Saturday, April 23, 2016

Life in PNG

We are alive!

Ha! I thought that would make you want to read more. We came out of the "bush" yesterday late afternoon and are glad to be in Wewak again.

It was an experience unlike any other we have had in all these years. It was very difficult, physically. The conditions were quite primitive. The people in Sanban have no water or electricity. They were flooded and there was tons of mud everywhere. You can only access this place by boat or small plane as there is an airstrip, grass, and short. We were flown in and then walked through mud to get to the family who were hosting us.

The people were grateful and even shy. They are hard workers and life is very, very hard there. The family we stayed with are doing wonderful things to help them. They have built a medical "clinic" and have 2 RN's staffing them. Anything urgent has to be flown out, or they just don't make it.

John's surgeries went well. The first day, no one showed up! The next three days they did. It was such that after three of them, we had to run the instruments down to the host family and put them in a pressure cooker to sterilize them, run them back up, and get ready for the next. Now, picture doing all this in mud, mud, mud and more mud. There are pigs, chickens, dogs, mosquitoes, rats, poisonous millipedes, just to name a few things.

We were actually a "spectacle"! haha, really, they could only stare. Some babies screamed when they saw me. That is sad actually. I was able to do some wonderful things with the majority of the children and they would follow me around. They take English classes so some of them could say a few words. I thought that was nice. I found their language, Pidgin, to not be too hard to understand or at least get the idea of what they were trying to say.

There are many woodcarvers in that village. Beautiful things and we were given a "story Board" by one of John's patients. He was grateful to him. It is quite beautiful. I hope we get it through customs.

The heat was stifling. The mosquitoes were hungry and the rats had fun at night.

When it was time to leave, we had to be boated out for two hours along the Sepik river to a lagoon to catch a float plane back to Wewak. The boat trip was the most amazing scenery I have ever seen in my life. Pictures will not do it justice. But, it is seared in my heart. The way the people live in their "houses" floating in the river is something I cannot imagine. But, they all had beautiful smiles and waves for us as we went by in our boat, once again, a spectacle.

We are trying to recuperate from the physical toll it took on us and we will. We head out for the two day journey home Monday.

I will write more after our return as I process what just happened in our lives.

We know what it means now when we are told to "love the least of these!" I pray we did and that we did it well.

Thank you for following us.

We are grateful for you,
Christine and John

Sunday, April 17, 2016


Oh the need to be flexible when in the mission field. The pace here is quite different than our hectic life at home. In fact, it is called Island Time. So you now know what I mean.

Today, John was going to go round or at least come alongside, the physician at the "hospital " . So he showed up at 9:00 only to learn that the doctor was at the market and would not be back until 10:30. So, he returned home and we all went to the market for stuff. It was a typical market place with the heat, odd food, flies everywhere and people staring at the "white skins"! I of course had my pocket full of stickers and was bringing lovely smiles to the little ones faces when I would pull one out and put it on them. See, "white lady" does not eat children I hope my smile and gesture said to them.

It is certainly a place where any appetite you may have had quickly vanishes when you see the things you see. I never knew they eat bats!! No kidding and they come with flies all over them:( TMI I know.

So, John returned to the hospital and was told once again that the doctor was at the market. So, that idea was scrapped.

We have enjoyed seeing how these three families live in this part of the world and work full time as missionaries. They are the heroes. We all gathered for a community meal last night so we made homemade pizzas! Just with the three families and us, there were 11 kids and 9 adults! Whew, quite busy.

Plane is up and running now. So, first thing tomorrow, we go out to Samon on the East Sepik River. This is a community founded by Oklahoma Missionaries a few years ago and have done something to transform this remote place into something we hear is beautiful. We are warned though about the heat, mosquitoes, etc. We had thunder and rain storms last night so the water will be high. Glad I bought some rain boots!

Appreciate where you live and how easy it is for you to go to the grocery store to buy whatever you want. This families have containers of things shipped to them for normal supplies. They were excited that in the store today they found Taco Seasoning! Oh the things we take for granted...

Be flexible and gracious when things don't go the way you thought they would! There is a plan and the One who set it up knows best.

Love to all...

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Life here

Today we went to visit the people in their "hospital". As you can imagine, or maybe not, it is quite different from what we are accustomed to. It is basically a large dilapidated building with some type of beds in it for the patients.

Families have to take care of their own patients. They bring them their food, if they have it, and it is actually quite a miserable place. But, they know no different. One little boy had fallen from a tree and had a compound fractured femur, no surgical intervention just a sling and time. Maybe 6-8 weeks. Another patient had both legs slashed with a machete.

Then you have the NICU unit. Oh boy, talk about heartbreaking. There were a couple of kids who had cerebral malaria. They did not look like they were going to be in this world much longer. Again, the whole family is there to take care of them. Laying on the beds with them, the floor, siblings there just sitting around, this is how it is here.

Our primary purpose was to bring love and smiles and stories. They were taught the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand! Yes, we know that was a miracle indeed as he only had a few fish and a few loaves of bread. But He did it! And he had leftovers. The couple who took us there, brought bags of salt fish to give and feed those in the ward. After they heard the story, they were able to grasp the miracles of God even more I believe!

I am considered "white skin" and they are thought to come to eat the children:( Lovely! So, I have my work cut our for me. I pray that they will see something different in me. I brought stickers and dolls. It was a special day.

Tomorrow, we go off the grid for a few days. This is where John will perform the surgeries that he practiced before we left. We will be sleeping under mosquito nets, etc. We will be staying with a missionary family at this remote outpost. I hope to share more with you after that 3-4 day visit (adventure).Take a moment today and just be a bit more thankful that you live where you live and enjoy the luxuries you do.

Friday, April 15, 2016


We made it! Not only us, but all our luggage! OK, on the count of 3, ready? 1…2…3…Hallelujah! I hope you said it along with me as this is our first big answer to prayer.

It was quite a long long journey. We left Tuesday evening and arrived here Friday evening. Now, keep in mind we lost a day but we almost lost our minds too.

The various airports have their own methods of security of course, but it only lends to keeping us off balance, and a bit stressed trying to navigate it.

But, we are here in the home of the Samaritan Aviation family. We are never quite sure what time it is or even what day it is, but we know we came here to be about the work before us.

We are going to take a day or two to get acclimated to our surroundings and to the culture here. Always a good thing to do when you go to another country to help and love on those who live here, don’t you think?

 We are expected to go to the “hospital” to visit today and just check things out. So, I will be packing up all my stickers ad kid things because I am sure there will be many around..

Thank you for following us and there will be more to come.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Why? Are you crazy?

This is what I hear when people learn that we are going to Papua New Guinea to love on those people who live along the Sepik River.  It is a very primitive area of the world we are told. Along with that comes other problems that we are not accustomed to here in the good ole' USA.

But, these people deserve to be loved and shown that they are valued just as much as you or I are in this world.

So, bags are packed, all is in order so now we just wait for the time to leave to get there. My next post will be from our destination. Praying all our bags with medicines and children's goodies arrive as well.

I leave you with a scene that I want you to imagine along with me. I had a friend whose dear mother recently passed away and she was a doll collector. My friend said that she would like to donate some of the many dolls for me to take to the dear little children in PNG! Now, I cannot say for sure, but I don't think they have dolls. Not sure they even have much in the way of clothing. So, I cannot wait to take these precious dolls to one dear person and give them to many precious "dolls" in PNG!

 Yes, you are right, this is why we go! We go to show the Love of the One who loves us so..

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Upcoming New Adventure!

In less than one week, John and I will be going to Papua New Guinea. Yep, you heard it right. We have been asked to come alongside Samaritan Aviation and provide help to those who live along the Sepik River. 
In the past, when a medical emergency arises, the transportation to any medical help is by canoe for a 4-5 day trip! Now, Samaritan Aviation has two float planes and the pilots are called at any time day or night, and they pick up the patients and transport them to the facility. Of course, it may take 30 minutes of a person running to find a Satellite Signal which is usually found at the top of coconut tree before they can even place the call.  Hard to believe isn't it that people really live like this. Makes us stop complaining about things a bit doesn't it? I hope so anyway.
The place sounds fascinating. Primitive and still very tribal. Much of the medical emergency's are spear assaults, poisonous snake bites, complicated births, etc. Most of the population live along the Sepik River and speak different languages. But Pidgeon English is the common one. 
So, wish us well, pray for us, whatever feels good to you, we will take it! 
I look forward to loving on the dear children there and cannot imagine how different I will look to them. I hope they see the love on my face and in my smile that I bring to them.
Thank you for your interest and check out the good things Samaritan Aviation is doing either on Facebook or on their website. Good people doing amazing things all for the love of God!