Thursday, July 30, 2009

And Evening With Aden and Wiley

We've been wanting to spend a little time with Aden and Wiley Riggins. We like their parents, don't get me wrong, but we thought some time more one on one with the boys would be nice. I guess this is really two on two, isn't it?

So we had to get rid of Scot and Jill somehow. It's near their anniversary, so we had an idea. We got it all set up for them to come to our house for a date night. We left a meal prepared, the table set, and a movie ready to watch. We, in the meantime, took some food to their house and stayed with the boys.

First we ate. Then Judy and the boys played while I did dishes. Then we ate dessert. Then Judy and the boys played bath, while I did dishes again. Finally, I got to get in on the tail end of the bath. Then we read books, prayed, and got tucked in. The going-to-bed process was quite painless, really. Than we read, and snoozed in the living room until Scot and Jill returned.

All in all, a great evening for everyone.

There are more photos, complete with captions here. You can see the photos whether or not you are a member of Facebook.

COMMENTS--Also, if you are my Facebook friend, you can leave comments on individual photos there.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Srfing the lard

A few days ago Bill came by the exam rooms with a handful of papers and a stapler. He chose one of the papers and stapled it to my wall. It was obviously a page from a Sunday School curriculum book, completed by a child in the US, Canada or another of the English-speaking countries as part of a lesson about missions. They were apparently supposed to use the space provided to write a letter to a missionary.

I don't know how it was decided which missionary got these. I assume that all across the English-speaking world on that particular Sunday, kids wrote letters to missionaries, and that Nazarene missionaries all over the world have been getting them. I know that mine came from Lexie, and that she and her friends are praying for me. It matters little to me that she doesn't know my name, nor perhaps even what country her note ended up in. The sweet, innocent prayers of children are going up to the Father, who knows what missionaries to connect those prayers to. That's enough for me. So I'll keep srfing the lard where He has assigned me, strengthened by His grace and the prayers of His people, including His young people.

Thank you Lexie and your friends, wherever you are. Keep praying.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Miss Judy's Reading Room

When the Tausi family was over Saturday evening, the kids showed an interest in a few books that we have on our coffee table. Judy assured them that they were welcome to look at the books, and also pulled out a few kids books, especially for the younger ones. Before they left, she said that they could come back and read any time they wanted. Sure enough, Sunday afternoon several of them showed up, and spent a couple of hours on our front porch reading. Beauty and the Beast seemed to be the favorite.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday Morning

After church at Emmanuel yesterday morning, Aden and Aunt Judy somehow came to an agreement that he would come to our house for "coffee". Although I certainly plan to teach him the finer points of java when the time comes, he didn't really drink coffee. Aunt Judy got out her brand-new snow-cone maker. It wasn't very big or heavy, but it certainly got priority over a number of items that I would have rather hauled back to PNG in our luggage, but I now see the wisdom of the investment.

After an hour or so of cranking to produce a small cold treat, Aden and Judy moved to the living room to read books. Eventually Judy packaged up two small cups of shaved ice, packed with ice cubes and wrapped in foil, and Aden and I took them to his house to share with Wiley.

You can read about the exploits of Aden and Wiley, as well as their as-yet unborn brother here, and read older stories about them here.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saturday Evening

I don't think I've really explained about the Tausi family. When we were first in PNG, Sam became good friends with Stanley Tausi. Soon the boys were eating or staying over at each other's houses. Before long, Stanley's family decided that Sam needed a PNG family, and they "adopted" him. From that point on, they and their extended families have treated him as a member of the family. Stanley's dad Simon is from the Kobon tribe, in the Middle Ramu area, high up in the mountains north of here. His mom Esther is from the Kuma tribe, the one adjacent to the hospital. Needless to say, they were all sad when Sam left.

Since we've been on furlough and have spent time with Sam, they were all anxious to hear news about him, and to see pictures. So last evening, Simon, Esther and the kids (Stanley, Lilly, Natina, Ishigel and Aku), and Esther's mother, Abmi all came for supper. After supper, Simon's brother Michael and his wife Martha, and their boys Nason and Randy (a sort of name sake of mine), and several other people came. We borrowed a projector, and I made up a slide show of pictures from our furlough, emphasizing a large proportion of pictures of Sam. A good time was had by all.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Friends Along the Way

One of the nice things about traveling around on home assignment is coming close to old friends. Well, not really "old" friends (although we're all a little older than we used to be), but long-established friends.

We have been friends with Dave and Linda Creighton since we lived in Minot, North Dakota back in 1984 or 85. Dave and I were accountability partners for a couple of years. After we moved to Chester, Montana, they stopped several times in traveling back and forth to Kalispell, Montana, Dave's home area. Later they moved to Kalispell, and we have visited them there a few times. Kalispell is only a few hours from Spokane, and they drove over while we were there, and we spent a really good day together.

Roseann Rohrer has been our friend ever since she sold us her house! It's an unusual way for form a lasting friendship, but Roseann is an unusual woman. The house meant a lot to her. She had gone through a lot while there, including the loss of her husband, who went through his final illness in the house. She wanted to entrust the house to the right people, and concluded that we were those people. The day that we looked at the house we sat down together over cups of coffee, and Roseann declared that she was convinced that we were the ones that were supposed to have her house, and she helped us work it out. We had wonderful years in that house, mostly raising our kids there.

When we first visited Marysville Church of the Nazarene in 1993, one of the first people to greet us was Lonnie Waddle. Over the next several years he and I became good friends. We were accountability partners for several years. I also worked with his wife Louise in the music program at Marysville church. Lonnie helped immeasurably in getting our house ready for sale as we were getting ready to come to PNG. Shortly before we left to come here, Lonnie and Louise moved to Spokane. We were able to stay with them one night while we were in Spokane.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Deputation in Spokane

I'm playing catch-up. I really want to get back to the pattern of quick little posts to this blog every day, but there is still some of the story of our home assignment that I want to share.

We did a brief tour in Spokane, Washington, speaking in 6 of the hospital's LINKS churches. For those of you who aren't familiar with Nazarene Missions International (the missions support auxiliary within the Nazarene Church) LINKS stands for "Loving, Interested Nazarenes, Knowing and Sharing". I think they had the acronym first, and then found words to fit it! It's a great program that "links" individual churches with individual missionaries or ministries, in this case Kudjip Hospital.

The picture story is found at this link.

We also got to meet up with some dear friends, but that's a story for another blog.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Home Again

"What do you consider home?" It's a question that we're often asked, and I've had different answers throught the years. I used to tell the kids that home is wherever we can be together. I sometimes say that when we're traveling between PNG and the USA that home is whichever country we are heading toward at the moment. I think that familiarity is also a part of the answer--home is where you know your way around, where you see familiar sights, use familiar things. I use whichever definition is most applicable at the moment.

So, we're home. To the PNG home. I think it was the fastest trip for us yet. The layovers were relatively brief, and no over-nights. I kept my watch on Mountain Standard Time until we got here. We left Boise at about 6:15 Thursday evening, arrived at Kudjip at about 1:00 Saturday morning on my watch. Of course, when we arrived here it was about 5:00 Saturday evening local time. About 31 hours elapsed.

All of our kids were there to see us off. Veteran missionaries have told us (usually in response to our question) that leaving your loved ones doesn't get any easier with practice, and they are right. However, the love of our PNG family takes some of the edge off of the separation.

Jeff and Susan Myers picked us up at the airport. Sam's close friend Stanley and his little brother Agu came to the airport on their own to meet us, and rode back to Kudjip with us and the Myets. As we drove up the road to the gate of the station, we started seeing familiar faces, and began waving to friends.

Inside the station (at the "circle" for those of you who are familiar with the place) we started meeting missionaries. We shook a few hands through the car windows, then drove on down the road toward our house. When we got to the tennis court, there was a crowd gathered on the road, so we got out and started hugging, shaking hands and marveling over how much kids have grown in 4 months.

We slowly worked our way to our house. There were 2 welcome signs on our house, and "Welcome Back Home" spelled out on the steps in flowers (the work of Esther Tausi). I had to take pictures before our friends could carry our suitcases into the house!

The house was just as we left it; it had not been used by volunteer doctors or other visitors while we were away, but had been cleaned a few days ago. It was past 6 before we were alone. My first priority was a shower and clean clothes, then we walked down to the house of Stephanie Doenges for supper. An old tradition here is a "meal list" of dinner invitations for the last 4 days before leaving or the first 4 days after returning, so that we don't have to worry about major meal preparation during that time. We enjoyed supper with Steph, then staggered home to bed.

I'll leave the photos of the signs fairly large so that you can read them. Sorry that I was too sleepy and dull to remember to take a picture with Steph.

It's now Monday morning (I was wide awake at 4 AM!) and I'm getting ready for my first day back at the hospital. That is, after all, the reason we're here. This evening I'll report on my first day of work.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Canada West

We had a brief tour in Alberta, including 3 churches and the district NMI convention. The churches were Fort Saskatewan, Calgary Westview, and Lethbridge. Unfortunately, we didn't take a specific photo at Lethbridge church, but Judy's sister Jacquie is the NMI president, and there is no pastor currently.

You can see move photos of that trip by clicking this link.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Exciting News

A few weeks ago I shared the series issues involing needs for replacement of critical equipment at Kudjip Station, including x-ray equipment. Supporters of the ministry have been coming through in a great way to help with this. World Medical Mission (a division of Samaritan's Purse, the ministry directed by Franklin Graham) had offered to help us in locating a good new machine, and assisting with the process of buying and shipping it.

Then, just as we received word that the full total amount needed for the x-ray machine (US$35,000) has been raised, we have heard that WMM has decided to fund the full amount needed for the machine! This means that the money raised for the machine can be applied to the other needs.

We have also learned that the hydroelectric rebuild will cost somewhat over US$600,000, so don't stop praying, and helping in any way you can. If you can give toward the needs at Nazarene Hospital, please send a check to:

General Treasurer, Church of the Nazarene
17001 Prairie Star Parkway
Lenexa, KS 66220

Mark the memo line "Work of Nazarene Hospital, PNG."

The photo is of one of our patients and his friend reviewing his x-ray.