When I got on the plane to return to Papua New Guinea after my shoulder surgery, I realized it was exactly 8 years ago that I first got on a plane to come to PNG. I remember being a bit scared 8 years ago as I boarded that plane, leaving behind all I had known and having no idea what I would find, who I would meet or how God would use me in PNG.
8 years ago everything was new: the people, the language, the smells, food, the medicine I was there to practice, the missionaries I was serving alongside. Now 8 years later, so much is familiar: the people have names and are friends; I speak the language; I have grown accustomed to the smells and know when to avoid smelling; I enjoy eating all kinds of foods; I have a good handle on the diseases I am treating and now serve as the Medical Services Director of our hospital; and the missionaries are now my family.
Despite growing familiar with many things during these past 8 years, there are still challenges to serving in PNG. The PNG culture where fighting and domestic violence is accepted and doesn't seem to end is a continual challenge. The lack of diagnostic ability and medical resources always challenges and stretches my medical skills.
I came here 8 years ago because I wanted to use my gifts as a doctor as a way to be able to love and share Christ with the people of PNG, and that still holds true today. My work isn't just about being a good doctor and curing or healing the patients in front of me, but about loving and serving and being Christ and sharing that with others. Sometimes in the busyness it can be easy to just see this as a job and forget the real reason I am there, but I want that to always be the reason in front of me for what I do, even now 8 years later.
I want to continue to run with perseverance the race marked out for me here in PNG and want to be faithful to the call He has placed on my life, and ask you would pray for me to do just that.