Twas a year of adventure, down in the bush
Not a thing was predictable, except at a push
After 6 months of kiwi leave I returned with a prayer
That at Rumginae, at least God’s light would shine clear.
Campaigners were tooting and promising on loud speakers
Telling visions of riches-to-come, quite sounding like preachers
And Sir Michael in his office and O’Neill on his seat
Both claimed one position as the nation’s Grand Chief.
When I slept on my bed, there arose such a crackle
I sprang up, heart racing, listening to the radio-prattle
Away to the hospital, I flew like a flash
To deliver a twin and rescue a baby born flat.
The sun on lush green of the far-reaching trees
Sapped all strength at midday, without any breeze
When, what to my wandering eyes should appear,
But NZers– a doctor, midwife and two students came here!
With a little old theatre, not fancy or equipped
Our methods of surgery are anything but quick
More patients than beds, more demands than our share
But we cut and we sewed and gave tender-loving-care.
Now Addy away! Rosie away! No Painter or Carter!
Just Sharon, just one pilot and our heavenly Father
Wind on top of the trees! To our house just complete!
The roof’s away! Power line away! Crashed down at our feet!
As cake attracts ants, when left on the bench
As sure as old bananas will give off a stench
So every couple of days I diagnose another TB
Well, in a year the number is well over a century.
And then, on the radio, we hear of Daru,
Gaining millions of kina to treat just a few.
Now no doctors in Kiunga and no help around,
Down highway and runway patients came with a bound.
From June came the rain, in warm puddles it sat
The airstrip was slippery and squelchy and flat.
For months it was threatened, but eventually closed
Maintenance work was started, but on and on it goes.
The generator was silent, the generator cut out!
And darkness encircled the station like cloud.
Taking turns for the freezer, turn on only one thing,
We wait and we wait for Western Power’s grand opening.
His skin just hung loose, from his head to his foot
Four-year-old Franklin stayed where he was put.
A bundle of diarrhoea, huddled in the Haus Sik
And his parents said the cause, of course, was magic.
His eyes – how they twinkled! His smile how merry!
His weight had improved, shaking hands so cherry!
Three months of TB drugs, three months of prayer
Franklin danced out the ward, for treatment supporter care.
It was just at the end of a week-long retreat,
I had marvelled at God’s love, let him wash clean my feet,
When suddenly I learned, my mum at home was near death
If I could I’d go home, I’d go home by next breath.
As our friends the pilots do every day when they fly,
With ticket in hand I mounted to the sky
So for a week with mum, we hugged and we cried,
And we shared of God’s goodness, his love so wide.
A thought springs to mind, as the year’s about to close
In the “Land of the unexpected,” so the saying goes
Problems will fly in, like thick dust from the road
But they won’t get too heavy, because Christ carried the load.
Now a word to my team, before you dart away
Here and there, going on holiday
Let me exclaim, although you’re out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”