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Papua

*Warning: The following post contains a description of a person who has been badly burnt*

A couple days ago I got an email from my parents about a man called Pilianus. Currently my parents are working in a small village in the mountains of West Papua. Glue sniffing is a regular activity for the young men of this area, and this email told the story of one of them who had been badly burnt after one such incident. Pilianus’s entire body is burnt except for his head and he was flown into the village to be with his family and die because there aren’t any medical facilities in the area that can take care of him.

At this moment, Pilianus is lying in a bed of pus and rotting skin. Maggots and gangrene have set in. He is in a lot of pain, though he can think and communicate okay. He knows he will die soon. My parents walk to visit him every day, one hour each way. My father has been praying with him. My mother is a trained nurse but has limited resources. She can only give him panadol at the moment. She has one dose of morphine in her kit, but once that is gone it is gone. She won’t be able to get any more.

I don’t have some grand message to communicate here. I just want to share some of Pilanus’s story because he has been weighing on my mind these last few days. With all the world’s wealth, technologies, advances… a man called Pilianus is still dying in agony on the floor of a Papuan hut. Which is why my parents keeping on doing what they’re doing, year after year. We have so far to go.

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