November 14, 2015

Bana: The final installment, Church Development!

Karla Deuel Teaching Stats and
church record keeping to Pastors
Rev. Jeff Myers’, Church Development Coordinator for the Melanesia and South Pacific Fields and Karla Deuel who works in the Field Office and works with our districts to train in all things statistical, focused on teaching pastors who had traveled to Bana from the two East Sepik circuits. Rev. Jeff brought teaching materials to leave with the pastors, since he was asking them to go and teach the Nazarene Articles of Faith to their congregations.  “It is important that our congregations know what their church believes, that when asked or we hear things said, we know what we believe.”   He also said, “I told them when we started that I would start them off with a test to see how many of our Articles of Faith they knew.”  He went on, “But I told them not to worry because by the end of the day they would be able to pass the test when they took it a second time.”  They did with flying colors!  Many very good discussions came about because of many good questions and all of the preparations that had prayerfully been implemented for success.   Rev. Jeff also had the opportunity to preach one night, preaching on the Nazarene Article of Faith, Atonement.  He stated, “It was a great opportunity to show our pastors a practical way in which they could share the Articles of Faith with their congregations.”

Our students.
Rev. Jeff stated, “It was great seeing our pastors engaged in the learning.  They truly were eager to learn.”  Some of the heavy topics included baptism and communion. Karla reflected, “All of this reminded me that crossing over into the Promised Land was still a place that the battles had to be fought, and each one was a battle by itself to continue to take what God has promised them.”  Gabriel was encouraged and stated, “Reports from participants were really encouraging because most of the teachings are practical for the church to move forward.”

Each night we were in Bana there were special services with various speakers and video ministry.  On Monday night following a time of praise and worship, for the first time ever in this area, the Jesus Film was shown!  As the week progressed there seemed to be a softening of hearts as several came forward seeking relationship with God!

Jeff teaching the Nazarene Article of Faith.
Our first day in Bana, we learned that East Sepik DS Yambe Sike was not well. We were being told that there were no doctors in Wewak, the main city in East Sepik, and that the hospital there was closed.  He was seen by a nursing officer however and was diagnosed with pneumonia and an elevated blood pressure. Antibiotics were prescribed but not provided. We all proceeded to agree in prayer for DS Yambe’s healing. Bana Clinc was able to provide the necessary antibiotics which Matthew delivered.  Joyfully, DS Yambe was able to make the 4 hour drive to Bana, two days later. Dr. Susan could find nothing wrong with him, and we knew the battle had been won!

We thank God for His hand upon this adventure!   Much was accomplished and to God be the glory!  Director of Rural Health Services, Gabriel Mahisu made the observation, “God is in control, we had sensed His love and compassion in this trip. For me as RHS director accompanying the team was very special, inspiring and seeing more challenges ahead of me. There are  challenges of infrastructure developments, equipments, staffing, and through geographical constraints. There are people there, this trip was not a waste at all, it was a fruitful trip, God has opened doors for the lost to see and receive Christ and for bigger things that is going to come about.”

As the Bana Team was making ready for their departure that Friday morning the people of the Bana area wanted to show their appreciation for all that the team had done.   Each member was given a special yam only used, we were told, for special occasions.   We know we blessed their hearts and touched their lives because that is what these precious people did to each one of us!

Passing out tooth brushes and teaching
the kids tooth hygiene.
written by Karla Deuel, Jeff Myers    photos by Jeff

Sharing Bible Stories with the Kids.

October 26, 2015

Locals on the Sepik River!

 Our very own shower with a view!!
 Ingenuity got the job done here.
 Ever wonder what vanilla beans look lilike
Our official welcome banner.

We received a wonderful welcome singsing with traditional dress and all.

Picrures of the Bana Adventure!

Sweet kids of Bana!

More sweet kids from Bana!

Farewell/thank you ceremony on the morning we left, special Yams from Bana area.

Lunch if you are hungry!  Flying Fox fruit bats

Our Bana accommodations, complete with mosquito nets.

October 23, 2015

Bana: The First Doctor Visit

Charity, Philemon and Buckley
It was reported to us that Susan was the first doctor to visit the Bana clinic.
Buckley and Charity are graduates of the Nazarene College of Nursing.  They are married and have a little boy named Philemon who had his first Birthday while we were in Bana.  Buckley and Charity have been living in Bana for a little over a year now.  This is not their home place but they are living and working in Bana providing basic medical care to thousands spread out over a large area.  They are truly missionaries!  

My part on the team was to see patients as well as to teach, assist and encourage Buckley and Charity. I attempted to assist and encourage by bringing supplies in, discussing some of the common illnesses they see and how to treat and shared with them the new Severe Acute Malnutrition Guidelines.  I was also able to share about Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA), a technique for identifying early cervical cancer, with Charity and show her 3 patients exhibiting some of these changes.

Dr. Susan seeing patients.
Patients had been seen and asked to come back for a doctor review weeks prior to our going to Bana.   Many patients came, more than I could see on my own in the 4 days we were there.  The total number of patients I saw personally was approximately 241.  The majority of complaints were of a chronic nature.  I feel my role was primarily to confirm the diagnosis, educate them about their diagnosis, communicate what they can expect in the future and offer them the assurance of God’s love through prayer.

Buckley and the supplies we were able to bring.
Where indicated patients were advised on where to go for further evaluation and treatment as well.  Sadly, the resources for further evaluation and treatment are limited and not easily accessible.   Many patients have  been suffering with illnesses and disabilities as a result of not having easy access to the necessary specialist.  One young man had fallen out of a tree 4 or 5 yrs. ago.  When he went to the Provincial Hospital for help the doctors were all on strike.  He returned to his home about 5 hours away and recovered from the acute trauma. However, he was left unable to walk due to deformities of both feet.  Another gentleman has a huge facial tumor.  He was seen early on in his illness only to be told he needed to go to the capitol city of Pt. Moresby.  Because he could not afford to make the trip to Pt. Moresby he too, returned to his village where his tumor continues to grow.  Surgery at this point would be almost impossible as it involves his entire lower jaw.

My experience in Bana was enlightening.  I am very proud of the work Buckley and Charity are doing and of our Rural Health program.   It was discouraging, however, to see so many people in such desperate circumstances.  I am grateful for the opportunity to have gone and pray my efforts to encourage both the sick that I saw and Buckley and Charity will be used by God in the days to come.  I also pray that healthcare for the people in Bana and throughout the remote areas of PNG will improve in the very near future and that whatever our role, if there is one, will be revealed and acted upon in whatever way God chooses.  May we all have ears to hear!

Bana: Community Based Health Care

I apologize for the delay in posting the rest of the Bana Adventures.   It has been a busy time, but let the story continue!
Mathew and Bapo meeting with community leaders at Bana.

Matthew Galman is the director of Community Based Health Care, he along with fellow worker, Bapo Ipo, were busy meeting with community leaders during our four days at Bana.   When not busy, talking with community leaders, they were out visiting local villages near by seeing how CBHC could help through practical ways, to teach and train in basic health care from a preventative perspective.    Matthew said, “We made friends with community, listened to their stories of health needs, gave out survey forms, introduced CBHC to them and made an appointment for a week long community training.”   CBHC is vital in helping to prevent some of the basic sickness in these remote villages. They not only teach about simple and basic health care they also train leaders who then go and teach and train the people of their villages.   

Community leaders.
“The people whom we met over a period of 5 days are really good people. They are crying out for services. They lack basic vital services like health and education.”  With eyes looking ahead, Matthew stated, “Nazarene Community Based Health Care now has the challenge to mobilize and train the entire community to prevent preventable illnesses. Community leaders have been motivated and are looking forward to that before the end of 2015.”   Gabriel Mahisu also echoed these thoughts, “However, all councillors had pledged their support of the program and want to commit themselves to the training in October this year. They begged Mathew and Bapo to go there quickly because they do not want to miss out on the opportunity and really wanted to push for it into their communities.”
Author: The Bana Team   Pics by Jeff

October 6, 2015

Bana: A Time In The Sun

Unpacking the solar equipment.
Each of us on the trip to Bana Health Clinic had a particular area of ministry on this trip.   Tim Deuel was our master electrician.  Ethan was his helper and together they're able to install the solar system.
Of course, it was not without its hurdles.  Tim's tools were to heavy to travel with us on the plane since it was a very full flight.   The ticket agent said they would arrive the next day ... well 3 days later after a special trip back to Wewak they were able to get his tools and begin their work.  

Tim Deuel

Getting the solar panels on the roof of the clinic.

Ethan getting some practical electrical experience.
 job, not one holding a light. Pray for our rural health       
Months ago when asked if I would be interested in making a trip to East Sepik and a village called Bana, I became interested. My part in this team endeavor was to install a solar electric system for the Nazarene Rural clinic located there. This was a particularly interesting project since electrical power there is nonexistent unless you have a generator, and enough fuel to run it. In this case the electricity would be used to power a vaccine fridge/ freezer and lights. Until this project was complete, there would be no possibility of vaccines for the children of this remote village. A clinic too far removed to consider using a generator full time. Transportation of the fuel for a generator being the main problem, solar powered electricity is a beautiful answer for a difficult situation. Bana clinic has a good location for solar being situated at 1,250' above sea level on one of the higher bits of land with no tall trees obscuring the six, 250 watt solar panels location. The system can provide a bit over 2,000 watts of power at 240 volts AC 50HZ. This will be plenty to power the life saving vaccine fridge/ freezer. After installing the system we took the opportunity to also install lights in the exam rooms and also the delivery room. When I say delivery room, I mean babies! Think about your Nazarene Rural health workers as they serve under very difficult conditions, delivering babies with a flash light or torch as we would say here. I've been around for a few deliveries, and you really need both hands for the  and are still smiling after treating more than 20 thousand persons per year.

Installing the framing that holds the solar panels.

Ethan Myers

I enjoyed my time in Bana; It was great getting to spend time with friends serving the people of the East Sepik. I learned valuable electrical skills, gleaned spiritual and practical wisdom from my Christian elders, grew deeper in Christ, broadened my horizons, and had a lot of fun doing it! I thank The Lord for giving me that opportunity. 

Tim and Ethan checking out the control panel
and batteries.

          Stay tuned more to come!

October 5, 2015

Bana: The Adventure Begins

The adventure begins, 50 minute flight to Wewak
Jeff, Susan and Ethan had a very unique opportunity a few days ago.   We were privileged to go on a trip to Bana in the East Sepic province of Papua New Guinea.   We were 3 members of an 8 member team that went to this remote village.   Our members included a doctor, electrician, a high school student, 2 Melanesian Filed Office workers a director of Community Based Health Care and his helper and the director of Rural Health Ministries.    It was a great adventure and we spent time with some very precious people.   Throughout this week I will be posting pictures and and thoughts from those who went.   I hope you enjoy them and that they will bless your heart!

Gabriel Mahisu, Director of Rural Health Services

Doctors visit make impact in rural facility,  makes dream come true!

On the 19th of September the Rural Medical team of Nazarene Health Ministries consist of missionaries Myers, Deuels, and the 3 nationals Gabriel, Mathew and Bapo visited Bana Clinic. The trip was purposely 
for the solar installation for immunization program, doctors clinical 
screening and treatment, 
Community Based Health Care training and discipleship class for pastors and laypeople.

Safely in Wewak, East Sepic Province
Involving doctors in a rural setting is a [is a first in the] history to Rural Health division of Nazarene Health Ministries. These missionaries left Kudjip hospital, 25 minutes drive to Kagamuga airport and board the plane 50 minutes flight to Wewak then drive another 5 hours into Bana where the facility is located. We were warmly welcomed by the community with their traditional dancing that interprets the changes and development into the area. They can now see the light shining through them. Four days in Bana is a breakthrough in the history of NHM in PNG.

During the week each and individual member of the team took on different task at the facility site. Dr. Susan was very busy all 4 days with patients coming in from three [3] government district all flooded into the facility to see the doctor. The three nurses Buckley, Charity, Micah and Rose screen and do treatment all day. There were 853 patients seen during the week. The week was very special for the community because over their entire lives they used to carry patients on stretchers and worked hours to seek medical help outside of their constituency and district. Now that things turned the other way round, people flooded in from outside with referral by stretchers and ambulance. The style of carrying patients on stretchers has stopped because of the establishment of the health facility.
Leg stretching break!

Tim Duel and Ethan Myers worked really hard getting the solar system installed and finally we were able to use the lights in the night service. The solar system installed is a tremendous help to power the vaccine fridge for the entire children who have not been immunized over the years.

Jeff Myers and Karla Deuel did a tremendous job in teaching all our pastors including lay people. Reports from participants were really encouraging because most of the teachings are practical for the church to move forward.

It can get tight in the back of a land cruiser!
Mathew and Bapo spent the week on CBHC awareness and training. It was a first contact made with all 8 ward councillors including their ward committees and many other community leaders came to the training. Mathew and Bapo were unable to complete
 the training and moved the training to late October this year because the time was too short and they only did part of the training. However all councillors had pledged their support of the program and would want to commit themselves in the training in October this year. They begged Mathew and Bapo to go there quickly because they do not want to miss out on the opportunity and really wanted to push for it into their communities.

The last 10 kilometers into Bana Villaage.
God is in control, we had sensed His love and compassion in this trip. For me as RHS director accompanying the team was very special, inspiring and seeing more challenges ahead of me. There are  challenges of infrastructure developments, equipments, staffing, and through geographical constraints. There people are there, this trip was not a waste at all, it was a fruitful trip, God has opened doors for the lost to see and receive Christ and for bigger things that is going to come about.
Thinking through all these there is a song that reminds me of that as special; “ There’s a river of live flowing out from me, makes the lame to walk and the blind to see, open prison doors, and  sets the captives free, there’s a river of live flowing out from me.”
Our compassion of reaching out to rural does make impact in all aspects of human life.

 More to come tomorrow!

September 17, 2015

Prayer Request!

Prayer Request from Kudjip Nazarene Mission Station - Papua New Guinea:

Please be praying for the effects of a tribal fight taking place in the area north of the Nazarene Hospital in Jiwaka Province.  A local leader’s son was killed at Banz yesterday which is a town about 15 minutes away.   We are told the man started some disturbance at the market there.  He was attacked by a group of people and died as a result of those injuries.  Today many young men from the Kuma Tribe (one of the tribes neighboring the Mission Station) blocked a bridge into the area.  Many of our Hospital staff that live in the Banz area, could not come to work today because of this.  We are now hearing that many of the Kuma men went up to the Banz market and surrounding area.  They have burned down buildings and houses in that area.  Many of our staff and Nazarene church members are trapped there with this fighting - feeling that their own properties and lives are threatened.  There is a lot of potential for the fight to grow and spread and affect many others as both sides feel wronged.  The Nazarene Hospital itself currently remains unaffected directly, but this will affect some of our staff and surrounding community.

In many ways this is really an extension of the prayers we have already been praying for our community.  Many of our project workers are from the Kuma tribe.  Many recently gave their life to Christ this past weekend at a spiritual retreat the hospital ran for them.  We had even told them at their retreat that often immediately after coming to Christ there will be some big temptation.  It has certainly turned out that way.  The Nazarene Hospital has this week had some community tension over land issues, and now today is a time many of them were having to decide to stay home and be a comfort to a grieving family… or go join a tribal fight that will only build destruction and death.  Satan knows there are no winners in these fights – both sides lose.  Please pray for our community leaders, these young men, police/authorities, etc.. to do the right thing.  Pray for the protection of innocent life and property.

Scott Dooley - Hospital Administrator

Harmon Schmelzenbach - Field Strategy Coordinator

September 4, 2015

Rain Update

As I reported a couple of blogs ago PNG is facing a very severe drought and we continue to be in a great need of rain all across PNG.  But this past Wednesday the heavens opened up and here on Kudjip station and around the area near us we received a very heavy rain for an hour or so.   We received very close to seven tenths of an inch of rain.   In one rain we received almost as much as we had in our previous three days of rain.  Our water tanks received much needed rain, the dust was kept at bay for 24 hours or so and I was able to skip a watering of my vegetable plants.   NICE!   We thank God for the rain and for the rain that will be coming.   We appreciate also your prayers for the rain to fall across PNG, thank you!

August 31, 2015


August 30th rain gauge amount.
A couple of posts or so ago we were sharing with you concerning the drought that Papua New Guinea is experiencing.   We thank the Lord for the rain that has fallen!   Here at Nazarene Hospital we have had some rain three days in a row.  Actually, thanks to my handy dandy rain guage that my dad sent me a few years ago, these past three days have netted us seven tenths of an inch of rain.   In the grand scope of things not tons, but it puts water in our water tanks, fills my rain barrel so that I can keep my vegetable plants watered and it keeps the dust down!   And after about three months with next to no rain, all rain is wonderful and gratefully appreciated.  Papua New Guinea as a whole needs rain badly.   Melanesia Nazarene Bible College, just 15 minutes away has had less rain than we have had here at NH.   So, we thank the Lord for the rain and ask you to keep praying that the Lord will continue to send rain upon PNG!