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No Surprises

NO SURPRISES

To help support the Clinic - medical evangelism (read below about many ways you help make a difference) (mobile clinic  &  replace ambulance)
https://abwe.org/work/projects/william-lori-smith-medical-clinic 

To help support CHURCH PLANTING & Discipleship
https://abwe.org/work/missionaries/william-lori-smith

 

 

“Long before Zacchaeus couldn’t see Jesus, the TREE was planted to meet his need”!

 

I read that little quote today, and literal tears flowed down my face.  The depth of the reality of that simple thing that I just had never seen before or thought about in this story of Scripture penetrated my heart.  GOD knows the plans He has for us….plans to prosper us…..provide for us!

 

This week was full of many surprises.  Things totally unexpected hit us in the face as we are just pushing on in the race of ministry and life.  Things that at first just derailed our emotions, until the TRUTH of Romans 8:28-29 brought us back to the reality of HIS sovereignty.  ALL WORKS TOGETHER FOR GOOD!

 

Sunday night one of my patients was finally in labor.  It was her SEVENTH baby and I was getting a bit concerned.  She was nearing two weeks late and the baby was getting really big.  She had big babies before, but each pregnancy adds a little more risk….so seven was a LOT of risk for all sorts of issues.  When she showed up Sunday afternoon in labor, my heart was troubled.  I did not realize that it was GOD that was warning me of the impending challenge.  I was very concerned that she would have heavy bleeding, so I started loading her fluids from the very start.  When I ruptured the membranes, I saw the baby was in distress and my heart became more concerned.  The heart rate was good and labor was progressing so we continued on.  Mom was not managing the pain well.  She was getting really restless and her pain was greater than expected.  Every mom has a different pain tolerance, but I remembered my own experience with an infection during labor, and the horrific pain that was overwhelming for me….so I started IV antibiotics.  As labor finally progressed to the point of pushing….the baby just stopped it’s decent.  The head was facing backwards, which is a harder position for birth.  Mom was not able to push well……then her contractions slowed down……then something I never had seen before happened that scared me.  A retraction line across her abdomen and a hard ball at the fundus (top) of the uterus.  I started pumping IV fluids and we rushed her to the hospital where an emergency c section saved her life….but we were too late for the baby.  The obstruction of her labor caused her uterus to rupture open.  Joyce had heard the Gospel many times but had not come to know Jesus yet.  Her little baby was swept into the arms of a loving Jesus.  I guess we lost the right one…though our hearts are so sad. 

 

IT amazed me how GOD prepared the way for Joyce to survive such a serious life threatening complication of labor and delivery.  I had loaded her with fluid ahead of time and a large needle capable of fast volume expanding fluids just at the right time of need was already in place.  Mercy!  I had already given the very antibiotic needed for her abdominal rupture before it even happened.  Mercy.  We were watching every step….in the hospital she probably would have been left alone and not attended.  Minutes were crucial.  MERCY.  The Doctors were THERE and ABLE to help as needed.  MERCY.

 

The seed was planted even before the need was there.  Praying now this seed will produce eternal fruit of trusting Jesus !

 

The young man with the automobile accident injury to his C-spine died this past week.  HE had severed his spinal cord and was facing a life time of paralysis from the neck down.  This is the young man that had amputated three of his fingers a few years ago also in an alcohol related injury.  I had repaired his fingers and did dressing changes daily, sharing JESUS each day as well.  We had gotten close.  He called me “mom” and I truly loved and cared for him, too.  We talked about life choices and consequences.  His choice of alcohol abuse was a chain that only Jesus could break.  I know HE UNDERSTOOD the Gospel.  When he was in our clinic this last time, he was too intoxicated to make any sense of anything happening to him.  The days to follow were hard for him as realization of paralysis probably hit hard this young man only 28 years old.  He is now in eternity.  The choices of his life are finalized and the reality of his eternal destination is now sure.  He now feels EVERYTHING…..and wishes, I fear, he could be paralyzed again. 

 

The seeds were planted long before the need…..just not sure the seeds grew. 

 

We have been really pushing with our church planting in the Bena these past years.  Much of our church planting and church growth has been augmented by our Mobile clinic.    We have been really eagerly planning yet another mobile outreach to the new area our coworkers, Tim and Leandra, have been working at.  God has been blessing our clinic ministry and we have seen many come to CHRIST just these past weeks as we anticipate also the blessing of the container contents being utilized as soon as they are cleared in Customs and Duty and transported here.  THE CONTAINER IS SAFELY IN LAE, sitting at the shipping yard waiting for approval for release!!  So much momentum came to a literally crashing halt.

 

Things were just going so well…..its like we just sit back some times and just think,”what is coming?”.  I remember growing up in Minnesota when there was often an almost eerie calm before a tornado would come.  I remember that well……the eerie calm was here. 

 

A tornado came this week.  While driving down the horrible , slippery wet, kenemaro road, our ambulance tires went into a deep trench that pulled it and flipped it over onto it’s side skidding down the rest of the mountain to a painfully destructive crunch.  Our sweet vehicle is totalled.  I can not fully explain the emotion felt as all of us on campus and in the community as well watched our faithful friend towed back to our Bible School by the tractor.  It was the atmosphere of a death march or funeral. Our family felt great saddness as this car had much history for our family these many decades of faithful blessing.  GOD used tragedy of being held up at gun point and our vehicle stolen (yes that same one!), to turn or family car into the ambulance in the first place.  NOW it is lost in tragedy ….sacrifice of it’s self…..protecting all inside so that only body aches and a few mild abrasions were the consequence of this potentially fatal crash.  IT was a great vehicle and is great missed. 

 

Now mobile clinics and urgent referrals and transportation of injured or sick people is all on hold.  We are not sure why GOD chose now…..but we know that HIS SEED has already been planted and HE WILL PROVIDE for this need!!  It did not take Him by surprise.  Pray as we work things out with insurance and police reports etc.   Quite complicated here.

 

Pray for GOD to provide a new ambulance for us!! 

 

A young woman, Regina, came to the clinic this week.  18 years old, already having given birth once, she is 15 weeks pregnant again.  She attends a local Seventh Day Adventus Church.  It is the same church whose Pastor just found out this week I had to diagnose his daughter with HIV infection.  A reminder that religion does not transform lives I guess.  Our Baptist Churches are no better.  Sin reigns, sadly.    

 

Regina has tried to abort her baby multiple times.  I pleaded with GOD to help her fall in love with this little life when we did the ultrasound, and WOW was it an awesome look into her baby’s weaving room.  The tiny little one was animated and we could see details of toes and fingers, ears and nose!  It was the most awesome ultrasound ever!!!  We talked and prayed together, and as she left we coveted to pray her through this.  She came back after her boyfriend kicked her hard in the abdomen, and she was bleeding but that baby was still holding strong.  PRAY!  I can not imagine that baby will be given a chance of life…..but then again, a seed has been planted!! 

 

PLEASE PRAY

  1. PRAY for our Andrew as he is teething and sick and miserable!  PRAY for GOD to heal him and get him through this trial of the teeth!
  2. Pray for our VITO’s mom.  She is still confused.  Her family said she is still very violent.  They fear for Vitos life.  Sanny did not show any evidence of medical issues.  She has not been sick, either, as this psychosis took a hold of her.  We are trying to find someone with training in mental health issues to evaluate her.  PRAY for Sanny’s healing.  PRAY Andrew does not get Vito sick
  3. THANKS for praying for rain.  GOD has blessed…..well the mud caused our ambulance’s demise…..but we really really needed the rain.  Thanks for praying.  There is water in our tanks!!
  4. PRAY for the container.  THE IRC has not even LOOKED at all the paperwork Bill worked SO HARD to complete before the container even arrived.  UGH.  IT is hard to not get frustrated, but at least our container is safe on dry land and is protected in the shipping yard not open on the warf with daily fees.  We just need release and it can be shipped.  PRAY for the heart of those able to make the decision for this excemption, that they may rule in our favor for this need.  PRAY for fast, safe travel to GOROKA!!   
  5. PRAY  for our GBBC student Ruth and her husband Keith.  They will sit down with the head Surgeon on Monday.  HE has reviewed with the Dr’s in Port Moresby and their consensus is not to do a biopsy as they really have not ability to treat her cancer anyways and it will just add stress and speed up the inevitable.  Pray for wisdom for the GBBC board to know how best to help this family through this very painful and difficult time.  RUTH has radiant peace!! 
  6. PRAY for Reginas baby….that mommy will choose life.  We told her she could just give life then we will take it from there……but we need her to make that choice!!
  7. PRAY FOR A NEW AMBULANCE!! 
  8. OUR 3 year visas were squeaked by just in time!  WHEW.  Dad is under Lori’s visa so there was added agony as we went through the belabored questioning that took place as missionary visas are getting so very difficult to obtain.  We have three more years in PNG but this experience has strengthened our decision to seek for Citizenship.  Our longevity in ministry here is dependent upon this now.  WE need great prayer as the climate of missions and ministry accessability is started to quickly change here.  The cost will be great, but the cost of the ministry of the GOSPEL if we were forced to leave and the lives that drastically and desperately NEED JESUS, is greater.
  9. Pray for Bill as he may need to head to Lae this week for the container….and vehicle finding 😉

We know that GOD is orchestrating life from behinds the scenes and that it is all for HIS GLORY!  WE were hit in the face….the enemy is real and strong…..but we stand yet and hold strong our ground as the battle is not over until our VICTORY, JESUS, takes HIS FINAL lap!! 

 

No restraints.  No retreats.  NO REGRETS!  Fearless.  Faithful.  FIGHTING  BACK!!!

 

Bill, Lori, Dad and the boys, Andrew and VITO         

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