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Prayer & Praise

  • Thankful for a smooth move from North Carolina and beginning of summer travels
  • Incredibly grateful (and sad!) for all the wonderful people who have made life in North Carolina so sweet
  • Emotions for ourselves and especially the kids as we enter this more nomadic period of life for the next few months
  • Our second attempt at visas and work permits happily arrived in PNG with the Myatt family who hand delivered them for us. Now waiting on government office approval which is said to take several months - prayers that would be smooth!

Happy Late July 4th from our family! We celebrated in a non-traditional way. Our eldest daughter started the day by waking up in a panic, “Mommy, I can’t breathe!” We were having some family time to celebrate the end of residency in the Smoky Mountains. She had developed a cough the night before and looked unwell, so I had shared the queen sized hotel bed with her. All through the night she had woken up coughing, tossing and turning. Her respiratory rate increased and she started grunting with each breath. As an emergency medicine doctor, it’s hard for me to make the call. I think it’s hard for all of us to make the call when faced with the uncertainty that medical scares bring. She’s often had respiratory difficulties when she gets colds, but they have always resolved on their own. This time, she was worsening. Every rapid, shallow breath seemed to wear her out further. I woke Joshua up, it was time to go to the Emergency Department. 

When my daughter woke up crying for breath, so many emotions were stirring. I knew then exactly what to do - take her where she could get medical care. Stating it is so obvious, it seems silly. At that moment though, it hit me how many people around the world have to look in their children’s faces during moments of medical crises - but there is nowhere to go, nothing to be done. My heart broke for mamas all around the world. While we were packing up for the Emergency Department, my mind grappled with the parallels between how my day would go and how it would have gone in a country with significantly less health resources. 

It’s hard to understand why there are such huge discrepancies in health care access around the world. If God loves the whole world, why does it feel like some of us drew the long straw? In an email update from another doctor where we are going, a teen girl died because benadryl was not available. How many times have you had to throw out benadryl because you couldn’t use it all before it expired? I know I have.  It’s tempting, as a physician, for me to look at the world through this lens. Dying is bad, healthcare is good because it prevents dying. It sounds right to my ears. But religion is all about re-orienting yourself, seeing the world from a different perspective. We were all created by God, we are all loved by God. He is sovereign - which means He knows what He is doing. Our story is that dying is not the end. God promises that he will redeem the Earth. That doesn’t just mean He saves it, it means that He brings it back to wholeness. He rights the wrongs that have been committed. And our job is to become more like him, obeying when he calls us to share in His work of redemption. It takes a lot of trust, but I am called to believe that God is GOOD and to trust His plan.

In 13 minutes, we arrived at the Emergency Department. I ran in with my girl while Joshua parked the car. I must have looked awful, because the receptionist looked between me and my 5 year old who was guppy-breathing before asking which one of us was the patient. Bless. Despite the busy waiting room, we were whisked back immediately to a resuscitation room. A doctor materialized within minutes. She got some steroids and breathing treatments, and Praise the Lord, improved. We got to go home after only 4 hours of monitoring, and she’s steadily improved. 

So, all that to say, I had some very patriotic thoughts this fourth of July. Most importantly, I was again pointed back to the only One who is trustworthy. I was reminded of why we are going. I’m thankful for a God who has invested at great cost in this work of redemption and that he allows us to take part in His kingdom. Even here, even now. 

Thank you all who continue to pray for us. We have felt God’s protection and presence!

Kendall and family
"But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
    the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
...In his hand is the life of every living thing
    and the breath of all mankind."
Post-residency hiking (and rollerblading) in the Smoky Mountains
Wow! What a view from the top.
We got to meet the Crouch family (their blog) who have been at Kudjip Hospital for eight years and head back next month after furlough. So happy!!
One of SO many photos with amazing cousins, cousins' kids, aunts, uncles and friends!
Stew's News Website Stew's News Website
Email Joshua (he'll reply) Email Joshua (he'll reply)
Email Kendall (she's iffy) Email Kendall (she's iffy)
Just to be clear, all views expressed in this update are our own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Samaritan's Purse or the Church of the Nazarene or their affiliates (they're too intelligent to be responsible for whatever crazy stuff we say!)
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Stew's News · 801 Bamboo Rd. · Boone, NC 28607-8721 · USA

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