You must be thinking I’m mad – going to PNG because someone happened to ask me whether I’d like to go there, the very same week I received my midwifery registration papers and was wondering what to do about my career!! Well, I think I would be mad if that’s the only reason I was going; that would be ‘clutching at straws’ and grabbing onto anything that came my way to justify a decision. No, saying yes to going to PNG as a midwife wasn’t just a response to the question being asked. It was a response to 4 other relatively recent moments/events/comments in my life that confirmed for me that this trip was the right thing for me to do.
1. When I resigned from working at KEMH in June 2010 (in fact, exactly 2 yrs today was my last day there – amazing) I had a deep sense that the next thing I did in regard to midwifery would be totally different. I did not want to work in a hospital again. Don’t get me wrong, I have benefitted enormously from my experiences in hospitals, but I felt stifled.
2. Early last year when toying with a few ideas of what I wanted to do with my career, my husband said, “What we need to do is send you on a short term mission trip to do your midwifery”. I was amazed. This was exactly what I wanted to do, but where would I start? I knew there were opportunities but they were usually for trips 4-6 weeks long. I couldn’t leave my family for that long; not yet.
3. In 2008 I heard a woman, Jenni van der Moezel speak about the PNG Birthing Huts project. Jenni was involved in Baptist Women Australia and was working with the South Pacific Baptist Union and a local PNG midwife called Sister Kay Simon to raise money to build birthing huts in remote villages. The huts were to be a safe and clean place for women to give birth. After the talk, I went up to Jenni and said that one day I wanted to be involved in a project like that, but my children were too young at present.
4. In 1999 my husband and I took a year off work and went backpacking around the world, through many third world countries. I was a newly trained midwife then. I just had an overwhelming sense that one day I would like to work in developing countries, teaching the village birth attendants.
When I reflect on those 4 moments in time, I’m not surprised that my immediate response to the question was “YES”! I can see how God was preparing me for this moment and that He had a plan all along.