Yesterday, the number of our children suddenly doubled! Well, at least for a few days…we have Kirilee and Shiana VanderHeide staying with us. They are lovely girls—Jonathan and Karlyn are thrilled and can’t wait for them to come home from school this afternoon!
So how did this all come about….
On Saturday, Andrew was trimming the grass at the church with a weed-eater and something sharp flew up into his eye. On Sunday morning, he could not even open his eye and was in excruciating pain. Andrew and Natalie were able to make an appointment at the private hospital that morning. When we came home from church, we checked in to see how he was doing. It turned out the doctor had not been able to provide too much help—he did not even examine the eye—but did give him some antibiotics and put a patch over it. So I guess that did help a bit, but the worry was still that something was imbedded in the eye and this could of course lead to bigger problems. And he was still in a lot of pain. There are no eye specialists in Lae and so they had to consider what further options to look into—we all felt it was important for him to get his eye examined, sooner rather than later. Should they fly to Port Moresby, where apparently there is a specialist, or Cairns…or could Ukarumpa help them out—where there are ex-pat doctors and nurses. Ukarumpa’s the closest, so this is where they started and got the number for their after-hours service. Natalie had a bit of trouble getting through to them, so in the meantime we called our friends, Richard and Laura Sommer, to see if they could be of any help. In the end, Natalie was able to speak to a doctor over the phone who said that she would be able to help them—whether it was just a corneal abrasion or something in the eye. And then Richard Sommer called to say that they had found an MAF pilot (who lived here in our compound for a few months in 2006), who was willing to fly down here to pick them up. So in a matter of less than 2 hours, Andrew, Natalie and Ashlyn were on their way to the airport, and shortly after that, arrived safely in Ukarumpa. That’s amazing timing, especially for PNG! They immediately met with the doctor, who confirmed that it was an abrasion on the cornea, and that this should heal with antibiotics, but will be very painful. Still, we were so thankful for this news! There is still the fear of infection and so they’ll stay up there for a couple more days so the doctor can monitor how he’s doing.
When things like this happen here in PNG, you tend to worry more because of the lack of medical services. However, looking back on this situation, we can only marvel at the way the Lord opened doors and provided people to help Andrew and Natalie. We praise Him for providing for them in amazing ways. We praise Him for His care and protection over all of our lives.
So with all this talk about flying and catching planes yesterday, when we read the Bible story of Jesus’ ascension after dinner last night, it was no wonder that when Ian asked Jonathan where Jesus is now, he replied, “In a plane!”. We’ll have to work on that one….