Wednesday, March 31, 2010

General Superintendent Visits Talipes Clinic

Here at Kudjip, we get a visit from a General Superintendent about once a year.  They always have a lot to do, meetings, problem solving, conducting district assemblies, etc., so they don't have much time on their hands.  So for one of them to take the time to tour the hospital, and then to stop and take in interest in what I'm doing was a little surprising.

A few weeks ago, we had our annual visit from a GS, this time Dr. Jerry Porter.  In my experience, the GSs that I've gotten to know at all have all been humble, gentle men and women, not self-important or arrogant at all.  For those of you who aren't Nazarenes, there are six GSs, each elected for a four-year term.  They divide the world up, and take turns being responsible for each part, two years at a time.

Dr. Porter took a tour of the new hospital--he's the first GS to visit since we moved in.  They did the tour on Thursday which is the day when I have my talipes (club-foot) clinic.  Dr. Porter stopped, watched me casting a kiddo's foot and asked questions.  When I saw him again at a meeting that evening, he commented that he had Googled talipes, and read up about it.  He asked a few questions about my work.

Finally, I can't resist adding a photo of Dr. Porter holding Noah Riggins.  He and Noah seemed to like each other--I think Dr. Porter  was missing his own grandkids.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Operation Warm Baby

Imagine you are very poor.  Imagine you are going to have a baby.  Imagine you have no money to buy any needed supplies for a newborn, not even a blanket to wrap this new life in.

Last year over 1100 babies were born at Nazarene Hospital.  Some mothers came in prepared to take care of their new baby but many came with nothing.  In some cases the baby was wrapped in a paper disposable sheet after birth. 

How could we help?

Nazarene Hospital Foundation stepped in!  These supporters of Nazarene Hospital came up with an idea for a baby pack that could easily be given to new mothers - a zip lock bag filled with diapers, pins, plastic pants, onesies, sleeper, socks, hat, and soap. We called it "Operation Warm Baby" and spread the word about our need.  Little did we realize the floodgates of compassion that would be opened!

Our church has a program called LINKS which is short for "Loving, Informed Nazarenes Knowing and Sharing".  Our request was put on the unofficial list of needs.  People began responding and sending.  It was a huge response to our need!

Now we are able to give each woman who has a baby in our hospital an "Operation Warm Baby" pack!  Many of these women have never received a present in their life.    Some women cry when they receive this gift for their baby.  They cannot imagine anyone caring so much about them.  What a privilege to give in the name of Jesus!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Love Story

Michael and Meryl Stathis have been married for 45 years today.  They are volunteering at Nazarene Hospital for the fourth time. 

Michael is a general surgeon, the old-fashioned kind--truly general, with a wide range of skills, careful and systematic as a diagnostician, steady and precise as an operator.  He is simply wonderful to have around.

Meryl is a sort of combination of big sister, mother and doting aunt--gentle, witty, concerned.  Great cook, too.

Some of you will remember a couple of years ago when we took an emergency trip to Australia for medical assistance for Judy.  The Stathises were some of the people that took care of us then--we stayed in their home, they fed us, prayed for us, drove us to medical appointments.

Michael was raised in a traditional Greek Orthodox home.  His family was faithful to church, and believed that if they were good enough, they would go to heaven.  As a teenager Michael fell in love with Jesus through reading the New Testament.  Although his parents opposed it, they eventually allowed him to go to an evangelical church once a week.  Through the church he met Meryl, and although they weren't really able to date, over a period of five years a deep friendship developed.  Michael knew that he could only marry a woman who shared his faith in Jesus, and knew that God had led him to Meryl.

The elder Stathises were heart-broken that Michael should marry outside the Greek Orthodox Church, but eventually came to accept, and eventually love Meryl.  But best of all, they eventually came to accept and love Jesus, too.

Today we celebrated with Michael and Meryl.  We'd planned to drive to Randan Ridge, high above Mount Hagen town, to eat at what may be the nicest restaurant in the Highlands.  As we headed out of Mount Hagen and up the narrow road, people by the road flagged us down to warn us that the road had washed away.  Judy had been to Randan just a couple of weeks ago, and commented on the narrow road cut into the hillside, that then was barely passable.  So we went back into Mount Hagen, and had a nice lunch at the Hagen Squash Club.  The surroundings and the food were not quite what they would have been at Randan Ridge, but the fellowship was great, and the story of the courtship that culminated 45 years ago today was priceless.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Prodigal Ring

I found my lost wedding ring . . . on someone else's finger!  Here's what happened:

Six and a half years ago it was stolen from our house.  I resigned myself to the loss, thinking it had probably been sold at the market and was now on a grandma's finger in a village somewhere.

We kept meaning to buy new wedding bands--Andy had lost his in a hospital laundry in Montana years ago. 

Last week, as I was walking to work, I stopped to talk with one of the nurses.  The sun shone on the ring on her finger making the diamond glisten.  It attracted my attention and I looked down at it.  I looked again.  I gasped--it was my wedding ring!  I quickly explained this to my friend and assured her that I knew she had not taken it.  It had probably passed through many hands before a little girl gave it to her little girl.  She graciously gave it to me saying she felt bad that she had not known it had belonged to me before!

Thirty-five years ago Andy had chosen the ring for me.  It's pretty special to have it back on my finger again!  I am amazed at the sweetness of God!  Just that morning I had prayed, "Lord, help me see your presence in this day".  Hard to miss it!