Author Archives: elmeier

The Gifts we Bring

The song The Little Drummer Boy – has the lyrics:

Come they told me, A new born king to see, Our finest gifts we bring, To lay before the king, So to honor him, When we come, Little baby, I am a poor boy too, I have no gifts to bring, That’s fit to give our king, Shall I play for you, Mary nodded, The ox and lamb kept time, I played my drum for him, I played my best for him, Come they told me, A new born king to see, Me and my drum (Insert “Pa rum pum pum pum” at every comma)

The little drummer boy, was just a boy, and felt like he had nothing to give to the baby Jesus, and yet he could play his drum, and he did it the best he could for the baby Jesus. Each of us, especially individually, may think that we have little or nothing to bring to Jesus, or to the Ministry of the Hospital (or whatever you do), but God has given each of us gifts in certain areas, and the best gift we can give is to use our gifts, to the best of our ability, in service and as a gift to the Lord – Just like the Little Drummer Boy.

As a Hospital, we are made up of many individuals, who work in different departments, and yet together we have been able to Minister as a Hospital to the people of Jiwaka and beyond, who come for care. The gifts we bring:

  • Security – The gift of Safety
  • Project Team – The gift of our buildings
  • Maintenance – The gift of keeping us running, power and water
  • Hygenists – The gift of cleanliness and service
  • Primary Health Services – The gift of ministry to the poor and outcasts
  • Health Professionals (Nurses, CHWs, Doctors, Dental Staff, ASOs) – The gift of physical healing and helping
  • Lab/Xray – gift of diagnostic assistance
  • Chaplains – The gift of spiritual ministry and health
  • Clerks (OPD, Admin, Medical Records) – The gift of organization, record keeping and assisting
  • Canteen and Food Service – The gift of nutrition
  • Finance/Business Office – The gift of financial accountability
  • Administration – The gift of leadership, organizational direction
  • MSP Field – The gift of vision, accountability and leadership

Our prayer this Christmas, is that we will keeping using our gifts to serve those who need them at Nazarene General Hospital, and we would pray for you to use your gifts for whatever God has called you to today. Merry Christmas.

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Shift of focus

After many years of successful CBHC ministry, NHM is needing the Church to continue the CBHC program. Through the years, we have trained hundreds of volunteers all over PNG and beyond and now it will be up to them to continue the work of helping communities find health for body and soul through Community Based Health Care.

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THANK YOU for the Roller Bandages

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about how we use Roller Bandages (old sheets that are rolled up and used as bandages) all the time at the Hospital.  As a result of that, many of you have started to save sheets and roll sheets to send to us – THANK YOU.   One of the people who started to roll sheets, was Rachel Thompson’s (a missionary here) mom, Joyce.  Joyce recently came to PNG to meet her new granddaughter, and so she got to see some of her and her team’s hard work in action.  She got to see the roller bandages in action and meet many patients  who had benefited from the hospital having rolled bandages.  They were grateful for the bandages and the care they received and happily agreed to have their picture taken.  She wanted to thank you to the others who helped her roll bandages and I wanted to say thank you to all who help roll bandages for the hospital.  They really are a blessing to us and the patients.

Written by Erin Meier – www.erininpng.blogspot.com
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Hospital Evangelism


We had the opportunity to do Hospital Evangelism recently on the wards.  Charity found some puppets that we have had, but don’t use as often as we should and so we had them join us for our Hospital Evangelism.  At times kids have been afraid of them, but Charity clearly explained that they had good manners and wouldn’t bite or eat them.  While some of the really little kids were a little afraid, the adults and the older kids seemed to enjoy them.  We shared the story of Jesus’s love for us through the PNG flag, which has the story right in it.

Black the color of Sin, which separates us from God.
Red the color of Blood, which Jesus willingly shed for us on the Cross
White the color of Righteousness, which we become as we believe trust and believe in Jesus.  This is represented in the constellation – the Southern Cross – which gives a visual of the cross Jesus died upon and the 5th star representing the place where the spear pierced Jesus shedding his blood.
Yellow (Gold) the color of the streets of heaven, represented in the National Bird of PNG – the Bird of Paradise, another name for heaven.

This story is not only a way to share Jesus with those who don’t know it, but also a tool for those who do know Jesus to be able to share with others.  What a privilege to share the truth of God’s word and the love of Christ with those who are hurting in the hospital.

Written by Erin Meier – to read more go to
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One small step for a girl, one giant leap for Bethany

        Today, we all rejoiced as Bethany walked out of the hospital. True, it was more of a slow, steady hobble assisted by crutches, but the fact that this eleven-year-old is alive and ambulating today is truly a miracle. Ten months ago, Bethany came to the hospital with severe septicemia: a bacterial infection that swept through her blood reaching every corner of her body. Bacteria implanted on a valve in her heart, infection permanently stole vision from her right eye, sores opened all over her body, and the microbes finally settled into the tibia bone of her lower leg. Months of fighting infection reduced Bethany to just skin and bones. No matter how hard we tried, we could not overcome the infection in her leg. Unlike the typical osteomyelitis cases we see in children here, a shell of new bone did not grow around the dead, infected bone in Bethany’s leg. Usually, we wait for new, strong, healthy bone to form before removing the dead bone so that the strength of the limb is preserved. But this did not happen in Bethany’s case.
           After months of treatment, there was no sign of any new bone growth. So, in desperation, we removed a 5-inch section of dead bone in its entirety, hoping to remove the persistent infection and allow new healing. Whenever we took her leg out of the splint to change the dressing, it would flop and bend like a wet noodle where the bone was missing. For months, Bethany remained in bed or in a wheelchair, unable to stand or walk. At one point, we considered amputation as we lost hope that the leg would ever heal. Then, miraculously, new bone slowly started to form. Once her wounds healed enough to allow the limb to be protected in a cast, we permitted her to start ambulating. But after months of debilitating disease, she didn’t even have the strength to stand. Last month, in His perfect timing, God provided a visiting physical therapist who assisted Bethany’s rehabilitation as she slowly advanced from standing, to moving with a walker, to ambulating with crutches.  Now, after 10 months in the hospital, she is finally going home! She still has a long way to go, but this small step out of the hospital is a huge leap forward for one very happy little girl.

Written by Sheryl Uyeda – to read more go to

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Kindly Light

 “Lead kindly light, amidst the grey and gloom

The night is long and I’m far from home
Here in the dark I do not ask to see
the path ahead, one step enough for me”
A couple weeks ago I walked into our pediatrics ward to begin my morning rounds.  A new patient and her parents awaited me on bed 10.  Maria had recently been taken for surgery for a possible abscess in the back of her throat.  Her surgery revealed very little, if any, infection there – but her neck still tightened and she complained of difficulty swallowing.  After examining her, I adjusted her antibiotic coverage and IV fluids, moving quickly on to dozens of other patients that needed my help that day.
The next day I saw a note from the on-call doctor who had been called to see Maria because of a “fit” – which turned out to be a muscle spasm, commonly encountered in one of the diseases I’ve seen working here in Papua New Guinea and have grown to abhor – tetanus.
Over the next few days, Maria’s body contorted itself in frequent, uncontrolled spasms – through which she remained conscious and alert but paralyzed.  She could not eat or drink and pain etched itself more deeply in her young face.  I remembered Lesley whose drawn out battle with tetanus ended when the spasms and subsequent paralysis overwhelmed his breathing and he died.
In a hospital with ventilators, the treatment of tetanus is difficult but largely successful.  The patient is put on a respirator and strong medications given to halt the spasms while antibodies are given to help clear out the infection.  Here, we haven’t been able to get the antibody treatment supplied for a while and we have no ventilators.  So we focus on “supportive” care – an IV antibiotic against the Clostridium organism, IV fluids for hydration, medicines to decrease the spasms – balanced against the need to not completely tranquilize the patient and halt their breathing.  We also place the patient in the darkest room we can contrive, blacking out windows and minimizing stimuli which are known to trigger spasms.

Several days into this treatment, I entered Maria’s room where her mother typically slept on the floor next to her bed, to avoid touching her and triggering the illness.  As my eyes adjusted to the tiny ribbon of light allowed through the side of her window I noticed that Maria, who had each day been lying on the bed, was now sitting up slightly in her mother’s arms.  She forced a weak smile on her face and after I reviewed her IV drip and medicines, glanced at her mother who asked me a question that inspired this post:
“Em i askim inap i go autsait na lukim san”
“Can she can go outside today for a few minutes to see the sun”
In the darkness of that room, the tears that instantly rimmed my eyes were hidden, but my breaking voice choked out, “yes.”
Often my patients are looking for a glimmer of hope in their struggles.  A kindly light to lead them out of utter darkness.  Sometimes that little hope goes against all medical reasoning, but I believe it is no less crucial.  Maria’s question taught me this in an instant.
“Each stumbling step where other men have trod
Shortens the road leading home to my God.”
The next day, Maria’s mother told me she was so happy to be outside that, despite having another fit in her room, she relaxed enough to eat a small amount.  Over the next two weeks Maria waged war with tetanus – occasionally being thrown into muscle spasms, occasionally glancing at the ribbon of sunshine in her room, kindling hope and gaining strength.
After a month in the hospital, I finally put my pen to Maria’s chart for the last time – not to sign her death certificate as I so often do, but to write her discharge order to go home.  
Through a rough and stumbling road in that darkened cave, the Light had brought her home at last.
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