Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Gas Boys

These are our nurse-anesthetists.  They are all graduates of Nazarene College of Nursing, and of the Post-Basic training program in anesthesia in Port Moresby.  They have all three proven themselves to be careful and serious about their work, and they all have great attitudes toward service to the people here.  When we have to do something after hours, it is a great blessing to have staff who come cheerfully without complaining.  They are David, Petrus and Las (pronounced "lahsh").


Monday, October 24, 2011

The Big Wedding

Many of you know that we've been building up to a really big event here at Kudjip--the wedding of Dr. Becky Wallace, and MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) missionary Matt Preece.  Becky is with for a year, as a volunteer through World Medical Mission.  The story (many stories, really) can be found on their individual blogs at here (for Becky's now discontinuing blog) and here (for Matt's side of the story, and the one they will do together from now on).

Well, Saturday the big day finally arrived.  I'll try not to tell you too much detail, but understand that other than a skeleton crew left behind to keep the hospital functioning, all of your Kudjip missionaries, and many of our national friends were away for the day.  MAF is a much larger group than we are, and although only a fraction of their folk could come, it was an even larger group than the Nazarenes!

The wedding party and the musicians went up to Randan Ridge Friday evening, a group left at 7 AM Saturday to help with decorating, and the rest of us, in 4 more Land Cruisers left Kudjip about 8.  Most of us got back between 5 and 5:30 in the afternoon.

Randan Ridge, for those of you who don't know, is a hotel.  It's high up on the mountain to the south of the town of Mount Hagen.  The road is very rough, but once you get there, things are very nice.  They usually ferry their guests up in a huge 4-wheel drive bus.

There is the main lodge, a long, curving building, with a large covered patio within the curved part.  Beyond that is a long, winding fish pond.  There is a foot path that goes all the way around the pond.  The wedding party stood on the foot path, across the pond from the guests.

The wedding party was Dr. Erin Meier, Becky's sister Tammy, Becky, Matt, Matt's friend Mark from Australia, and Daniel, Matt's good friend and wrokmate at MAF.

Our table at the reception, with Brad and Nikolai Ballin and Cherith and Mikelle, and Simon and Esther Tausi.

Jim Radcliffe speaking on behalf of Kudjip Hospital.

Matt and Becky sharing at the end of the reception.

By the way, most of the PNG Nazarene Missionaries who blog have stories and photos.  See our blog roll on the left of the screen.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Golnamne Church of the Nazarene

This morning we were off to a bush church at a place called Golnamne.  Not hard to pronounce once you practice it a couple of times.  It's the home village of our friend Apa.  We shared his story in April, 2010.  Our friends Simon and Esther Tausi (we've talked about them too many times to link to all of them) and Simon's brother Nason and his wife Neom are here, both for the recent Women's Conference, and for the upcoming National NMI Conference, and they all came along as well.

Golnamne is in an area we've never visited before.  The church people worked on the road, so it would be easy for us to get there.  The road must have been pretty bad before!  Going down a hill, at one point the mud was so slippery that even in 4-wheel drive, the steering had no effect on the direction of travel of the cruiser, and the left tires slipped right into a drainage ditch.  That wouldn't have been so bad if the ditch had been going our way, but it was clear that I couldn't continue to follow it indefinitely!  Apa is a very strong man, and he was surrounded by his strong relatives.  In a few minutes, they had brought a couple of big planks and built a ramp out of the ditch.  I drove right out, and the rest of the road went by without problem.  However, Judy and several of our friends had decided to walk down the hill.

The folks who walked down the hill arrived a few minutes after we did.

 The congregation had prepared welcome signs on the ground made of flower petals. 

The church lined up to receive us with warm handshakes and a welcome song.

 Me preaching

 Visiting after the service

Some people had no confidence in the car, and walked back up the hill.  There was no trouble getting up in the car!

Here's a little video, shot with my pocket camera of the welcome, then of the Tausis and a few other friends singing a special song in the service.  There's also a brief shot of Simon giving a testimony.  It was so moving that I wanted to share it, but I was disappointed to discover that his voice had been too soft for my camera to record.  His face and gestures say a lot.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Night Away

How our friends Larry and Aarlie Hull came to own a coffee plantation is a fascinating, but long story.  For now, all you need to know is that we have American friends who have a moderate-sized coffee plantation about a half-hour's drive from Kudjip.  They travel back and forth from their home in Centralia, Washington to Madan Estate several times a year.  We have visited them there several times, but never over night.  But last night we changed that.  We drove out right after my work at the hospital was done for the day.  We had supper on their verandah, visited into the evening, then slept in their upstairs master suite.

The Hulls don't use the suite themselves.  I'm sure that this goes back to the days when they were partners in the plantation with another couple, who lived at Madan full-time, and slept in the crow's nest.  Larry and Aarlie still sleep in the same downstairs bedroom that they started using in those days.  The suite has a bedroom with a big round bed, a separate room that was probably originally intended to be a study and a bathroom.  The bedroom has windows on three sides.  You have to understand that it's built on top of a big house that's in turn built on a big hill.  Sorry that we don't have a photo taken from the suite.  You'll have to use your imagination based on the photo taken of the house from across the coffee fields.  By the way, Judy is pretending to be a security guard there at the gate!

Saturday morning we got up and had freshly-roast peaberry coffee (if you don't know what peaberry is, you won't be impressed anyway) on the verandah, along with fruit, toast and cereal.  Then we were off for a stroll around the plantation, along with some of the Hull's delightful employees.  I'll just caption the photos.

The Hulls have built a health clinic on the plantation, and are in the process of finishing a birthing center, which you see in the left background.  In the picture of us with Larry, are the nurse and 2 aides that they have hired to staff these facilities.  Above the birthing center are small apartments for the aides.  The new literacy center and library will be built near-by.  They have already had literacy classes, but the new building will allow them to expand this ministry.

One of the security men told us about some small caves on the hill where the house is.  The local people revere these caves, apparently as being home to "dwarfs" leprechaun-like legendary creatures.  The man who originally built the plantation promised the local people that except for the house (a pretty big exception, I think) nothing on the hill would be disturbed.  When the owner before the Hulls started clearing some forest and leveling some land for staff housing, the locals became upset, but the owner said that as a Christian he didn't care about the stories of the dwarfs.  One night, the security man told us, the dwarfs came and climbed up on the roof of the house, and stomped around loudly, frightening the owner and his wife, who called for help from the security staff (I don't know what they did to help) and then stopped the construction project.  I wanted to see the caves.

In the picture we are in front of the rock structure where the caves are located.

The first cave I saw was very small, just a bit of a cleft, with a lower area extending back a few feet, but the second one extended further.  By crawling in a little way, I could see into a chamber that would have been big enough for me to sit up in, but not stand.  

 Here's the crawling part.  I could see an extension, but couldn't tell how far it went, and I didn't want to go through the small passage I would have had to crawl through to get in and see more.

You can see how muddy my legs and arms got.

We went back to the house to wash up and have some lunch (along with some more of the great Madan coffee) before heading home.

All photos by Aarlie Hull.