Archive for September, 2010

School work

26 September 2010

This week has been pretty uneventful. I’ve been doing a lot of work around my house and the school, cleaning out the my house in preparation for a yard sale yesterday, and progressing on the school a little at a time in preparation for the next school year. I finished sorting, inventorying, and putting away the textbooks and got through the school supplies too. Now for visuals and all the random stuff that doesn’t really fall into any of those categories…

At the yard sale yesterday I had the greatest of fun explaining a curling iron (one of the preacher boys was the first person to ask me what it was!) and, even better, various toiletries… and the very best of all was Stress Reducing Pillow Mist!!!! Hehehe 🙂

Just before I started writing this I was telling the Smiths I was having a hard time thinking of things to write about, and Mr. Smith said I should tell you about the two men that walked out of church just before it ended this morning. It was an old man and a young man– I think the old man was the young man’s grandpa. Anyway, when the rest of us came out a minute or two later, the old man was grabbing his tommyhawk (axe) from behind a log and chasing the young man out of the churchyard! Who knows what that was all about… You can definitely say we rarely lack excitement around here! 🙂

There’s a prayer letter about to come out (maybe Wednesday) with lots of prayer requests, but for now please pray for continued school preparations. I think the big meeting I’ve been asking you to pray about when we tell the students and parents about which grade will sit out will be on Oct. 6th. Who knows when school will actually start– probably November at the earliest– Jeff said that as of Friday our boxes of school books hadn’t gotten to the Goroka PO, so it seems highly unlikely that they’ll arrive before he boards the chopper for Kiari on Monday morning and be here in time to start school this month. I guess it is possible, but it would require the PO workers to get everything unloaded from the plane and processed really fast… that is assuming the boxes are on the plane… and then it would require a lot of juggling on Jeff’s part to get it all to the hangar and lined up to go to Kiari. So, as people pray here frequently, I’m just putting it all in the Lord’s hands. It’s mighty good to know we’re on His perfect timetable.

Have a great week!


“O use me, Lord, use even me, Just as Thou wilt, and when, and where….” -Frances Ridley Havergal


School preparations

19 September 2010

The last week has been busy as I’ve worked on sorting and inventorying all of our school stuff. I’m on the last box of textbooks, and this coming week I’m planning to tackle school supplies!

Please be praying that our book order will come quickly. I’d really like to start in October, but in order for that to happen our books need to arrive by the 27th when Jeff comes back from his vacation. After that nobody will be in town to get our mail until the Smiths go out to pick up Karen Hall at the very end of October. Our boxes were mailed last Monday, and things have come in 2 weeks before, so it’s not impossible though it will definitely be a stretch from the way the mail usually runs in PNG.

Also, we haven’t told the students and parents yet, but we’ll be having 2nd and 5th grades this year. The would-be 3rd graders will have to wait a year for the younger grade to catch up to them, though they will have the option of coming this year just for combined Bible and History classes. Please pray that they and their parents will respond graciously to this news.

Thank you for your prayers for Catherine. She reached the States safely and is waiting for an opening with the specialty doctor who treats her disease. This could potentially be weeks away– please pray that she will be able to see him soon.

Also please pray for rain! Many people’s gardens are drying up to the point that they’re going hungry, and our own rain tanks are low to the point that the Smiths have stopped doing laundry at their house (thankfully they can bring some things down for me to do for them).

Hope you have a great week!


“O use me, Lord, use even me, Just as Thou wilt, and when, and where….” -Frances Ridley Havergal

Prayer Request

12 September 2010

Please pray for our missionary nurse, Catherine McQuaid. I think I mentioned that she was sick– she has Lupus (a chronic autoimmune disease where she can have difficulties with fatigue, joint pain, and such things), and though she can usually keep it under control with medication she has had a flare-up that just won’t go away. She is currently in route to the US for treatment. The last time she had this bad of a time was when she was in high school, and it took months to get back under control. We miss her already and are hoping it will be a little quicker this time. 🙂 I’m copying and pasting her blog post below if you’re interested.

A Medical Missionary

On my own

8 September 2010

This has been yet another busy week. 🙂 I think I say that every time, but it’s true! Tiffany’s mumu last Thursday was nice. There were two pigs in it, so that made it yummy. The folks were so sad to see her go. They gave her many bilums (rope bags) that they’d made for her– the one that made us all cry was the very first one. It said “Lukim yu long heven”– “See you in heaven”. On Friday we moved all of the rest of the school stuff down from the old school building to the current school location on the other side of the duplex where I live. You should see all of the boxes– I definitely have my work cut out for me! On Saturday I went to prayer meeting at church in the morning, then came back to tackle about 5 loads of laundry. It turned into an all-day affair when in the early afternoon a bunch of people came bringing a woman who had gotten a nasty cut in a fight with her husband’s other wife. Apparently the other wife had aimed for her head with a bush knife (machete), and she threw up her arm to fend off the blow. I held the flashlight (the clinic has no electricity) while Catherine put in I don’t know how many stitches, inside and out. I think she used four or five spools of suture thread. After that was over I went back across the road to my house and finished my laundry just in time for our team meeting. Sunday was pretty normal, except for lots more goodbyes for Tiffany. Monday morning the chopper came bringing Jeff and his brother and taking Tiffany, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and (surprise!) Catherine, who was sick and not getting better so she went in to see the doctor in town. The rest of the time since then I’ve basically been doing some cleaning projects in my house and fixing the noon meals for everyone with the help of the Smith girls. Last night was an evangelistic fellowship at the Mau hauslain. Today is my fifth day in a row to make the hike to or past church. 🙂 The Smiths will be coming back on Friday. Please pray for Catherine’s speedy recovery.

Well, it’s time to head to church so I’ll close for now. Hope you’re having a great week!


“O use me, Lord, use even me, Just as Thou wilt, and when, and where….” -Frances Ridley Havergal

Exciting trip…

2 September 2010

I made it safely back to Kiari on Tuesday, but it was quite the day. J I definitely feel like “Adventures with Ellie” is becoming a more and more worthy title! I don’t remember asking anyone to pray for us on that trip, but if you did, THANK YOU—we needed it! Brother Matt Crain from Aibai brought me back as far as Nomane, where the Smiths were to fly in from their vacation in Goroka. We left at 7:30 am and several folks caught a ride with us to various destinations along the way. It seemed like we were going really fast now that we weren’t following the dozer! Parts of that road are actually quite rocky, so I was most happy to stand and hold onto the luggage rack. (If you’re one of those people who complain about the discomfort of sitting through long sermons, I’d like you to try just 2 minutes sitting on the wheel well in the back of the truck on the rocky part of the bush road!!!) We got to Nomane pretty quickly… 9 or 9:30, I’d say. Jeff had just gotten there with the truck from Kiari, and so we all waited for the Smith’s planes to come in… and waited, and waited. J They were delayed and the first plane didn’t get there until 1 or 1:30, and the second one about an hour later. (It takes two little Cessnas to ferry a family of seven!) While we were waiting Jeff told us that he had some trouble on the way… some folks in Kiari are holding an ambulance to try and get some money they were supposed to be paid for fixing the road, but the Nomane folks take that personally because the ambulance is from their village. A couple of times people made a line across the road to try to stop Jeff, but a national man riding with him kept telling him, “Go, go, go!” and so he went and thankfully everybody got out of his way, but he was worried we’d have trouble getting back. People were threatening to hold our car as ransom for the ambulance. So… the Smiths finally arrived and Jeff flew out to Goroka to pick up his brother who’s coming to help him build his house. We left Nomane about 3 or 3:30, and you should have seen us. J The bed of the truck was piled all the way back to the wheel wells with the next 2 months’ supplies, and behind that there were about 9 of us sitting or hanging on in various ways—the 5 Smith kids, 3 national men who were coming along to helpfully smooth the way with the anticipated troubles, and me. I actually already had a headache from the blaring music at Nomane and from sitting in the equatorial sun for so long. Sure enough, we got stopped not too far outside Nomane. The people had put a log across the road and all stood around staring—not smiling and waving like usual but just hard staring (though it was funny, a girl came up to the tailgate and was talking with Susanna and laughing just like nothing in the world was going on!). The people talked heatedly for about 25 minutes but, praise the Lord, finally let us through. By this time my headache had gotten worse so I didn’t pay too much attention to what was being said (it still takes effort to decipher Pidgin!), but believe you me I was sure thankful when we finally started again! The rest of the trip was somewhat of a blur because I was feeling pretty carsick, but I do know that we were stopped one more time by some people who were mad because when we came out with the dozer we had moved a tree that was blocking the road and had evidently been a means of collecting fees from public vehicles. I really don’t know what happened, but eventually we started again and bounced along our way home. At some point we stopped again (voluntarily this time!) and paid a lady for some damage to her tree from a stump that the dozer had pushed down the mountain. Another time we picked up a couple of people, and when we went around a sharp curve and I fell over on the lady she just put her arm around me and let me rest my head on her lap. That was so nice of her. J Finally we reached Kiari (the whole trip was 3 hours, I think) and I went right to bed and am all better now. Needless to say, I’m quite happy to stay in Kiari for a long, long time! J

As a side note, I hope the whole story hasn’t made you worried about me. “Whiteskins” are really not in any personal danger. Worry about our stuff, maybe, but after all it’s only stuff. (If you could see our poor little old truck—affectionately dubbed “The Little Engine That Could”—you’d laugh that anyone would possibly want it even as ransom for that ambulance!) We’ll probably be using the helicopter to get in and out until the whole ambulance situation is resolved, but hopefully that will be sooner than later. J

Now that I’m back in Kiari I have loads and loads of work to do before school starts: moving things down from the old school building, organizing, planning, etc. Thankfully I got my book order out yesterday—please pray that it will all get here in a timely manner. I think packages can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months… I’m hoping for something closer to the 2 week end of the spectrum. J Tiffany (the other teacher) is leaving on Monday, and today we are all going to church for a goodbye mumu for her. After that I’m on my own—exciting but a little scary too!

Hope you have a great week!


“O use me, Lord, use even me, Just as Thou wilt, and when, and where….” -Frances Ridley Havergal