We’re feeling tired today. Tired from spent emotions. Last night the daughter (Annie) of Andrew and Agnes (faithful member’s of our church) gave birth to a son, who was dead at birth. We heard at about 10pm last night. We had been waiting for a happy phone call all day as we knew she was in labour. Annie (the baby’s mother) and Jerry live at the College in Port Moresby now. They moved there from Lae at the beginning of this year so that Jerry could study to become a pastor of the Reformed Churches here in PNG. A month ago, already, Annie went into labour but it stopped. About last Wednesday/Thursday she went to a local clinic and was told to go and see a doctor at the hospital as she was overdue. She went to see the doctor. Her mother, Agnes, was very distressed already at this time and worried, as Annie was receiving mixed messages, it seemed, about how overdue she was. Anyhow, she was sent home and told to come back in a week if she did not go into labour before then. It seemed everything was well. On Sunday morning, she went into labour and went to hospital. She laboured all day and at 7pm gave birth to a son. He was not breathing when he was born. They whisked him away and it took over 2 hours for them to come back to Annie and tell her that he had died, already in the womb. They estimated 24 hours before. However, I spoke to Annie by phone today and she was also told that the baby’s heartbeat was good when she started labour. How that adds up, I don’t know.
Anyhow, knowing what went wrong does not change the outcome. Yes, I have questions about if she had been in Australia would this have happened? Wouldn’t they have picked up foetal distress perhaps and done an emergency c-section? But I need to stop these questions. Whatever the case, this is true – Our Heavenly Father numbered the days of this little child of His. He wanted to take him immediately out of this world of pain and sin and bring him straight to Himself in Heaven. That gives such comfort and we spoke about that today with both Annie and Jerry (by phone) and Andrew and Agnes (In person). They see the blessing of that, too, and are holding strong to God’s promises.
Well, first thing this morning we went to see Andrew and Agnes and family. So heartrending to see their pain, yet so wonderful to see and hear their faith at this time, too. It is also very hard for them to be far away from their daughter and son-in-law at this time, and especially hard for their daughter, who before the move from Lae to Moresby earlier this year, lived right with her parents most of the time. So in the end we decided that Agnes should go down to Moresby (along with her 3 year old daughter). So we spent most of the day organising their trip to Moresby - organising a ticket, and the photo ID required, and then bringing them to the airport (40 min drive there and another 40 back). Agnes and Leanne (3 year old) arrived in Moresby on time for the burial. The body was buried today already as Annie and Jerry did not want the body in the morgue (not pretty places at all here in PNG).
The Doumas (New missionaries sent out by NZ) have only been in Moresby for a week or so (though they have been in PNG for a few months already, undergoing a training course in Madang - as we did when we arrived in country). We have spoken to them a few times on the phone today. They are holding up well – quite something to organise and be involved in at any time, but especially when new to the country/customs/language.
Please remember the grieving family in their time of loss. Pray especially that they may remain strong in faith and understanding that all this is in God’s hand and that they may continue to trust in His plan for their lives. Pray that they may not be discouraged in their path of study (at the Bible College), because of this heavy burden they have been given to bear. And please pray for the missionaries in Port Moresby and also here as we all seek to support them and comfort them with God’s Word.