News Release

Church Assists With Hospital Bed Donation in Papua New Guinea      

Sister Sharon Eubank of Latter-day Saint Charities offers gift from members

Latter-day Saint Charities has partnered with Pacific Assist and Castlemaine Health to provide more than 130 hospital beds to Port Moresby General Hospital in Papua New Guinea.

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“[We are] very pleased to be able to donate over 100 beds to the Port Moresby General Hospital so that they can provide care for their patients as well,” said Rod Woodford, engineering and facilities manager at Castlemaine Health, a regional health provider based in Melbourne, Australia. “The beds that we have donated have come straight from out of our hospital.”

“The beds we have here in this facility are to enhance movement of patients within the facility itself or to other sections of this building,” said Dr. Kone Sobi, director of medical services at Port Moresby General Hospital. “Although we have 1,200 beds … some of the beds are really in dire need [of] repair and some of them really need to be destroyed … because they’re so old.”

“Latter-day Saint Charities is one of the expressions from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of how we’re trying to keep the two great commandments, to love God and to love our fellow men,” said Sister Sharon Eubank, president of Latter-day Saint Charities, during a weekend visit to Papua New Guinea.

Sister Eubank, who is also first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, is traveling in the Pacific this week with Sister Becky Craven, second counselor in the Young Women organization. The sisters began their Pacific ministry Saturday, October 19, in Port Moresby, the largest city in Papua New Guinea.

Latter-day Saint Charities helped cover the cost of shipping the beds from Australia to Papua New Guinea.

“We’re excited to be able to go to the hospital and have that hand-over and talk to the local staff,” said Richard McLean, director of Pacific Assist, based in Melbourne.

“Members of the Church give from all over the world,” Sister Eubank explained. “They may give just a few extra dollars into the Humanitarian [Aid] Fund or they may have provided their muscles to get those hospital beds loaded up into the container before it came. But either way, members of the Church of Jesus Christ all over the world are loving God and loving their neighbor in real, practical ways. And that’s what Latter-day Saint Charities is all about.”

Pacific Ministry

Sisters Eubank and Craven ministered to families at a Church meetinghouse in Papua New Guinea before traveling to Brisbane, Australia, Sunday evening to address more than 1,000 women and young women at a devotional.

“To see their response when Sister Eubank [and] Sister Craven come — it’s all hugs,” said Elder K. Brett Nattress, first counselor in the Pacific Area Presidency. “It’s tears of joy and gratitude to have [the leaders] here, to know that they’re loved and to share that sisterhood together.”

During the October general conference, President Russell M. Nelson announced that a new temple will be built in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

“The one thing that I think we’ll both take away is the incredible faith of the women and their families that we have met here in Papua New Guinea,” said Sister Craven. “You can just absolutely see the faith in the countenance that they just radiate from their eyes and from their whole countenance.”

“The excitement about the temple is just palpable and people feel very emotional from the announcement,” said Sister Eubank. “I can’t wait to watch and see what happens as the temple becomes a reality and unites families forever.”

The Church leaders will also visit New Zealand and Fiji during their travels in the Pacific. They return to Salt Lake City on October 29.

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