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Generosity Spreads to Remote Villages

Villagers in New Guinea receive basic medical supplies thanks to a Thrivent Action Team

Generosity Spreads to Remote Villages l Thrivent Financial

The people of Papua have a special place in the heart of Thrivent member Emily Rall. Emily and her parents lived in New Guinea until she was three years old. Since then, her parents have returned to do missionary work nearly every year. In 2012, Emily joined them.

“When we got there, word spread that I had medical training,” explained Emily. “Most of the people don’t have access to good medical care or even basic things like aspirin or bandages. So everyone in the village came up to me and asked if I had any medicine.” 

When Emily returned to the States, her thoughts remained in Papua. She was passionate about helping the families she had left behind. That passion inspired her to apply for a Thrivent Action Team. Once approved, Emily used seed money to buy over-the-counter medical supplies. In early 2015, she and her team (which included family members) set out for New Guinea.

“We held mini-clinics in many remote villages,” explained Emily. “A lot of people had back pain because they garden for their livelihood. This time I was able to give out simple medications, like Ibuprofen. It really made a difference for them.”

Distributing medical supplies in New Guinea may not be a “typical” Thrivent Action Team project. But when it comes to making a positive change, it’s not about the size of the event or the distance traveled. According to Emily, it’s about showing people that you care. “Sometimes people say to me, ‘Oh my gosh, you went around the world for your project!’ That’s true, but I don’t think you have to go that far. It just worked into my plans.”

“You can do [a Thrivent] Action Team in your own church or community pretty easily. And I’ve found that one little thing that seems pretty insignificant can make a big difference to someone else.”

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