Friday, August 31, 2012

Rivers of Living Water...

 I am familiar with rivers, at least the rivers in the Northwest.  They can be state borders, outlets for glacier run-off, breeding grounds for salmon, sources of hydroelectric power or simply displays of God's amazing creation.

Since arriving in PNG I have been introduced to rivers as a life sustaining resource.  There is a river in the valley behind our house that the kids like to visit as often as possible.  Spending time there with them as they play I have been able to observe how vital this river is to the people who live nearby.  Here are some photos from a recent trip to the river and all the activity I saw: 

Kids warming themselves on the rocks
A lady taking a bath
Some kids who were getting ready to bathe
Don't forget about the fun
For the animals too
They were actually giving haircuts under the little tree
Doing laundry
Laundry drying on the rocks
Even washing the cars!

37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:37-38

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Day in the Life of....

... Randy Goossens!

Those of you who know Randy know that he is a man of many talents and skills.  All of which make him a vital part of life here at Kudjip Hospital Station.  I wanted to take a few minutes and tell you about some of the things he has been involved in over the last 16 months.

One of the things Randy is best at is listening to people and making them feel valued.  That has not changed.  Lately he has spent a lot of time working with and training national workers to do some of the things that he has been involved in.  He always takes a few minutes to talk to the workers and establish a friendship that goes beyond the job.  He has been training a man named Apa to work on the station phone system.  Randy was the one who recommended him for this job, looking past the fact that his hands were malformed and misshapen from birth with just a few fingers on each hand, and recognizing someone with a heart for learning new things, helping "his" missionaries and serving God in everything he does.  Randy has also been working with John, a man with an amazing work ethic and strength.  He has been doing a variety of grounds jobs around station to make things look better, work better and be safer. 

Story-ing with John

 Finally, he is working with Timothy and Yandu, two maintenance workers who have been assigned to help with much needed maintenance and renovations on the Mission Housing.  He has been working closely with them as they have re-painted and prepared one of the houses for a new family that will be coming.  Investing the time and energy to make sure they are learning the skills to be able to move on and help at the next house.

Yandu helping replace rotten shower walls in a Mission House

Oh yes, he also had a group of women from a recent Work & Witness team helping with the painting.  Randy always makes sure that there is plenty of fun mixed in with the work!

W&W Team helping paint a Mission House

Living at a hospital station Randy has been asked to help with things he probably never would have otherwise.  Like portable ultrasound units.  He wasn't quite sure how to tell if it was working correctly after upgrading this unit, but hey, he can't be amazing at EVERYTHING!

Randy & Emma upgrading a portable ultrasound machine

Being a guy who likes to have contingency plans and be prepared for almost any situation, it was no surprise Randy took on the project of fixing, re-programming and installations needed to have VHF radios in all mission vehicles and several key mission houses.  This is how we communicate with each other when we are going off station or in the event of an emergency.

Working on VHF Radios with Michael Wakefield from CRMF
(Christian Radio Missionary Fellowship)

Installing a VHF radio in the NHM Land Cruiser
(Nazarene Health Ministries)

Oh yes, how can I forget IT (you know, the computer stuff)?  That is what Randy came here to help with, isn't it?  He was able to fairly quickly get the station network and satellite internet up to a basic working level.  Of course there is always something that needs to be tweaked and technology is constantly changing, but that is part of the nature of the beast.

There you have it, a look into the days and workings of Randy Goossens.  Part-time Global Serve Nazarene Missionary at Kudjip Hospital Station, full-time Husband, Father and Friend.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ol Missionary Lain

Immanuel Church of the Nazarene is located just outside the gates of the Station.  Our family and other missionaries often attend church there.  Last week the Missionaries were in charge of the service.  According to Emma, "That was the best service I have been in since we came to PNG!"  It really was a great time of celebrating Jesus together.  Here is a little recap in pictures:

Rachel Thompson and some of the High School girls did a signing.
ONU students here on a W&W trip shared their testimonies.

Dr. Mike Pyle from ONU shared his testimony.
The Missionary choir singing the Pidgin version of "Showers of Blessings"
A creative arrangement of some Sunday School favorites was definitely a crowd pleaser.
Judy Bennett shared some scripture.
Scott Dooley led us in prayer.
The Immanuel kids shared John 3:16 and the song "My God is so Great"

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pastor Ruth and her children...

A while back Kathy Radcliffe asked me if I would be willing to help her teach the Children's Church for Immanuel Church of the Nazarene (on station) with her once a month.  I agreed, mostly because I thought my kids would enjoy helping with me and it would force me to REALLY work on my Pidgin.

We were a bit surprised at our first lesson based on Acts 6:1-7 where the Apostles appoint 7 men to help distribute food to the widows.  This is not necessarily a lesson that I have ever taught to kids before, but it is what we were given so we jumped in with the songs, the story, special items (where my kids made me proud by standing up and sharing some of their memory verses!), a little skit, a memory verse, a game and a coloring page that went with the story.  It wasn't perfect, but we made it through and we were pleased with a good start.

A week later Kathy called me again and asked if I would consider going with them to a church near Minj (about 15-20 minutes away) and doing our children's church lesson for a church there that has quite a few aids orphans.  We don't often go out to bush churches because they can be quite a distance away over pretty horrible roads (we have discovered that 2 of our children are prone to car sickness in PNG) and the services can sometimes last hours.  Anyway, since this was a kids lesson and it was close by everyone in the family was agreeable to go.

Kathy making introductions to Pastor Ruth
I don't know if it was interest in this "orphan" church or the close proximity to station, but we ended up taking a group of about 18 missionaries & volunteers in 2 cars.  We had a bit of trouble finding the place, but when we arrived we were greeted by Pastor Ruth and Stephen Tikgne.  They led us down to where the congregation was meeting under a ripped blue tarp sitting on mats or logs laid out as benches.  Of course they had set up the nice benches on the sides for the honored missionary guests to sit on.  There were about 40 kids and 20 adults when we arrived and  the service started with some of the men leading us in song.  After this some of the local NYI (young people) sang a special song let by a blind young man playing the guitar.  Then they turned the service over to us.  We did greetings, Jim Radcliffe shared and played his trumpet, and then we started the "kid" part of the morning off with a little puppet show to some recorded kids music (iPod are a great evangelistic tool!)  From there we did the rest of our lesson and then added a presentation of how to tell the Good News using the PNG flag.  It was a great service.  
The NYI Special Song
The Goossens girls share some memory verses.
The Puppet Show was a big hit!
Learning how to use the PNG flag to tell others of the Good News!
Afterwards we were taken on a tour of the housing and cookhouse for the orphans, the HIV/AIDS training center and the new church building they are working on.  We also heard her story and about the work she is doing at this location near Minj.

Ruth runs a Care Center where people infected with HIV can come and learn about living with HIV, where to get medicines and how to take them. We met this young lady who is staying there right now after having just had her baby at Kudjip.  She was praising the Lord because her baby is not HIV+.
The HIV/AIDS Care Center Housing and a the new mama
They have also been caring for AIDS orphans in the area. Ruth says that she has cared for almost 150 orphans since she started this ministry. She has been able to get over 100 placed back in the community or with their lain (tribe) and currently has around 46 children that she and her volunteers care for.  She has over 40 volunteers who rotate through, with 6 needed at a time to meet the needs of the children.  The ministry is supported by the Minj Circuit Nazarene Churches, the salary from her husband Stephen's job as plumber & carpenter for the nearby government high school and food from their gardens. 
Emma and some new friends
The Headmaster of the nearby Minj Ti school is very supportive of Ruth and her ministry to the orphans, on the first day of school he came and escorted the 17 school children to their classes. 
The Headmaster, Ruth & Stephen
What an amazing ministry by two average people willing to let God use them to show love to others in an extraordinary way!  After hearing about their ministry, the lesson of appointing respectable men to help in feeding the widows (and I am guessing orphans too!) made a lot more sense.  Funny how God has a way of orchestrating these things!

"Yumi mas tingting long ol pikinini, papamama bilong ol i dai pinis, na yumi mas helpim ol long karim ol hevi bilong ol." Jems 1:27

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Friend...

Being at home with the kids and working in the Melanesian Field Office with other (English speaking) missionaries has made it a challenge to make new friends among our PNG national neighbors.  One of our first new friends was Meti.  She has been involved with our (stunted) language studies and coming to our house once a week to help with the household & the kids.  She is such a wonderful woman with a heart full of love.  She is on station with a missionary family every day of the week and is involved in her local church and NMI (Nazarene Missions International).

Last week we found out Meti was in the hospital due to a severe allergic reaction.  Randy and the kids had gone to visit her on Monday and on Tuesday he called me at the office to see if I wanted to come along and bring lunch to Meti.  (Each patient at the hospital here has to have a person to bring them food and help take care of them during their stay.) When we got there we found out that someone in her village had died so no one had been able to come to her and her son had to go to his school to pick something up.  Judy had brought her coffee and breakfast before she left for town, but Meti didn't think anyone would be able to bring her any lunch.  She was so excited when we came to her, "Randy, you heard the Spirit of God talk to you. Thank you!"

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs." Matthew 6:31-32 (NLT)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Some Family Fun

 In the valley behind our house there is a river.  It is a source of sustenance for the local people, providing drinking water, washing water, bathing water....and plenty of entertainment.  One of the popular activities for the teenagers, visitors & guys on station is to float the river on an inner-tube.  My kids are very jealous of all the times Randy has been tubing, but often the river is either moving too fast or too shallow and rocky for it to be safe for the kids.  When we went down to play at the river a little while ago we noticed that the local villagers had created a nice tubing channel on one side of the river so the next day we went back with some tubes and had some great family fun.  Here are the pictures:

Daddy & Lexi

Daddy and Ethan (Look!  They match!)

Daddy & Emma (Notice he still got to go more often than anyone else!  How does he do that?)

Mommy even got a turn! (have you ever tried tubing in a skirt?)

The kids got to go solo in the wading area right next to the tubing run.

Emma's just chillin!
As much fun as our family had playing in the river, I think there might have been even more fun had by all the people watching us...and laughing.  We talked about it on the way home, how they were laughing because we are so much different than what they are used to and how we provided some entertainment and laughter in their day.  Emma decided, "I would be happy to provide them with this kind of entertainment any time!"

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Count Your Blessings...

I have had the song Count Your Blessings in my mind lately, so here I go:

1.  We have been adjusting to life in a new culture and climate with minimal stress.  Thank you Lord!

2.  Randy's current work project requires him to run all over the station (about 1km from end to end).  More than once he commented how much easier it would be to do this on a bike instead of walking...our church family heard of this and took a special bike offering.  He now has a great bike that helps him speed all over the station.  Thank you Lord!

3.  We didn't know where the funds for Emma's schooling at the MK school would come from, but they are coming in from unexpected gifts.  Thank you Lord!

4.  We got to get off-station for a trip to Goroka last weekend while Randy attended a Mission Technology Conference.  A great time of learning, sharing & connecting for Randy and a great time of exploring and new experiences for all.  Thank you Lord!

5.  I had the opportunity to go to a Woman's gathering in the Ming district.  What an amazing experience.  Hearing the messages that God had given to Gail Dooley and Kathy Radcliffe to share was great.  Hearing the testimonies of the women who shared the ride home with us was awe inspiring.  Thank you Lord!

6.  We have had some chilly evenings/mornings so I was trying to figure out how to get some extra blankets for the kids.  A gentleman that was here with a Work & Witness team from Missouri sent me an email telling me that he and his wife had made and sent some fleece blankets for the kids.  Thank you Lord!

7.  Randy and I are doing a parenting class with 2 national couples.  It has been a great time to get to know these people and get away for one evening a week.  Three visiting college students took turns watching our kids each week for the past couple of months so we could do this.  Thank you Lord!

8.  The other two missionary families that have kids around the same ages as mine are heading back to the states in December for 4 months of Home Assignment.  I didn't want our first Christmas away from Port Orchard to be lonely for the kids, with no friends or family to celebrate with.  Nana & Papa are arriving on December 18th for a 6 week stay.  Thank you Lord!

9.  We live next to the Guest House on station and we have had a stream of neighbors to get to know and kids for mine to play with.  There are some great people serving in all kinds of different ways here in PNG. Thank you Lord!

10.  God has been true to His promise to meet all of our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.  THANK YOU LORD!!!!

There is nothing special about 10, but those came to mind this morning...I could keep going for quite a while but I have to go to town for groceries (thank you Lord for your provision!).  I would encourage you to take a few moments to review and write down some of the blessings in your own life.  It is too easy to miss them.... don't let them slip by with out thanking the One that all good and perfect things come from!