Saturday, December 23, 2017


With Christmas right around the corner, there have been numerous parties and gatherings lately. We have had comedic renditions of the nativity story by the MK students, a fantastic Missionary Family Christmas Dinner, and a fun-filled Christmas Eve Eve Eve party.  

I was an honorary member of the Goossens
Family for Christmas Dinner
MK Nativity drama
"A White Christmas" Missionary
Family Christmas Dinner

Santa Bill handing out gifts. 

Nazarene Health Ministries (NHM)
Farewell program
But this year there were several more gatherings as we celebrated the 33 years of service that Dr. Jim and Kathy Radcliffe have given to the people of Papua New Guinea. Jim was Kudjip’s first surgeon and until a few years ago, the only long-term surgeon. He has been a tremendous instrument of healing in God’s hands, addressing not only the physical, but the spiritual needs as well. Kathy, a devoted mother and wife, raised 6 children here in Papua New Guinea. She has been one of the cornerstones of the women’s ministry as well as the missionary family here. They will both be missed beyond words. The past several months have been a sweet time of remembering their time here and praising God for all that He has accomplished through them. 

Missionary Farewell prayer for
Jim and Kathy Radcliffe
Knox Church Farewell Service

Many of the Rural Registrars (PNG
doctors that Jim has trained over
the years) came to say goodbye.

Prayer Circle (largest I've ever seen here) before Jim and
Kathy left for the airport. 

In all his farewell speeches, Dr. Jim always comforted the nationals with the assurance, that though he is leaving, he is giving part of himself, his son Dr. Ben, to continue the work here at Kudjip. What a tangible example of what we celebrate at Christmas: God giving his son to reach all of humanity with hope and peace.

May you experience the hope and peace of Jesus this Christmas.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

An Extraordinary Week

          Every once in awhile, we get the opportunity to lay aside the daily routine and do something fun, different and adventurous. Last week was one such time as I headed to New Zealand for a little vacation to visit my college friend, Colleen. Even though New Zealand is relatively close to PNG, it still took one and half days of travel before arriving in Christchurch on the southern island. Then Colleen, her husband Jesse, friend Blair, and I embarked on an epic 6-hour road trip to Queenstown in the south. 

Mt. Cook

Highland Sheep

We drove past beautiful lakes, glimpsed views of the majestic snow-capped Mt. Cook, and passed innumerable pastures of cattle, deer, and the ubiquitous sheep. 

 Lake Wanaka
1860's gold-mining settlement
in Arrowtown

We enjoyed a very relaxing weekend touring Queenstown and the surrounding areas, climbing to gorgeous vistas, soaking up the summer sunshine at a lakeside beach, exploring a quaint gold-mining town, wandering through shops, and eating delicious food. 

Lake Wakatipu

Colleen and her co-workers
Mountain Lupin

We also cheered on Colleen as she ran a half-marathon and achieved a personal best. In the evenings, we played games and at least one night I stayed up to see the stars, including the Southern Cross. My brain had trouble adjusting to the late sunset and twilight lasting past 10pm.

tī kōuka (cabbage tree) used for
food and fibre
Christchurch Botanical Gardens

Once back in Christchurch, I enjoyed exploring the botanical gardens, learning about native New Zealand plants and their many uses, and immersing myself in the Canterbury Museum’s exhibits on Maori history and culture, Antarctic exploration expeditions, and the fabulous birds of New Zealand. Afterwards, I enjoyed a shopping spree at the mall! 

Christchurch Arts Centre
Maori carvings

All in all, it was an extraordinary week of fun, visiting, relaxation and refreshment.