denial, concern and trust…

by mendibpng

Here’s how I really feel about having skin cancer…

When it started to dawn on me that this ‘little spot’ I have was not a little something, that I would have to leave my family here in Papua New Guinea and get it taken care of in Australia, I was a bit shocked. I suppose that I had been living in denial for too long, thinking this wasn’t serious and I’d get it taken care of eventually.

My next concern came in the form of our translation project. It’s time to do consultant checking on the book of Acts! We sacrificed and longed for this time to come—because we want our friends and their people to have this important piece of Scripture in their language. Our Papua New Guinean colleagues labored diligently to translate, revise and pour over their work. I felt dismayed, thinking that this medical problem of mine was going to delay this process. (Please note that when I voiced this, Ben quickly pointed out that taking care of my health was the most important thing to him.) Of course, this was going to be a huge expense, to leave the country and then deal with the hospital and doctor’s bills.

I’ve had a couple of months to process this with friends and here’s where I am now. Not once in this missionary life of ours has God ever left us in the middle of a problem. He has always provided the timing and means to deal with things. Sometimes that has come in the form of us making good choices (like saying ‘no’ or ‘later’ to things that were too much for us) but other times it has been plain miraculous how things have worked out. No other explanation besides “God did it.” I’ve already had confirmation that He’s at work: appointments, place to stay, people to help me when I need to be picked up after my surgery, and a bonus visit from my sister Jenny for the weekend before all the appointments start. Why shouldn’t I trust Him now for all of the other things?? Some moments I can trust him easily and other moments I have to tell Him that it’s hard. I want to put my trust in Him more than the doctors I am going to see in Australia as well.

I am thankful for opportunities like this that remind me of God’s faithfulness in my life, even when it means leaving my family in PNG to go to another country to get something done medically. In the whole scheme of things, those 10 days might just cause me to love God more and to be grateful for the mundane things I will be doing when I get back. (I will be heading to the village, so that means cooking with no refrigeration, homeschooling, etc.) Additionally, if everything goes as planned, (and they can get all of the cancer out in one go) I will make it back to PNG to meet my family in Wewak in time for the translation workshop after all. If not, well, we will cross that bridge when it comes. No gat samting (no worries).

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