Sunday, February 15, 2009

Prayer Update

You can probably tell by the time stamp on this that it is 345am and I am awake. I have been across to the hospital to help a mother having some problems in labour. The baby will probably be born and the ward will ring again just after I get to sleep! On this topic, it has been busy lately and Addy and I are both tired. (Mike is at a medical conference in Thailand). Please pray for wisdom as we make decisions about the management of each patient, and for some rest and refreshment.

Patients to pray for include:

  • A**yai who is finally starting to recover having not eaten for about 12 days (ileus after appendicectomy for ruptured appendix). We were really getting worried about her.
  • E**a who is a very unwell 4 year old girl. She has been sick now for many weeks with fevers in particular. She started to improve with treatment for presumed tuberculosis. This coincided with the family having paid someone to undo the sorcery which is causing her illness. Now she is getting sicker again. This is a difficult situation, but typical. Many, many people believe that sickness is a result of sorcery or magic. People are terrified of sorcery and magic. Gal 5:1 Christ has set us free so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom. So keep on standing firm in it, and stop attaching yourselves to the yoke of slavery again.

    (For those who are interested, I discussed the interaction of belief in sorcery and Christian healthcare in an ABC radio interview recently: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/encounter/stories/2008/2391820.htm )


  • Pray for our sick babies:
    • one from Fuma born very 'flat' (unwell) to a very young mother. This baby was fitting, not feeding and needing oxygen but is slowly improving.
    • Another baby which is also fitting
    • A 950g baby born to a mother on tuberculosis treatment. Surprisingly the baby seems to be doing ok so far
  • A very sick young girl with skin abscesses, chest infection and liver abscesses/cyst. She probably has mellioidosis which we hope will respond to the medicines we are giving her
  • It is accident season with a lot of bush fruit on tall trees and children climbing up high to get them. Pray for Ip**n with a head injury who is thankfully slowly recovering after being hit by a fallen branch while climbing a tree.

There have been other challenging circumstances today, such as the switch box for the generators blowing up and causing one of the generators that was not being used to catch fire. Thankfully, the power was restored again later this afternoon after we dashed down to Kiunga in the ambulance to get an electrician.


We are very thankful that the new partnership in health between all health providers in the North Fly (Ok Tedi Mining, ECPNG, Catholic and Government) is going well. Even apart from the infrastructure and capital building value of this (such as a new truck, HF radios, vaccine fridges, some new staff houses etc), there is a real sense of everyone wanting to do better. As an example, we are starting to pick up and treat more TB patients and there is a feeling of optimism about the difference we can make. This is a very crucial time for us to be building into the health services of the entire area and even entire Province. Please pray for the doctors here as we use this time to urge all of us involved in health to do everything we can to reduce death and disease. In practical terms this means travelling to Kiunga to do ultrasounds and support Sr. Dr Joseph, teaching CHW students and staff here as well as wherever we have the opportunity. We will be teaching at 2 in-services in Kiunga soon. It also means having meetings and making group decisions. Could I please ask for your prayers at this crucial time, for wisdom, guidance, unity. Also for support and that we would all have a willingness to work together well and support each other.

And, yes, praise God for the new truck which has arrived as part of this program funded by Ok Tedi Mining.

Thank God that Kiunga now have a doctor... and a very good one at that! Sr. Dr Joseph is a 70yr old English nun (Passion of Christ). Sr is a specialist vascular surgeon. Rosie has a very special friendship with her, constantly giving her flowers and seeds and talking about gardens! We are so glad to have Sr. Joseph there in Kiunga.






15 Community Health Workers graduated from the CHW Training school last week – the third group under the new curriculum. Pray them these young men and women as they go out into the workforce that they would be going as ambassadors for Christ. Pray also for the 30 new students who start lessons this week and are here for 2 years.





That's enough hospital news for now. Please continue to pray for Tammy, Tom and Rosie with home schooling. Hopefully there will be more routine this week. It is hard to home-school with so many interruptions and visitors etc. Also, Tom and Rosie are still behaving like it is school holidays.

We really enjoyed having a friend Sarah here from Bathurst. She really fitted in very well and managed to get lots and lots of fix-it jobs done as well as become involved in the community.

Health-wise, we are having some problems with Rosie's teeth as old ones fall out and new ones come through but with this not happening well, there is a little tooth abscess that has been there for weeks now. Please pray for her.




We enjoyed a very special family outing this morning having Weet-bix on the river bank up the road from here watching birds. We later drove the car into the river and gave it a wash.





Lastly... and I had trouble leaving this to last. The Wai Maeri is the river here at the hospital. With roads being built all over the place now (to Indonesia, to Mougulu and eventually through to Daru and to Moresby, a second road to Tabubil....) there is a need for gravel. The local landowners have sold the gravel from the middle of the river and a company has come to take away the two islands (the boys island and the girls island). This is going to affect all those at Rumginae – staff and patients who use the river to wash clothes, bathe, fish, etc. The river is an essential part of daily life. It is also the main thing that keeps our family sane – being able to go to the river at the end of a long hot day. As the islands disappear, there will be workmen and diggers and trucks, and mud and a change in the water flow. I think it is very sad that they are taking gravel from right next to the hospital where so many people use that part of the river.

Thank you for your prayers.

God Bless

Daniel and Tammy

http://priestfamily.110mb.com has all of our previous newsletters available for download. There is some general information. We hope to include some music and photos soon and a kids section.

http://priestfamilyupdates.blogspot.com is where you will find our regular prayer and news weekly updates.

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