November 2012 Newsletter – Issue 27

Mum’s impoving

I’ve had a quick trip to NZ! My mum in New Zealand became very sick suddenly in August. She had complications of some minor surgery and required intensive care, I was with her for about a week – and she came out of hospital the day I left, praise God.
Since then, it has been a hard road for my parents. She is only able to do a fraction of her previous work and is in severe pain. However, she is alive and finding God her strength!


Four years old, but skin-and-bones rivaling any African famine pictures you’ve ever seen. He hasn’t walked for a year and mostly just lies moaning, with big eyes seemingly out of proportion to his face.

His image immediately sprang to mind as I led a devotion for the other missionaries about the rich young man in Mark’s gospel. How hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Just the day before, the boy’s father came up to me and said he wanted to take the boy home and “do custom”. He wanted to discern the cause of the sickness by magic and cure him. He has TB and severe malnutrition. For weeks the family seemed blind to the child’s need for food and were unwilling for tube feeding. We watched his weight drop and my hope for him was failing. How could this family change?

I saw my lack of faith and did pray for him. Others did too. The chaplain talked with the family. But still expected them to be gone from the ward – another TB defaulter.

But he was still there today – chewing on a banana and accepting milk through a tube. A message came back from the father through the chaplain. Tell the doctor I’m sorry. The is going to get food. We won’t take home away for custom.

Can this family change to submit to the power of God? I guess it’s possible! Will you join with me in praying they do?

And I wonder what God is teaching me about my faith. Perhaps it is possible for God to work with my limitations as a doctor and as a member of a somewhat dysfunctional hospital. Perhaps there is hope.

From Sharon

Rosie, Addy and I – our team from England, India and NZ!

Left: Visiting with Mary, one of our healthworkers at Debepari in the bush.
Right: Testing eyes at Mougulu – ready for a visiting eye surgeon to repair cataracts.


Our airstrip is closed! Work to our airstrip has stalled and it is real problem.
Arranging patient transfers has become a whole lot harder and riskier. No longer can we just call in to a MAF shed to chat with base staff. We have to get patients from Kiunga airstrip and coordinate with trips to town to collect them. Another hurdle for our patients to get through before receiving care.

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