who your church is,” the donor fund manager said. “You are the people that get it done. You bring in experts and volunteers and people you couldn’t possibly pay what they are worth. You get more done with little than we have ever seen. We don’t know how you would have done it, but somehow you would have pulled together a working system with the little you had. We just want to come alongside and help you do it well.”

After the project was complete, some of the early donors felt that what they had initially given was insignificant compared to this donor.

“A friend said he worried sometimes that people will see that the hospital is building these giant buildings in our infrastructure project [and feel] like they are just putting in ‘two cents’ compared to the wealth being contributed by other partners,” Dooley said.

Dooley and the rest of the hospital staff know this wasn’t true. Jesus shared the same truth with his disciples in Mark 12 after watching a widow at the temple give two small coins, saying she “has put more into the treasury than all the others” (verse 43). 

“I am now convinced that Jesus is being literal [in Mark 12],” he said. “God will literally do more with the two cents of obedient sacrifice given in love than all the wealth of the world.”

Thanks to the continued prayer and generosity from individuals in the Church of the Nazarene around the world, not only are the lives of the patients changed, but other businesses and organizations are moved by the mission and support surrounding the Kudjip hospital.

“It is really all those people giving their last two cents,” Dooley said. “From the elderly lady I have written with who has supported this hospital literally since its inception, to the long-term missionaries who have given their lives to this work, to the visiting work team who pay their own way here, this is what makes the hospital run.”

Without Church of the Nazarene members around the world contributing to missions financially and through prayer, projects like this would never be possible.

“It is true that we build better quality at a fraction of the cost of any contractor in the country, but ultimately major donors don’t invest in our projects just because we are great at building things, but because we are a great hospital,” Dooley said. “And we are a great hospital because of the church.”

--Kudjip Nazarene Hospital