Over the years throughout our various ministry assignments, we have faced situations that have definitely “pushed the envelope” on our comfort zones. Most people have!
Whether that was flying through the feeder bands of a typhoon with a medical evacuation patient while Connie was in a small village clinic giving birth to our daughter, or whether it was coordinating the evacuation of 25 missionaries out of a city under rebel siege, five at a time with our small mission plane; we have more than once been granted the opportunity to place our trust entirely in God.
Perhaps I had become a bit comfortable…or perhaps God was needing to prepare me for what is yet to come.
I’m not sure, but during my recent trip to Papua New Guinea, one of those “situations” presented itself yet again.
Just getting oneself to Kudjip Nazarene Hospital in Papua New Guinea is no small feat. It requires juggling several flights, covering some of the most expensive air miles found anywhere in the world, landing at Port Moresby, taking a smaller plane to Mount Hagen, and then riding in a Toyota Land Cruiser for another hour over roads that some would consider less than smooth (editorial understatement here).
When you finally get there, you find some of the most gracious, committed, compassionate souls on earth. Both expat mission personnel and nationals await with smiles, open arms, and generosity beyond measure. They are a tight knit team…and given the situations they face on a regular basis…they need to be.
One night while eating dinner with Tim and Karla Deule, Global Serve Missionaries with the Church of the Nazarene, one of the other mission team members came knocking at the door. “Todd, Connie has been trying to reach you, she just sent me a message, you need to get in touch with her as soon as possible.” Those kinds of messages are seldom good news. “Can you tell me anything else,” I asked. Hesitantly and carefully, the team member said, “Your daughter is in the emergency room in Idaho and possibly has a blood clot in her lungs.”
My medical training kicked into overdrive. Pulmonary embolisms (blood clot in the lung) are never something one hopes to experience. My mind raced to the knowledge of a dear friend’s son who in his late 20s passed away of just such an issue, just a few years ago. Then the pilot side of my brain kicked in plan A, Plan B, …what flights were there out of here…how would I get to Mt. Hagen, Port Moresby, Manila……
As I left Tim and Karla’s house to go find a way to connect with Connie for the whole story, the reality of the situation set in. Me…whose top strengths include “arranger” could arrange nothing. There could be very few more remote areas in the world from which to try and respond. Limited phone, internet, travel…I was beyond my ability to fix it…and then the reality came that it wasn’t my job to fix it…it was my job to trust.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again; Rejoice! Let our gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7
God provided in so many ways. I am so thankful that He allowed me to be with some of the greatest brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you so much Kudjip family for gathering together and praying, encouraging, and believing.
Whatever your “situation” God is truly all you need…because He will provide what you need…when you need it (thanks honey…I have heard you say that many times). He provided for Jess…as she is doing much better now…for Connie with peace in Manila…and for me…with peace and a team that took our daughter to the arms of our heavenly father in prayer when this earthly father was not able to “fix it.”
Thank you all for your continued prayers, encouragement, and commitment to being part of our team!