Monday, December 21, 2009

In Australia

Dear friends,

We deeply appreciate your prayers and support in so many ways.

The last 3 weeks have gone very quickly. It has been very refreshing spending time in Australia. We have travelled a lot to see family. We were very glad to have made the trip out to Condobolin to see Daniel’s Nan who was very sick. We spent time with Nan (90) and Pop (92!). We had a good chat with Pop while there and have heard this morning that he died in his sleep last night. We travel out to Condo tomorrow (Tuesday) for his funeral.

Daniel's mother's father (Pop)We would really appreciate prayer for the family, especially Daniel’s mother (Pop was her father), and for his wife ‘Nan’ who is still very unwell in hospital.

We are very thankful to be in our own house for the 5 months we are in Australia… and so thankful to many family and friends who have given so much of their time and resources to help us settle in.

During our 5 months at home, we will have a chance to report back to those who support us and those who are interested. We expect to be travelling most weekends. This break will also give us time to rest and unwind, debrief, catch up with family and friends, catch up with medical needs, give the children an experience of real school, and refresh our own medical and pharmacy skills.

We pray you have a happy and safe Christmas, resting in the peace which only Emmanuel can bring.

‘Be not afraid. I go before you always. Come follow me… and I will give you rest.’ (Hymn)

Daniel, Tammy, Tom, Rosie and Sam

Monday, November 30, 2009

Packing up

Dear Friends

We really appreciate your prayers and support. Thank you. We travel home to Australia this week and hope to catch up with many of you.

Tammy and the kids are very glad to have finished home schooling for the year and the school room is all packed away.The Wai Maeri river in the afternoon

In the hospital, there are many sick patients. Two teenage girls are admitted with very severe and possible drug resistant TB. Thankfully one is improving well and and other improving slowly. We have had 24 hour power for the last few weeks with the electricity needed for the oxygen concentrator for one girl. The lady with a very prolonged labour from last update is ok, her baby was stillborn.

Praise God that Dr Sharmini is here!! Her work permit and visa came through in record time. Pray for Sharmini to settle in well and to enjoy her time. It is such an important time for her to be here, enabling us to leave well and Dr Sharon to settle in for the long term.

Dr Sharon has finished her village living orientation to language and culture and will move back to Rumginae now. Please pray for her as this is probably going to be a difficult move in some ways.

Last update we asked for a ‘boring week’… well it was very quite. Tammy got to the point of complaining that she was bored! and then remembered that it is exactly what we had asked people to pray for!

Sam is doing well… limping but walking around now.

The epidemic at Mougulu seems to be ‘just’ malaria. Around 400 people were tested and 2/3 were found to have malaria, most of them with the more serious form (falciparum) in their blood. Thankfully this is now getting under control with some very timely help from the Ok Tedi mine who provided health workers, medicines, transport and materials. As well as treating malaria, the health workers spent time giving health education, reducing mosquito breeding sites, giving out mosquito nets etc.

Kids churchTom selling banana sago at the markets

Two weeks ago, the children’s church / Sunday school group raised $350 to support persecuted christians throughout the world, and over $1000 in total (including the adults). Tom and Rosie and their friends spent hours and hours raising money by cooking banana sago and cakes to sell at the market. The children in Sunday School are very interested in giving to and praying for the persecuted church. They have taken some photos of children from Orissa (from March 09) and have these photos and names of children to pray for as families.

November 5th was a day of memories for Tammy’s family as it is 10 years since her father died. Please pray for her and the family.

Pray for new MAF pilot Jason with Melanie, Kaleb and Carter who have just arrived at Rumginae. Pray for them to settle in well.

Thank you for your prayers

Daniel and Tammy

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Some answered prayer, some needed prayer…

Dear Friends

Thank you for your prayers.  We received notification of Sharmini's work permit approval today.  Please pray the visa will be quickly issued and she will be able to travel as soon as possible to the planned dates of mid November. Please pray for Sharmini too.  It is very stressful making travel and departure plans when not able to make plans!

Tammy’s family will be gathering tomorrow to remember her father's tenth anniversary.  Please pray they would know the peace of God that passes understanding.

Please remember to pray for the patients on the ward. The 4yr old boy stabbed in the abdo and the boy with the spear in the back are all recovering very well. Tonight, Daniel has been called about a young lady having her first baby at Balimo (300km away) who has been in the final stages of labour (fully dilated) for over 24 hours! The baby is still alive. The mother also has an extremely high blood pressure. Please pray that mother and baby would still be alive tomorrow and that we can do something to get her to a doctor (hopefully fly her back to Rumginae). At home, it would be a 3hr trip by road... here the only option is to fly (but not at night and not in bad weather). Please pray also for MAF.

Should you wish to pray that we would have a very boring week, we shall be very content with that!

love and prayers

Tammy and Daniel.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dr Sam’s leg

2Pe 1:3  His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.

Sam in the operating theatre getting a plaster put on his leg by DadWell, Dr Sam from our last news update has become a patient. During a routine tree climbing session to pick ‘Lau Lau’, he picked a branch too weak and fell a few feet to the ground. He didn’t want to walk on the leg and ended up getting an X-ray which Dr Daddy thought was probably OK but perhaps there was a small fracture. Three attempts were made at putting on a plaster none of which set owing to the tropical humidity. Thanks to Swinfen Charitable Trust, a telemedicine charity in the UK that links doctors in the developing world to specialists around the world, we are getting some good advice from an orthopaedic surgeon.

Thank God the snake bites have slowed down. We haven’t had anyone admitted with snake bite for a few weeks now. There is still plenty of varied and interesting medical work.

'I was shot in the back with an arrow 2 days ago - how do YOU think I feel?'

This much outside, 11cm inside

 

 

 

 

 

This was ALL inside. It is made of metal.

One of our specialised pieces of equipment - the director of nursing and his bolt cutters being assisted by the hospital chaplain!

 

 

 

 

 

This young man managed to escape with only an arrow in his back during an incident (across the border) where 5 people died. He was carried 1-2 days walk to his village in PNG for medical help. The health workers called us for help and MAF were able to respond almost immediately to bring him to Rumginae. The metal tip of the barbed arrow had gone in 11cm (4 1/2 inches), missing his kidney by 3 cm. The medical dilemma was how to give him a safe anaesthetic on his front or side. In the end, we opted for an unusual solution. In the coma / recovery position, he was given an anaesthetic.

As soon as he was asleep, our pastor put traction on the arrow head while our director of nursing cut the arrow with bolt cutters. Now it was safe to roll him onto his back if it became necessary. He is recovering well.

We are also in the midst of an unknown epidemic out at Mougulu – perhaps 50 new patients every day coming in with fevers and other symptoms. We are getting help from the Ok Tedi mine, other organisations and government to assess and intervene.

Baby SamuelThere have been plenty of babies - some coming without any input and others needing assistance.

This is Samuel, a new son for Martina and Dowa.

 

Pray for the many patients on the ward, some are very sick. Pray for the hospital to be quiet (if possible) with Dr Addy away next week for important national health planning meetings. We spent the afternoon in the operating theatre repairing damaged intestine in a 5yr old boy who had managed to get a sharp stick poked into his abdomen. This really needed both doctors, pray the next week will be less dramatic!

Praise God for the life of one particular patient. Konai was diagnosed here with lymphoma. We were able to give him chemotherapy and he did improve but then started to get worse again. He eventually died but not before sharing his love for God with all his family. He was really at peace and joyful when he went to be with Jesus.

As I write this we are getting a good amount of rain after a dry spell. The hospital tank was getting very low (it has a leak, as do a lot of the taps) as it hasn’t rained well for maybe 2 weeks. We were getting to the point of needing to pump river water (and add chlorine)… but the pumps are broken! There is still such a big need for some assistance and training in maintenance… 3 generators need repairing, the tractor needs repair and most of the buildings!

Please pray for Dr Sharmini’s visa to be approved… before Wednesday. She hopes to be here from Mid November to help. Pray also for the new MAF family who arrived here last week: Jason, Melanie, Carter and Kaleb. Pray for Drs Mike and Jen and family to settle well at home.

Bird of ParadiseWe hope to be finished school for the year by the end of this week. The children have worked hard to get ahead in their schedule. The children have enjoyed a unit on wildlife rescue which included a bird watching excursion to see Birds of Paradise.

We return to Australia in 4  weeks. Please pray for good health, especially Sam’s leg to continue to improve. Pray we would listen to God’s promptings in these next few weeks, focussed on faithfully persevering in obedience to God each day.

The Lord says “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you." Psalm 32:8 (NLT)

 Recent Rumginae Missionaries gathering

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

Daniel, Tammy, Tom, Rosie and Sam

Monday, October 12, 2009

Snake season


He wraps himself in light as with a garment. Ps 104:2a

Dr Sam in Special CareDaniel has recently found a good new helper at the hospital. Here is Sam with his doctor’s bag visiting little F**thin. This small child had pneumonia and needed to be on oxygen and antibiotics. Almost all of our oxygen comes from oxygen concentrators which run on electricity. When we have sick patients like this we run the generator 24hrs a day. We have 2 concentrators in the hospital… the recently set record is 4 patients on oxygen (2 on each concentrator).
Over the last 2 weeks we have had 5 patients (counting this morning) admitted to Rumginae This boy made an excellent recovery after receiving precious antivenomafter a snake bite. With 2 of these, we needed to give antivenom. Both claimed to have been bitten by a death adder but had no response to paralysis relaxing medication and had poor blood clotting. The clinical picture of ‘snakebite’ in this area is changing with symptoms and signs that don’t match up with what is expected. We are presuming that some of these bites are from the PNG ‘smalled eyed snake’. Thankfully, all of our recent snake bite patients have made an excellent recovery. This is a picture of a 14 month old boy who was very unwell when he arrived. The antivenom he received is very precious and we were so thankful to have an adequate supply. Praise God for the way He provides and heals.
DSCF3867With Dr Addy in Daru talking with Provincial Health authorities and providers this weekend and Dr Mike winding down and packing for their return to the USA, it has been quite busy. Yesterday (Saturday) evening was full of the usual entertainment on offer around here! Pilot Mike in the MAF Cessna 206 was able to bring in 3 sick patients. A boy with a broken and very painful leg is shown here being moved from the plane to the vehicle. A young lady from Mougulu was on the same plane and she had been in labour for 36 hours. The only option for a live baby and healthy mother was a caesarian and it was exciting to see a healthy baby boy later that night after the operation.
The third patient really tells the story of some of the challenges in  2 ladies just off the plane, both needing operations that night. Sam climbing on the truck while loading the patients and luggagehealth care in PNG and the way different groups work together to bring glory to God. N*na had her third baby in the village at Baniso on Wednesday. The baby came feet first (breech). It died not long after birth and the placenta did not come out. There is no health worker at Baniso to help her. This problem happened with both of her previous pregnancies (one baby lived, one baby had died). She walked 2 days to nearby Fuma, then continued walking to Mougulu health centre. At Mougulu, 3 days after having the baby, she was given some treatment and put on the plane to Rumginae that was coming that day. Baniso is extremely isolated as you can imagine, and coming up with K350 each ($160) for a flight to Rumginae is either impossible or an enormous burden shared by many relatives. We are very grateful for various donations that enable us to assist financially at times like this. We are very grateful for the ministry of Christian Radio and Missionary Fellowship (CRMF) based in Goroka who enable important radio communication. We are also very grateful for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) who are always willing to go out of their way (literally) to save lives.
Please remember CRMF and MAF in your prayers. Praise God that we were able to be part of bringing health to these patients yesterday.
But if you thought it stopped there… imagine competing with static to talk with Lake Campbell and Mougulu as well as MAF by radio during the day to help with medivac details, then picking up the patients from the plane, taking them to the hospital, assessing them, operating until about 10pm… then finally getting to sleep to be called again at 1am ‘Dr Daniel, Mid Ward here. One lady has just delivered a baby here and the second twin is not in a good position’. Sometimes I need to sit on the edge of the bed for ages to wake up… calls like this make that luxury not available. Within a minute or two I was in the delivery suite turning the baby around so it could be delivered safely. A healthy baby girl Daniel and pilot Mike overseeing the large group of helpers load the boy with the broken leg into the missionary vehicle for the trip around the airstrip to the hospital(delivered by internal podalic version and breech extraction for those with a medical mind)… and with a short interruption at 6am for radio advice, most of a good nights sleep was had. Thank you to those who pray for us. We really appreciate your prayers at times like this.
There is a lot of discussion at all levels of health care support and provision at the moment including governments and donor agencies. Addy is in Daru at meetings this weekend. There are also important meetings in Cairns soon. Please pray that there would be good outcomes which deliver improved health services. Addy was also able to get to the PNG medical symposium this year. It has been very helpful getting involved in more ‘big picture’ things, particularly as we seek direction here at Rumginae considering things like training for PNG doctors in remote and rural medicine.
Dr Mike and family are soon heading home to the US. Pray for them Mike takes aim at a coconut 20m away during independence celebrations at Briompenai villagethat they would experience God’s gracious provision and care as they start this new phase. This picture is taken at Briompenai village while Mike aims his arrow at a cocounut during Independence Day celebrations. He’s not a bad shot! There were many dances and dramas and cultural activities.

 Sam dressed up for IndependenceIndependence Drama









Independence arrow shooting











Please pray for MAF & CRMF, for Dr Mike’s family as they leave soon, for Dr Addy still settling in again, for Dr Sharon out in the village. Pray for Sharon as she farewells the village and starts work at Rumginae in December. Pray for a visa and work permit to come through quickly for Dr Sharmini for November. Pray also for the new MAF family coming very soon: Jason, Melanie and their children that they would settle in well to Rumginae.
Over the last week we have seen some beautiful sunsets, rainbows, clouds, stars, moon rises and more. Praise God for His creation. We are also thankful for good health lately & that school has been going well. Praise God with us for the work He has called us to here.
We are in the process of planning our home assignment / furlough. We will be in Australia from December and plan to return to Rumginae in about May 2010. We will be visiting those churches who we have close contact with. Please let us know if you would like to catch up with us, or have us speak.
Daniel and Tammy
The clouds are your chariot with the wind as its wings (Psalm 104:3)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Maternal health care in PNG

Women dying in filthy, overcrowded and understaffed hospitals

The link above is to a Sydney Morning Herald article on maternal health care in PNG. The ‘filthy, overcrowded and understaffed hosptial’ referred to in particular is Port Moresby General Hospital. The urban areas of PNG are growing 3 times faster than the rest of the country. PNG’s population growth rate is very high, at 2.7% each year. Putting the figures in the article another way, there are at least 1000 mothers dying each year in PNG, maybe 1500, there are also 5000 stillborn babies and 10000 children dying before the age of one.

It has been very encouraging to see so many health workers eager to learn all they can to help reduce maternal mortality. The in-service at Rumginae was attended by around 20 outstation Community Health Workers. Daniel was also able to give the same lectures to a similar number up at Telefomin last week.

Thank you for your prayers, especially for those health workers out in remote and isolated places with little nearby support.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Grass skirts & flowers – Happy Anniversary

A sign of recent times... two ambulances dropping off patients to Rumginae at the same time

Hello from a very ‘COOL’ Telefomin! For the next week we are enjoying the thinner, cooler 4500 foot atmosphere of Telefomin.  It is a beautiful 25 minute flight over the ‘Hindenburg Wall’ Star mountain range to the north of Rumginae.


Live death adder at Rumginae, caught for the Australian Venom Research Unit research team in Port MoresbyLast post I explained that the man with snake bite was likely to die. We have had a few ‘death adder’ bites which seem to cause muscle breakdown and kidney failure (unusual with death adder). I am happy to report that his kidneys recovered and he has gone home! There is a big need for adequate supplies of antivenom (Recent statistics conclude we have 10% of what we need in PNG) to treat snake bite.


This week Habi villagers called to inform us of a lady very sick after a snake bite. With no health worker at Habi, she would have died later that day.  The CRMF HF radio network gives the village the means to call for help, MAF who are ‘Flying for Life’ were able to take Rumginae Health Worker Waeya to administer the life saving antivenom. The lady made a complete recovery. What a wonderful example of the body of Christ working together for his glory.


We enjoyed having a snake bite Tom is very interested in animals and nature and enjoyed being the subject of this demonstrationresearch team from Port Moresby visit to catch snakes. Owen is seen here demonstrating to a large group of staff, students and local people how to apply pressure immobilisation bandage. The team have links with the Australian Venom Research Unit in Melbourne and are working on education and research including the development of a less costly antivenom. One polyvalent antivenom dose costs ~K5000 ($2400).


All this week we have had many outstation Community Health Workers at Rumginae for lectures, practical demonstrations, clinical teaching, encouragement and bible studies. Daniel taught on snake bite, fractures (including how to treat a broken arm or leg with very little resources out in the villages when referral is not possible), and many obstetric topics. All our outstation health workers should now be more able to manage unexpected obstetric emergencies such as shoulder dystocia, difficult breech delivery, high blood pressure and fitting in pregnancy, post partum haemorrhage including manual removal. It was perfect timing to have Denise visiting, a midwife from Australia.


Last weekend, we once again called upon MAF to assist in an emergency. A lady at Obo was having her first baby but her baby had died and was trying to come out shoulder first… which is not possible. After some very difficult intervention and intense treatment, it was a real joy to see her walking around looking well yesterday.


Tom balancing on the verandah-under-repairIs it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it Superman??? Oh, it’s Tom!
It has been a real blessing to us to have Tom, Libby, John, Trish, Rod, Denise, Mark, Richard and Shelly at Rumginae helping in so many ways. They began each day with devotions at the workshop with our national staff, a time of much mutual encouragement. During their increasingly warmer stay, they worked Tom and Mark on our 'verandah'alongside local staff to complete some much needed maintenance and many other things. Thank you guys!

 

Rumginae Home School class - Rosie is reading very well, Sam can spell his name, Tom received a deputy principal's award for his recent school project

Thank you for your prayers for school. The children are trying hard and learning many things.


As our wedding anniversary, August 23 comes at the end of this tropical wet season, we feel we can most literally testify that: 

Many  waters  cannot  quench  love; rivers  cannot  wash  it  away.(Song of Songs 8:7a)



12 years of marriage - children presenting flowersAt the conclusion of a special Rumginae churchThanksgiving Youth Sunday Service, the children of the congregation encircled us, prayed and presented their little floAt the Youth Convention service there were traditional singing and dancing groups. Here is Rosie dressed in a grass skirt.wer collections. In the afternoon, Daniel was priveleged to be able to help a mother flown in from Obo with very serious childbirth complications. Although an unusual way to spend one’s wedding anniversary, for us it was a reaffirmation of God’s call upon our lives to serve him in medical missions. 
 
 

Thank you so much for your prayers, support and encouragement.


Daniel and Tammy

Daniel and Tammy with Rosie
I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength for my work. I thank him for considering me worthy and appointing me to serve him. (1Timothy1:12)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Who would like to join our maintenance team?

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.  Isaiah 26:3

Sam has taken responsibility for maintenance himself. Here he is helping Judy hang a dyed cloth on our loungeroom wall

A big thanks to work / mission team John, Tom, Libby, Richard, Shelly and more to come for all they have been able to do in repairing houses, sewing theatre linen etc. It has been a real blessing. It has also given much needed spiritual input into the local workshop guys.

Here is Libby using the coconut scraper. To get coconut, you need to take off the thick outer husk, crack the nut, then scrape it

There have been a few very sick patients in the hospital recently. I heard very briefly that ‘Salome’ was recovering ok in Tabubil. The other lady (bleeding placenta praevia) from the last update is doing really well and has now gone home. It is always such a nice feeling to see people who have recovered from a serious sickness walking around and going home.

We have been kept busy with more obstetric problems – this time a very severe pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnancy) which had started to cause organ malfunction. Both of our oxygen concentrators have been in use this week… which means we have had no oxygen to operate or for resuscitating babies. One man on oxygen has a very severe immune deficiency with an opportunistic infection. He is very unwell. There was also a 3 year old girl with severe pneumonia. As she was in better shape than the man, we took her oxygen off and took the concentrator to theatre so we could do a caesarian. All went well with a healthy mother and baby… and the oxygen could be returned to the child with pneumonia a few hours later. Sometimes working with limited resources can be a challenge.

Please pray for all these patients – for healing, physically and spiritually. Pray also for other patients on the ward – children with broken legs, a man with severe kidney failure after a snake bite who may not survive (we have no dialysis available), a child with meningitis who has just woken after being unconscious for a few days, a man with very deep pig bites / gorings and many more patients who all need prayer.

Coming up we have our Community health worker in-service 24 – 28 August. This will require a lot of organising and preparation. There are also a number of important meetings in the next couple of weeks. We also have people coming to research and catch snakes and others coming to install and fix radios. Pray for the work party – for their health, for good progress and that they would have a meaningful impact on those they work with – in teaching skills and in sharing the gospel.

Pray for Dr Addy in India that she would be able to rest and recover well. Pray for Dr Sharon in the village (who I called in to help with the recent caesar). Pray for her language learning and cultural orientation. We expect to leave in December for furlough. Pray that we can prepare for this, that it would be a time of rest, for integration into Australian life – especially school. We hope to have opportunities to speak at churches about what God is doing here at Rumginae. We will also need to raise a little support before we return.

Please note our new email address if this was emailed to you. Otherwise, contact us on the ‘email us’ link and we can let you know the new address.

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 2Co 5:14 - 15

Monday, July 20, 2009

Celebrations


For from of old men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen a God besides thee, who worketh for him that waiteth for him. (Isaiah 64:4 (ASV))

4th of July celebrations4th July celebrations in the Parsa's cubby house overlooking the Wai Maeri river

Tom, Rosie and Sam enjoyed celebrating July 4 with their American friends, Eliana and Noah. Rosie had a lovely week preparing decorations with Eliana while Tom led a group of boys in designing and constructing rifles for the Minute Men. The children were part of a recreation drama of the Boston tea party (above photo), the ride of Paul Revere and of course a battle scene!

"We hold these truths to be self-evident,that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." (Declaration of Independence, July 4 1776)

From our last update: I have heard that mother and child at Balimo and both doing really well. We were able to follow up on the prison outreach when Phil (missionary in Kiunga) went a few weeks later. Leigh and Jeremy and family left Rumginae Monday morning on their way back to England. It was very helpful having them here. Our kids will really miss their new friends.

The last few days have been very challenging. On Wednesday afternoon, Dr Mike landed at Rumginae after a 2 night visit to isolated Fuma. He hardly had time to say hello to his family when he was called to the operating theatre to be an anaesthetist. To save the life of a young lady with severe bleeding from placenta praevia it was necessary for Daniel to operate very quickly. It was a difficult operation but on Monday’s ward round it was great to see her walking around and planning her discharge. The fact that she is alive is a miracle. It took 5 blood transfusions just to keep her stable.

The very next day (Mike’s day off, I might add), Daniel again needed Mike to be an anaesthetist for a major operation. In PNG, 1 woman dies from pregnancy related complications for every 266 live births, maybe even twice that (http://www.ausaid.gov.au/country/png/png_intro.cfm). Part of our work here involves doing what we can to ‘prevent’ problems but we also need to be available to handle problems when they arise.

Salome is a lady from a village 7 days walk from here. She lives 4-6 hours walk from a health centre staffed by a nursing officer and 2 community health worker. We don’t really know whether she planned to deliver this, her 6th child, in the village. Maybe she avoided the health centre because the staff are all male. We don’t really know how long she had been in labour… but at 9pm when she presented to the health centre she was fully dilated. Over the next 12 hours, there had been no progress. The staff were no longer able to hear the baby’s heart beat and she was getting very distressed.

Being 7 days walk from here - with no road, crossing 2 large rivers, at risk of snakebite and other dangers - poses a big problem with transport in times of illness and injury. We really praise God for the ministry of MAF who serve in this otherwise isolated place. Salome was brought to Rumginae urgently the same day. It became obvious that she had ruptured her uterus due to the prolonged obstructed labour. Having lost a lot of blood, with a very difficult life-saving operation underway, we were running very short of blood for transfusion. With one eye on the anaesthetic - giving instructions to staff, Dr Mike rolled up his sleeve and gave a unit of his own blood! Please continue to pray for Salome. Praise God with us for what He enables us to do in His strength.

Daniel chatting to Sr Joseph during an afternoon of ultrasound scans and teaching at Kiunga hospitalIt was a privilege to teach the staff at Kiunga hospital how to use their ultrasound machine, while doing scans for 8 pregnant women. Please continue to pray that Kiunga hospital would grow in capability. There are now 3 doctors working in the hospital. Could you please pray for Dr.Sr Joseph who is facing a particularly difficult time.

We were recently blessed with a visit by long term missionaries Keith and Norma Briggs with friends Ray and Jenny. Their bible teaching sessions with local youth went very well. Ray and Keith also tirelessly gave of their energy to fix lawnmowers, utes & tractors. This week we welcome visitors from Finley Presbyterian Church. Please pray for the maintenance demands to be reduced. The ongoing maintenance need is draining on our time and energy. Please pray for God’s provision of someone to come and help us.

Please pray that at this busy time the children (and their parents) would be able to get good rest before starting school again next week. Pray also for good health by school time: Rosie has tummy pains, Sam has a (burst) middle ear infection, Tom has asthma.

We are very thankful for our MAF friends who have organised beautiful fruit and vegetables from the highlands to be delivered each week on the plane.

Please pray for Tammy’s Mum having surgery this week. It is hard living so far from family, especially at times like this.

And pray also for Sam’s daily safety!

Sam has got himself up on the cubby house roof... but how to get down???

Thank you so much for your prayers and support

Daniel and Tammy with Tom, Rosie and Sam

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Beautiful Balimo Baby Boy

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who gives me strength, that he has considered me faithful and has appointed me to his service. 1Timothy1:12

During the weekly doctor’s meeting on Monday to plan this week we were interrupted by a request for a doctor to come to the radio. Balimo hospital – 300km to the South East with no doctor – were looking after a 17yr old girl having her first baby. She had been fitting all night, her blood pressure was dangerously high, she was unconscious and unable to deliver her baby. They had done what they could with the resources they had. It would take too long and be dangerous for us to ask the plane to bring her in, and too long also to try to get her to Daru, the provincial capital. The best option was for a doctor with obstetric experience to go to her.

Balimo HospitalPilot Matt was about to take off from Rumginae and, as always, MAF so willingly rearranged their program to help. Some passengers were offloaded for another day so Dr Daniel and his medical equipment could go to Balimo.

Eclampsia (fitting in pregnancy) is a frightening thing. Pre-eclampsia in all it’s stages is one of the ‘five killer complications’ of pregnancy accounting for around 12% of maternal deaths.

After stabilising our patient, I took a mini-tour of the hospital to see what was possible. With what I had brought we had everything needed to do a caesarian if necessary… except blood. The lab had just run out of HIV and Hepatitis B tests so we couldn’t screen blood for safe transfusion. Pilot Matt sat by the radio at nearby Kawito base waiting to see if we needed to go back to Rumginae.

We all prayed in the labour ward, then thankfully, I was able to deliveMother, baby, grandmother and staff the next morning. All doing really well.r a live baby boy using forceps. It was a great relief to see this healthy baby. I was praying throughout the entire delivery for strength and guidance. (I had never used forceps before but I did take a good book with me!!). I prayed for the unconscious mother and her baby boy during the night if I woke. The next morning it was fantastic to see both doing well.

Balimo lagoonPlease pray for Balimo hospital. There is a large population and no doctor. There are also increasing issues with drugs, alcohol, HIV. Pray also for the politics to not disrupt quality health care. There is a plan to rebuild the hospital and recruit doctors. Please pray also for the many, many people in far more remote areas with very little access to modern health care. Pray for MAF who really are ‘Flying for Life’

On short final into Wawoi Falls with the waterfall out the pilot's side windowFlying back the next day, we landed at beautiful Wawoi falls. Watching Matt land I was reminded that we need to keep our focus on what we are doing and not get distracted.Wawoi Falls

Heb 12:2 Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God's throne.

Youth on the back of the new hospital truck... can you see Tom?Can you imagine 2 truck loads (about 60+) young people turning up at the local gaol to bring encouragement and God’s word to the prisoners? That’s exactly what Rumginae youth did at Ningerum prison recently. With songs, drama, readings, testimonies and teaching2 trucks ready to go to the prison from God’s word (by Dr Mike) the prisoners told us they were very encouraged. Six men stood up and committed their lives to the Lord. They asked that we come back often.

Inside Ningerum Prison

Please pray for this ministry to continue, for those who gave a commitment, for the youth to continue to grow in their spiritual maturity and outreach. Pray for the prisoners, some in prison for 25 or more years.

The week before this, Daniel preached at ‘Biami corner’ in Kiunga. There are a large group of Biami (Mougulu area people) living in Kiunga. Pray for the monthly outreach from Rumginae which aims to encourage them.

Nearby village urgently needs your prayers. With the unexpected death of our hospital groundsman, the ‘obvious’ cause is sorcery. There seems to be no doubt whatsoever in the minds of the people. The entire village and other local villages gathered recently to discuss who may have done the sorcery. There was then an elaborate ceremony involving putting feathers in eggs up a ringbarked tree claiming that when the leaves fall off the tree, the family of the one who did the sorcery will die. Please pray for a wise response from the church.

Unloading our medical stores order from the new white truck

The new white truck is well used! We have been able to pick up building materials, fuel, medicines. We have been able to transport youth for outreach and CHW students to placements in local villages. Through the Ok Tedi Mining supported North Fly Health Services Development Program, all the North Fly health providers are working together to improve health. Particular areas include HIV, TB, STIs, Malaria, Maternal and Child Health. Please pray for continued cooperation and focus. We are very excited that there are now 3 doctors at Kiunga hospital. Daniel will be there today passing on any tips he can on using the ultrasound for pregnancy assessment.

Pray for Dr Addy on leave in India, for Dr Leigh with Jeremy and children here from England. Pray for Sharon back in the village.Pray for Dr Rosie as she settles back in to Rumginae. Pray for medical students Clare and Bethany here for 2 weeks. Pray for an upcoming work party visit in 3 weeks. Please pray we can have materials ready for their arrival.

Finally, would it be appropriate to ask that no more rats drown in our home water tank? Returning from Balimo, Daniel found the water to smell not quite right. Investigations found a dead rat in the tank. The rat is now out, the water has been chlorinated and we are boiling our drinking water so all is well…. until next time. If you really want to see the rat here's the link: rat

Thank you for your prayers and support of us.

Daniel, Tammy, Tom, Rosie and Sam

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Guess who’s FOUR?

Sam is 4 today Sam with Addy, Rosie and Tom

Happy birthday to Sam for today. He is very excited about being 4 and looking forward to his banana sago party. There will be cake too.

Tom, Rosie and Sam race the Airvan which is taking Daniel to Obo for a 3 night outstation visit

On Tuesday last week, Daniel flew off to Obo for an outstation doctors visit. There were 85 patients to see in 2 1/2 days, some with minor problems, some quite sick. The health workers there are doing a great job and it was good to spend time seeing their sick patients with them. There are a lot of people living around Obo and it can be busy at times. It can be a nice place to live (24hr electricity, plenty of Barramundi) but also difficult – a little isolated, a long way and expensive to travel to town (Kiunga), and little in the way of fruit and vegetables to eat. Please pray for the staff at Obo. Pray also that we would be able to continue getting out to our outstations on doctor’s visits this year.

Obo staff - Sr Nimmy, Mr Nimmy and Sr Draf

Of all the things I expected to see at Obo, Buffalo were NOT on the list

 

 

 

 

 

As well as seeing patients coming to the health centre, the staff also go to outlying villages with vaccinations and to see sick people, assess children and pregnant mothers, give health talks and bible messages. The buffalo are part of an agriculture project with the aim of growing rice at Obo soon.

Back at Rumginae, while Daniel was at Obo,  Drs Addy, Leigh, Mike and Jen were busy. Sadly, E**a with leukaemia/lymphoma died last week. There was also a lady die a few days after having a baby and an 18 yr old girl die in labour. Please pray for the families and for our staff (including doctors) who find this a very emotional time.

2009 Rumginae Bible School graduates commissioning service

Sunday was the commissioning service for graduates of the Rumginae Bible Training Program. Pray for these men and women as they go out. Please pray for the bible school here at Rumginae to be an effective tool in bringing the good news that Jesus Christ died for our salvation to those who are yet to hear it.

This week. Pray for Dr Addy who leaves on Tuesday for a 3 month trip home. Pray for Leigh & Jeremy and family to settle into Rumginae for their 2 month stay. Pray for important discussions which need to take place regarding the CHW Training school. Pray for ongoing momentum with many staff wanting to share their faith, read and learn from their bibles, think about the future and turn their visions into reality. Pray for medical students Clare and Bethany here from England arriving on Friday. Pray that Daniel and Mike could be fully organised with materials for maintenance projects with a team from Finley-Berrigan Presbyterian visiting in 6 weeks time. Pray for Dr Sharon in Port Moresby for 2 weeks continuing her HIV prescribers course.

‘Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent’. John 17:3