As many of you already know, we are currently in Parsons, KS addressing our medical urgency for Phoebe. Our doctor at the mission clinic in PNG suspected that Phoebe has Perthes disease. The blood flow has shut off to her right leg in the hip ball area. You can look up the longer explanation if you are curious. It has some pretty scary possibilities and we were encouraged to take the most cautious reaction: Get back to our home country and seek expert care. Phoebe has been on crutches, in golf carts and wheelchairs ever since the initial diagnosis. We appreciate our clinic staff in PNG VERY much and praise God for this early warning.
Our doctor at Children’s Mercy in KC confirms the diagnosis and was impressed with our PNG missionary doctor’s capability. We took the opportunity to give the glory to God. After more x-rays and an MRI (which was a scary first for Phoebe), we were given good news that minimal damage has been done and we are in a “wait and see” phase. We are to see her doctor again in 90 days for x-rays and exam. This phase can last up to a year.
With this information we as a family have prayerfully sought out our options. Staying in our current housing isn’t a long-term option. We appreciate the converted two car garage studio apartment at Paul’s parent’s place here in Parsons. We have been able to continue helping assist his parents with daily life. However, Paul needs a job or ministry and we need a better long-term solution for a home. We are looking to relocate to the Ethnos360 Aviation training center in McNeal, AZ where we had lived and served at the end of our last time back. Leadership there has offered a ministry to Paul in facility maintenance as there isn’t much aircraft work/projects currently. This option has the benefits of allowing us to settle into a real home and “regular work life routine”. We can’t use the word “normal” because over the passed 4 years we have forgotten what that word means.
The complications of leaving the mission at this time for Paul to get a job as we walk through Perthes with Phoebe are many. Our heart’s desire is still for the work in PNG and even a short-term leave from the mission complicates that. Should you have further questions or concern regarding this decision please feel free to contact us by phone or email.
We understand that many of you are invested in supporting overseas missions. We believe with this ministry we will still be doing just that. We will be doing work everyday with the team there that keeps the support line open to the various fields around the world where we have aircraft serving. We were encouraged by the leadership staff at McNeal to the reality that things do change rather quickly, in regards to there being no projected aircraft maintenance work to commit Paul to. As well, it will be a part of everyday life to stay connected and prayerfully invested in the needs of the various mission’s programs overseas.
What about Phoebe’s Perthes care? We have located an experienced pediatric clinic in Tuscan which is 2 hours away. Our current doctor in KC is 3 hours away. Phoebe’s current physical therapist has provided us with laminated exercise instructions for at home use until we find our next PT clinic.
Life Has Been A Zoo
As parents we have tried to cut through some of the medical stress, physical limitations and apartment life with kid approved activities. Phoebe’s favorite is our two visits to different zoos. Extra bonus, it is home school approved. We have gotten to pet and/or feed goats, sheep, donkeys, stingrays and rhinos. Well, everyone but dad was afraid to feed the stingrays. However, we all warmed up well to the stingrays and rhinos with a bit of time. Phoebe’s love tank for animals has been bubbling over as a result.
Praise & Prayer Requests
- Praise: Our families smooth travels to the USA & the available car and apartment.
- Praise: Phoebe’s early & accurate Perthes diagnosis. Our ability to find good doctors.
- Praise: The R-66 helicopter has been put into serve in PNG and is quite busy.
- Prayer: For us as a family as we seeks God’s direction and wisdom as we walk through this medical with Phoebe.
- Prayer: For the aviation team in PNG as the workload is intense as the R66 steps into serve. That God provide a buyer for the Bell.
- 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.