Wednesday, June 17, 2015

An overdue update on life

Well, it seems quite some time has passed since I last sat down to write a post here! Between turning 6 and finishing up the last couple months of Kindergarten, learning how to walk, taking a turn leading our monthly English church service on station, figuring out where our next overseas term should be, playing de facto photographer for various events and family photo shoots, diagnosing and treating about 40 patients every day, and planning our family vacation next month, we've all been keeping busy!

 Anna's Strawberry Shortcake birthday party in May

 With her 6th birthday came some new privileges (like reading instead of nap time and getting to watch certain movies), and also the added responsibility of helping me with laundry. Although it does make my heart twist just a little seeing her out there doing her chores like a big kid...!

A couple months ago, I was able to attend a church opening where Suzanna, one of the ladies who helps me in the house, is pastor.  To reach the church, we drove one of the land cruisers over this section of road, half of which washed down the mountain some time ago and was replaced by a quasi-bridge of tree trunks:

The church was brightly decorated to celebrate its inaugural service, and several members of the congregation performed some special music.

Myself with Suzanna after the service

Once a month, many ex-pats from the various missions organisations in this part of the country gather at Kudjip for 'English Lotu', or 'worship in English'.  June was our month to lead this service, and after Mark led worship I spoke on Hope.

 Our little helper collecting the offering

At the beginning of this year, I started teaching clinic outpatients once a week on three different topics – diabetes, asthma/ COPD, and chronic reflux disease. Staff at the hospital requested an additional nurse to be hired on to remedy the deficit in patient education, but the request was turned down for budgetary reasons. So myself and another missionary wife (also an RN) have begun volunteering weekly, she with inpatients and I am working with outpatients from the clinic. I love getting to spend time with patients each Friday morning, and I'm thankful to be able to leave the kids in their Aunt Kathy's very capable hands!

One of my asthmatic patients, a lady who remembers the construction of the original Kudjip hospital buildings over 50 years ago!

Additionally, I have started communicating with our travel agent about our flights home in the fall – which is difficult for me to believe even as I write it! We're looking at getting back to Tulsa either October or November, which means we're here in PNG for a maximum of 5 more months. It also means I'm finding myself in that place of reflecting on the bittersweet nature of our calling … but that is a blog post for another day!

This roly-poly little lady has finally found her feet, and enjoys toddling all over the house trying to keep up with her big brother and sister. Which is, of course, an impossible mission ... but she sure does look cute while she tries!