Monday, December 27, 2021

Caroling on the Wards


One of my favorite traditions of Christmas at Kudjip is going Caroling on Christmas Eve and passing out Christmas gifts to the patients.  

The missionaries and doctors gather on the wards, we sing some of the Christmas Songs in Tok Pisin and we share the Pidgin Bible's version of the Christmas story.  

We then go to the different beds and give small gifts to the patients who weren't able to go home at Christmas.  

While the patients and their families sure seem to enjoy this tradition, I think we enjoy it more.

There is something about getting to share the Christmas story in this way and give something to our patients on Christmas that is special.  

The smiles that the patients have, and the prayers that are prayed during this time are also pretty special. 

"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).  Thankful to be able to share this truth with our patients each Christmas, knowing it is for them as well as for me.  

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas

At Christmas, when we remember the birth of our Savior, and the gift God has given us, it is nice to have family around to share in that celebration.   One of the things many missionaries miss, while they are serving, is their families during the holidays.  I am thankful, that at Kudjip I have a missionary family who makes the holidays feel like you are home and not so far away.  This year was no different.  First we had some great food on an amazingly decorated table, and then we enjoyed Laser Tag battles and Throw Throw Burrito duels to make for lots of laughs this afternoon.   I can't imagine serving the Lord anywhere else or with anyone else and miss those I have shared Christmas with in years past here.  Merry Christmas.


Sunday, December 12, 2021

Christmas at Kudjip

There are many Christmas Traditions that we have at Kudjip, but that doesn't mean we can't also make new ones.  We are only12 days into December, but we have already had a number of new and old Christmas traditions occur, with more yet to come. 

This year the Hospital had a Christmas Picnic for our staff and families.  There was great attendance and the rain mostly cooperated with us.  There was some scrambling to get under the tent to eat for a bit, but mostly folks were able to enjoy being outside on the lawn, enjoying getting to know each other.  Kids enjoyed getting a small Christmas present too.  Nora put in a lot of work to pull off the picnic, and I think it was a success.

We did something new and had a Doctor's Christmas Party this year.  Many areas of the hospital have Christmas get togethers, but the doctors haven't yet their own party until this year.  With all the new doctors/dentists we have, we thought it would be a good idea to start something new.  We enjoyed some games, some food and fellowshipping with each other's families.  

The 1st Sunday of December is the traditional time for the Missionary Kids to do a little Christmas Play, and any other mission station to share some Christmas song or tradition of their own.  We didn't have others joining us this year, but the MKs did a great job in their play and the kids were as cute as ever.  Rebecca did a great job with the program and the kids had us all laughing as we learned more of the story of Jesus.  

Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas is a muppet movie that my family watched every Christmas growing up, and it is something that I have continued to watch at Christmas time, as a time to just remember my childhood.  At some point while I was here, I started to invite others over to watch this Christmas special with me, and now 14 years later - the Mission Family keeps coming to watch Emmet Otter with me.  The popcorn, juice and toys might help the kids to keep coming, but their parents come too and we laugh and sing along (well some of us do) to this Christmas movie.  

Daniel and Taylor started a new Tradition of a Christmas bonfire.  Despite the rain, many of us enjoyed the s'mores and hotdogs and the campfire.   We look forward to the next Christmas bonfire.  

The last tradition to have happened was the Missionary Christmas Dinner.  A time where the missionaries get together to enjoy and celebrate our Mission family and the birth of our Savior, the reason we are here.  Cathy Hartwig did a great job, as always, of decorating everything for us, and everyone helps with the food and cleanup.  The kids, of course, enjoy having Santa come and getting a gift from their missionary Aunts and Uncles.  

Despite being far from home, there is much to be thankful for and many people to celebrate this Christmas Season with here at Kudjip.  

Friday, December 3, 2021

Covid Miracle

Wendy is one of our Community Health Workers here at the hospital.  She has worked for us for over 30 years now.  She spent a number of those years in our Surgery Ward and recently has been in the Pharmacy helping to distribute medicines to our patients.  

When Covid became a concern for us here, there were some of our staff who we knew were going to be at a higher risk of having a severe infection from Covid due to their risk factors, and we talked to them about getting the vaccine to protect themselves when it became available to us.  Wendy was one of the ones we were concerned about, and she was very willing to get the vaccine.  The first day we got the vaccine on station, she was there to get her shot and help protect herself.  When it was time for her 2nd shot, she came and got it.  She did all she could to protect herself, and yet despite that, Covid still found her.

Her daughter Roselily is one of our Nursing Officers in our Surgical Ward, and they both came down with Covid around the same time.  Roselily had a mild case, and while Wendy's started out not too severe, over a few days, her condition deteriorated, and we were all worried she might not pull through.  

In a place without an ICU, without ventilators, we rely on oxygen concentrators, having patients lie on their abdomens, on dexamethasone and on God's grace.  Thankfully, God was with Wendy.  Her course was rocky, there were many times after rounding that I wasn't sure if I would see her tomorrow as her sats were in the 60s on the maximum amount of oxygen we had, and her body was tiring out, and yet, day after day, she was there, smiling and talking and singing and Praising God the whole time.  (I did have to ask her for a few days to sing in her head, and not use up her strength to sing, but she didn't want to stop).  Her family has been at her side the whole time, and that family support has been a huge blessing for her.  

She has now been in our hospital for 40 days, and is working on trying to get home.  Our goal is Christmas, but I am hoping she makes it before then.  She still needs some oxygen, but only 4 Liters now, instead of 15L.  She is working on getting her strength back and is having to practice standing and walking again.   She has been a joy to care for in the hospital, and it has been fun to see her improve and to Praise God for His working in her life.  She was very happy for me to share her story with everyone and for everyone to know what God has done in her life.  

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Much to be thankful for

As the day the US celebrates Thanksgiving finishes here, there is much to be thankful for in PNG and at Kudjip.  

  • I am thankful for this mission family at Kudjip, which is always changing, but remains a loving and supportive part of my life and work here
  • I am thankful that this wave of Covid, is definitely trending downward and seems to be almost over, with only 4 patients in our Isolation Ward today
  • I am thankful for God's hand at work in the lives of many of our patients, especially some of our really sick patients who we didn't expect to make it, but God intervened and they have pulled through
  • I am thankful for the number of PNG doctors that we have working with us and for the chance to work and learn together to serve the people of PNG
  • I am thankful for my family and friends back home and all their support through the years
  • I am thankful for the faithful staff the Hospital has, who for years have served this hospital to bring the Good News to the patients who come.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Weekend in Mondomil

I recently got to spend a weekend at the EBC mission station of Mondomil, which is about an hour away from Kudjip with Laura and Taylor Myatt and Rebecca Krupp.  We enjoyed meeting some new friends,  watching guys build a shelter for their market, going on some small hikes, playing games and worshipping with them on Sunday morning. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Repainting the Wards

With the current Covid surge, we have had to combine our Medical and Pediatric ward into 1, leaving 1 ward empty, until we have enough staff to open up all the wards again.  While we have the free ward, we decided to use the time and repaint the inside of the wards.  We built the hospital shortly after I got here and started using it in 2010, so we haven't repainted the wards for 11 years now.  Once we decided we should do it, and we took a closer look at walls - we definitely knew it was way past time to paint.  

So we got our Maintenance and Hygiene teams and they have been working hard to repaint our wards while they are free.  We just finished our Medical Ward, and put our Surgical patients in there just this weekend to redo our Surgical Ward next.  

While I wish we had more staff able to work and we could be open to normal operations, I am thankful that we are using this time and making the most of it and doing something that has needed done for quite a while.  

The patients seemed to be happy when we moved them in and the color hopefully brightens things up a bit.