Medical Christmas and a Hazardous New Year

Jan 02 2009
Well our Holidays were not what you would call typical, peaceful or pleasant, but they were a reminder of God’s constant care and provision. I (Karie) awoke early Christmas morning to the sounds of kids trying their best to whisper and failing miserably. Of course, they were trying to find a way to sneak a peek at their presents. Due to some unforeseen plane issues, they each had just one package, but that didn’t stifle their enthusiasm. It was 6:00am and I gave the go ahead for the paper ripping to begin. New back packs in hand they were duly satisfied to go around their room finding things to fill them up and pack around. I was just having my morning cup of coffee when I noticed a man trying to get a good look at our pig. This is not unusual so I called to him and told him to go on in the pen and get a good look. He said no, no and I could tell he didn’t want to seem presumptuous so I went down with some leftovers to throw to the pig so he could get a better look. But, when I came down the stairs a whole group was gathered in our little cook house. This is not usually good at 6:30 am. They began to tell me their story. They had brought a woman with them from their village, Wom. This village is 1 1/2hours canoe ride away. She was in labor and having difficulty breathing. They had left her with the other women in the canoe a mile away on the creek to wait for my ok to bring her to the clinic. I hurriedly agreed and Jesse swung into action getting the tractor and trailer ready to go and get her. I went on ahead to open the clinic and get it ready. The woman came and was in premature labor with twins, and also had pneumonia and malaria. After starting her on a number of drugs to get the fever down and malaria under control she started to slow her breathing and the contractions stopped. She remained here in Samban two nights and then wanted to get home though she was still having problems with the pneumonia. We thought this was to be the end of our holiday woes but again on New Year’s Eve more people were in the cook house from Wom village. This time a 19 year old had delivered a healthy baby boy but the mama was not doing well. She needed serious medical help. We tried the Satellite phone with no luck. We tried the radio and after an hour we were able to get someone to help us phone a friend. He helped us with arranging for a flight to come and get the girl out. God was merciful and opened the sky route. The plane came and the provincial hospital that was closed agreed to take her. We don’t know yet what happened to her, but at this point, no news is good news. Later that evening we celebrated the New Year with a special time of worship, prayer and fasting and a good study on the origins of the Passover and its link to communion. After a special communion service with the Christian churches in the area, we all watched the movie Prince of Egypt and at midnight the village went wild banging drums and beating on metal - anything that would make noise to chase away the old year, and all the troubles it held. Let’s all pray for a time of peace in this New Year. Plane Predicaments We’re all here but where’s our luggage? One month later and we are still waiting but not wondering. Because of plane maintenance issues the majority of our supplies, school supplies for the village, and clinic supplies, and our new solar freezer are still up in the highlands. This has posed a number of problems including a dramatic increase in the amount of rice we are eating lately and though Jesse is quite happy with rice I am more of a potato person! HAHA. No, seriously pray that the plane will come quickly to replenish dwindling supplies at the clinic and that the school supplies would arrive in time for the new school year at the end of the month. Sea Surges and Petrol Problems Large sea swells have closed down provincial services in the East Sepik Province where we live. This means that our one government hospital is now closed and the district clinic has chosen this month to strike for better pay. The timing couldn’t be worse. Due to the reputation of our little clinic we are seeing more patients than we ever have and this means more frequent evacuations. In fact, we have had to evacuate 9 people in 6 weeks, one by air which is very costly. The clinic does not generate enough money to cover its own medical costs let alone evacuation costs so this has been a real strain. Please pray that those who are evacuated are able to receive good quality health care and pray that there would be a time of good health that we would not need to evacuate more patients. Not only are there problems with health care but the pipe that joins the fuel ships to the depot has been damaged in the high seas and we are unable to purchase fuel at this time. Jesse was able to get 3 drums of diesel a few weeks back but no petrol or kerosene which is what our outboard motors run on so that means we have low reserves for taking sick passengers and no extra for cutting timber for the new center and hauling sand and concrete. We appreciate your prayers. Jesse, Karie, Naleh, Elijah, and Judah Pryor

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