I really don’t know when I’ll be back again…….
What crazy/uncertain times we are living in right now. Just when we think things are going to start to normalize, Covid 19 shows up and turns life upside down. And yet God…… (still my favorite saying) along with He Is Able!
In the early morning hours of Saturday, 14 March 2020, amidst the multitude of emails coming in and going out from the CD’s home office (aka bed) it was decided to send some of our higher risk staff out of PNG along with myself over the following days. Given the fact that there is next to no advanced healthcare support available in the Highlands. (Big thanks to Journeys by Jan for organizing my tickets! Always perfect planning!)
I was due to head to the US on 21 March for Doctors appointments and an upcoming surgery that is not available in PNG (Female stuff) But with the rate at which we were being notified that borders were shutting to different countries, we decided it would be best to get me out immediately rather than risk having to postpone surgery even longer.
After a very long 32 hours of travel, with very tight connections, I arrived in Boise, Idaho minus only one of my two action packers – yes, filled with TP and Peanut Butter J And a little coffee/tea from PNG.
My welcome party met me at the curb shortly after midnight, keeping strict social distances from me, giving air hugs and leaving the car running with the heat on high (of course I was freezing in Idaho). I had to load my own bags to avoid possibly contaminating them after my travels, luckily TP doesn’t weigh too much~ Haha. And soon I was headed down the freeway to MAF US Headquarters and a cozy studio apartment set up and waiting for me for the self-isolation period of at least 14 days.
As I was preparing to hurriedly leave, I was deeply touched by the love and well wishes and send off from the MAF PNG Team – both National and expat! Bon Voyage parties had been planned and that really means a lot to me. Todd, along with “Our Boys” and Sonali saw me off at the airport and the guys all stayed airside to wave, and I got a quick hug from Todd, as I walked to the awaiting aircraft. It really touched my heart that they all took the time and stood in front of the MAF Base to wave good bye as my plane taxied to the runway as well.
As I traveled, I saw some who were fully decked out in anti-virus gear (The woman at the airport in Brisbane speaking with Godfrey about self isolation) while transiting to NZ. And yet hundreds of people not taking any precautions whatsoever! I had been supplied with a mask that I saved to wear when the social distance got greatly reduced once I hit US Soil! As I read that prolonged use causes the mask to be less effective as breathing causes moisture and then it becomes somewhat useless – although I will say it was difficult to breath with that mask the way it seals so well! I wore the mask until I was settled into my little hideaway in Nampa.
I chose to self isolate not just so I don’t get the virus, but to protect those I love, and also those I will come into contact with here in Idaho, as well as those that they will then come into contact with, from possible contamination because of where I have been! Social distancing is the key to reducing the spread so that health centers can keep up with the sick once they contract it and need intervention. Most of us may just get nasty flu symptoms, but it is not most of us that I am concerned with – it is the elderly, the pregnant, the premature, those with significant health issues to begin with, like my sweet nephew Ronan that recently received a Kidney transplant at a very young age!
My heart yearns to see may granddaughter Noortje, that I only get to see once every year or so…… She is just 10 minutes away from here….. but I choose to self isolate to keep her safe, and to keep those safe that she will then come into contact with.
As I sit here in my little hideaway, stocked with food by my daughters Courtney and Jess, and also other family have brought things for me, like fuzzy blankets and books from my Mom. I am praying for Todd and the team as they make decisions on how to address this virus in an area of the world with very little access to healthcare. And as they deal with the social issues that will come once it hits the highlands…. I have lots of time on my hands to do so!
And Surprise! My last action packer showed up on my doorstep! Thanks MAF US, especially, Ruth, Barb, and Gene for your love and support!
I look forward to seeing how God will use this time to grow me spiritually as I spend more time in His word and reading books that will help me be a better person/leader/wife/mother/friend. I would love to hear what God is teaching you through this time….He is Able!
Your prayers are greatly appreciate for Todd and the team still in PNG as they continue to serve the remote communities, taking every precaution possible and having continual update meetings to be sure we are doing just that! These are difficult times as we deal with the unknowns, and yet maintain a positive outlook – None of this has caught God by surprise. He is still on the throne and still working things out for our good. When we need wisdom, He gives it. And boy do we need it!
Your prayers especially for the team to keep a positive attitude, to be wise in decisions and safe are very much appreciated! God hears and answers – and He calls us to lift our requests to him, with thanksgiving and praise!
Thank you all so very much,