Last night I read a blog post by Erika Marie who is working with Samaritan Aviation in Wewak. Her post was about the desperate attempt to save the life of a boy in the remote village of Samban after being mauled by a wild pig. As I read her blog and looked at the photos she posted on her facebook page I was teary and felt deeply sad for the suffering of the people there. Every word she wrote moved me as I have been there and seen similar suffering. I scoured over the photos to see if there were familiar faces from the training I’ve been involved in over the past 2 years and yes, there were. Erika’s account and her open sharing of her feelings hit a cord with me because I have felt those same feelings, done similar things, prayed similar prayers in the face of situations that I’ve never had to deal with before, with limited resources and in a very different culture. I also felt a deep sense of envy that Erika was there and I am not. That Erika has the freedom to stay and do something, but I do not.
It reminded me of the time I heard a woman speak about the Birthing Hut project in PNG, many years ago when my children were very young. Matthew was about 3 and Ryan was in pre-primary. When I heard her speak, I felt instantly drawn to the work and felt a deep sense that I wanted to be involved in that kind of work, but was restricted by the season of my life – wrapped up in parenting 2 young sons. I even told the speaker this and said one day I hoped to be doing something like the work she was involved in, in PNG. I remember being reminded that I need to make the most of every season in my life and be thankful for the moment, not wish my life away. I find I can do that for a while, but then will be distracted by something and then feel discontent and disgruntled about the restrictions and compromises I have to make to be a wife and a Mum. But then I return to that place of thankfulness again and trust that as I am meant to be involved in things, God will reveal it and enable me. As I thought about this a flash of clarity beamed across my mind that I am in fact living that dream of being involved in some midwifery work in remote PNG. Maybe it’s not exactly how I’d like it to be (I’d really like to be there full time devoted to the midwives and people in remote areas), but it is what I can do within the season of parenting teenage boys right now, and being a wife!
As the year draws to a close (and may I add, it has been an incredible year of challenges, but also beautiful blessings) and I ponder the work of Living Child for next year I’m starting to see more clearly my place and role, bearing in mind my responsibilities as a wife and a mother! As I reflect over Erika’s blog today and come to terms with my feelings of envy last night, I think I’m starting to come to a place where I feel comfortable with what I can do from afar. I’m sure this is a balance that all people have to find through their journey of faith and life. I know that my husband has made sacrifices in his career for me and the children so that we as a family ALL feel stable and secure and most of all loved.
The needs of people in the world are GREAT and never ending. The needs of the people in the East Sepik Province of PNG are HUGE (bigger than what you or I could ever deal with on our own). I know and believe that God has heard the cries of the people in the East Sepik and He is mobilising people with different skills and talents to help. I know that He has asked me to help, but I also know that He will guide and equip me as needed, within this season of life.