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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