Birthing Kits – an overseas embrace

By Nevin Nitschke

“Thankyou for the heart you have and God bless” Lupsy The Birthing Kit project is one of the ways that LCA International Mission provides practical support for women at the grassroots, in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Having responsibility for this project is one of the joys of being a program officer for this country partnership. […]

“Thankyou for the heart you have and God bless” Lupsy

The Birthing Kit project is one of the ways that LCA International Mission provides practical support for women at the grassroots, in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Having responsibility for this project is one of the joys of being a program officer for this country partnership. In the recent shutdown, I have missed the regular deliveries of birthing kits, which come to the LCA Churchwide office from Lutheran women’s groups across Australia.

The words of thankfulness and appreciation scattered throughout this story, come from the women of Finschafen, Torowa Health Centre in Menyamya and Yagaum rural hospital, PNG.

Sanang received a birthing kit for the first time when she had her fifth child (and her second supervised delivery); it was a very welcome gift of love:

“Jisas i laikim yu”! (Sanang)

We have had the opportunity, in the past, to visit some of the hospitals and health centres run by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELC-PNG), and see how the birthing kits have been distributed. Due to current travel restrictions, this update comes from Lorraine Singin in the ELC-PNG Special Projects office.

“Thank you, Lord, for serving me and my baby” (Emmelyn)

Some of the health centres and hospitals keep records of the women who receive a birthing kit. They then provide the women with an opportunity to comment on the gift. It is clear from the reports we have received, that the women are aware that the Lutheran Women of Australia have provided the kits they receive.

“Tenku long dispela present. God i blesim yupela” (Ribi)

Nurses attending the mothers, read the comments and note the impact of the birthing kits given as gifts: “the women feel encouraged and appreciated”, and “unbelievable gifts! All very happy to receive such a gift. Thank you, God bless.”

“Mi tok bikpela tenku” (Leslie)

Over the years I have increasingly appreciated that these kits connect women as Sisters in Christ. They are like a loving embrace; a bond between women which is renewed when a new life begins. The shipping container, which sits behind the LCA Churchwide office in North Adelaide, stores bundles of gifts which have been packed with care. What a wonderful way to break through distancing and isolation. Women from either side of the Torres Strait are connected through their shared understanding of becoming a mother, and being loved by God.


If you would like to consider the opportunity to join God’s mission through the assembling and donation of Birthing Kits, you are invited to phone Nevin Nitschke on (08) 8267 7300 or email nevin.nitschke@lca.org.au. For more information, go to https://www.lcamission.org.au/join-gods-mission/birthing-kits/

Read more stories about our partner church in Papua New Guinea at https://www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/papua-new-guinea/

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About the Author : Erin Kerber


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