Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, Papua New Guinea (PNG): Dr. Erin Meier is one of our long-term mission doctors serving at Kudjip Nazarene Hospital. Follow along as Dr. Erin shares this touching story about compassion.
“One of my challenges in caring for the patients here in PNG is trying to understand a little of where they are coming from, what challenges they have, what their cultural beliefs are, etc., all that I might be better able to care for them.
Through the years, I have learned that where a person comes from can have a big impact on their ability to followup regularly. Cost of transportation, road blocks, fights along the way, can all be barriers to those traveling long distances. I have seen these issues many times. Something I haven’t seen very often though is…abandonment.
Not long ago, a young lady in her twenties came to our clinic. Her frailness made her seem so much older as she slowly made her way into my exam room. As she was sitting down, I was looking through her records trying to get an idea of what was going on. I discovered that she hadn’t returned for a follow-up visit a few months ago, and was thinking her current poor health was likely directly related to her not coming back.
Inside I started to get a little upset, knowing how we spend time explaining why follow-up is really important and why some medicines can’t be skipped, and yet she did skip her follow-up and meds. Thankfully, before I let my internal feelings express themselves, I asked her how she was doing and after she told me, I asked why she hadn’t come back when we had asked. She didn’t want to look at me, she was ashamed and spoke too softly for me to here.
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Her watchmeri (person who accompanied her to the clinic) chimed in and explained how my patient had been abandoned by her family. Her dad left her mom, and subsequently stopped helping his daughter (my patient). She felt like no one cared about her and loved her so she thought she would just stop taking her medicines, not follow-up and eventually die. Before that happened, her neighbor felt sorry for her, intervened, and brought her to the hospital.
We all are looking for love, for acceptance, for someone who cares about us and will help us and look after us. Our family does that for a while, but there are times when we still are looking for someone else to fill our needs often… Christ is the only one who can do that. “The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:17-18
Many times when people come to our hospital there is something much more pressing than a physical exam. There is a reason they needed to come to the hospital, a reason they needed to escape whatever was going on at home or at school and so sleeping in the hospital for a night, having a chaplain come and talk and pray with them is sometimes the best medicine. Thankfully, our hospital specializes in showing compassion and love as Christ showed us. Pray that we may love more and more and care for those who need our help, who are abandoned, who need to know of Christ’s love for them.”
— Dr. Erin Meier – Follow this link to more stories from Dr. Meier.