Saturday, March 31, 2018

Happy Easter!

Recently, I have been meditating on the song "O Praise the Name" by Hillsong:

1. I cast my mind to Calvary
    Where Jesus bled and died for me
    I see his wounds, his hands, his feet
    My Savior on that cursed tree.

2. His body bound and drenched in tears
    They laid him down in Joseph's tomb
    The entrance sealed by heavy stone
    Messiah still and all alone.

    O praise the name of the Lord our God
    O praise his name forevermore
    For endless days we will sing your praise
    O Lord, O Lord our God

3. Then on the third at break of dawn
    The Son of Heaven rose again
    O trampled death, where is your sting?
    The angels roar for Christ is King.

4. He shall return in robes of white
    The blazing sun shall pierce the night
    And I will rise among the saints
    My gaze transfixed on Jesus' face.

The greatest tragedy has become our greatest victory. Christ has risen, defeated death, and reigns on high. To him be the glory!

"Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:54-57)

May you celebrate victory in Christ this Easter and all through the year!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

World Travelers

After spending a week at Kudjip, Mom and I set out to explore the northern coast of PNG. We flew to Madang on a 7-seater MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) plane. In Madang, we met up with some friends from another mission, gathered supplies, and took a 1 hour boat ride out to Karkar, a volcanic island.

The next 2 days were spent relaxing, eating fresh seafood, playing in the ocean, and touring a coconut and cocoa plantation.

Back in Madang, we enjoyed snorkeling and kayaking before heading on to Australia.

In Brisbane, we were blessed to spend time with Mary Lean. Mary, her husband David (a pediatrician), and 5 kids will be be joining our team in Kudjip next year. They treated us like royalty during our time in Brisbane.

After exploring the Southbank with is museums, parks and entertainment venues; mom and I spent a day exploring the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

We enjoyed feeding the wild lorikeets, petting kangaroos and emus, seeing koalas up close and viewing many other native animals such as wombats, platypus and tasmanian devils.
 In addition to the sites of Brisbane, I also enjoyed having some of the conveniences of Western life: stores, restaurants, and TV playing the Olympics! It was an amazing adventure and I enjoyed it while it lasted. However, once I got back to PNG, it was "Back to the Unexpected", as detailed in my next blog....

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Special Visitor

         Three weeks ago, I had the privilege of introducing my mom to  Kudjip Nazarene Hospital. Mom came for a 3 week visit and the first week was spent in the Highlands. She brought much needed supplies, attended devotions, followed me on rounds, helped in the pharmacy, and watched me interact with patients in the clinic and during surgery. She also met some of the patients who have been mentioned on my blog and in my newsletters.  Throughout the week, She followed several surgical patients during the ups and downs of recovery. Most did well; a few did not –a  true look at life in a missions hospital.

Mom meets the twins!
        Her favorite patient experience at Kudjip was watching me deliver twins by c-section. Mom donned scrubs, mask, and bouffant hat and was carefully positioned in a corner of the room to catch all the action (with the patient’s permission, of course). She watched as we delivered a baby girl, then a baby boy, both healthy. What made this experience even more special was that she met the twins again a week later. On the way to my friend Emelyn’s house for a family meal, Emelyn told us about her niece who was recovering from surgery. It turns out her niece was my patient! Mom was trilled to hold the twins and get the opportunity to share a traditional PNG meal with these special friends.

Hagen Market
        In addition to working in the hospital and meeting my friends and the other missionaries on station, we also explored the surrounding Highlands. The Deuels and I took mom to Mt. Hagen to experience the open-air market.

Rondon waterfall
Then, we stayed the night at Rondon Ridge, perched on a mountain overlooking the valley. There, we hiked to a small waterfall, then found over 20 varieties of orchids along the winding trails of the orchid garden. Some of the flowers were only a few millimeters in size!

Kumul Lodge
Ribbon-tailed Astrapia
      The next day, we drove an hour further west to Kumul Lodge, a popular birding site. There, we saw a dozen different species of birds, including two types of Bird of Paradise: the ribbon-tail and the sicklebill. It was quite a week of adventuring in the Highlands, but that was only the start. In the next blog, we travel to coastal PNG, an island, and then on to Australia…. Stay tuned.

Another Ribbon-tailed Bird of Paradise up-close.