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We love when our alumni make us proud

September 14, 2015

“Judy and Andy have given themselves fully to service in the Kingdom of God. They are wonderful missionaries with a deep love for the people of Papua New Guinea. They are tremendous examples of Christ-centered compassion and sacrifice,” said Dr. Bill McCoy, a colleague at Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, of NNU’s Alumnus of the Year Award recipients, the Bennetts.

By combining their passions for service and medicine, Dr. Andrew and Judy Bennett have been making a difference in Papua New Guinea for over 12 years. This life of service can be traced back to their time at NNU where the Bennetts first met and where they received an education that would form the foundation for their future endeavors.

When Andy (’75) decided to attend NNU, he continued a family tradition. His parents, both of his siblings and their spouses attended NNU, as well as many other relatives and family friends. The decision was simple. “I had been on campus many times when my family attended Homecoming or other events. It never really occurred to me to attend elsewhere,” commented Andy.

The journey to NNU was not a foregone conclusion for Judy (‘75). Born and raised in Alberta, Canada, Judy originally attended Canadian Nazarene College (now Ambrose University College), but in the summer of 1972, while serving on a jointly sponsored work and witness team, she decided to pursue her new friendships and attend NNU.

After graduating from NNU with a BA in music, and a BS in biology in 1979, Andy went on to attend the University of Washington School of Medicine to receive his MD. He completed a residency at the University of North Dakota in family medicine, and began practicing medicine in the U.S. in 1987. Andy and Judy entered missionary service in August 2002, and arrived in Papua New Guinea in February 2003.

Judy graduated with a BA degree in speech and hearing therapy in 1979 with the original intent of using her degree in the public schools. When asked about her experience at NNU, Judy explained, “It was a great time of personal and academic growth. My overall self-confidence grew tremendously during my time there.”

Since 2003, Andy and Judy have served together in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, working at Kudjip Nazarene Hospital. Andy practices general medicine, and has a special interest in treating children with clubfoot. “It’s a great passion of mine, and is really what is unique about my work here.” Andy explains. Judy supervises the medical storeroom where she receives, sorts, stores and distributes supplies and equipment that are donated to the hospital.

Andy reflects on how his experiences at NNU prepared him for this time in his life, saying, “For me, NNU was important in shaping me spiritually and in character. While I pursued my pre-med degree I received more direct preparation for my career as a doctor, realizing that math and science were not beyond my abilities. Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, I now realize that God used those years to prepare me for mission service. I don’t believe that I would have been as successful as I was had I gone anywhere else for my pre-med.”

Kudjip Nazarene Hospital has been serving the people of Papua New Guinea since 1967 and has experienced growth ever since, currently operating with over 230 staff. In 2014, the hospital served nearly 60,000 outpatients with just over 6000 admissions. Each year, all of the committed Christians who work in the hospital devote themselves to showing God’s love and holistic concern for all people.

“The Bennetts’ insight into needs in the world and how the Church could be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ led them to apply for Nazarene missions. They serve unselfishly in [Papua] New Guinea. God has blessed them abundantly,” offers Hugh L. Smith, former WaPac District superintendent. Since their arrival in Papua New Guinea in 2003, Andy and Judy Bennett have led lives full of compassion with a motivation to serve. They are truly a credit to the Kingdom of Christ.

@nwnazarene