The Holidays are So Stressful!

Those words seem so out of place in our remote area of PNG. No shopping, no hustle and bustle, no last-minute-buying, none of the things that stress out our friends in the West.

Here in PNG it is Christmas Eve. The clinic is closed today and tomorrow, except for emergencies. Lena and her nurse co-worker, Rachel Schellenberger, had agreed to see a couple of young burn victims for dressing changes and a snakebite victim for follow-up. Nothing much for our dear nurses to handle.

Lena & Rachel

Lena & Rachel

We’re blessed to live next door to our son and his family. The only family tradition we have here is Christmas Eve dinner at our house. Lena has been looking forward to it for a long time. And hey, the clinic is closed! Plenty of time to prepare the dinner. Piece of cake.

Then comes the note scrawled on scrap paper. A new mother is having complications in birth downriver from our place. Lena and Rachel headed down to assist. For them, it was fairly routine: the birthing mom is outside on the wet ground, downhill from the house; the baby arrives with the cord around the neck–twice; then there’s the post-delivery duties every delivery room nurse knows about. Except for doing it in the mud.

Newborn in a string bag

Newborn in a string bag

All is finished; new mom and baby are doing well, so Rachel and Lena come home. And Lena cleans up and prepares Christmas Eve dinner. Just in time.

Yeah. She’s wonder woman. And we’re blessed. For us, the holidays aren’t really that stressful.

Maria's snakebite improving

Maria’s snakebite improving



2 thoughts on “The Holidays are So Stressful!

  1. Dear Bro John and Family,
    Praise the Lord for you all in PNG for your labour for the master. I still pray daily for both Allen Families, specially for the safety of Bro Matt’s Plane flights and the Kamean Bible Translation. Sounds like the women do such an amazing job in all departments and take every thing in their stride, with Gods help of course. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Day , God bless you all and give you a Very Prosperous, Safe and Happy New Year for 3013.
    Your friend and fellow labourer in Christ,
    Bro Warren Dunley, (Australia),
    Rom 8:28.

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