Starting work at Kudjip Hospital has required a steep learning curve. It is the beginning of my second week working in the hospital and I have already seen things I have only read about in textbooks.
This week, I have been working with the surgical team which includes Dr. Sheryl Uyeda (who is in the same Samaritan’s Purse program that I am), Dr. Jim Radcliffe, and a fantastic Papua New Guinea OR staff. For the past 33 years, God has been using Dr. Jim to provide physical and spiritual healing at Kudjip. Like many missionary surgeons, his role is not only as a general surgeon, but also as an Orthopedist, Urologist, ENT, OB/GYN and whatever else needs to be done. The past week has been filled with many goodbyes to Dr. Jim and his wife, Kathy, as they will be retiring just before Christmas. The Radcliffes have made a huge impact in this little corner of the world as evidenced by their inclusion in the national newspaper three times in the past week.
The highlight of my time with Dr. Jim, was doing my first C-section ever as the primary surgeon. I might even count it as two deliveries (see picture)! It was a challenging C-section (for a beginner) as the mother was HIV positive, pregnant with twins, and had been laboring all day. The mom and baby girl (who came out first) are doing quite well; however, you could be praying for the second baby (a boy) who has needed some extra assistance with oxygen and breathing since delivery.
Surgery here is quite different, with not only a lack of surgical specialists, but also a lack of supplies. The biggest difference however, is that before every case, each patient is prayed for. I am grateful to have the opportunity to learn from experienced medical missionaries how to successfully minister to people through medicine and the hope of Jesus Christ.