Thursday, October 30, 2014

The CALL Experience

Taking call at Kudjip Hospital has been interesting, to say the least. Each physician on Station covers call about once a week, and since I’m new, a more experienced doc has always been assigned/available for consult whenever needed. (Not bad!) Call begins after Clinic closes in the afternoon, with any leftover or late-comer clinic patients then redirected to the ED. When I’m covering, I start call by making rounds on all 4 wards, checking in with the nurses to answer questions, and set up care plans for any seriously ill patients. Before heading home, I’ll cruise by the ER to see whatever patients the staff have questions about. Many of the patients who come through the ER are seen and managed by the well-experienced nursing staff, but there are always a handful with some form of trauma or critical condition which the Doctor is called to help with. Other times, the case may not be so severe, but the nurses simply need help deciding whether the patient qualifies for admission, or can be discharged home with clinic follow up. I also perform this “end of the day” ER check since there’s a good chance that if I have not, my home phone will ring the moment I put my feet up. What comes next has become one of my favorite Doctor perks – driving Herbie! The On Call vehicle is a rickety little hatchback off-roader (Suzuki SJ-410), which has been adorned with a Herbie-style racing stripe and the number 53. Bouncing around the little gravel roads on Station, the vehicle’s manual transmission, high-grabbing clutch, and failing brake system make me feel like I’m driving “God’s Must Be Crazy” style!
Getting home by around 5-6pm, I can usually make it through about half of whatever delicious meal Rachel has prepared before the phone rings. Though my Pidgin is adequate, and the caller will do their best in English, I’ve discovered it’s usually a challenge to find out precisely where the call is coming from, which patient the nurse is calling about, and what exactly the question is. Much of the time, they’ll just ask me to come up, hoping I’ll sweep in and manage whatever problem their facing, but I’ve gotten into the habit of drilling them with questions to ascertain the true nature of the situation. Of course, occasionally they’ll say something startling like “The patient has no pulse or breathing, and we’ve been doing CPR for 10 minutes – please come”, in which case all I ask is the location before flying out the door. But most of the time, it’s not so urgent, so I’ll get the location, age, vitals, and primary concern(s) before providing advice for their next therapy, or decide to come up. There is a fine line between giving the nurses the autonomy they deserve, and being too much of a presence, but unfortunately the line is usually blurred by the quality of information I receive over the phone. In the end, nothing beats putting my eyes and stethoscope on the patient, and once I’m behind Herbie’s wheel, I always feel an immense sense of purpose and joy in being able to help – no matter the hour.

During my first night on call, among many less exciting patients/calls, I spent the better part of 2 hours in the ER suturing bush knife wounds. “Chop chop” as it’s known here, is the nasty result of combining anger or envy, usually alcohol or beetle nut, and the always available bush knife. Both adults and children are rarely seen without such a tool (blade lengths varying from the 5” kitchen knife to the meter-long machete), which are primarily intended for digging gardens and chopping vegetation. For the two gentlemen I sewed up that first night, the bush knife involved was functioning as neither.

Man #1 was drunk, and was carrying a bare 8” blade in his front jeans pocket when he tripped and fell. The result was a deep laceration into his left thigh muscles, which I was glad to find did not pulse arterial blood when I released the tourniquet. He was moaning a little, but it appeared he’d already had a substantial volume of “anesthetic”, so after thoroughly flushing the wound I numbed him up with a little lidocaine and closed the bloody smile – layer by meaty layer.

Man #2, in contrast, had no such pain-killer in his system, but yet he lay quite still; his eyes fixed on the ceiling, his mouth set in determined resolution, and his left arm clutched to his side – a gaping shoulder wound oozing blood, congealing in a dark pool on his bed’s blue plastic sheet. I admired him for keeping cool, but wondered if it was anger that held the pain at bay. This man, Paul, had argued with his wife that night (obvious mistake!), and when his back was turned, she had swung a butcher knife over his left shoulder, aiming for his heart. The result was a deep laceration into his left pectoralis muscle, anterior to the clavicle and shoulder joint, about 5cm wide. The knife had failed to penetrate the chest cavity, as his rib cage had deflected the knife tip down, rather than in. After a quick exploration of the wound with my gloved finger, Paul too received a thorough cleaning (who knows WHAT these knives have been used for!), and I applied a fair amount of lidocaine throughout the ragged muscle tissue to numb against the bite of my suture needle. After approximating tissues as seemed most natural, I used dissolvable sutures to close his internal layers, which I was pleased to find all matched up in the end. Paul handled the whole thing bravely, and we had a little laugh later when my needle wouldn’t drive through his skin. Apparently some of these suture needles are blunt for safety, and short of tearing his skin, I just couldn’t get the needle through. The joke of course was asking if Paul was related to Superman – man of steel! At 1am, with fatigue and nerves setting in, everyone loved it, and we let the laugh go long and hard.

Paul's check-up in Clinic
I have been on call five times since that first night (I am in fact on call right now), and the stories go on and on. I’ll save some of them for future posts, but I have to share the wild fact that I saw a grand total of THREE pig bites in one night during my second night of call. Pigs are vicious little creatures, and most families have them here, so pig bites are not that uncommon – but 3 in one night is fairly rare. What’s even weirder is that two of the three bites were to the groin of young boys. Ouch! I’ll save you from enduring all the juicy details, but you can rest assured both boys are (mostly) ok. 

Another thing I have to mention is the C-sections I have been doing, and LOVING! I think they are very straightforward (as far as surgeries go), and it’s a beautiful reward to hear the first wail of a newborn. In the US, I would never have the opportunity to perform Sections, but it’s practically a requirement for doctors here! Trust me, I’m not complaining. :-) I’ve been accumulating various methods from other docs, assimilating them into my own Sections, and I’m very pleased to report that all the ripping/tearing that I saw all too often in my medical school training is entirely unnecessary! (Unless it’s an emergent situation). My method may take a little longer, but it’s clean, precise, and will produce less scarring down the road. (A big Thank You! goes to Dr Scott Pringle for his excellent teaching and much appreciated encouragement!)

Sadly, not all calls have happy endings. It was 1:40AM, shortly after crawling into bed for the 4th time, hoping for sleep. This time it was D Ward, the nurse reporting they couldn’t find fetal heart sounds on a newly arrived patient. I was at the bedside within two minutes, and I too listened and failed to hear a heartbeat using the nurses' hand monitor. The woman had carried the baby to term without complication, and reported that she had felt good movement earlier that day. Silently praying, I laid my hands on the mother's belly, molding them around her womb, hoping for some flicker of movement to indicate life remained in the unborn child. Again, nothing. I went and retrieved the ultrasound machine from clinic, and swept the probe back and forth across her abdomen, searching the infant's chest for the movement of a beating heart. Nothing... The idea of calling for back-up briefly crossed my mind - someone more experienced to confirm what I already knew to be true, to somehow share in the burden of telling this horrible news. But no. My voice wavered around the lump in my throat, and I told her the baby was no longer alive. She stared at the ceiling through welled tears, her world collapsing. I prayed aloud then, a few nurses solemnly standing by, and I was thankful to see the young mother join with me in earnest. Surely this must be the worst kind of call to attend, and make.

Final story (on a lighter note): The last time I was on call, I saw a man with an awesome forearm fracture (see picture below), obtained in a car accident. The bones were quite displaced, in multiple pieces, and he had a fair amount of soft tissue swelling around the broken bones. Since the hospital is running low on X-rays at the moment, we don’t usually order films on obvious limb fractures, but the nursing staff had already obtained the film by the time I was called at midnight. Obviously, I wasn’t complaining – a picture is worth a thousand words, right?!

I gave the man some medicine to help him sleep, then set to work straightening his arm. In the States, this sort of thing is done by expert Orthopedic docs using fluoroscopy (live x-ray) to ensure everything is aligned properly. All I had were my hands, and to make things more complicated, the medicine wasn’t working very well to keep him still. (His strong friends were very helpful in this respect). I had his arm suspended by the fingers, bent 90 degrees at the elbow, weights hanging from his upper arm to help stretch the forearm. As I squeezed the flesh around his broken bones, I felt the crunch and grating of bone on bone – not normally a satisfying sound, except that now his arm appeared much straighter. I applied layer after layer of plaster, taking care to keep a regular squeeze over the area of broken bone. It felt right, but no way to know – we don’t usually shoot post-casting films either. In the end, the cast was set, but the man didn’t have a ride home, so I approved the ER staff watching over him until the morning. When I arrived the next morning, I was quite pleased to find the morning ER nurse had ordered a film (?maybe thinking he was a new patient?). Anyway, I was able to put the before and after films side by side, and was perfectly relieved to find his bones in good alignment. The patient was also quite impressed, and attempted to buy me a Coke – which I politely declined as I was still working on my morning coffee.

More stories to come!

Check out my new hand-crafted Name Plate! 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Shepherds, Sheep, and a Savior...

Many people consider it “over the top” when Christmas preparations begin in October...but not here in Kudjip!  Throughout the month of October: the MK’s and I have been practicing for the Christmas play, I joined the other ladies on the station in an afternoon of Christmas ornament crafting, and Teddy and I have been brainstorming ways we can make it feel/look like the Christmas season in our home, come December.
Along with being the 4th-6th grade teacher at the MK School, I am also the Music Teacher for the 1st-6th graders.  We have music class every Tuesday afternoon, from 2:15-3:00pm.  My partner at the MK School, Ms. Judy Ralph, informed me this summer that we needed to put on a Christmas Program with the kids, and asked if I could be in charge of finding/coming up with a program.  In the midst of packing, moving, and tying up loose ends in Richmond, I did not have time to creatively come up with a clever Christmas play.  So, I reached out to Lisa Eggert, our Children’s Ministry Director at our home church (West End Assembly of God), and was put in contact with Ashlyn Bolton, who works with the Pre-School Program at our church.  Ashlyn came to my rescue and not only informed me that she had just the thing, but came to my house and dropped off an amazing Christmas play with CD, script, music and everything!  Yet another way we are SO grateful for our WEAG Family back home!

The kiddos were hesitant, to say the least, about learning lines and songs...there were a lot of eyes rolling and loud sighs happening during our first class.  : ) Miraculously, they are beginning to take pleasure and pride in the work that they are putting into the Christmas Play!  The entire production is based on the Christmas Story that we all know and love…from the perspective of the shepherds.  These shepherds were just ordinary people, with commonplace jobs….yet God chose them to hear and spread the good news about the birth of the Savior!  I love the lines of the chorus of our closing song: “Go and tell, go and tell, Christ is born, Emmanuel.”  So….if you find yourself becoming perturbed with all the “holiday hype” this Fall, remember that God can use ordinary people in ordinary places to share the good news about Jesus….keep your eyes and ears open this holiday season…who can you “Go and Tell” ??

The kiddos practicing one of their favorite songs from the play… “Shaggy, Smelly, Sheep”
My shepherds….who appear happy to be practicing…
 My sheep…obviously not so happy about practicing…

Here are some pictures of my classroom…the kids did all of the decorations…we have a “forest” theme in our room.


Here are some pictures of the kids delivering bracelets to patients at the hospital last week.  The bracelets contained the same colors representing the gospel story, so each child had a color that they explained the meaning of in Pidgin!
They did GREAT!

"And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."    ~ Luke 2:10-11


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Retreating to hear Him

I have met with the heart of Kudjip Hospital, and I am humbled. My spirit is filled with reverence for God's workmanship among the servant leaders of our missionary community.

The first of its kind, this retreat brought together all the department supervisors as well as physicians of the “Nazarene Health Ministries” (NHM) - after well over 50 years of effective Christ-centered service to the Highland people.

We retreated to a mountain, high above the people we serve, amid clouds and tall trees, closer to the Heavenly Father we sought for counsel and renewal.

Over 40 strong, our hearts were light with anticipation and filled with the joy of beloved company. Though a newcomer to this tightly woven fellowship, I was pulled into many a warm embrace, like a favorite younger brother or prodigal son, and my heart was likewise filled.

I witnessed in this gathering the Spirit of God fiercely manifested among His finest warriors - worship and testimonies freely declared in tearful joy, a rich glimpse of Heaven and the Life to come. Our weekend speakers, Spiritual heavyweights all, stood before us morning, afternoon, and night, exhorting the small congregation, each a leader of many, into even greater servanthood.

We received Truth on the power of prayer directing our spirits, on the compassion of Christ directing our hearts, and on the freedom of Faith directing us upon His path. We revisited Christ's example of leadership - loving, serving, protecting, and ready at all times to lay down self - even to death.

We reviewed the triangle of Spiritual Health - UP to God, IN to Discipleship, and OUT in Evangelism - and we wrestled with aspects of our personal and ministry lives which have fallen short. With these things illustrated as a garden, we appreciated the nurturing importance of good soil (the Word), water (the Spirit), and pruning (our Trials), and we accepted the call as unique tools in the Gardener's hands to take part in cultivating and reaping His harvest.

I recall this inspiring Truth:

God accepts whatever is placed on His alter...

What He accepts, He purifies.

What He purifies, and fills.

What He fills, He uses!

In meeting with this heart of ministry, God has rekindled my desire to lay down my life to His call. Is there anything greater in this life than to be so purified, filled, and used?! The question is not yes or no, but where and how will God make our home? He has placed us at Kudjip for the year, and every day while living in service to this ministry, we seek understanding of His call with open eyes and hearts - is this the people we will serve for the rest of our lives? Will our children play and grow among these rich mountains?

These are the questions that roamed the recesses of my mind while driving home on Sunday. I drank in the cool air and lush green landscape, returning many roadside smiles, and God's answer came as it always does: Be at peace my son, trust me, this too will be revealed in my time. And right on cue a rainbow appeared, chased before another afternoon storm, dividing the sky with a perfect ROYGBIV.


As an interesting epilogue to our journey home, we came upon stopped traffic blocking the main road outside of Kudjip Station. In the storm that had just passed, a tree had fallen across the road, and in best PNG fashion, every local man with a cutting tool had eagerly fallen to clearing the road. This heroic act would seem genuinely chivalric, except they were then using the cut branches as road blockades to collect payment for their work from all passing traffic. I later learned this is not an uncommon practice, and in some circumstances, it’s not always clear whether these road “improvements” are in fact created by locals in order to levy a tax on those passing through.

As we rolled to a stop behind others waiting to pass, a little debate took place among the passengers as to whether we should pay the toll, or just get out and walk the rest of the way to Station. Not particularly feeling like carrying luggage the last half mile home, I took the opportunity to stick my head out the window and wave down the nice gentleman who seemed to be directing traffic with his large split log. Seeing my white skin (and probably the Nazarene logo on our Cruiser), my greeting was warmly returned, and we were immediately gestured to pass by. Our driver handed the man a small note as we rolled through the debris, and I took the following pictures, which I think are fantastic – clearly representing the spirit of PNG.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Day at Kudjip Hospital

My weekdays on Station are slowly forming into a routine. Rising to the sounds of birdsong and neighborhood banter, I don my usual scrub shirt and trouser pants combo, and set to making coffee and breakfast (alternating between oatmeal with raisins, cereal, and the occasional egg with toast). After Rachel and I spend some time in devotions and prayer, we go our separate ways - she to the MK schoolhouse, and I to the Hospital Wards.

Our usual start time on the wards is 8am, but everyone comes a little earlier on Monday mornings for Staff Chapel (hymns sung in Pidgin, with Pastor John then giving a brief invocation and prayer), as well as on Fridays for the Doctors' conference/prayer meeting. I will be presenting for the first time on November 14th (my topic is yet to be determined).

For the past month working at Kudjip Hospital, I have spent each week on a different Ward. There are four: A - Pediatric, B - Medicine, C - Surgery, and D - OB/GYN. I have done these in the order A, B, D, C - so I am currently enjoying my 4th week with our visiting surgeon, Dr. Steve Elerding. 

The Wards are completely different, each with a unique patient population and therefore, unique challenges. I have previously written about encountering death and frustration on the Peds Ward, but I did not share that the same group of patients also provided me a sense of calm in my first week of work. It was both the familiarity of working with children and their ailments, as well as brightening their morning with tickles and funny faces, which instilled a relaxed joy into my new work environment. Of course, working alongside Dr. Susan Myers (the only other Pediatrician on Station) also provided sound reassurance, as she graciously guided me through our paper charting system and usual therapeutics, then supplied countless answers while I began to see patients on my own. 
Malnutrition in an adopted child
The following week on Medicine Ward, with Dr. Erin Meier supervising, was a blurred crash course in adult medicine, but I was thankful to find recesses of medical school knowledge returning to fill in the gaps. Typical of Erin's efficient style, she threw me in the deep end seeing patients on my own (while she saw a patients in the outpatient clinic) then returned to the ward to review and revise my plans of care as needed. I am very thankful to have had some exposure to Erin's practical wisdom before she left for four months of "Home Assignment" (State-side family time and visiting churches to raise financial support).
Dr. Scott Pringle helping refresh my memory on surgical suture tying
Last week, my morning rounds were spent with Dr. Scott Pringle (OB/GYN) on the Maternity Ward. I'll admit I was a little apprehensive going into this environment, as I have had so little exposure to the pre- and peri-natal care of women. What I quickly found was that Dr. Scott has a sound medical regimen for all his post-operative (C-Section) patients as well as for the ladies needing pre-natal checks. I actually really enjoyed learning the ultrasound techniques for pre-natal measurements, and I also feel a lot more comfortable performing a pelvic exam. The more anatomy I've examined, the more accurate my determination of what's normal versus abnormal, and how far labor has progressed. This has already proven extremely useful when seeing pregnant ladies in clinic or when I'm on call.

Catching you up to the present, I have been rounding this week with Dr. Steve Elerding on peri-operative patients in C Ward. Surgery is a far cry from my training in Pediatrics, so my role has been to shadow Dr Steve, and learn what kind of things are operative here in PNG, and what peri-operative complications I need to watch out for when I'm on call. I've also enjoyed scrubbing into multiple surgeries every day, acting as Dr Steve's assistant for a range of surgeries including appendix and gall bladder removals, draining massive abscesses, placing and removing chest tubes, and taking biopsies of various cancers. Any time that Dr. Steve hasn't had OR time, I have been scrubbing in with Dr. Scott for his OB/GYN surgeries. STD's often go untreated for years in our PNG population, which eventually leads to painful internal scarring. As such, quite a number of Dr. Scott's procedures have included breaking apart scar tissue around the pelvis, or removing uterus/tubes/ovaries if they are too badly injured. I've really enjoyed working in the "Operating Theater" (as they call it here), and have thought more than once about what a Surgical career might have looked like for me.

Just another beautiful day in the OT !!
Once rounds on the ward have finished - usually by 9AM (depending on the patient number) - I have been spending the rest of each week day in the Outpatient Clinic. During the first week, I shadowed the other doctors seeing patients, taking careful notes on their "usual" therapeutic strategies, and learning a few unique management styles to assimilate into my own clinical practice. This observation time was a true blessing, and I felt entirely prepared to see patients on my own the following week.

When a patient comes to Kudjip to be seen in clinic, they first pay a small fee, then wait to be seen by a nurse. (The PNG government only covers about 30% of the Hospital's budget, so the other 70% has to be raised from patient fees and donations.) The nurses evaluate each patient on a first come first serve basis, getting a history and checking vitals. If a patient's complaints clearly fall into a simple diagnosis, they will send them away with basic medications. Those patients who have medical problems not easily diagnosed, or who are willing to pay a little extra in order to be seen by a physician, are then ushered into our waiting area.

During my first two weeks working autonomously in clinic, I was supplied with Ruth, an experienced translator. My own Pidgin was still a little shaky, and Ruth helped fill in the gaps in my medical/anatomical terminology, as well as helping translate for patients speaking "Tok Place" (village dialects). By the end of the second week, I was communicating mostly on my own, with Ruth only occasionally clarifying, so Ruth is now helping Dr Jaryl, another new doctor from Singapore. 

Ruth:  Holding bracelets made by the daughters of Craig & Misty King
- to be given to her own daughters
My exam room sits at the end of the long clinic hallway, close to the exit. It's a bit smaller than the other rooms, and was previously used by the hospital chaplains, but I love it. There's something special about seeing your name on a door for the first time, so of course, with Rachel's decorative help, we put my name on both sides! :-)

As you can see, we have made this little room a sanctuary - specially decorated for both kids and adults, with strong PNG and Jesus themes. Rachel also supplied me with stickers to give out, which does wonders to alleviate most of the kids' anxiety, and breaks the ice for a non-threatening exam. 

With the patients all lined up and ready to be seen, I call "neks wan kam", or "nekspela kam", and beckon the next victim to join me. I usually watch them walk the hall to my room, already collecting critical information on the state of their health. They are welcomed inside with a handshake (or sometimes just a finger of two of that's what they offer), I ask for their Scale Book, and indicate they sit down on the exam table. Their wasman (accompanying family member) is asked to sit down as well, and I point to my name on the back of the now closed door, introducing myself;  "Moning! Nem bilong mi Dr Ted. Yu pilim olsem wanem tude?" While I listen to them list their concerns, I am reading the notes and vital signs scrawled by the 
triage nurse in their scale book, and my mind quickly assimilates the severity of their illness and starts to piece together their usually disconnected and exaggerated symptoms.  I follow up with questions of my own, further clarifying, boiling down, and mentally making choices on our available diagnostics and treatment options for the most likely diagnosis.

Working with adults has been...interesting... Unlike most of my Pediatric patients who rely on a parent to communicate how they feel, adults have an enormous range of methods for sharing how they feel. Much of the time I am smiling and nodding as they express great concern over irrelevant matters - a stubbed toe 10 years ago, breathing difficulties they had as a newborn, or some other fact which has nothing to do with their current medical condition. Also, the language barrier doesn't help, but as I leaned from Dr Erin, you have to rely on what you CAN trust - your own vital signs and exam, a few lab values (the rest are unreliable), and if obtained, your interpretation of an ultrasound or x-ray. Of course I take into consideration what the patient reports as their history or symptoms, but much of the time I have to look beyond the "stomach pain" they have when they eat too much, or the "fever and sweats" they have when working out in the hot sun. 

In the end, I am not alone - which is one of the many reasons we chose Kudjip Hospital over other missionary hospitals. When I have a complex medical problem that I've never dealt with - massive tumors, shattered bones, a deceased fetus, tropical infections with which I'm unfamiliar - I have the other doctors to consult with. The help is not only willing, but given in the spirit of camaraderie and love shared between members of One Body. Every day I am overwhelmed with gratitude to work among these saints - God's own warriors standing firm on the Front against pain, starvation, abuse, ignorance, and death (both physical and eternal) - and I am called to live a life worthy to stand among such company.

Colossians 3:12-17
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Please join me in praying every day for
the patients and staff at Kudjip Hospital

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Culinary adventures...

Many friends have written asking questions about what the food is like and what we eat.  Food…though often overlooked…is a huge part of our cultural understanding as human beings.  This is something I had not thought of until we moved to PNG.  The experience of leisurely strolling through the aisles of Trader Joe’s and being able to find any ingredient I might need is VERY different from what I currently engage in.  Living on station means that I go to “town”…Mt. Hagen...once a month and stock up on 4 weeks’ worth of groceries.  Yes…this is as challenging as it sounds.  In order to make sure we have everything we need and don’t run out of anything, I plan all of our dinners for the entire month, and purchase what is required based on my meal plan/recipes.  Luckily, to supplement my monthly excursion to town, there is a street market, “rot bung,” near the station that has local produce.  When I find myself frustrated with the lack of so many ingredients/seasonings/etc, I am reminded of just how BLESSED we are to be serving in one of the most beautiful places on earth and am encouraged by the fact that God will always provide!

“Olsem na mi tokim yupela, yupela i no ken tingting planti long laip bilong yupela na tok, ‘Bai yumi kaikai wanem samting? Bai yumi dring wanem samting?’ Na yupela i no ken tingting planti long bodi bilong yupela na tok, ‘Bai yumi pasim wanem laplap?’ Ating laip em i winim kaikai, na bodi em i winim ol laplap samting.  Yupela lukim ol pisin. Ol i no save planim kaikai, na ol i no save bungim na putim long haus kaikai. Tasol Papa bilong yupela i stap long heven em i save givim kaikai long ol. Ating yupela i no winim tru ol pisin, a?  Na sapos wanpela bilong yupela i wok long tingting planti long rot bilong i stap gut, ating dispela pasin bilong tingting planti bai i skruim liklik hap taim moa long laip bilong en? I no inap tru.   -  Matyu 6:25-27 (Pidgin)

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?                          – Matthew 6:25-27

Below are some pictures of my adventures with the local fare.

Cooking dinner by emergency lamp when the power had gone out. 

Teddy climbed the avacado tree up the road to fetch these!
He is awesome!
The lemons are from our neighbor's tree across the street!
Thank you Peterson's!
< ...The PNG version of spinach.

Me cleaning & cooking it... >

The bounty from my trip to the rot bung...


A neighbor tending his banana tree in our backyard.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words...

Dear Family and Friends, There are too many stories to tell in detail, so this Post contains a number of pictures, each with a brief caption, with the hope that your imagination might piece together a patchwork diorama of our life in missions. ENJOY!  :-)

How we start the day - devotionals! 
(Chosen at random separately, 
we happen to both be reading through Hebrews.)

Our view as we walk to work...

Monday Morning Chapel

Cutest kid on the Peds Ward
...chewing on a pen... Safe?...hmmm

A boy in clinic...
 ...his sneakers now sandals...
My first C-section...

...and the handsom result! 

A beetle hanging out on my screen...
...TWICE the size of my thumb!
Our first care package!

Thanks Mike and Andrea!!!

...and we set the Kudjip record!
Both licenses AND bank card in ONE day!
I'm tellin ya folks - prayer WORKS! :-)

UPDATE on the Path!

Got her all cleaned up, then went down to the river 
for some hand picked cobblestone!

Climbing  tree to pick Avacados

PNG style laundry drying

Sunday Morning Church

Dr Bill McCoy getting his preach on!

Hebrews 11:21

God's "little" reminders...

Highland Rugby Finals

These two clowns at their best...

Thanks for following folks !!!