We flew to the coast to our mission center there and attended our annual missionary conference for eight days. We flew back to the mission center here in Goroka.
A week later I got another bad stomach bug. This one lasted for eight days before I went to the doctor for some antibiotics, assuming I had some sort of amoeba or infection.
I ended up spending two days on IV fluids because along with the infection, I had pancreatitis. The antibiotics worked and I felt better...just not ALL the way better.
|Our doctor was kind enough to let me go home with my IV. Notice it hanging from the curtain rod here.|
I went back to the clinic last Tuesday because I was still having stomach pain and it turns out that I am still having pancreatitis, and my pancreatic enzymes are increasing even though my stomach bug is gone. Our doctor here did every test he possibly could to figure out why this was happening, but nothing showed up.
So after just two months in the country, we are leaving... again. We are packing up to spend at least two weeks in Cairns, Australia to get to the bottom of my grumpy pancreas. Our hope is that it is my gallbladder that is causing the pancreatitis, I can have it removed in Australia, and then come back quickly to PNG and head back into the tribe.
Our worse case scenario is that they can't find a source for the pancreatitis and I have to come back to America until it resolves or we find a reason.
So yeah...we're tired, and frustrated, and broke from all the unexpected medical and travel expenses that are CONTINUALLY happening to our family. We are having a really hard time understanding why we keep getting derailed when all we want to do is JUST GO BACK TO THE JUNGLE AND FINISH OUR WORK.
We are so close. We feel like if things would just BE NORMAL we could probably finish the Hewa work in three or four years. BUT WE ACTUALLY HAVE TO BE IN HEWA TO DO IT!!
I will admit that I'm kinda giving God the side eye right now... "Not sure what you're doing here, Lord. I'm pretty sure you want the Hewa people to know your Word and be discipled into maturity, but you keep pulling the missionaries you sent in there out..." (ps- our coworkers are currently out of the tribe as well helping their daughter who was recently diagnosed with a life-long debilitating disease...see what I mean? Side Eye)
John Michael just flew into Hewa last week to tell the people that we would be moving back soon. They were so worried that our coworkers were never going to come back, and that we would never be able to come back because of my sickness, and he reassured them that I was getting better and we would see them in two weeks. Now, who knows? And their radio is broken, so we can't even tell them. My heart hurts just thinking about that.
|JM took this picture of my friend Ana and her baby Jon for me last time he was in Hewa. He was just a tiny infant when I last saw him.|
|Just some kids hanging out at my house playing with the blocks we keep on the porch for them. I really can't wait to just sit on those rocks and watch them play with my girls again.|
And then I just wonder WHY? Why, God, did you call us to this work, this life, if you knew we would have all these health problems? Surely someone more healthy and capable could accomplish this task in a more timely and more economical manner. But then I remember reading a biography on the the life of Lottie Moon, a single missionary woman to China in the late 1800s/early 1900s who was questioned by someone about why she thinks God sent her- a single woman- to a place that obviously needed men in ministry. Her answer was that maybe God called a man first, but he didn't go, so He called Lottie Moon and she said "yes".
So maybe that's it. Maybe God has called some really healthy people to the mission and they said no, so here we are. Fighting with our feeble bodies and depending on God to get us through one issue after another. And we'll just keep doing it until we can't anymore or until it's finished because we said, "Yes."
For now we will trust Him to get us through this, and praise Him that all our troubles have been ones with resolutions. We have many friends and co-workers dealing with so much worse right now, and their testimonies of trust and faith in our God encourage us to keep going... and to be thankful that we CAN keep going... and coming...and going...and coming...and going.
And we find comfort in the fact that-
" the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore." Psalm 121:8