Friday, November 12, 2010

You Shall Know the Truth…

and the truth shall set you free.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  Mt 10:29

Tom, Rosie and Sam have been caring for a small bird for many weeks.  It was a great challenge supplying this little scrap of life with 15 or so grasshoppers about 8 times a day amidst home schooling and other chores!  It has been much like having a new born baby! The children were very self sacrificing, giving their best in all areas. 

“ This is helping me understand you more Mummy.”  Tom commented as we discussed how busy it was making us!

On one level, it seemed rather ridiculous to put so much effort into this insignificant part of creation-yet isn’t that what God does for each of us?

 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars which you have put in place, what is man that you are mindful of him..? Ps8:3,4b

It has been greatly encouraging to see the unity of response from our staff with the arrival of cholera in the province.  Although they are already stretched with a small number of staff for the number of patients we attend to, they have been moving around to the villages each evening in their “spare time” sharing health awareness messages and God’s word.  What a wonderful example of the love of Christ in action! Many people are frightened as they do not understand the “sickness” or how preventable it can be. Please pray that fear will be relieved as people respond to health messages and that through this, they will turn to the one who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Deadly Disease on Doorstep is the title of an article in “The Australian”.  For us it is quite literal!  We have a supply of bleach solution at the front door.  Please feel free to drop by and experience our hospitality - foot washing included!

Australia does have a significant problem nearby with cholera now at Daru, HIV, tuberculosis – including drug resistant strains, not to mention malaria, meningitis, and the many, many other infectious diseases we see and live alongside every day here.

Daru is opposite Cape York

Cholera is a nasty diarrhoeal disease. It has so far killed nearly 600 in Haiti. Here in PNG, we have had nowhere near the same number of deaths. We are not getting any official figures but in our province we hear maybe 21 deaths on Daru (300km south), with many more infections, some very severe. There are at least 3 other places in province with suspected cholera, including some places near where we are. We have NO CHOLERA cases in Rumginae at this stage.

Please pray for us as we do as much as we can to get an urgent health message out to people. In each village there are not enough toilets for each house, people do not always use a toilet. Safe drinking water is not readily available. Soap and simple cleaning solutions are rarely used. Hand washing needs to be improved. These are messages we have been giving for years. For the last few months, I (Daniel) had been working with the CHW training school on a Rural Water Supply and Sanitation project funded by the European Union to get toilets and tanks into two villages. Now the need is upon us.  Working within such limited infrastructure, it is a seemingly insurmountable challenge.  Yet, all things are possible for God, and he asks only that we do our best.

Apart from cholera, our ward is full with some very sick patients. TB is a very big problem and many patients are sick with TB. Leprosy is a growing problem. We have others unwell with kidney disease, snake bite, delirium, pneumonia, tendon or bone injuries, tropical ulcers, pregnancy complications and more.

Death adder

From Nov 30 to Dec 2 I will be in Moresby for a snake bite conference, giving the bush medicine perspective. Please pray for safe travel and for Tammy and the children while I’m away. Also pray for Dr Sharon while I am away those 3 days

Apart from the clinical and the medical administration, there is also the maintenance. We are having a lot of problems with our power supply. The mini-grid system is still not on line and there have been numerous needs for cable repairs. We have only ONE functioning generator, and our fuel supply will run out mid December, with no funds for more until 2011! There are many, many housing maintenance needs, and organisational needs such as building 5 new staff houses soon, and liaising to get materials to Mougulu for the new health centre building.

There are also bigger issues around in which I am involved such as investigating an enormous lease given for logging of a massive area of the North Fly with the lease basically extinguishing mission and other leases that exist and taking people’s rights to the use of their land away.

We are still trying to get the tractor out to Mougulu. Please pray.

Recently we had an extremely useful visit from a computer expert who has got the hospital and CHW school computers working well.

We are thankful for Sharmini who is again willing to generously give her time and come over Dec/Jan which will allow us to take leave during the school holidays as well as sort out some health issues. The joy of the Lord is our strength.

Love the Lord your God with all your hear and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments I am giving you today are to upon your hearts.  Impress them upon your children. Dt 6:4-5

Please pray that the love of God would be deeply impressed in our hearts.

Thank you for your prayers.

Daniel, Tammy, Tom, Rosie and Sam

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