Saturday, April 20, 2013

April Showers!

Hello friends!
Well today was a busy day.  We had our school's annual field day today, which is a fun day of games, events and competition!  Tayah was the only one of our kids to participate, but we all went to the field to watch her compete in a variety of different activities.  She ended up placing 1st in the obstacle course and the 3-legged race!  She placed 3rd in the bean bag toss.  Overall, she was thrilled to be able to climb the podium and stand at the very top! :)  It was a proud moment in the Friesen family... :)  Clinton also helped out with judging the shot put event for all the age groups.  He loved shot put in junior high so he was quite pleased to help out with that event this year.
Yesterday we had quite the scare as the hangar received an SOS transmission from our helicopter pilot who was out in a very remote bush location.  He is out there slinging missionary houses from one spot on the mountainside to another spot with the helicopter.
Because the location is so remote, they couldn't just call him to see if he was ok.  After an intense few hours of not knowing what happened to him, the hangar received a radio call that said he was fine and the helicopter tracking device had malfunctioned and sent out a false alarm.  Praise the Lord!!!  This pilot is a young man with a wife and 3 young kids, they just arrived back in PNG about a month ago after going home to have their 3rd child.  It makes you realize the danger that this country poses and how difficult it is to fly in.  The mountains are so beautiful, and yet so very dangerous.  It is a reminder to pray for our pilots.
Life in the clinic has remained busy, yet fulfilling and enjoyable for me.  I appreciate the doctors and nurses I am serving with and the patients who trust us with their healthcare.  Last month I flew a 10 year old missionary kid from our hangar to Australia as she was showing classic signs of appendicitis.  She was quite sick and in a lot of pain which only worsened as we flew.  It turned out that her appendix had ruptured (not sure when exactly) and was in surgery shortly after we landed.  She is now doing fine and is back in the tribe with her parents.  Her village is really remote.  To get medical attention, her parents took her by boat for a few hours to get out of the village and to a landing airstrip so our pilot and one of our nurses could meet her there and fly her to our hangar to be assessed by our doctor.  Overall, from her first boat trip to landing in Australia took 12 hours until she was properly treated.  As a mom of young kids, it scares me to think how far away help can be for some of our bush missionaries.  Their trust in God is an example to me and in this situation, the Lord provided the transportation and also kept that little girl safe.  He knows all and is in control of all.  It's a good reminder.
Tayah has continued doing well in grade 1.  Her report card shows that she is completing all the required course work and doing well at it.  We're very happy with how she is doing.  Her reading is incredible!  I don't know if I was reading chapter books in grade 1, but she does it effortlessly.  Her biggest struggles remains handwriting neatness and math.  Her last day of school is May 29th which is only a few days before we fly home to Canada! :)  Yes, we are now just about 6 weeks until hometime, can you believe it?  The time has been flying by for us here.  We've been truly enjoying ourselves and these last few weeks.  We want to finish strong and be a blessing to our fellow workers and our national brothers and sisters.  We will miss alot of people here.
We have an appartment lined up at Steinbach Bible College as Clinton will be finishing up his pastoral degree this next year at SBC.  He is both excited and nervous to be in full-time studies again.  My plan is to continue working as a nurse in Steinbach once we return home.  I do have some work to do in re-instating my nursing license in Manitoba.  I have been fingerprinted here in PNG and I am awaiting my criminal record check which I need in order to re-instate my license back home.
How you can pray for us during these next 6 weeks:
-pray for my criminal record check to come back quickly so I can re-instate my nursing license in Manitoba
-pray for us to finish strong
-pray for us to get all our cleaning, sorting, selling, and packing done in time
-pray for us as we head into Wusarambya on a weekend trip with the Banmans next weekend. Pray for safety in flight and for a great time of fellowship with the national believers in the tribe.  Also pray that my kids will maintain their sanity away from home in a bush location for 3 days and not cause their parents to go crazy! :)
We love you all and are truly thankful for your prayers and encouragement as we head into our final stretch here in PNG.
The Friesens
just Clinton
Rorik playing outside in his usual!
pretty Aowyn loves to color
Tayah in the sack race on field day

me and Tayah
Tayah on the podium, she's so excited!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Zee or Zed?

Howdy all y'all!  No, I'm not becoming American...though we do think Tayah is! :)  She sure sounds more like an American than a Canadian!  We figure we'll have a lot of retraining to do with her once we land on Canadian soil again.  Lapilo center is largely made up of Americans and her teacher is American, so it's only natural she takes on an American accent and says "zee" instead of "zed" right?  :)
Besides Americans, we have the following nationalities on our center:
-northern irish
I am part of a bible study and as I was looking around the table the other morning, I was encouraged and blessed knowing that I am a part of something so much bigger than myself.  There are 2 Americans, 1 Northern Irish, 1 Australian, and myself in this bible study.  Our cultures may be different, but we all trust in the same Lord.  This same Lord is not "stuck" only in me or my circle of friends/family back home, but He is Lord of ALL!!  He is known throughout this great big world and is touching the lives of people in all walks of life.  He is not "stuck" in Steinbach!  :)  I can't stick Him in a box and say this is who He is...instead He is so much more than I even know/understand and He has shown Himself to the world!  Ok, enough preaching. :)  Just can't help myself sometimes.
So we've been keeping busy... :) 
As part of the mission barrel ministry that I do, I sell bags of clothes/shoes to the national workers on our center for 2Kina (about $1).  I have to be very careful that I am "fair" in how I sell to them.  I can't sell more to one person versus another, or I could end up with a heavy on my hands.  A "heavy" is pretty much a situation that arises which causes a disagreement or a feeling of being offended/slighted by someone.  There can be small heavies (ie. talking rudely to someone) or big heavies (ie, death, divorce, stealing, etc.).  As a center we try very hard to not cause any heavies and to fix them quickly if they do come up. 
So I was selling these bags to the workers last thursday and it usually goes fairly smoothly.  However, just as I ran out of bags to sell, I got a complaint that I hadn't sold to a group of individuals from one of our departments on center for quite a long time.  Now, my first thought was, "well they can wait until I have more bags ready".  Instead, I avoided having a "heavy" and decided to quickly whip up some more bags of clothes for these individuals and make things "fair" in their minds once more.  And it worked! :)  Now all is peaceful in the land of the mission barrel bag sale.
A few weeks ago there was an explosion in the airplane hangar beside our own.  The hangar belongs to the Seventh Day Adventists and one of their mechanics was working on their plane when the fuel tank blew up.  He was burned very severely and medivaced to an Australia burn center. He did survive, though his recovery will be long and torturous, so please pray for him.
Other than that, things have been fairly quiet at the hangar for Clinton.  Due to staffing shortages, there will only be 1 pilot and 1 mechanic for the summer months.  That is leaving the field very short for flights, medical evacuations, etc.  There are some pilots going through the training to come to PNG, however, that'll still take some time before they make their way to the field.  Please continue to pray for personel for our aviation department out here in PNG.
This past monday at the clinic I had a national teenaged patient who was miscarrying.  It turns out she was unmarried and got mixed up in the wrong crowd and got pregnant.  To spare her family the shame of her pregnancy, she ran away and stayed in the bush with some friends for 6 weeks.  During this time, she was introduced to a bush-method of causing a miscarriage.  She took this concoction and sure enough, she started to miscarry.  She came back home to her parents and they brought her to our clinic.  The baby was already dead.  She was about 14 weeks pregnant.  She will most likely need to have surgery to complete the abortion.  She was in a lot of pain, both physically and emotionally.  It made me think of the similarities/differences between our cultures.  Hers was a culture where the baby would have brought shame on her and her family, which is often the case with teen pregnancies back home.  Her culture doesn't allow for her to seek out help or counselling, my culture does, though many pregnant teens do not take this route.  Her culture found a way for her to abort her baby while causing her much physical pain and a subsequent surgery to complete the procedure.  My culture also has found ways to abort unwanted babies...
The biggest difference to me lay in the fact that my culture has perfected it's method of disposing of unwanted babies.  That is not something I'm proud of.
Now that I've opened a whole political-spiritual can of worms...
We're continuing our count-down to our return to Canada.  It's 14.5 weeks until we leave! (so that's about 15 weeks until we land in Canada). :)  We're getting excited and have started the process of getting our house ready and figuring out what we take with us and what gets left behind.
We want to thank all of you for standing with us in prayer and support as we've been out here.  Please continue to pray for us as we look towards home.  Pray that we'll finish strong out here and be a blessing to our fellow missionaries and especially to the nationals we come in contact with.
 Clinton showing pictures of our families back home to our friend and language helper, Aute.
 Tayah enjoying a PNG sunset.
 The kiddos enjoying cuddle time with our friend and language helper, Jeogina (Aute's wife).

Blessings to you all.
Love, The Friesens

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Christmas to Remember!

Christmas 2013
me and my pretty girls
my handsome boys

getting set to fly to Kudjip on the helicopter
co-pilot Rolanda!
landed in Kudjip, great flying pilot Ray!
Me, nurse Amy, the 3 blood donors, and our patient

blood bag

my crib for the night, not so comfy
C90 airplane medical evacuation of same patient to Cairns

off duty, enjoying my first McDonald's fries in 18 months!  Yay!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  :)  I realize I'm a little late... but I have a great excuse! :)  Actually, maybe not all that great... the holidays are a busy time of year for everyone... even us Friesens out here in PNG.  Though we didn't have any family to celebrate Christmas with, it ended up being a special time for us a family anyway.  We definitely felt more settled and "homey" this year then last Christmas, though it was difficult missing family, gatherings, church Christmas programs, Christmas dinners, office/staff parties, and so much more that goes on during the holidays.
 I really had a hard time last year with missing family and so I think God granted me a special blessing by allowing me to be almost too busy to notice I was missing much of the holidays!  Let me explain. 
I happened to be on-call at the clinic over Christmas (and something always happens when the clinic is closed!).  A missionary lady needed medical attention on Christmas Eve day.  As it turned out, her medical issue continued to get worse over the next few days with me and the doctor seeing her every day for a few hours.  Finally, on boxing day we decided to fly her via helicopter to another hospital here in PNG (40 min. helicopter flight) for a blood transfusion.  Back home this wouldn't be a huge deal, you'd be admitted to hospital and get your blood.  Out here, we had to fly the patient to a hospital that had the proper equipment to do a transfusion, plus I had to fly with her and stay with her as her nurse for her stay in the hospital (and do all nursing work for her, including the blood transfusion), plus we had to bring our own donors!  Yes, that's right, I flew my patient and 3 willing missionary ladies from our center (with the same blood type as my patient's) down to another hospital via helicopter so we could transfuse 3 units of blood from the donors into my patient.  Talk about stressful!  :)   But I gotta say, helicopters are so fun!  What an amazing experience! In any case, the whole procedure went so well, my patient had a very minor transfusion reaction that resolved itself after a short time.  I was so encouraged by the response I got from our missionary community when I first asked for blood donors... I think I had 13 responses within an hour of sending out an email. 
The next morning we flew back to our center with the patient feeling great and energized after receiving all that blood.  Well that afternoon, her condition worsened once more and it was clear she needed a surgical procedure we could not perform here in PNG.  So we got everything ready and the next morning we flew out via our C90 airplane (pressurized PTL!) to Cairns, Australia. 
The ambulance met us on the tarmac and transferred us and the patient to the hospital where she was being admitted.  The flight went very well and we left our patient in very capable hands.  At that point, I was officially off duty...and in Australia!  PARTY!!! :)  Just kidding, in all honesty I was very tired.  I had very little sleep the past 2 nights (a total of 4-5 hours) so I was a walking zombie.  I did get to eat at the mall foodcourt and you guessed it... MCDONALDS!! :)  It was sooo yummy and such a special treat for me to be able to enjoy fastfood after 18 months here in PNG. 
I experienced culture shock, which I wasn't anticipating.  It was overwhelming to be in civilization and not having everyone staring at me (cause I'm white) or trying to protect my personal belongings (namely my wallet) and hearing english all around me.  It made me realize that when we get home this summer, I (and my family) will have more difficulty fitting back into "regular" life than I originally anticipated.  I was not expected reverse culture shock, and yet it paralyzed me.  It gives me a greater appreciation and understanding of the feelings that our foreign missionaries have when they come home after 4 years away...never mind my 2 years! :)
So that's how I spent my holidays...  I told you I had a good excuse right? :)  Clinton was able to take off the week after Christmas as well and so we did get some good family time in and were able to relax. 
For New Year's Eve, we celebrated at a friend's house with a group of other friends and their kids.  We put the kids to bed there and then stayed up playing games until midnight at which time all the teens and other not-so-young guys drive their motorcycles or four wheelers (or golf carts) around the hills for 15 minutes.  There's not much to do out here, so this constitutes fun! :)  It was a great evening of visiting and strengthening relationships with fellow workers.
The week before Christmas I made a batch of Christmas cookies (recipe courtesy of Mennonite Girls Can Cook!) and invited a few of our national friends over for a visit one afternoon.  They loved the cookies!  :)  They don't have ovens and so homemade cookies really is a treat.  This one couple are in the process of building themselves a new house.  Out here, the roof which is made of this long, strong grass that they bind together, only lasts about 5-7 years before it starts leaking.  Instead of just replacing the roof, they build a new house and tear down the old one.  Well on their new house they decided to put on a nice door with a big lock.  The lady was so pleased with the fact that they were putting this big lock on their door just like a white mans house!  :) 
Now my pidgin is still a continual work in progress, but they all think I am doing so well!  I am definitely not embarassed to try out the words and laugh at myself when I say the wrong thing. :)
The patient that I was with during the holidays on the medevacs was telling me cultural things in her village. One thing that disturbed me greatly was that a whole group of women (20 or so), had followed the advice of this one man (a supposed doctor) who said he could give them a certain birth control.  However, they all ended up getting pregnant and their SDA (7th Day Adventist) pastor told them that the babies were demon babies because they were conceived while on birth control.  So he encouraged them all to abort their babies.  They way they do that in this village was to eat a few tubes of Colgate toothpaste.  They did it, and they all miscarried their babies.  It was such a sad story to hear, but it just shows how lost these people are and how they live in fear of evil spirits on a daily basis.
Clinton and a group of men from our center, climbed the highest peak in PNG... MT. Wilhelm in mid december.  It is just about 15000 feet high.  Clinton did so well, he complained abit of being cold and wet, but now he is so glad he did it and can actually see himself doing it again! :) 
Clinton has also completed his online course through SBC and got an A+!!!  I am so proud of him!  Tayah is getting set to start term 3 this wednesday.  She`s very excited to get back into school! 
We have bought our return tickets to head home!  The countdown begins. :)  Our departure date from PNG is June 2nd and our arrival in Winnipeg is June 6th.  We`re looking forward to seeing friends and family again, though the process of packing and saying farewell to all our new friends here on center and our national friends is daunting.  We have truly come to love PNG and call this place `home`.
Well this post has gotten a lot longer than I originally planned, but well, I have much to say! :)  Thanks for bearing with me as I babble, though I have many more stories to share, I will leave it at this.  Thank you all for your continued support, love, and encouragement.  We wouldn`t be here without you all and we couldn`t do what we do without you all!
Blessings to you all and we truly hope your Christmas and New Years was wonderful!
Love, Rolanda for the Friesens

Monday, November 5, 2012

October has come and gone...

It's been a fantastically warm fall this year for us...which is to be expected out here in PNG.  However, Clinton & I severely miss the cooler weather and the leaves changing colors...  It's an odd thing to grow up with the changing seasons and then to move across the world and have one season year round!  :)  Atleast it's spring-like out here rather than Manitoba-winter-like! :)  Though we are also missing snow!  We keep up with the going-ons of Steinbach via Steinbach online and we're missing the snow that's starting to fall back home. 
Because the NHL is still in a lock-out, being so far away hasn't been quite as hard on Clinton this season! :)  (though is he is still hoping that the lock-out ends soon!)  I know he's been itching to lace up some ice-skates and play some "real" hockey again!
We were skyping with family the other day and were able to see the snow back home.  Clinton was trying to show Rorik what snow looked like, and it made us realize that the twins have no idea what snow is! :)  What a surprise it'll be for them our first snowfall back home. :)
Things have been going well for us out here.  We continue to work in our ministry fields... Clinton at the hangar and I at the medical clinic.  The work itself doesn't change much as these are support roles and the least they change the better it is for everyone! :) 
As for the work out here in PNG there are new and extremely exciting things happening all the time!  2 men here at Lapilo have started a new outreach of sorts.  They are teaching bible lessons to the PNG preachers and religious leaders of PNG!  Even though PNG has had some sort of Christian influence for approx. 100 years, they are still very immature in their knowledge of scriptures.  The feedback from the conference they held this past week was overwhelming and they have quite a few more teaching opportunities coming up in the next few months. 
I was talking with one of my bush missionary friends a few weeks ago and she was saying how much things have changed since their village has heard the gospel.  She was telling me that shortly after they first arrived in the village a lady gave birth to twins.  Twins are considered a horrible thing in many places in PNG as one of the old beliefs is that one twin is the good spirit and the other twin is the bad spirit.  What usually happens is the father tries to figure out which twin is the bad spirit and then kills that child.  However, in this case that my friend was telling me about, the father couldn't figure out which was the evil twin and so he killed them both just to be safe.  Another instance of infanticide in this village is that if a mother has too many children to raise and none of the relatives want to adopt the new baby, then the mother or father will take a piece of firewood and knock the newborn on the head to kill it quickly and then bury it right where it's born.  The good news that I mentioned earlier is that since my friend's family and other team members have presented the gospel to this village, there is no more infanticide of any kind!  They are allowing both twins born to a woman to live and there is now always someone willing to care for any child born in that village.  Praise God!  I know there are many who believe that westerners should leave people alone in their beliefs and cultures... however, these villagers are so excited to not live in fear of the spirits anymore.  They have expressed their joy over and over again that God's talk was brought to them so they could be free!  It's incredible the stories that I've heard over here and it just makes me realize how necessary foreign missions truly is.
We have been so blessed to be a part of this work out here in PNG and we thank God for your part in keeping us out here.  The gospel is so much bigger than any one of us and seeing it change lives is so mind-blowing that you know it is not of anything human hands or minds can bring about, but it's the work of God and His Spirit touching and healing the lives of these individuals.  Praise God with us for the work that is going on in PNG! :)  I'll stop preaching for now, but it's exciting eh? :)
We celebrated Tayah's 6th birthday this past month and she had quite the birthday party :).  I even created a beautiful masterpiece of a cake... it was a barbie cake! 
Then a few weeks later we celebrated Clinton's 28th birthday.  And yes, he was spoiled a bit! :)  I made a wonderful trifle with angel food cake, however it exploded all over my oven so the treat was a lot of work as I then had to scrub out my oven!  Oh well, I'm still learning. :)
Clinton has now started an online course through Steinbach Bible College.  His plan is to finish off his pastoral degree when we return next summer, so he's getting a head start!  It's a lot of reading and assignments but I know he can do it well.
On that note, I'll sign off.  We truly want to thank you all for your continued prayers and support.  We appreciate the emails, notes of encouragement and skype calls.
You are all special to us and we pray God's richest blessings on you all.

Clinton & Rolanda, Tayah, Aowyn, Rorik

Prayer Requests:
1. Clinton's course:  focus and understanding of the course material
2.  the church of PNG:  growth in maturity and numbers
3.  personnel for the hangar:  pilots and mechanics
4.  safety for our family
5.  finances:  especially as we look to the cost of coming home next summer and setting up a house when we get home

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Catch up time!

So it's been awhile eh?  :)  You see I still have my Canadian-isms!  To catch you all up on what's been going on in our lives out here in PNG I'll back track to July...
Lapilo center tends to empty out pretty quickly after school lets out at the end of May, so the "summer" months are fairly quiet around here... except at our house of course!  :)  We spent the summer months relaxing and continuing on with our regular routines.  Tayah completed her kindergarten year (which I homeschooled) and she did well.  She was granted admission into the 1st grade class out here based on some entrance tests she did.  She is the youngest in her class by 8 months!  We felt that might have been a hindrance to her, but she has been doing great!  The school year started off at the end of July and Tayah has been loving every day of it! 
She does great at math and reading, though her hand-writing skills need improvement.  She tends to write very slanted letters so we've been practicing extra hard with that.  I am amazed at how far she has come with reading... her mind seems like a sponge!  This is also very handy as she has a bible class in which she has to learn a bunch of verses, she's been picking them up so quickly!  Needless to say, we're quite proud of our student! :)
The end of July also brought about the twins' 3rd birthday.  We celebrated quietly at home with cake and some presents.  The twins seem to have grown up so much in the year that we've been here... but I guess that's to be expected! :)
August brought about Tayah's 2nd root canal procedure.  This time however, Tayah and Clinton were able to travel in with a friend of ours who had to take his boy to the dentist for a root canal as well!  The Lord worked out a great blessing for us.  This saved us a lot of money as this friend owns his own car so we didn't have to rent and the gas was split between both our families.  It also provided a great deal of safety in travelling as the more men you travel with the safer you are!  I didn't worry nearly so much this time around.  Another blessing was that this root canal took 3 visits instead of 4 and none of them caused Tayah much pain.  She actually really looked forward to visiting the dentist!  He is a really nice man and always complimented Tayah on her pretty dresses :). 
As for our ministries out here...
Clinton continues to fill 2 positions at the hangar and is keeping up fairly well.  He still enjoys being busy and truly enjoys working with the guys at the hangar.  Pilots and mechanics seem to be in great demand and short supply.  It's been a source of frustration and anxiety for many, not knowing if we'll have the personnel to keep the flight department running.  It's a great snowball effect.  If the flight department can't fly then the tribal missionaries can't stay in the tribes as they can't get food/supplies and they won't be able to come out in case of medical emergency or for other reasons.  We are getting desperate for more pilots/mechanics, but in all this, we know that God has not forgotten.  He knows our needs and in all honesty, the people of PNG mean much more to Him then they do to us ultimately.  We love our national brothers & sisters, but these are the people Christ died for... He will provide.  His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are so much greater than ours!  Who are we to complain or demand our way... (these are great things to remind myself of when I start to feel anxious or forgotten).
As for the clinic, we continue to run with a fairly full staff right now!  Praise God!  We have 2 American doctors this year, 1 RN from Germany, 2 from the states, and me!  1 of the American nurses will be going home in December, but we'll manage.  I truly enjoy all the new skills I am learning.  I'm quite proficient at the xray machine and lab machines.  I enjoy the pharmacy aspect of it as well as I'm learning more about medications.  I love the variety of patients that come in, the vast array of different diseases/illnesses and the differing degrees of severity within the patients.  I love how we all work together to bring about healing, but how ultimately we all recognize God's hand in the medical care we give.  I love the opportunity to practice my Pidgin with the patients, they are very understanding when I mess up or say something wrong...and very quick to laugh with me when I say something completely inappropriate! :)  I'm still learning!
Socially we are involved in a few things...
Clinton plays soccer or hockey on sundays.  Though soccer has become his new favorite game to play out here.  He really misses the ice and I know he's looking forward to playing some real hockey when he gets home next winter! :) 
I am involved in a ladies Bible study on Grace by Kay Arthur.  It's been truly a blessing to me to be able to meet with these ladies and learn from them.  I also play women's floor hockey on monday nights... and I love it!  :)  Who would have thought eh?  My slapshot is actually better than Clinton's now... :)
Tayah is involved in wednesday night soccer for grades 1-4 and she loves the competition!  Many times we'll catch her doing spins and ballet moves on the court rather than focusing on the game, but she's still having fun!  Tayah has 2 days left of school for this term. (our school year has 4 terms).  She's excited for the break, but I think she'll get bored pretty quick! :)  My job will be to keep them all occupied!
It's been raining a lot the last few days, lucky for our family we love the rain!  However, it does cause problems for the nationals if there is too much rain.  It floods gardens and ruins the food,  it also causes mudslides and the river to rise and wipe out more gardens.  It's also more treacherous for them to cross the river as it rises.  
Well I'll sign this post off for now, but I just wanted to say thank you to all who have been praying for us and continue to pray for us.  We love you all!
Some items to pray for specifically:
1.  personnel for NTM aviation (for pilots/mechanics)
2.  for our continued health and safety
3.  that we would serve with a joyful heart even when things are difficult or we miss home
 Tayah enjoying the water slide
 Aowyn feeding Rorik
 Tayah's first day at school
 Twins' 3rd year picture

God Bless!

Friday, June 22, 2012


Well the beginning of June brought about the time for Clinton's mom, Ann Friesen, to leave PNG and head home.  It was a very sad time for us and I was surprised at how the kids (even the twins) seemed to understand that grandma was leaving for a long time.  The memories we made with her are wonderful and we will always treasure the special times we had with her all to ourselves! :)
The sunday before grandma left we went to visit a fairly local village church.  To get to it you have to cross a fairly wide river that was almost chest deep with a pretty good current.  It was quite the adventure to get there!  :)  It was a lot of fun though and we didn't lose grandma in the river! :)  The fellowship with the national believers was sweet and they were very inviting and gracious.  Even though we couldn't understand everything, we knew the message was Christ-centered.  It's lovely to hear God's Word in different languages...that's what it's all about right?  Reaching every tribe!
June also brought about Tayah's complaints of 2 of her molars giving her pain almost daily.  I was giving her pain medication quite often so we were finally able to get an appointment at the nearest dentist here in PNG which is still a 2 hour drive away.  The dentist is with another mission organization called SIL.  He took a quick look in her mouth and said she needed root canals on both those molars.  Ahhhhh!  That involves 4-5 trips per tooth which is a lot of driving and very expensive for us.  We asked if he couldn't just pull them both out, but as they are molars they would only naturally fall out around age 11 and in the meantime the space would close and not have room for her adult teeth to come in and then she couldn't possibly need braces or surgery.  Also if he were to pull them out now, that would involved a fairly difficult surgery.  So the only option available to us was the root canals.  So we started the first one and it was quite painful for Tayah the first time, but the subsequent treatments on that tooth have been fairly pain free!  Praise God!  Due to elections happening soon, we will have to postpone the 2nd root canal as the travel will become dangerous for us on the roads due to rioting or protesting.  So pray with us that Tayah's 2nd molar won't cause her too much pain in the meantime.  We should be able to continue with the 2nd root canal at the end of august.
I mentioned elections.  The election process out here is very different from back home.  The candidates all do their speeches and rallies, though they also feed the people to gain votes.  There is a lot of blackmail and bribing that takes place to ensure votes in their favor.  There is a lot of violence between opposing candidates and their followers.  There have already been a few election-related deaths in the past few weeks.  The candidating seems to go on for a long time.  We hear them on the speaker phones driving down the road and talking about their chosen leader's good qualities and what he's promised the country.  The people who stand with a certain candidate will spend hours a day singing and campaigning for him.  The vote is supposed to take place in early July and there is expected to be a sharp rise in violence and rioting once the ballots have been tallied as many won't be happy about the outcome.  Of course the towns are a higher safety issue, though people are targeted on the road as well which is why we are not supposed to travel during this time.
I have also been very busy in the Mission Barrel.  The Mission Barrel is a place where missionaries here at Lapilo can drop off items that they no longer need/use and also pick up any items they see there that they would like.  It's like a free self-help! :)  I am now the Mission Barrel co-ordinator so I've been busy organizing.  As the mission barrel co-ordinator I also have a lot more interaction with the national workers here on center.  For items that remain in the mission barrel for too long, I pack up and sell to the workers here for a very small fee.  The reason we charge anything at all is to keep things fair between the workers so they don't get jealous or fight with each other.  We find that charging a small amount and pre-packing the bags takes care of any perceived injustices.  
Clinton is still busy in the hangar.  The number of pilots and airplane mechanics has been slowly going down as missionaries are going on furlough or leaving the field.  Pray with us that the Lord would raise qualified pilots who have a heart to fly in PNG.
This past week a national friend of mine, Jeogina, stopped by for a visit.  It was nice to have her over.  The kids all love her and love playing with her.  I love the opportunity to visit and learn more language and culture issues.  It helps me understand the people we're trying to reach.  Jeogina actually became a christian at a young age when her mother took her to the village church.  Her sunday school teacher told her about Jesus. 
Well as I mentioned in the post, there are a few things we'd appreciate prayer for:
- Tayah's root canals:  minimal pain, safety traveling to SIL (2 hr drive each way), and finances to cover the cost of the treatments as well as the cost of travel.
- Election time out here in PNG:  things can get quite heated, just that we would remain safe
- For my busyness in the Mission Barrel:  should slow down in July
- For pilots and the aviation department here in PNG
- For our family:  health, patience with raising 3 young kids
We just want to thank you all for praying for us and going the distance with us on this journey.  We love you!
The village church we visited with Ann

My friend Jeogina over for a visit

Tayah at the dentist at SIL
Love, Clinton & Rolanda 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Can you make me 6 uteruses?!?!

Well as a continuation to my previous post I'll update you all on our trip to Madang with Ann and anything else we've been doing since she's been out.  We headed to the ocean city of Madang for 1 week.  We spent 4 nights in our NTM guesthouse and 3 nights at the Jais Aben Resort.  It was a wonderful time of relaxation and just visiting.  We did a lot of swimming while at the resort in both the swimming pools and the ocean.  The kids loved the small beach area at Jais Aben and even though there are some dangers to be aware of (ie. stone fish), we were able to truly enjoy it!  Clinton & I did some snorkeling and I must say that I almost panicked a few times.  Looking under the water and seeing the coral freaked me out a bit but after I got used to it I really enjoyed it!  The coral and the fish we saw were so favorite was the electric blue starfish.  Our second day of snorkeling we got stung by jellyfish though we didn't know what had happened until we got out of the water and saw all the jellyfish in the shallow end.  I was a little concerned but we took some benadryl and a few hours later we were a-ok! :)  Even Ann put on the goggles and stuck her face in the water in the shallow end to see some of the fish.  And if you know Ann, you know that was a huge feat for her! :)  The weather was extremely hot and humid (too much so for my taste) but we kept the air conditioning on most of the time and so we were quite comfortable.
The airplane we flew in and out on was quite small, though the ride was surprisingly smooth!  The aerial view was fantastic to see the mountains and the valleys and the tribal locations.
Ann has been busy cooking us all our favorite meals and basically just spoiling us all rotten!  The kids are constantly hanging on her or sitting on her or playing with her...and she doesn't seem to mind! :)  How we've missed grandma!  Tayah wants to keep her until we go back to Canada next summer.  Aowyn has practically lived on grandma's hip since she got here and I'm not sure she'll remember how to walk once grandma goes home! :) 
Tayah has been homeschooled this year and the kindergarten teacher invited her into the class for 3 days one week to experience the classroom  and prepare her a bit for next year grade 1 as she will be going to school.  Tayah loved the experience though she did complain of the long days (will she ever need some time to adjust to full days in grade 1!).  She had to do some testing to see if she was ready for grade 1 and she did really well.
This past week I "inherited" another  ministry here on center.  I am now the "bossman" for the mission barrel.  The  mission barrel is a room where missionaries can drop off items that they no longer need or want (ie. clothes, electronics, household items, etc.- kind of like a selfhelp).  All missionaries are allowed to visit the mission barrel at any time and take whatever items they want, no cost.  It's a wonderful blessing to many out here and Clinton & I have used it many times.  Our kids love visiting the mission barrel to hunt for new treasures (toys).  Now I am in charge of organizing the new items that come in.  So far it's been fun! (though quite time consuming at times).
Now for the story that inspired my title for this blog... :)
I was asking one of my national friends if she would make a few bilums (crochet bags) for my mother-in-law to bring home for her grandchildren.  Instead of saying "...bilum long pikini..." (bilum FOR children), I said, "...bilum bilong pikini..." (which means uterus!).  I had just asked her if she would make me 6 uteruses!  I realized my mistake almost immediately and we both laughed for quite awhile over my language mistake :).
We have also taken Ann to the market here in Goroka and it was so muddy that day that we had very muddy feet for the rest of our time shopping.  I believe it constitutes a cultural experience! :)
Our visit with Ann has been so fantastic, and unfortunately the time is coming to an end in just under 2 weeks.  We're all really going to miss her...sniff sniff!
Well I should sign this post off as well, thank you for reading and following our journey and adventures out here in PNG.  Blessings to you all! 

Love, Clinton & Rolanda