I have been thinking about a post for quite some time; but as usual I seem to always wait until the next event to be over. Then the next, then the next….

Anyway, here is a catch-up of all that has gone on. For most of 2023 the corporation for which I work has been waiting for the paperwork to clear for a Medical doctor from Nepal to join the team in Kainantu. Well, he and his wife finally arrived the first of December. Given other requirements, I was only able to work with him for a few days before I left town on Dec 15th. He and his wife are now living next door in the duplex where I live. They are in their early 30’s, so naturally I think of them as kids. 🙂 Obviously since they are also from Nepal, they have become good friends with my co-workers who began work there at the same time as I did in 2018. It’s nice to have a few more people. We all seem to think alike on how to approach medicine here. The new doctor is still quite shocked by the apathetic attitude of health care “workers” in PNG. I’m not shocked any more; mostly just numb to it now.

I don’t think I have ever traveled so close to Christmas, but it was nice in several ways. For one thing, the everyone’s mood is generally, well, merry. The music played in public places often includes Christmas carols, and overall the music is not as irritating as it can be at other times. Since I have always enjoyed Christmas decorations, that was nice to see too. All of the connections went well too, and my luggage came along nicely. The Lord certainly gave travel mercies in answer to prayer.

My house in PNG

Christmas at the mall in Port Moresby
Brisbane airport

While I have been in this hemisphere, there have been protests and riots in PNG. Most of it was in the capital city of Port Moresby, but there were “sympathy riots” in other cities too. A number of people died, and there was quite a lot of damage to business and subsequently the economy. Mostly it appears to be less of a protest and more of an excuse for looting and destruction to no purpose (as is the case most of the time the world over). Still, it’s alarming to see the images of huge crowds out of control in mindless lawlessness. It appears that most of it has died down after just 48 hours. The reports that I have are that things have calmed down now.

On January 4 my Mom had her left knee replaced. This was her 3rd joint replacement surgery in 12 months. But this recovery has been more rapid than the first 2. God has greatly answered prayer for all of this too. My scheduled flight back to PNG is Feb 13. I had planned this trip thinking of a 6-week recovery for Mom. At the moment it looks as if I could have returned to PNG a little sooner. Still, I’m glad to have a few more weeks with family here in the US. I just have a few things I will be shipping back to PNG.

There is still hope that our corporation will be able to assume management of the hospital there in Kainantu. I am not as hopeful of this as everyone else is. Then again I am usually more cynical. If the government does indeed grant this, I will have more work and expanded roles at the hospital. We’ll see. The one church that I worked with in the past appears to go further and further into disobedience, so that door remains closed. But the church which I attend in Kainantu has remained faithful. I look forward to continued ministry there. I am hoping to arrange for another pastor’s class in the first half of this year. As the Lord allows I will pick up the 2 ladies’ Bible classes soon after my return to PNG. I also have great hope that all 4 of my Nepalese co-workers will join in Bible study.

Ladies’ Bible study

Men in Ministry Class

That’s about all for now. I will try to tell you about my return trip next time. As the Lord allows, it will not be as “eventful” as my trip to PNG last May.