Jan 2010 - Issue 16

Jan 2010 - Issue 16

Runginae Hospital Experiences

My first four weeks of Rumginae Hospital Experiences

A mother in the pushing stage of labour for 16 hours coming in from the bush. The baby dies and the mother has damage internally. Tackling postoperative pain without paracetamol or codeine or voltaren. The x-ray machine only works sometimes in the afternoons.

We get a message there's sick people out in a remote bush place. Their radio is broken, they have no health worker and we don't have the money or staff to send out a plane and investigate.

A smiling boy goes home after treatment for diarrhoea with dehydration - he's one of my "relatives" from my Dande family. Another man walks around on a mending broken leg. A nursing sister calls me on the walkie-talkie to update me on a man with severe asthma "I gave him the nebulisers and steroids and antibiotics. We prayed together. Now he is sitting comfortably eating dinner."

Doctors from the town government hospital bring in a patient nearly dead. After a difficult anaesthetic and recovery, she is alive and well and has been encouraged in her family problems by the gospel.

My first 4 weeks working in the Rumginae hospital have been a bit up and down. I've loved hearing the murmur among the Aekyom patients "this is our Aekyom doctor, she knows our language" and many of them talk to me in their language. I can only understand a bit of what they say though!

Good things are happening in the wards, but I often feel the staff could do better with what resources they have - although resources are limited! I've been really stretched with some of the sick patients, but have not been alone having to deal with them by myself.

I am experiencing a lot of God's grace. My saddest story so far is the first one I mentioned. Please pray for J........, who is incontinent of urine after her long labour and my operation. May God heal her and somehow arrange some surgical help for her if she needs it. Also pray for my confidence after this bad outcome.




Our missionary team has been doing Bible studies in John's gospel, and so lately I have been reflecting on how Jesus is the source of our lives. A vine branch becomes dead and dry when it is separate from the vine, and there's no way fruit will grow. Loving and obeying Jesus is our joy and what we were made for. It's worth reflecting on how we live in Him. It encourages me again to take every opportunity to impact the spiritual lives of our patients.

To do that better I need to "grow" in living in Him myself and get better at "telling stories" about God in everyday ways. That branch illustration is a good one for here, I think.

You are reading this newsletter where you are and I'm over here – we are in such different situations, aren’t we. But our aim should be the same wherever we are. We are to know Jesus and reflect him in our lives, so that others can see him too. Your prayers are so important in bringing this about in my corner, so I thank you.

Rain, Rain, Rain


Here in the lowlands it is hot and sticky. In 2009, Rumginae had a rainfall of 6941 mm over 289 days. June was the wettest month, with 869.6 mm total. To keep it in perspective, Milford Sound (NZ) is "one of the wettest places in the world" with average annual rainfall of 7200 mm. Dunedin's annual rainfall is 930 mm.

Over Christmas I had my turn at monitoring the Rumginae rain gauge, which supplies figures for the PNG weather office.

Prayer Points

  • Praise God the container of donated hospital equipment from NZ has finally arrived
  • Praise God for lots of support as I start out in the hospital
  • Pray for a language helper and progress in language learning
  • Pray for strength, wisdom and confidence in challenging medical work
  • Pray the hospital will be a light for Jesus
  • Pray for some good discipling relationships
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