Monday, February 29, 2016

Life on the mission field is never as one might expect there are always changes and surprises so why should work on the mission field be any different.  I have found myself, this past month, working in unexpected ways.  I suppose I should start at the beginning...

February began with plans for me to return to Sentani to help once again at the guest house while the new guest house managers took a short vacation.  I was to be there only a week.  I decided to stick around because there was no immediate work in Wamena and some friends were staying at the guest house.  One of those friends, Carolyn, was out from the tribe she works in for medical reasons.  After talking with her over the course of several days, she decided it would be best if she sought medical attention in a larger city, Jakarta, and I offered to tag along.  Trying to navigate the red type of a hospital while healthy is difficult enough, trying to do it while sick and in a foreign language makes thinks a lot more difficult! Another friend, Lindsey, decided to come along as well.

Mid-February and two days after my planned return to wamena, the three of us set off for Jakarta.  We took Carolyn directly to the hospital and checked her in.  While she was have blood tests and scans done, Lindsey and I went to find food and our hotel.  Excited to be in Jakarta, more for the sake of having the many options of good, American food choices and less because our friend was in the Hospital getting testing done, we set off to find our first meal of what we hoped to be several delicious meals. While in the cab Lindsey started complaining that her feet hurt and she was cold by the time we made it to the hotel her whole body was aching and she had a fever.  The next day I had to postpone my visit with carolyn at the hospital and took lindsey to a local clinic to have some blood work done.  The blood work came back negative but she was still not feeling well.  Over the next two days I ran between hospital and hotel to check up on my two friends who were both now not well.

Carolyn spent 2 nights in the hospital and all of her testing came back normal though she was still not feeling well she decided she wanted to check further in Singapore and to continue to the state from there for a short break owing to the possibility she might just need a good amount of rest.  Torn between going with carolyn or staying with Lindsey my dilemma was answered when the next morning Lindsey's fever broke and we all decided to continue on to Singapore.

Singapore proved slightly more informative for Carolyn and lindsey seemingly on the mend we enjoyed what we could of singapore with the time that we had.  The day before we all were to make our trips back home Lindsey started feeling unwell again.  Tickets already booked we decided it was best to spend a few days in Jakarta before continuing on to Sentani.

Lindsey's fever came back but only for a day then was gone and came back again only higher.  The next day it was gone.  The following night it came back higher then before! When I checked on her in the morning she said her fever was back and had spent the night throwing up.  With a temperature of 104 and rising, I took her to the hospital.   Lindsey was immediately put on IV with meds to get her fever down. Her blood was tested again and came back positive for 2 different strains of malaria and was admitted.   The doctor wasn't fully convinced she didn't have dengue as well even though the test came back negative.  They started her on Malaria meds and iv for dehydration. She will be here for at least 3 days maybe more depending on how well the Malaria reacts to the meds they are giving her.

It's 5 a.m., March 1st,  and I am sitting on the couch in Lindsey's hospital room thanking God for his perfect timing that we were still in Jakarta when all this happened. Papua hospitals are not the best and we might have had to turn around and come right back to Jakarta.  Lindsey is sleeping comfortably and doing much better than 24 hours ago.

Work for me this month was simply helping out friends in their time of need. Being there for them just so that they don't have to be alone.   Life on the mission field can be rough especially where malaria and dengue and other unknown diseases are abundant. Dealing with sickness should not be done alone. I'm thankful God provided the time away from my normal work for me to be able to help them in this way.   I, thankfully, am still in good health...that too, I am sure, is from the Lord. Please be praying for Lindsey and her quick recovery.  I think we will be in Jakarta at least another week before returning home.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

5 1/2 months in Sentani

I thought I would share with you some pictures of the past year and some of the work projects that I have been involved in .  I spent 5 1/2 months working and living at the guest house in sentani from June-Nov.

Project one was putting in a new grey water line for one of the wings at the guest house.  I had a lot of help but it was still difficult.
Ditch is dug.  Replumbing the lines.

Project 2 was regrouting one of the showers.  It’s not as easy as you might think. 

fixing leaky roofs… the amount of spider webs…. enough said. 

 put together some fun things too like painting a 4 square court....


These were only a few things that were done while I was there. In addition to Helping with medivacs, the constant change of people coming in and out of the tribe, training new housekeepers and helping the cook in the kitchen.  I have decided that working at the Guest House is hard and challenging work.  There are permanent Guest House Keepers on the way.  They are currently in the middle of language study.  Please be praying for them as they learn the language and prepare to take over the work at the guest house.  The temporary guest house keepers (the ones that took over after me) are looking for team members and hope to soon be moving into a new tribal work! Please pray for them as well. 

As for me, I returned to wamena in November and am currently house sitting for a family on furlough.  They will be back in July and I need to decide what to do after that.  Work in wamena has slowed, I might have mentioned that before and at the moment I am seeking advice on what to do next.  There is still work that needs to be done here but I feel that for me it is not enough to keep me in wamena. I am, however, still doing the book keeping. Please be praying for me as I try to decide what to do next and clear direction as to where God would have me.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Keeping on my toes

Life in Wamena certainly keeps me on my toes.  I thought I would share with you a few things that have happened since I've been back.  The first was when I was making my first supply run since being back in town.  I was at one of my last stops at a little shop in what you would call the down town area buying the last of the supplies for a flight.  I was in the store getting tomatoes when the employees literally start throwing stuff onto the store.  Normally goods are displayed out on the side walk in front of the store since the store are quite small.  Once everything was inside they closed the doors with me still inside! I looked out to see the whole street was a buzz with the store keeper all doing the same thing franticly shoving their goods inside and closing up shop.  I asked the store owner what was going on.  He said a fight had broken out at the end of the block between the Papuans and it could turn into a war! Me, safely behind the bars of the store, finished my supply buying, chatted with the employees and after a bit it was safe enough for me to leave although the store owner did not fully reopen his store.  Nothing gets the heart pumping like potential war in downtown Wamena with me stuck in the middle.  :-)  Thankfully God is good and it all came to nothing.  The fight was only a block from the police station and they arrived quickly and calmed the situation.

The second was when I was at the local market buying vegetables.  I had gotten all that I needed and was headed back to my motorbike when I hear a child crying.  This is nothing new at the market. Children cry all the time and normally I don't pay much attention.  This time however, I saw the child maybe 2 or 3 years old, that was crying and saw blood running from his hand onto the ground.  I went to see what had happened.  As it turns out the child had got a hold of his mothers exact-o knife, they use them to cut up the vegetables, and had sliced the tip of his finger almost entirely off! His mother was pouring what I could only imagine to be very dirty water over his hand trying to get the bleeding to stop.  I found a small pharmacy bought bandages and some clean water.  I cleaned the wound and    I had to wait several minutes before the bleeding slowed enough to bandage it properly.   I checked on the child the next day and found him with knife in hand I changed his bandage and left.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A long time gone

It's a rare Wamena evening. The stars are out in number twinkling brightly across the sky.  A wisp of cloud, whether from a near by fire or the remains for an attempt at an evening rain, passes quickly by. It rains most nights in Wamena starting in the shortly after sundown and continues till sunrise. But tonight is a rare night.  No dogs fighting or pigs squealing. No music blaring from the neighbors or babies crying.  Here I am, sitting in the middle of my lawn watching the stars, Orion almost directly over head, listening to the crickets chirp and the trees rustling. Peaceful. Quiet. Calm.

The trip back was a long one but thankfully an uneventful one- 9 days long. No delays of any kind and the luggage arrived the same time I did.  I spent 3 days in Bali as there were no tickets available. then 3 more days in Sentani getting my book keeping work back and going over what had and had not been done in my absence.  then one last short flight to Wamena.

The house was quiet and had an unused feel to it, like the air inside was stale from lack of movement or use.  My roommate had moved out a week or so prior to my return. I did a quick survey of the house.  The guest rooms had been used and needed clean linens.  The tub in the bathroom had spiders already making themselves at home.  The kitchen looked like it couldn't decide if people still used it or not.  The cupboards half empty of food but eggs, garlic and onions still sat on the counter.  The dish drainer was full of washed dishes except for a few remaining cups sitting here and there that had escaped the last washing.  Half used rolls of toilet paper and boxes of tissues (both of which are used in place of napkins) scattered around the kitchen.

The fridge though mostly empty still had food which was growing enough mold it would soon be able to walk out of the fridge by itself, along with bottles of condiments that everyone uses but no one takes with them of course here that also includes 3 or 4 different kinds of hot sauce, soy sauce both sweet and salty, and some sort of fish sauce along with all of the usual kinds.  And some how or another 10 open jars of jelly! Where they all came from I have no idea.
~ Note to self, clean fridge later~

Enough of the inside... time to check the outside.   In the garden cabbage, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries and basil all growing nicely and well taken care of.  Almost half of the animals had died or been stolen. I always expect, while I am gone, to lose a few animals but half seems like a lot.  There is a new gardener as the other was fired due to some disagreement with my roommate.

Now here I sit in the cool of the evening, stars glittering overhead, reflecting on the day and making a mental to do list for the next few days to come. There will be much to do in the next few days.  Breathing a relaxing breath that there is no more traveling for a while and I am glad to finally home.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Headed back....

I'm headed back overseas January 7th.  I have had a wonderful time with family and friends these past 5 months and will be sad to leave.  Please be praying while I travel by way of Seattle, Hong Kong to Bali then onto Papua.   I should be home in Wamena sometime after the 15th.  Thanks for your prayers and for a great time.

Friday, September 5, 2014

a way to share experiences, thoughts, frustrations, blessings and cultural tidbits...

I though I would start this blog as a way to share experiences, thoughts, frustrations, blessings and cultural tidbits in my life and reflections of biblical truths.  This is of course one girls opinion and not fact so please take what you read "with a grain of salt" as they say.

Me... I am a missionary living in a small town in Papua, Indonesia.  Raised in small town Montana, it seems my up bringing was perfect for missionary life.

Christ... Christ is my everything.  Saved by Grace through faith.  I try to live my life so the he is reflected through me. Not always an easy thing to do especially when culture is involved.

Culture... Culture is defined as a societyway of lifelifestylecustoms,traditionsheritagehabitswaysmores,values. My town is a mix of people groups, languages, and cultures from not only all over Papua, but also all over Indonesia as well.  And it serves as a base from many organizations, Christian and Secular alike from all over the world.  Making in a "perfect storm" when it comes to trying to blend in with the people.  What is culturally acceptable to one group might not be to another... from whether or not it is okay to cross your legs or pick your nose, down to how the person should be greeted when entering their home.  

More to come...