Remember my blog post from August about a baby called Menum who was hit in the head by an iron bar? Well this is a follow up blog. I am anxious to share what is happening here. God is at work, even if we don’t see the outcome!!! We saw HIS HAND very clearly day after day. We don’t know what the outcome will be, but we trust God is in control. So many of you are also praying for this precious family. But let’s get started.
Menum was medevaced and treated in August in a hospital in Madang. At the end of November they came back to their bush place in Kovol. We saw the little boy and he seemed fine.
Then some time in mid-November he was reinjured by a relative who apparently accidentally kicked him in the head where his healed wound was. It started swelling. A few days later a fever was discovered. It was considered just a cold since the baby was otherwise fine.
Then last Wednesday on the 8th December, we medevaced someone else out to Goroka. I remember marvelling on that day about how God always provides a chopper just in time when urgently needed. Our visitor left for Goroka and so there was a chopper. The night Menum was injured with an iron bar also had a booked flight planned on the coming morning, even going to Madang where the hospital is. I just thought: “Wow, this is just God.” But then I remembered our neighbouring language group Pal and how someone had just died and the chopper couldn’t be called in in time. I was wondering, “Will I trust God with those circumstances?”
That same day when I was thinking those thoughts, Menum’s dad talked to Philip about his chid being seriously ill and that he couldn’t even bring him to us. He begged us to come and see him. After talking to them, it was quickly clear that we had to see him that same day. We met in the middle somewhere. The baby was crying with every movement; everything seemed to hurt. His head was huge and looked very swollen to me. His neck was stiff and his temperature showed a low grade fever. I was prepared after talking to our mission doctors who had responded quickly. So I gave him shots for Meningitis and Cerebral Malaria. He also got some Panadol for his pain. But the chopper was gone that day. “If we could just have known a day earlier”, I thought to myself. “Then we could have sent them out.”
ONLY GOD knew this wasn’t a good option, it was actually no option. I’ll come back to that later…
We treated him heavily with antibiotics, but I just couldn’t stop thinking that something else was wrong. Eventually both of our mission doctors confirmed that there was most likely some bleeding happening in his brain and leaking fluid. We all knew he couldn’t stay here; he needed to get out to a hospital. The doctors also said he needed a CT scan which they most likely don’t have in Madang Hospital. He needed the Goroka hospital. But this is almost impossible. Our people here have no relatives there. They don’t know Goroka. Then there are Covid regulations for domestic flying to a different province. And Madang is already hard enough to get around in for them. Also how would they get back? Who would take care of them? We heard about a flight in our area for Tuesday (today), but surely their baby wouldn’t stay alive. Even our doctors doubted that. I surely did. Then a flight seemed to be happening on Monday (still too late) for some ‘NGO’ guys who have been giving mosquito nets to our people and needed a way out. They would go to Madang and could take the family as well. As this option arose, I just prayed, “LORD you know Goroka is the better place for this kid. I know it seems so impossible to send them there for so many reasons, but if you think that is better as well, please let this Monday flight fall through.” Just a few minutes later Philip came in and said: ” The flight for Monday is cancelled. The chopper isn’t around.” ONLY GOD knew and could do it…
But then the family didn’t show up on the weekend for the baby’s shots. We thought either the baby had died or the parents gave up on treatment and want to let him die. Somehow though God gave me an indescribable peace starting on Saturday. And many others continued to pray for Menum.
When they showed up on Monday, I was shocked and just started crying again. GOD, what are you doing here????? My heart is breaking, but I see GOD’s hands somehow in all of this. “The baby has stopped nursing since Friday”, the parents said. But he is still alive, a miracle on its own.
We started praying more again, including our kids so that they could see God in all of this. Meanwhile the NGO still needed a flight out and they were able to charter NTMA (our mission chopper) to get them on Tuesday. They also said they could take the family for free. And since the chopper needed to go to Goroka anyway, we started looking into that option while still praying.
ONLY GOD knew that this family’s biggest concern was money (for different reasons we have the people cover a ¼ of the flight costs). And God provided money from a different source without making it culturally akward. ONLY GOD knew this baby’s best treatment place would be Goroka. Since it was an emergency, the corona regulations could be skipped. Nathan and Kelsey Brendle from Goroka agreed to look after them while they are in Goroka. Nathan had even seen this family while he was in Madang and was familiar with them. WOW, ONLY GOD knew and provided. They are willing to pick them up, show them around in a new place, bring them food …. and show them JESUS in hands and feet!!
God helped Stacie to push liquids into the baby so that he could close his eyes again and regain some strength, He helped me to get through to the emergency room at the Goroka Hospital to prepare them for what was coming, He openend our eyes to the thrush in his mouth (maybe that’s why he wasn’t nursing)….. and there is so much more I could say, but this is already long. I don’t know what else is going to happen.
GOD is in control and is doing something here. May He get the glory and may people know HIM the only true, mighty and loving GOD!!!!!
Here is a recent update on Menum:
The Goroka Hospital staff did a CT scan on him and they decided that he needs surgery in Port Moresby the capital of PNG since they have neurosurgeons. Brendles with the help of our leadership are going there this afternoon to figure out the details since not everyone in this family can fly down.