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Jul 9, 2016


I’ve been a bit gun-shy since my last post. I shared all about my trip into the bush to help put on a little preventative clinic for a village; since most of you who read here regularly know I work in the medical clinic this shouldn’t surprise you. However, the rest of the world is not as knowledgeable or understanding as you, and I encountered something I’ve never had to before: hate mail. Hundreds of hateful comments between Facebook, this blog, and my personal email.

The post and comments have since been removed, but the sting is still there, making me wary of writing again. The hateful comments, while they certainly hurt, are not the thing that upset me the most. It’s the ignorance. The ignorance that these treatable diseases are making a comeback, with deadly results in places like PNG where they can wipe out entire villages because there’s no access to treatment. Even if you choose not to vaccinate your children, they won’t die because there is help easily available there if they do get sick. You don’t have to watch your baby suffer and die from hepatits, or measles, or whooping cough, or tetanus. Without help, these village mamas do.
Sweet village mamas with their babies.
📷: Erin Verdonck
Apart from that, life here has been pretty quiet. Since graduation at the beginning of June, a lot of people have left for summer break or home assignment. At the end of July, many will return and many new people will arrive. Until then, I’m loving the quiet of the center, and the easy, relaxed attitude that is permeating the center. It helps that “summer” is a little cooler in this hemisphere, as it’s technically fall/winter on this half of the world. We don’t get much variation in temperature, but the cool mornings and evenings are a nice change.
A quiet day at the clinic front desk.
📷: Erin Verdonck
Josh has been flying and/or riding along a lot lately. In addition to flight time, he’s the flight coordinator in the hangar. This has been good, as it keeps him busy, plus he’s getting more experience in-country. Win-win! The Kodiaks have been a huge blessing here. They have opened up more opportunities to fly into our more remote, and far away areas. Once a week or so, a team of two pilots will fly to one of these areas and stay there for a night or two to get all of the flying done in that area. This is a huge encouragement to the missionaries there, who are often quite isolated.

Missionary aviation is dirty work - but someone's gotta do it!
📷: Josh Verdonck
We’ve also had a couple med-evacs from the tribe to our clinic lately. As one of the receptionists in our clinic, I get to work closely with NTMA’s flight coordinator (my hunky husband), to arrange transport for these med-evacs. It’s always amazing to me to watch our team here in PNG pull together to help out in these situations. Between the guest house preparing rooms for them, to people making meals for them and the clinic the staff, to people all over praying, to NTMA being on-call for a possible evac to Australia, to our nurses and doctors (and even receptionists) pulling all-nighters to give the best care they can. This is what the Church is; this is 1 Corinthians 12 in action, and it’s amazing.
Josh flying a med-evac.
📷: Josh Verdonck
Josh with one of our nurses and team transporting our med-evac patient
📷: Koen Verdonck

1 comment:

  1. When I spoke with you and heard about the hate mail, I honestly was upset that anyone would have anything bad to say about what you are doing or how you are serving God. Ignorance is something that squelches what the Holy Spirit can do. They say "You should be bringing them sources of water, not these vaccines that are hurting them." Well if the people of these villages are not vaccinated against once eradicated diseases, then these "well meaning Christians" who have bought the false belief that vaccines are bad for you so they do not give their children vaccinations put them at great risk. It won't matter if you are there to bring them a source of fresh water, by the time the disease has wiped out the village they will no longer have need for that water. Mommas that can see their babies grow into fat babies and eventually adults that have learned to love and serve a merciful God will help to bring the fresh water of life to others.