Also September 2018 Newsletter

Gods Goodness, and Us

If you’ve been keeping up with the story so far, you will know that we flew Cheree out of Lae, with the intent of catching up with her as soon as practical.

What you might not know, is the series of events which transpired afterwards, which had us feeling like we were strapped into a rollercoaster, but which have also left us with thankful hearts.

First, Cheree tried to get a second opinion in Port Moresby, and while she did not manage to see a Doctor, an experienced nurse told her that surgery should have happened a month ago. So our hearts sunk a little, and we felt the urgency even more.

After I chatted with Australian Immigration, and was told that all Cheree would need to get into Australia is a driver’s license and birth certificate for Makenna, Cheree tried to purchase a ticket home but was told that, even though all she needed to get into Australia is a driver’s licence, she would not be able to leave PNG without her passport. However, there was space on one flight on Monday – provided she could be at the airport by 1130AM.

The weekend passed, with Cheree being taken care of by our friends, Pete and Maddy, at City Mission Port Moresby, and on the Monday, they were off to immigration. Our passports had only just been lodged on the Thursday, and here she was trying to get them back again on Monday morning.  The waiting began. An dragged on, and on. And then they called our Visa Agent, and asked for another slip of paper. And we waited, and then I get a series of messages from Cheree which ran something like:
“They’ve asked us to wait here

And I just about fell over. New visas in under 2 working days? Incredible!

But the waiting stretched on and on, and the 1130 deadline passed. Just after 12, everything was handed to Cheree, and they reached to the airport. I had given up on them making the flight, but somewhere in there I got a frantic call telling me that Cheree had made it with 10 minutes to buy the tickets and check in.

As far as I’m concerned, that’s two minor miracles in one day.

Having forwarded her scans to our GP, Cheree set about on Tuesday, straightening out a few things. The GP left a garbled message on her phone, and on going in to find out what the message was all about, was told to get herself to ED, as this required urgent care. We spoke, ever so briefly, on the phone, and agreed that she should just do what needed to be done. So in she went. And after being admitted, was told that she was going to have to wait 4-6 weeks to see a specialist. And so the frustrations came to ahead, as the hospital staff declined to do tests but declared that there was no emergency.

So, back to the GP on Wednesday, where she was then told, “oh, maybe it’s not an abscess but just an infection.” So more scans we’re booked, and antibiotics re-evaluated.

Meanwhile, I was starting my journey across. The first leg was easy, with a night at City Mission Port Moresby, and a mid morning flight to Cairns. While in Cairns, we spent some time with Pastor John Kroeze, and his wife Alice. But then Nik took a turn for the worse. With fevers, shortness of breath, and saying his stomach hurt, he was pretty miserable. And worried that we wouldn’t see mum, because he was going to make us miss the flight. A local doctor there told us to call 000, so into Emergency we went. And were immediately quarantined (both of us) under the assumption that we might have active TB, until we could be cleared with a chest x-ray.

The doctors were helpful, but told us they didn’t think it likely we would catch the flight. X-rays eventually cleared us, Nik’s breathing cleared right up, and the only medical diagnosis they could make was an ear infection, which explains the fevers and ear pain, but leaves us wondering about the breathing. Some have suggested anxiety (I don’t know if that fits) and others have suggested an asthma attack, which is at least possible with his history.

Time dragged on, and it looked like we might end up in Cairns for the night. Having given up, yet still praying we’d get there, I asked at the desk and was told, “let’s get you on that flight!” Would we make it? Check-in had already started, and we had bags and kids, and… with a phone call to the Kroezes, we started moving, and got ourselves discharged, to be picked up by Alice, Cheree (from Cairns; I apologise if I’ve spelled that wrong) with the rest of the kids and our stuff, and raced to the airport, where we made it to the desk with only 7 minutes to spare.

Fast forward a little, and we went to have Cheree’s scan, on which the sonographer says it appears the infection is disappearing.  We find out more on Wednesday, when we go back to the doctor, but we are feeling the highs and lows, having gone from “you need surgery within a week” to “it look like it is going away.”

Please continue to pray for Cheree’s health, and also for us to have peace while we walk through whatever this is.

While we are here, in Perth, there are a few things we want to try to take care of, and we believe that we have been brought back here for reason, so we are also praying that the reason is made clear to us. At the same time, we both believe wholeheartedly that we are meant to go back to Lae at some point – not only were the visas approved in record time, but there were some other things which convinced us that we will be back there in good time, so we continue to work towards that goal.

We thank you all for your prayers, and we thank you for the physical help which has been given to us. We really couldn’t do this without your support especially in the form of prayers.

Until next time,
Dave and Cheree.

September 2018 Newsletter

A Semi-Unexpected Trial

As you are probably aware, Cheree has been battling an internal infection for some time now. The first reviews showed positive results from antibiotic treatment, but in a scan today, we discovered that the reduction in infection has slowed considerably, on top of which a hemmorhagic cyst was found. As a result of these findings, after close to two months of antibiotics, the Dr recommended surgery.

Acting on this, we have made plans to send Cheree to Port Moresby tomorrow, Saturday the 1st, where she will seek a second opinion from a Dr recommended to us by some long term Moresby residents, who some of you might know as Pastor Cor, and his wife Greta. This gives me a short window in which to hand over as much as possible to the team on the ground here, as well as get some paperwork in order to try and get our passports out of immigration, as they were recently lodged for visa renewal.

As soon as we hear a second opinion, we will need to make a judgement call, and if surgery is the order of the day, we will be proceeding to Perth, W.A. where we think we will get the best support from our families and friends.No offence, Cairns people – we owe you a debt of gratitude for the love you showered on Cheree and Makenna last time, but I would feel kinda bad about dumping ourselves upon you.

Please, hold the following in your prayers:
Cheree, and healing.
“Bel isi”, or peace, with the idea that this is God’s good will.
The kids, as this throws the family into a bit of a rough and uncertain time.
City Mission, as they run without two managers.

If you would like to help in any way, please reach out to

From Lae,
Dave and Cheree.