Tuesday, October 29, 2019


   Some of you know I really like elephants, ever since my first trip overseas to Ghana, when I got to go to an elephant farm, I have enjoyed these massive giants.  About 6 years ago, my liking of elephants increased when in Thailand, I got to play with a young elephant who lived near the medical conference I was attending.  They are pretty big at just a few months old, but they are just like kids and want to play, which was a lot of fun.  Through the years and my travels, I have collected various elephant figures, pictures and other souvenirs and have decorated my dining room with elephants.  So in coming to Thailand, one of the things I wanted to do was to go and see the elephants.  The Kudjip team took a trip after our Regional Conference to a nearby Elephant farm and enjoyed a day being elephant owners.  We learned how to make sure the elephants are healthy, how to feed them and the different commands that they use to get them to stand and sit, how to open their mouth to feed them, etc.  We got to feed them, ride them to their watering hole and then help wash them down.  Thankfully the Thai trainers, were with us every step of the way, talking to us and the elephants keeping us all safe and making sure we had a great experience.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Asia Pacific Regional Conference

I got to go to our Church's Asia Pacific Regional Conference this past week with over 450 other folks who are serving the Lord in this Region.  It was very encouraging, challenging and inspiring.  As a missionary, I think I know what I am doing in PNG - but it is still good to be reminded of what God has called us to, to hear stories of what God is doing, to worship together, to fellowship together and to break bread together.  I certainly was inspired to keep serving as God has called and challenged as well in what He is asking of me.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Auntie Margaret - 40 years of service

40 years ago Auntie Margaret started working at Nazarene Hospital.  She started as a CHW (Community Health Worker) and over time was trained to work in the operation room, assisting and scrubbing and for many years now being the Operating Room Supervisor.

On Friday, she threw a celebration to honor her 40th year of working here.  We sang, ate,  laughed and praised God for Margaret's life and ministry to the Lord, the patients and to each of us in many ways.  I don't think it is possible to quantify the lives Margaret has touched in her 40 years of service here.  As she mentioned, she seeks to help others know Jesus each day, and doesn't want anyone to have surgery, or a start to start without Prayer.  She is definitely a prayer warrior - and has stopped me many times as we cross paths in our working days, letting me know that she is praying for me, or what God has told her to pray about.  When I care for her as a patient, we always end praying for each other, and I am thankful for that relationship.

She has trained numerous OR staff over the years in scrubbing, circulating, being in central supply.  She has helped many a doctors, as they have been doing Csections or other cases giving advice as to what they might do in a certain situation, because she has more time in those ORs than anyone else.  She has seen more cases and complications, has seen how Dr. Jim and others have gotten out of complications and she shares that knowledge with new doctors - who might need it - and we are thankful for her.

In 2008, God intertwined Margaret and I's lives, in how He uses and calls us.  She got to go to Ethiopia for a prayer conference and she came back to share at our NMI night at Emmanuel Church.  I had been here for less than a year, was still thinking and praying about long term mission vs just 2 years of service, and at that service, as she was sharing - God spoke to me that He was calling me to long term missions.  When I see Margaret, I thank God that He used her and her faithfulness in my life to keep me here.

Margaret's obedience and faithfulness to God's call continues to be an example and inspiration to many of us here.  I am thankful to have gotten a chance to work with her, to see her serve the Lord and to watch as she continues to pour out her life into the lives of new staff, helping them to see and understand God's call on their lives.  Margaret - thank you for serving, we are blessed because God has crossed our paths together.

Friday, October 4, 2019

1st Surgical Trainee

For a few years now, we have been working with the University of PNG and the PNG Surgical Society to become an established training site for Surgical Trainees.  This process was finalized this past week at the PNG Medical Symposium.  So we are open to train, and we are happy to announce we have our first trainee - Alex Mel.

Alex is married to Imelda.  Imelda has been with us for 8+ years now.  She did her Rural Registrar training with us, and has stayed on to serve and work here as a Rural Specialist.  Alex worked with us a little on/off the past few years, but started full time with us this past January, with the hopes that he could stay and train with us.  Thankfully, the PNG Surgical Society, agreed to this, and Alex will start as our first Surgical Registrar Jan 2020.

Our surgeons here, do quite a bit more than what we th
ink of as general surgery.  They do orthopedics, obstetrics, gynecology, ENT, cardiothoracic, trauma, laparoscopic surgery and more.  The breadth of our surgical load, will give Alex, and other future trainees, a great opportunity to learn a little of everything.  We currently have 2 operating rooms, with 2 more being built as part of our Hospital Expansion, giving us lots of room to train and carry on with the case load that comes.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Lunch with the Ladies

With the craziness of life here, we don't often have time to get out.  Yesterday, Stephanie arranged for the ladies to go out for lunch at the Kofi Kave.  There were 18 of us, and we almost had everyone there, but missed Esther and Pamela.  As missionaries, we are away from our extended families in the US or Canada or Australia or New Zealand, but I am thankful that God has given me a family here.  God has surrounded me with these friends, who I call family, and that I have folks to support and encourage me as we serve the Lord together in PNG.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

From Death to Life

I was called to the ER for a child who was unconscious and seemed to be having seizures.  Parents were at his bedside, obviously worried, trying to hold his arms still, so he didn't keep hitting himself or others as his body tighten and contracted on the ER bed.  When I asked what happened, the family didn't really know.  He went to school just fine, but after school, he was playing with friends, something happened and his color was different and they gave him mouth to mouth resuscitation, and then brought him in.

As I examined him and asked some more questions, I wasn't sure what was going on, but I was worried it wasn't going to have a happy ending.  His eyes weren't responding to light like they should, seizures kept ravaging his body despite the meds, and nothing seemed to make sense.   I told the family we were going to keep trying some meds and went to the next bed to attend to a patient who was stabbed.

While sewing up the laceration, I hear crying from the bed next to me, where the kid was, I looked over and wasn't sure if he had stopped breathing or something else was going on.  There were nurses around who didn't seem to be worried about the crying, so when I finished with the suturing, I went over and asked what had happened and learned more of the story.

Apparently, he had been playing with some friends and for some reason was playing with a rope or something around his neck and accidentally, ended up hanging himself.  So his mom was crying, because she was now more worried about him, as was I, when I heard what had actually happened and as I examined him again.

I told the family, I wasn't sure what would happen.  We continued with some medicines to stop the seizures, but we were going to have to wait and see what God would do.  I prayed with them and went home, doubting the outcome was going to be favorable.

The next morning, I went to check on him in the Pediatric ward, and while he hadn't had any seizures, he also wasn't responding, he was just laying in bed, and I thought, well this isn't going to end well.

The next day, I checked on him again and this time when I called his name - he looked at me and sat up.  He talked to me, he knew where he was and who was around him and what grade he was in.  I couldn't believe it.  I thought he was going to die.  I thought this accident that happened while playing with a rope was going to be the end of his little life, but instead God had other plans.  How thankful we all are, that even when medically, there is nothing I can do to help, there is always another step with prayer and waiting to see what God does.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

More Hospital Expansion

Lab Building
Lab and Pharmacy 

While some of our project is complete, there is still more happening.  The Lab and Pharmacy are progressing with roofs and their inner walls starting to take shape.  

Our 2 story Admin building is progressing - seeing the first floor set out, sure makes the building seem even bigger.

Surgical Clinic

We are getting closer to having our Surgical Clinic finished, which also enables our Chaplains to have counseling rooms and office space in the heart of our clinic, enabling them to reach more people.  Our OT Expansion still has a ways to go, but we keep making progress.

Thankful for the Incentive Fund, from Australia who provided the funding for this and our 1st New Hospital and our Hydro, and all our Project workers and Managers who keep us on task.

Admin Building
OT Expansion
Admin Building