Sunday, February 28, 2010

Blog Security

I just discovered that there have been a lot of spam comments on this blog.  So far, none that I have seen have been offensive, but I only looked back for a few weeks.

As of now, you will have to complete a text verification step in order to leave a comment.  That's the picture of text that you have to type in, to confirm that you are a person and not a machine spreading spam to innocent blogs around the world.  It's just a small step, so I hope you won't find it inconvenient.  Also, I have switched on comment moderation.  That means that I will have to see and approve the comment before it is published.  That is no more work for you, and only a little click for me, so don't hesitate to leave comments.

Good Friends

Tieme is a nurse who has served at Nazarene Hospital for 37 years. That's a long time! It's time for her to retire and she has had to make a decision about where to live. She is a widow and has no traditional family land to return to. It has been an agonizing process for her to find land and hire a carpenter to build her a small house. Leaving Kudjip Nazarene Hospital is like leaving her family.

Last Saturday, while Andy was on call, I drove a team of people, who love Tieme, to her new place in Minj, about a 30 minute drive away. She has a huge garden plot that needed lots of work before it could be planted. The men did the traditional manly work of digging the drainage ditches called barets. The women cleared weeds and burned brush. We worked throughout the morning and then enjoyed a 'garden luncheon' of rice, tuna, homemade bread and cake.

It was a good day.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Well, I Wasn't Going to Say Anything...

but Judy had a birthday. It was over a week ago, and as you see, I'm a bit behind. I want to emphasize that she is much younger (11 days) than I am.

The Radcliffe's invited us for dinner the evening before. The evening of the 18th, it was the day of the local lady's Bible study, and they had a little surprise party for her there.

You notice the now-standard Kudjip Birthday Hat. If you pay attention, you will see it many times on this blog, as well as those of my fellow missionaries.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Forty-foot containers are really big!

Saturday morning we were off on a trip to town to take some volunteers to the airport (good bye to Christine and Ryan Young!) and some shopping. We got a call with the news that a long-awaited container had arrived. This one was shipped by Dr. Bob and Carol Arrom, and contained some much-needed items, including new beds for the new hospital, and IV poles.

We hurried back to the station, and spend about 2 hours unloading the container, and helping to arrange some of the items in the hospital.

Thank you Arroms, and all those who helped them put this project together. Our patients will rest much easier, thanks to those wonderful beds!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Ballins Are Back, and Andy Has a Birthday, all in one day!

Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday in grand fashion. I slept in, was served coffee in bed, then French toast for breakfast. Overall, the day was quite leisurely, except for a few chores working on one of our volunteer flats in the afternoon. Later I had a great workout at the weight room.

The really exciting part of the day was that we got to see Brad and Nikolai Ballin, along with Chirith and Mekelle. We had not seen them since we were all in the US on our respective furloughs, and in fact it was our first time ever to meet M'kele. They just arrived back in PNG a couple of weeks ago, after serving over 2 years with MAF Australia in the Northern Territory of Australia.

For those of you who don't know, Nikolai grew up in our home church in Marysville, Washington. We've known her since she was 12 or 13. She was on a Work and Witness team that I led to the Dominican Republic in 1997. She came to Kudjip as the elementary teacher in 2002-04. Brad was an engineer for MAF in Mount Hagen. They were married in our yard here at Kudjip in the Spring of 2004, and continued serving in Mount Hagen for 2 or 3 more years before going to Australia, where Brad began his work as a pilot for MAF.

Now they have been assigned to PNG once again. They will be in Mt. Hagen for a few months at least. We don't know if they will be assigned there long-term, or to one of the outlying MAF bases. Either way, it's wonderful to have them back in PNG.

The Ballins joined us for my birthday dinner, along with Patrick and Allison Williams and their kids Elizabeth and Benjamin, their colleagues at MAF. A great evening!