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