Saturday, December 31, 2011

Farewell

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. (Phil 1:3-5)

It has been our very great joy and privilege to live and serve alongside our brothers and sisters at Rumginae, both our national friends and the many missionaries from overseas that have come to share in God’s work.  Sharing joys and struggles builds deep and lasting friendships. 

Rumginae is in the midst of magnificent rainforest, where a little seedling can be transplanted with a small amount of disturbance.  A sapling however, will have many intertwined roots which require a lot of care to extract well.  We are so thankful to God for the way he has blessed our children with an out pouring of love and affection from their friends, big and small at Rumginae as we transition from life in PNG to life in Australia.

During our last last few weeks at Rumginae, we were blessed with wonderful positive and joyful times with the people we have shared our lives with over the last eight years.  We shared many meaningful times and wonderful experiences.It has been the quality time spent with our dear friends at Rumginae that has been special to us. We have visited friends at their home villages, had a number of sleepovers, the most being 19 children on a wet, stormy night after watching ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ with hot milo and pop corn. We had a wonderful time of devotions early the next morning singing, reading and discussing how Aslan restoring Eustace is a picture story of God’s grace in our lives.

It has been wonderful to celebrate all that God has enabled us to experience together as a community at special events with the youth, Sunday School, and farewells with the hospital, missionaries and church.

At the hospital and community farewell, a wonderful traditional feast known as a mumu was prepared in our backyard. Chicken, sweet potato, cooking bananas, sago and greens were cooked in the ground with hot rocks.

Tom and his friends spent most of their waking moments together… and even then, there were some sleep-overs. They recorded some songs together on our back veranda. A small sample can be downloaded by clicking here as mp3 files. Also for a 6 minute video presentation Tom put together for the church, click here. It is a delightfully boyish celebration of life as part of a loving community.

We are now in Australia and are refreshed after a wonderful family holiday in Cairns. We are currently in our house at Mannering Park which we are tidying up for sale. We are also in the process of finding some accommodation in the Nelson Bay area. We enjoyed time with family over Christmas.  Dan has started work up at Shoal Bay which he is enjoying.  The children are looking forward to starting school at St Philips Christian College Salamander Bay at the end of January. We hope to visit with supporters and supporting churches over the early part of 2012. We plan to return to Rumginae for periodic visits to allow holiday relief for Addy and Sharon.  

From all we hear, medical work, other ministry and daily life at Rumginae continues to be very busy and tiring. Please continue to pray for the team at Rumginae, especially Rosie, Addy, David and family, pilot Markus and family, as well as Sharon and the Painter family as they return from home assignment.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race that is marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  (Heb 12:1,2)

Thank you to each of you who has been a part of this team through your prayers and other forms of help given in Christ’s name. What manner of love the Father has lavished on us that we might be called “Children of God”! What a joy it is to be a part of this wonderful family of God, which does not know the bounds of time or distance.  Unto Him, be glory in the church!

Daniel, Tammy, Tom, Rosie and Sam.

Rumginae November

At Christmas, I have been thinking about one of the verses from the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free,
While God is marching on.
 

Written during the American Civil war, the original words were let us ‘die’ to make men free. Colossians 1:22 says But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. What a wonderful thing God has done for us… through the death of Jesus, those who put their faith in Him are presented to God as righteous – holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. What better reason could there be for us to ‘live to make men free’ and share this wonderful news this Christmas.

During October, we had a visit from a work party from Finley who selflessly served through maintenance, hospitality and ministry within the community.  Their visit was a great encouragement.

In November, Tammy had a treat for her birthday. The children had spent weeks preparing with all sorts of craft, all carefully prepared and hidden on top of the cupboard in the children’s room. Arising at 4.00am, Tom and Rosie prepared their surprises.  Preparations completed, they decided to hang out the washing and do some other housework.  By 5.00am, they decided they needed more noise and therefore woke Sam up.  Not long after, we were all awake!  In the early morning light, as Daniel played The Man from Snowy River, they unveiled their artwork. 

The hospital has seen many very complicated patients. Please continue to pray for the hospital – the patients, staff, doctors, pilots… In the last few weeks, there have been a few ‘middle of the night’ operations, the most memorable being a lady from Kiunga with an ectopic pregnancy. It can be very hard to find blood for transfusion. In certain conditions, it is possible to recycle a patient’s own blood from their abdominal cavity. In this case we managed to get 2 units of blood for transfusion. It is literally scooped out, filtered and then given back to the patient as an infusion.

For ‘Talent night', Rosie and her friend Delilah sang ‘There’s a hole in the bucket, Delilah, Delilah. There’s a hole in the bucket Delilah, a hole…. well fix it dear Rosie, dear Rosie, dear Rosie…..

God Bless, Happy Christmas and a joyful New Year. 

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. 2Th 3:5 

Daniel, Tammy, Tom, Rosie and Sam.

Monday, December 5, 2011

PNG Independence Day Celebrations 2011

As I look through our photos of the last few months, Independence stands out as a very significant event in PNG. There is a song sung all over PNG called ‘Unity’ with the words From the misty highlands peaks to the coast and island shores, we are Papua New Guinea. By the river banks and creeks, jungle valleys and waterfalls, we are the people of the Lord. Unity, brother take my hand. May the mighty love of Christ stretch across our land. With the cross upon our flag and heaven in our hearts, with love together we will stand…

Independence Day in PNG is September 16th. It is a day for the people of PNG to celebrate their beautiful country and it’s culture.

It is also a day of games – running, soccer, volleyball…

It can also be a day where newborn babies need to gain some independence of their own, even if it means a caesarean section.

God Bless. More news to follow soon.

Daniel, Tammy, Tom, Rosie and Sam

Monday, November 28, 2011

Spears at Suabi and Obo

Dear Friends

Thank you for your prayers and other ways in which we have been supported and enabled to serve in PNG. It has been more than 2 months since our last news – sorry. There has been a lot happening in that time, not least all the things that go with leaving PNG which has been our home for the last 8 years or so, and a part of our entire 14 years of married life. We are writing this from Australia, but will try to put a few bits of news together to give a glimpse of our last 2 months.

God Bless

Daniel, Tammy, Tom, Rosie, Sam

Mic 6:8  The LORD God has told us what is right and what he demands: "See that justice is done, let mercy be your first concern, and humbly obey your God."

On June 19 we sent out an email saying a young man from NZ had been shot with an arrow. Dr Sharon and I both attended the scene and flew with him in the MAF aircraft to Kiunga. We didn’t say much more at the time, but now this news is well known…. e.g. here, here, here and here! It was also the front page of the September MAF news, which can be found here.

It was a wonderful example of God’s provision with everything being available at just the right time. Rumginae had been without an aircraft for some time. However, only the day before, Pilot Nick had flown a brand new GA8 Airvan, P2-MEW to Rumginae, bringing a sick lady with him.  We thank God for all our CHWs who serve out in the bush. On this occasion, CHW Tebegoi stationed at Suabi was able to administer first aid and call to CRMF who then put an emergency radio call in to Rumginae. Within minutes, 2 doctors and a pilot were on their way to Suabi in rainy, cloudy weather. It was late in the day but we were able to land on the muddy strip in time.

With darkness approaching, Sharon and I gave some basic medical treatment and got him into the aircraft for the medically necessary low level flight to Kiunga.

At Kiunga hospital, there had been no anaesthetist for many months. However an anaesthetics officer had recently arrived and was working in the theatre with Dr Charlie, a PNG surgeon.  They were therefore able to take this very sick young man straight in for surgery. Sharon stayed to help, while Daniel flew back with Nick to Rumginae to get a vehicle to drive back down to Kiunga to assist if necessary and to drive Sharon back to Rumginae.

Two days later, a medivac aircraft took the patient on to Port Moresby, then to Cairns, later to Townsville where, last we heard, he was making a reasonable recovery.

A few weeks later, we heard that a PNG man at Obo had been shot in the stomach by his brother with a broad blade arrow. It was too late to fly to get him – very little night flying is possible in PNG, no night flying in the Western part of the country.

The next morning at 630am, Daniel and pilot Harold flew to Obo. The flying conditions that day were very difficult with low cloud and rain. At Obo, we found the man still hanging on to life but in very poor shape. He was flown from Obo to Tabubil where a blood bank, anaesthetist and surgeon were all available. Sadly, he died on final approach to Tabubil airstrip.