Monday, March 30, 2009


The past week has once again been a busy one. With the departure of Erick & Kara Duprey (the short termers who set up the clinic), my side of the duplex became vacant and ready for me to move in. So I spent the last week moving my stuff and getting settled in. I haven't started cooking yet because my refrigerator is broken. Both the stove and the refrigerator run off of the same propane tank, so I can't use the stove until the refrigerator is fixed. Mr. Smith was able to find the part to fix it on his town trip though, so it should be up and running soon. It was of the Lord's grace that he was able to get the part as they had been delivered to the store only an hour before he went to inquire about them.
Speaking of the town trip, Mr. Smith was delayed a bit later than he planned. First, when he arrived in town on Monday, he discovered that his truck was broken. He immediately took it to the repair shop, but didn't get it back until late Wednesday afternoon. He had intended to fly home on Thursday, but had to go to another city (about a 2 hour drive away) to pick up the motorbike. He made that trip on Thursday, then flew out on Friday. He attempted to ride the motorbike back to Kiari, but discovered that it wasn't really capable of making it up our steep grades. He ended up spending the night about halfway home and arrived late Saturday morning. Quite the trip! He hopefully won't have to go out again for another couple of months.
Clinic has stayed interesting as well. My latest excitement was last evening (Sunday). Two women had gotten into a vicious fight (rather common around here). One women picked up a stick and stabbed the other woman in the neck. When I examined her, she had a significant puncture wound in her neck, nicely situated between her carotid artery and her trachea. A few centimeters in either direction, and she would have been in serious trouble, if not dead. I was able to speak to her briefly about her mortality and God's protection. Please keep praying for the light of the gospel to shine into the darkness of this culture.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Back in Kiari

Sorry for the delayed posting, but did want to let you all know that I am safely back in Kiari. I was able to leave Aibai about 9am on Tuesday morning, so we (me and 3 national guys) walked for about 10 hours and slept in a national home. We had hopes of making it all the way to Kiari, but my knee started giving me some trouble about halfway home, so we decided to stop. That only left about a 90 minute hike for Wednesday morning, so I was home by 8:30 -- a definite blessing!
The time in Aibai was definitely a profitable one. Thanks for your prayers in that regard. Since I've gotten back and started doing clinic again, I have really been able to tell how much I learned while I was there. Friday (my first clinic day after I returned), I did my first stitches since I arrived in PNG. A lady had cut the bottom of her big toe with a bush knife. I put six stitches in, but it was a bit challenging due to the toughness of her skin. Most people here don't wear shoes, so the bottom of their feet is as hard as shoe leather.
Randy Smith, the senior missionary, is in town for a few days on a supply run. As you may recall, the helicopter pilot we usually use is on furlough, so we are having to use a more expensive helicopter. Thus, to save on expenses, Brother Randy hiked to our nearest airstrip (about 7 hours) and flew into town on a small airplane. The helicopter will be coming twice Wednesday with our supplies, Lord willing. Then Brother Randy will fly back to the same airstrip along with a motorbike that he has purchased. Then he and his national companion will ride (we hope) the motorbike back to Kiari. He should hopefully be home sometime Thursday.
We have heard some really great news though. Our mission agency was able to purchase 2 earth moving machines and will be sending them to us in a container hopefully within the next couple of months. These machines will enable both us and the missionaries in Aibai to complete our own air strips, greatly simplifying our supply trips. This is an answer to many prayers of many months from many people. A definite blessing from the Lord!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Heading Home

This has been a mildly exciting week. On Tuesday, we decided to go to
Kundiawa. The road was reported to be open, so we decided to attempt the
trip. We left a little before 3am. About a half hour into the trip, we
arrived at the village of Dirma. We spent 3 hours there trying to make it up
a very muddy hill. When I say muddy, I mean mud so deep that you sink in
past your ankles when you walk in it. We had mud chains on the truck, but it
eventually took about 30 guys pulling on a rope attached to the front of the
truck to get us up the hill. (Men just come out of the village to help and
have a great time doing it. We gave the leader of the group 20 Kina [about
$7] to divide among those who helped. He gave us back 10 Kina, saying that
was too much!) In the process, of getting up the hill, one of our CV joints
broke. We continued on our way for another hour or so, then another CV joint
broke on the truck. I'm not a mechanic, but apparently the CV joint has
something to do with providing power to the front wheels when they are being
turned. With both of these broken, there was no way we would make it to
town, so we turned around and limped home. After getting pulled up a few
other steep and muddy places, we arrived home around noon. So much for our
trip to Kundiawa:-)

Lord willing, I will be heading back to Kiari on Tuesday. Erick and Kara
Duprey, the short termers who opened the clinic for me, are coming here to
Aibai for a week. They are praying for the Lord's direction for their future
ministry and want to see the ministry here. They left Kiari this morning
(Monday) with a couple of our church guys for carriers. They will sleep
tonight at a national pastor's home, then come the rest of the way on
Tuesday. I will meet them Tuesday at a river about 2 hours walk from Aibai.
I will then go with the carriers back to the national pastor's home for the
night, while one of the missionaries here drives Erick and Kara up to Aibai.
Wednesday morning I and the carriers will walk the rest of the way back to
Kiari.That's the plan at least:-)

I have enjoyed my time here and learned lots, but I'm looking forward to
getting back to Kiari. Thanks so much for your prayers.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Clinic seems to be going about as usual here. We had another baby
delivery -- this one about 1am Sunday morning. The lady came to the clinic
around 9pm on Saturday evening. She had been in labor since that morning and
was almost completely dilated. It was her first baby though, so it took a
while to come. Then clean up of her, the baby, and the clinic took another
couple hours. We finally got to bed about 4am! Needless to say, we were in a
little sleepy in church that morning:-)

We had hoped to make a trip to Kundiawa (our province capital) last week. We
need diesel for the clinic generator, and Jennifer needs to meet with the
government health officer. We had planned to go on Thursday, but on
Wednesday we heard that several landslides had completely closed the road.
This is not the bush road, but the Highlands Highway. This highway is the
only paved road in the country and connects Lae on the coast with Mt. Hagen
in the western half of the country. Because of the landslides, none of the
towns on our side of them could get supplies such as diesel. The landslide
had also come down on top of school bus killing several people and injuring
others. The government health officer was thus rather busy as well. We are
hoping to try again to make the trip this week, but we'll have to see. You
just never quite know what will happen around here:-)

Monday, March 2, 2009


Well, I am staying busy here in Aibai. The patient load has been a bit low
at clinic (usually <20 in the mornings, <10 in the afternoons), but that has
been good because it has given Jennifer the time to explain her rationales
and me the time to ask lots of questions.We have had two baby deliveries so
far -- both cute little baby boys (in my opinion).

Things seem to be going all right back in Kiari. A rather important man in
the village passed away in Lae (a coastal city) right before I left for
Aibai. His body was flown back on Sunday, so there has been a big time of
mourning for him. The church had an outreach fellowship at the "funeral
home" (the hut where the coffin is and all the family and friends gather to
wail). Please pray that the Word preached will find lodging in the hearts of
those that heard.

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