Thursday, December 17, 2015


Dear Friends & Family,

Thank you again for your AMAZING support during the year we served as missionaries in PNG! As expected, God worked in and through us, and we have not been the same since. Rachel and I reminisce often about Kudjip; our missionary family, the wonderful locals we worked with, the amazing things we experienced, and of course – the blissful climate! :-)

Life is different here in Virginia – the bustle of driving in traffic, fitting into new jobs, wrangling long To Do lists, a cacophony of choices in every store, and many joyful reunions with friends and family – not unwelcome, but different from the relative peace and simplicity of remote Highland life, and more tiring. 

God continues to call Rachel and me to serve where we are, which in this season includes leading a small group for young married couples, Rachel serving on the worship team, reconnecting with our Young Adult ministry, and helping coordinate areas of the marriage ministry of our church. Rachel is running an Autism program with a new group of kiddos, which is keeping her very busy, while I have been praising God for an AMAZING Pediatric position with P.A.H.P. (website HERE), where I have found the staff and patients to be most welcoming. I knew God was at work from day ONE when we opened the morning with a prayer circle! 

Apart from this brief update, and to wish you a Merry Christmas, we also wanted to give you the opportunity to catch up on the news and needs from Kudjip Station. Dr. Erin Meier is the hospital’s Medical Director, and she writes regularly about how God is working at Kudjip.

Please CLICK HERE to get plugged back in! 

We serve an AWESOME God, no matter the blessing or trial, and no matter where we find ourselves living/serving. In HIM, do we trust our lives. Thank you again for partnering with us – please continue to pray for God to reveal His path for our lives.

All for Jesus,
    Ted & Rachel

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Lukim Yu Bihain!

Dear Supporters,

This magnificent season of service at Kudjip Nazarene Hospital has come to a close. I have experienced a tremendous mix of feelings these past couple of weeks; a looming urgency tugging me to make every moment and word count, an orderly mind making lists for our return to the States, an excitement to see family again, and a growing sadness to leave our PNG family behind. As with most departing missionaries, Kudjip Station has a few traditions to see them off – the last few meals supplied by invitation to dine with other missionaries, a “circle time” of farewell prayer on the morning of departure, and a final lift to the Mt Hagen airport. We had all this and much, much more.

The week before leaving, our Station mentors, Susan and Jeff Meyers, hosted a goodbye party for us. We played volleyball, roasted hot dogs, and our Missions family gathered around us in prayer of thanksgiving, and for our future safety, blessing, and direction.

Our final meeting with the group of CON students we have been hosting was a blast. We set up the volleyball net near the house, played until it was too dark to continue, and set about devouring some delicious BBQ chicken Rachel has prepared. I shared a few last words of thanks and council, and the student leaders gave short speeches (very traditional here in PNG) of thanks for our hospitality and friendship. We were then laden down with at least a half-dozen beautiful bilums.

As I found myself visiting with groups of staff around the hospital, sharing our farewell feelings and a great deal of hand-holding (which took some time to get used to, but now I’ll miss), I asked them to pose with me for pictures. In addition, a few of my old patients came back to wish farewell.

D Ward (Labor and Delivery) – I will miss these ladies…just not so much the Labor calls at 3am

Outpatient Clinic Staff – “Wanpela cam!”

Emergency Room (only a few of many excellent ER staff)

X-ray Team – love and thanks to Pam for her devoted service, and true friendship

Kudjip Surgery Team“keepin it simple”

LEFT: Our newest Team - Dentist Sheena + assitant Monica
RIGHT: Dispensary – sweetest drug dealers on the planet!

Chaplain John and Rev. Andrew – Lights of Christ amid the dark night of PNG culture

My first namesake “Teddy” John, hamming it up for the camera, and his mother, Carol, brought a bilum for Rachel (who we interrupted from packing to come receive it).

Second namesake "Teddy" Diri (throwing out his first fist-bump) with mother Rhonda, who continues to fight a worsening metastatic cancer (please continue to pray for her!)

Remember little Mathlina? She was the severely protein-malnourished child admitted to A Ward. The before-and-after pictures say it all!

McKayla and her parents, who loaded me with four more bilums and a lovely card written from McKayla’s perspective, sharing her undying thanks, and hopeful prayers for my return.

The last day I worked in the hospital started with a surprise farewell party on A Ward. Organized by Dr. Susan and Sister Christina, the place was decorated with balloons (a personal thank you note on each one), cookies were handed out to all the staff/patients/parents, and they presented me with a beautiful PNG knit cap and bilum. I made a small thank you speech, and fully adorned in PNG colors, set about seeing patients. Dr. Andy, who will be taking over my position on A Ward, was on hand after rounds to receive a verbal sign-out about each patient.

One last doubles tennis match! Thanks Monte, Ben, and Caleb!

Excellent last time playing pick-up soccer with these CON students and Mark Crouch. Afterwards, I gave away my cleats to Shikaina, and my sneakers to a kid named Billy, who I thought played brilliantly.

A wonderful short term volunteer family, the Horne's, have been on Station for the last 6 weeks, and depart the same day we do…but at a different time Sunday AM. To save the Station family from two separate circle times interfering with their church plans, we arranged a joint circle time for late Saturday afternoon in conjunction with a “Hobo Dinner”. Everyone brought their leftovers in tinfoil to be heated up in the coals, folks played cornhole, kids ran around playing tag, and ended it all with a big circle embrace for popcorn prayer and a family photo. What an amazing group of people!!!

As our final days ebbed away, I’d started to describe everything in terms of “lasts” – last Call, last chop chop repair, last hike, last soccer scrimmage, last clinic day, last prayer meeting, last hang-out with our CON group, last, last, last…for this trip. Truth is, I don’t think God is done with us here in PNG, and so all these lasts, are really just a last – for now.

Many many Kudjp staff have shared sentiments of sadness for our departure, gratefulness for our time served here, and a hope we will be coming again soon. What I found myself telling everyone was, God has planted PNG in my heart, and I will be praying He brings us back again – I just know when and for how long that might be. As children of an eternal God, I encouraged everyone to change their “Goodby’s” to “Lukim Yu Bihain!”, which means “See you later!”. Whether here in PNG on our return trip, or in Heaven, we’ll be reunited with our Highland family again in God’s perfect timing.

...oh how we'll miss this!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Teaching Future Teachers...

These last few weeks in PNG have been such a blessing!  I have had the honor and privilege of lecturing at the Melanesia Nazarene Teacher’s College (MNTC), which is located 20 minutes away from Kudjip, towards Mt. Hagen.  Those of you who know me well understand how passionate I am about Special Needs kiddos.  It was a real joy to be able to talk to the future teachers of PNG all about Inclusive Education, more specifically, Learning Disabilities.
On my first visit to MNTC, I met with Miss Alice Yenas, the Inclusive Education Instructor.  We spent some time going over her syllabus and determining which classes I could assist with.  I was able to observe Alice teaching a large class of second-year students and was impressed with her knowledge and similar passion for Inclusive Education. 
Discussing the syllabus with Alice
God works in wonderful ways… His timing was perfectly arranged in my visits to MNTC.  Alice was called away to Port Moresby for a workshop/seminar, but did not have to worry about finding coverage for her classes.  I was able to cover all of her classes during her absence and really enjoyed working with the Second Year Teacher’s College students. 
Selfie with my 2nd Year Teaching College Students - 83 Total!
With Alice & several students after class one day...
All of my lectures were based on the topic of Learning Disabilities.  I spoke with the students about: the major types of learning disabilities, possible causes of learning disabilities, academic behaviors seen in children with learning disabilities, the identification and assessment process for special needs children, and classroom interventions and modifications that can be made to accommodate children with special needs.  I really focused on this last point a lot.  Here in PNG, the school is not required to provide services in the same way that we do in America, so it will be up to the classroom teachers to notice that a student has a learning difficulty and adjust their curriculum to suit the needs of that child. 
During my last day of lecturing, I had the students break up into groups and complete an activity where they had to come up with four different ways to adapt an assignment for a student with a reading and writing learning disability.  It was slow going at first, but once they understood that they were acting as the teacher and not the student, they got it!  : )  Each group then presented their strategies to the class and shared their ideas.  My hope is that in a year from now, when they are teaching in their own classrooms, they will remember the strategies we discussed and implement them at their schools.

Working in their groups to create modifications/accommodations:

I ended each class with a quote about education…here are two of my favorites!

Future teachers of PNG!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Cheerful Giving

Praise GOD! ...and here's why:

Many years ago after finishing my first year of medical school, Rachel and I became friends with a very special young lady named Maggie Landgrebe - also a medical student, also serving the Lord through medical missions.

We have remained in touch with Maggie over the years, and like many of you, Dr. Maggie Landgrebe joined us this year in Papua New Guinea by helping us raise financial support to come and serve. In addition, she also purchased some medical equipment which was (literally) shipped here via Dr. Todd Winters' ministry, the Nazarene Hospital Foundation (sends shipping containers to Kudjip full of donated US medical supplies.)

Dr. Maggie has faithfully followed our Blog through the year, and as we are getting ready to return home, she has generously sent a final monetary gift, which will be distributed among the following Kudjip ministries which she has read/heard about...

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I have had the pleasure of spending most morning hours this year on "A Ward", our Pediatric Ward. I have cared for many hundreds of sick children, shared smiles and stickers with them, and given countless talks to their parents on how to best care for them at home. But my influence and ministry, though thoroughly enjoyable, has been only a fraction of what these kids and families receive on A Ward. The real heroes are our nursing staff, who spend endless time tending to the patients' needs, leading them in daily devotional times, singing songs, and providing education about preventing common diseases. I have occasionally had the pleasure of wandering onto the Ward during these devotional times, only to stand aside and bask in the heavenly sound of voices joined in worship, and feel my heart filled by scripture reading. To know our sick kids and their parents, who are suffering so much, are receiving Jesus trough our nursing staff has given me great hope throughout this year for the ministry impact of Kudjip Hospital.

Dr. Maggie's donation for A Ward will serve to supply picture flip boards (among other items) for the nurses to educate parents regarding prevention of our three most common, and often deadly illnesses - malnutrition, respiratory diseases, and infectious diarrhea. Sister Christina, A Ward Nursing Supervisor, also envisions using the funds to supply poorer families with food and clothing.

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Many of you have read former Posts about all the times I have enjoyed praying with patients, both on the Wards and in Clinic. Similar to my above A Ward impact, my usually brief evangelism into the lives of these patients goes only as deep as the Lord will water and grow the seeds I have planted. For this reason, I rejoice that I have not been alone in evangelism, as almost every patient I have prayed with has then connected with one of our Hospital Chaplains for further prayer and referral to pastors in their area. More recently, the Chaplains have taken this even further by making expeditions into the community to individually follow up with patients who made a commitment to Christ during their hospital visit. 

Chaplain John has been a close friend and supporter of mine during our year at Kudjip, and I praise God that Maggie's contribution to the Hospital Evangelism Fund will enable him to reach into the lives of even more patients. 

John and I posing with Rhonda's baby - Teddy
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Malnutrition is a very real and profoundly debilitating problem for many Papua New Guineans. Infants weaned too early from breast milk will quickly develop protein malnutrition as their diet consists entirely of garden foods and the occasional cracker pack. For surgical patients who desperately need protein to recover from their wounds, sweet potato just doesn't cut it when protein foods are too expensive for most families to afford.

The hospital has developed a program entitled "Protein for Patients" to meet the needs of our most deprived patients, and with Maggie's donation, hundreds of patients will receive free protein supplementation during their hospital admission. God IS good!

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Another debilitating condition in PNG is HIV, affecting at least 2-5% of our Kudjip population, which sadly remains a stigma within the culture. So many are affected, but so few are diagnosed and effectively treated simply because they don't WANT to know, or believe, they have it. But we do diagnose HIV every day at Kudjip, and every patient requires a substantial investment of counseling to ensure they 1) understand the disease, 2) take their HIV meds, and 3) find new hope in Christ.

Dr. Mark Crouch, a dear friend here on Station, has partnered with the White House staff in developing better modalities for caring for our HIV patients. Mark recently shared a new development within the Nazarene Church, that a young Pastor will be joining the staff to support the Spiritual needs of our known HIV patients. Praise God! One of the tools Dr. Maggie's investment will purchase is "Evangicubes", which like a Rubix Cube, unfold to educate and counsel patients with HIV. In addition, Mark expects donated funds will help purchase an infant scale for the White House, and fuel for community outreach. Please pray for Mark and this young Pastor, John, in their ongoing ministry to the HIV community. 

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Last, but far from least, funds will be directed to CBHC - the Nazarene Health Ministry's "Community Based Health Care" program. Matthew Galman is a good friend and tremendous example of God's Love for the underserved. Through servants like Matthew, CBHC builds individual community health programs in the deep bush within the context of Jesus Christ. Click the above link to learn more.

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Rachel and I recently served to purchase and deliver food and financial donations to a local Orphanage for children affected by HIV. (Read More HERE - bottom of Post). YOU, our supporters, who have sent us here, and more than provided for all our needs this past year - will be supporting this Orphanage one more time. The Westpac bank account from which we have drawn finances for groceries/etc, will be emptied this week, and hundreds of "leftover" dollars will go directly to support the needs of those Orphanage kids. (FYI - Thousands of your donated USD yet remain in our Samaritan's Purse account for future missions trips!) Thank you!!!

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When Maggie first connected with me to ask how she could support the ministry here at Kudjip, she reiterated a Biblical Truth which Rachel and I have held to for many years:

Our money is not our own.

The Kingdom of God is near, and for His children, all we have, all we are and all we can become, are HIS, for His purposes. If while reading this Post, you have thought "What a great ministry!", I would like to ask you to prayerfully consider giving financially towards the ministries of Kudjip Hospital. Dr. Scott Dooley, hospital administrator, oversees an online donation account (CLICK HERE), and will be sure your offering is multiplied for the Kingdom.

"Remember this
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, 
and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, 
for God loves a cheerful giver."
(2nd Corinthians 9:6-7)