JUNGLE DOCTOR ON LEAVE - May 2014

OVER HALF-WAY THOUGH KIWI-LEAVE

Oh the joy of being on leave! Thanks so much for your prayers as I rest from my term in PNG, do the New Zealand phase of my work and change to quite a different lifestyle.

It has been great to have some energy return, as well as greater peace about the term that has been and the one ahead. I am having a fresh look at the vision God has placed on me.

Would you like to hear about it? If you’re in Dunedin, come along on Sunday 25 May for a bring-and-share lunch and talk at 12:30pm.

My new prayer card is available. If you see me, just ask me for one. Or flick me an email and I will post you one.

My time based in Dunedin is coming to a close. I’ll be based in Wanganui for June and moving around in July. I’m looking forward to my mum’s 70th Birthday in Wanganui! I’ll be back to PNG in August.

Please also continue to pray for God’s restoration and his transformation as I journey with Him.


CONTINUING MEDICAL EDUCATION

So, what does a doctor do on leave? Keep learning! I’m now updated on saving lives (albeit of manikins) from a day in the Otago Clinical Skills Lab. I’m delighting in fast internet to do some on-line learning. So many resources are available! I have sent off boxes of health promotion pamphlets to Rumginae, which will be useful in training our health workers and also adapting to our situation.

The Rural GP Conference was interesting, as I brought a broader understanding of remoteness to the discussion. I have a lot to learn from best-practice in NZ, particularly in the lifestyle diseases which are increasing in PNG.

The TB symposium in Sydney was an amazing link-up with doctors and researchers involved in PNG. I can only thank God for how he arranged that.

In July I’m heading to Melbourne for the International AIDS Conference. And there’ll be other learning too, I’m sure.


REFLECTIONS

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor… to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour… for the display of his splendor…” from Isaiah 61

Problems of poverty, captivity, sickness, grief and despair are things that we see all around us – including in PNG. These are not new problems. The original hearers were stuck in exile, under cruel captivity.

But when Jesus read from this passage one day in Nazareth, he announced its fulfilment! People watched and wondered as he healed, cast out demons, taught and was eventually killed. Only after he was raised to life and went back to heaven did his disciples truly understand the new era that Jesus brought about.

When we believe in Jesus, he exchanges our old life for a life in his spirit. There is transformation that affects every part of life.

So, what do I do with my hurt and despair while serving God? I look to him to transform me, exchanging grief for comfort, because he died to take my sin and pain. I learn to serve in the right heart, in the power of his Spirit.

I continue to treat the poor, inviting them to enter Jesus’ family and bring him glory. I look forward to the new heaven and new earth, and all nations praising God!

KEEP PRAYING FOR RUMGINAE, PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Fresh news after some phone-calls with my friends:

First up is an amazing answer to prayer: We’ve accepted an application for a new doctor at Rumginae! This is an experienced Papua New Guinean doctor. Pray he will indeed come and that he will be a blessing.

Rumginae Hospital has had some good publicity lately, with a big article in the nationwide “Post Courier” about the rural medicine placement two docs did there. It clearly gives glory to God for the holistic health practiced and I pray it strengthens our unity and purpose.

Dr Addy is taking a trip to India to visit and care for her mum, who has been unwell. Pray they have a special time together and pray for Rumginae in her absence.

My adopted village, Dande, is poised for change. Meetings about the planned oil extraction on their land are coming to a climax, with disputes over ownership and excitement about jobs and money. Meantime, most have given up meeting for church and the spiritual climate is dry. Pray God will encourage the few strong Christians and that the church will rise to be a voice in the new developments.

An Arrowtown man, Graeme Bagley is now at Rumginae for a 2 month stint, working on maintenance projects. Pray for God’s enabling and good relationships with national workers.

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