Monday, June 22, 2009


Well, there really hasn't been too much exciting going to tell you about.
Randy Smith returned Thursday from town with our supplies for the next two
months and mail. I received some of the baby packs that you folks have
assembled and sent, and I'm excited to start using them in the clinic. Ben
Ritschard, son of the Ritschards who are GFA missionaries based near Goroka,
came out to spend a week working with Jeremy Dion (our missions intern), so
they have been busy on various projects. Clinic has stayed fairly busy but
uneventful. I've seen lots of babies and toddlers with respiratory
infections, so something must be going around.

When I'm not busy in the clinic, my time has been filled with language study
and organizing medical supplies. There are probably 20 large crates full to
the brim of various kinds of medical supplies -- some of it very useful and
some of it not at all. (For instance, I'm not planning on doing open heart
surgery any time soon, so that open heart instrument kit probably won't be a
lot of help. And, no, I'm not joking.) This morning, I spent a couple hours
going through one of those crates (probably 4ft x 6ft x 4ft) and salvaging
what is usable. Actually, I was working on it in between doing my laundry.

To do laundry, we use what is called a twin tub washer. Maybe you are
familiar with that, but I wasn't. It has two tubs (as its name suggests).
You fill the first tub with water and soap and put your first load of
clothes in. When they finish washing, you transfer the load to the second
tub which spins out the soapy water. Meanwhile, you wash your next load in
the first tub. When all the loads have been through the soapy water, you
change the water and put them back through to rinse, then into the second
tub to spin out the rinse water. Once they are all spun, they can be hung up
to dry. Running the washer requires the generator, of course, so it is also
a good time to charge computer batteries and other electronics.

Well, my laundry is done, but the crate isn't finished yet, so I need to get
back to it. I'm going to attempt to send email first though. That is another
bit of a project. I have a satellite phone that connects into the computer
as a modem. Ideally, the email program just dials through the satellite
phone and sends and receives email, but usually it's not that simple. First,
the sat phone has to find a connection to the satellite (indicated by a
series of beeps from the phone). Then, the computer dials the number and
waits for the phone to start the connection process (indicated by another
beep). Then, we wait and hope for what is called a carrier. I'm really not
sure what that means, but it seems to be hard to get sometimes. More times
than not, I will attempt to call and get a message saying "No Carrier." When
I see that message, I mess with adjustment of the antenna on the satellite
phone, try another number, or sometimes just give up and try another time.
Some days, I try 3-4 times before getting through, and some days I don't get
through at all. So now you understand why sometimes I'm slow in responding
to your emails:-)

Well, I'd better stop before this gets too much longer. Each second of time
that the satellite phone is connected costs money, and the longer the email,
the longer it takes to send. Thanks so much for your prayers and hope all
this detail about daily life here hasn't been too boring.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Quiet House

Well, it's just me, 3 cats, and a dog in my house now. I actually live in a
sort of duplex. One side is mine and the other side has 3 bedrooms and is
intended for the single short term girls. At the moment, Tiffany is the only
one living on that side but she left yesterday (Monday) to head back to the
U.S. for her sister's wedding. Since the road is now open, Mr. Smith,
Jeremy, Tiffany, and 13 nationals took the truck to the nearest airstrip. We
were a little concerned about the trip as we had a big rainstorm on Sunday
and the makes for slick roads if not landslides. But it was dry Sunday night
and Monday morning, so they were able to drive.

Getting to town is always a bit of a process, no matter what route we take,
as we try to make each trip as economical as possible. For this trip, Mr.
Smith let the nationals put in orders for things that they wanted from town.
(They like to purchase oil, soap, salt, etc. and resell it here in the bush
for a profit.) Then he called the store in town and had their order
delivered to the airplane hangar. That way the plane would come to the
airstrip fully loaded and the nationals' payment for transport of their
cargo would defray some of the cost of the trip. (That's why there were 13
nationals in the truck. They were going to pick up their cargo and would
walk back with it.) Tiffany flies out today (Tuesday), and Mr. Smith and
Jeremy will do our shopping for the next two months, pick up mail, and do
other business in town. They will fly back to the airstrip on Thursday.
There are two flights booked for that day as one plane load would only half
fill the truck, and it is a waste to drive the truck back only half loaded.
Once both flights come in and all the cargo is unloaded and packed in the
truck, Mr. Smith and Jeremy will head for home. When the road and weather
are good, it is about a 3 hour drive, but it often takes 4-5 hours depending
on conditions.

All that say, Tiffany left yesterday and will be gone for almost two months.
Hence the title of this blog entry. I am hoping to use this quiet time to
get a lot of language study in and get all the medical supplies organized.
Thanks once again for all your prayers for the ministry here.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Answer to Prayer

About a month ago, I met a teenage girl named July. I spoke with her one
Saturday, and while freely acknowledging that she was not saved, was not
really interested in making a decision at that time. I continu,ed to pray
for her and shared that burden with you as well. Well, yesterday, the Lord
answered our prayers. She is a very shy girl, so I was surprised and
thrilled to see her march up to the front of the church during the
invitation and tell the missionary that she wanted to be saved. I and a
national lady took her to a private place to speak with her. She still had
some confusion about salvation, but after we shared some Scriptures with her
and talked with her for a while, she made a very clear prayer of repentance.

Later, I found out that she is the daughter of a man named Jack. I had met
Jack when I was in Papua New Guinea five years ago. He was attacked by a
wild pig, and had very severe injuries to his legs. I made multiple trips to
his house to change his bandages and was quite burdened for his salvation.
Perhaps the salvation of his daughter July will be a catalyst that will
bring him to repentance. What a privilege to have a part in God's plan to
bring souls to Hiimself!

Monday, June 1, 2009


I had some challenging adventures in the clinic this week. The most
remarkable was a 16 year old boy who cut the top of his hand with a bush
knife. He sliced right through the tendon that controls his 3rd finger. I
knew that if the tendon was not reattached, he would have no use of that
finger, but that procedure isn't exactly covered in nursing classes:-)
Tiffany, the short term teacher, was over helping me, so I had her
retracting skin while I hunted for the two ends of the tendon, praying
earnestly all the while. But the Lord was good and I was able to locate both
ends and sew them back together with absorbable suture, then close the cut
in the skin. He came back for a bandage change on Friday and is able to move
that finger. Praise the Lord! Now if I can just keep him convinced that he
has to keep it splinted for several weeks so he doesn't tear it apart again.
Like most teenage boys, that won't be an easy task.

In other news, Jeremy Dion, a missionary intern from Bob Jones University
arrived last week. He will be spending two months with us and will be
assisting in both the physical side of the ministry (mechanics, building,
etc.) and the preaching and music ministries. We also received word that
Elizabeth Ellinghausen has been accepted as a short term teacher for the
Christian school. We are praying that she will get her visa approved and
support gathered in time to join us for the new school year in September.
The 2008-2009 school year officially finished Friday and we are having a
party and closing program today. Then Tiffany will be going for home about
six weeks for her sister's wedding. She plans to return in early August to
prepare for the next school year.

Thank you so much for your prayers for all the various ministries here. I
know they make a tremondous difference!