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)

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