Okay, calm down. Our marriage is fine, wonderful actually, though stretched across the globe. Yes, Paul used his accrued vacation time to go and visit his parents in Parsons, Kansas. He was gone from the family in PNG for a month. With Andrea facilitating/teaching two high school classes and the kids needing to be in their own classes, we decided to do it this way. It is never good to be apart from family, but it does help us miss them and understand the wonderful thing we have from the Lord. We were able to talk almost daily via video and regular calls, but as many of you know it is just not that same as being there.
Paul’s parents are elderly (92 & 87) and when we planned this “pipe dream” back in late 2021 we were fairly confident it was going to be canceled due to the ever-changing COVID regulations, both domestic and international. However, the Lord blessed and the team here helped bring it all together, along with a very capable travel agent who serves many of us overseas missionaries well before, during and hopefully after all this COVID chaos. Paul’s mother had not been doing well as her recovery from what appears to be a “minor” hip fracture and damaged vertebras was taking a VERY long time to heal, leaving her with chronic pain 24/7.
Add to that a fall by Paul’s dad while setting up to sing for a Country & Western dance which ended with an ambulance ride to an ER visit, his very active elderly parents became shut-ins practically overnight. With health and emotions at an all time low, we decided it was a good time for a visit. It took months to figure out what it would look like and when it should happen, but with lots of folks praying and God guiding, it all fell into place.
Paul’s goal, besides having a good visit, was to offer some relief to those who have been doing a wonderful job helping care for Mom and Dad. The timing of his visit was God-ordained. Paul’s cousin, who helps weekly, had to isolate due to sickness. His sister, who comes in many times a week, was able to take time and make memories with her husband’s mom. And to top it off, we had 5 inches of blowing snow storm through the area. I include blowing because that caused drifting snow over a foot deep. The hired help we have for mom and dad had to cancel. Imagine that! God’s timing was good as always. Paul was able to visit, take mom to doctor’s appointments, complete some minor household repairs and shovel snow (not something we get to do in PNG).
Of course, the time was spent encouraging and sharing with mom and dad as we reflected back as well as looking ahead. During the month with his parents, Paul saw improvement in his mom’s condition as the doctors were able to dial in the pain meds and her low sodium levels were brought up. Thankfully, other than her pain meds, all her pills and drinks are supplements (over the counter) with no side effects.
A Late Present to Open
While Andrea and the kids were busy with school the new Robinson R-66 has arrived! This is a new type of aircraft added to our operation so new manuals have to be written as to how we will train, maintain & operate the helicopter.
Why not just use the old manuals? Well, the aviation authority does not function that way… in any country. In the name of safety and thoroughness we have to be specific as this helicopter will operate EXTREMELY different than the Bell 206L1 did, in all aspects. Not a bad thing, just different. We have to show the aviation authority that we are ready, able and capable to do so safely. We can’t wait to see this tool be used to help spread the Gospel here in PNG!
Just days after Paul’s return Phoebe was diagnosed with Perthes’ disease (a rare childhood hip/bone disease) and we need to return to the USA to confirm and seek medical counsel. What an upheaval! We are trying to make plans….where to located, airline tickets, vehicle needed, pediatric orthopedic lined up. More to come.
Praise & Prayer Requests
- Praise: Paul had smooth travels to/from the USA. And while this separation time is hard, by God’s grace we managed… again!
- Praise: Paul’s mom and dad are recovering all be it at a slow pace and mom’s appetite is increasing.
- Praise: The R-66 has arrived in PNG. Prayer as the team assembles & puts it to use.
- Prayer: For us as a family as we seeks God’s direction in regards to Phoebe’s Perthes disease. For Phoebe dealing with the pain of leaving and staying off the right leg.
- Prayer: The continued work of the Lord to reach and disciple the remote people of PNG… and the world.
- Prayer: For unity amongst believers as there are so many assaults on us these days, very few about doctrine. Opinions turn into strongholds. They will know we are Christians by our love. Pray for God’s grace, discernment and love.