Story & photos courtesy Brad Venter
Karie picks up the story from several months previous. “Since the village clinic’s opening in March this year, we are seeing more patients than ever before in the Samban Clinic. We now have a room to hold a patient overnight and people are travelling great distances to come to our nursing staff because of the assurance that there is a place and people to help them here. Since March we have had five patients who required one or more nights of care in our clinic; two were treated here and made a full recovery, while three had to be referred on to hospitals which could perform the necessary surgery or tests we cannot do in the village. I want to share with you one of their stories which is all too common.
Kindi was carried by friends and family to the aircraft . Kindi was lying on the floor, pale and unable to speak clearly. Near her mat her aunt held the new born baby boy. She had delivered the baby in the village early in the morning but the placenta had not been delivered and she was losing blood at an alarming rate. A friend who had walked up with me quickly set about asking if she might pray with the woman while I sent word for a motor canoe to go and bring back one of the nurses.
Just one week ago we hosted midwives from the group Living Child who held a training session with the women and midwives in the village about safe birthing procedures. The village midwife had done
everything right but Kindi needed more help than she could give.
Mariana, our nurse, arrived and checked the blood pressure, pulse and temperature I had recorded as she set a fast IV drip on Kindi. She worked through the night and was able to bring up Kindi’s low vital signs and stop the bleeding, but Kindi needed surgical assistance. At dawn I emailed MAF, Mission Aviation Fellowship. MAF has helped us before when cases are time-sensitive and the patient is too critical to be moved by river and road, but my husband had already contacted Brad and plans were under way.
A plane was available and MAF arrived here by nine thirty to pick up Kindi, her husband, the baby and the aunt. When Kindi was in the plane, Mariana adjusted the IV drip while the MAF pilots, the villagers and I prayed for a safe flight and good care in Wewak’s Boram Hospital. I shook hands with Otto, the scared husband, slipping some cash into his shaking palm. I could see the look of terror in his eyes. Was it the prospect of raising seven children alone or was it anticipation of his first ride in an air plane? I wasn't sure. I tried to reassure him by introducing him to Brad, one of the MAF pilots our family has gotten to know in the past years. I got a shaky smile for my effort and felt assured that he wouldn't try to jump out mid-flight.”
contact the “Living Child” midwives’ organisation. They agreed to meet the plane in Wewak and
accompany the patient to hospital to ensure she was getting adequate care. Also, Jesse thought it
good idea to get the Samaritan Aviation ambulance to meet them, as the hospital ambulance
often would not come and MAF only has a bus to transport people. Karie continued; “Upon arrival in Wewak they were all there. A midwife from “Living Child” met Kindi. Samaritan Aviation provided an ambulance and took her to the hospital where she was admitted and treated. By midday we received word that the procedures were complete and Kindi was resting and recovering, and all her vital signs looked promising.
I have listened to countless stories about the body of Christ. Often we are encouraged to be his hands and his feet, sometimes his ears and eyes. I am thankful today for those who choose to be the Wings of Christ; flying into remote outposts like ours, risking their lives on dirt and grass strips to bring the good news of Christ and the hope of life. MAF's flights demonstrate their faith and bring hope to people like ours who have no other road, out when every minute matters.