Saturday, December 5, 2015

Fwd: Our Christmas miracle

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: Our Christmas miracle
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2015 06:18:07 -0500
From: Wendy Roberts <>

Well, it doesn't feel like Christmas, and it doesn't seem like   Christmas, but it is December and we did have a miracle this week.    About two months or so ago on a Sabbath afternoon, we took Jason and   Cherise up to McArthur's hill. It is where the military base was where   he staged his campaign on the Philippines (although he was mostly on his   boat in the harbor in Jayapura, but anyway). Anyway, it is still a   military camp but you can go in and it's a nice place to go hang out on   Sabbath and there are some woodsy areas and you can see all of Sentani   and the airport from up there so the kids like to see the planes coming   in. So while we were up there we came upon this cute little kitten that   someone must have dropped off. The man running the little information   hut up there assured us we could have her and Jason and Cherise have a   dream to rescue all the neglected/abused animals in Papua (or at least   the ones they come across) so they really wanted this kitten. Gary   didn't resist as he was wanting a kitten to keep the population of   rodents down in the hangar. (We have a cat in the old hangar, but she   won't move to the new hangar!) So we came home with this little kitten   who was affectionately named CJ for Cherise and Jason.    Well, she really has been a sweet kitten. She follows Cherise around   like a puppy and she really loves people which you know is somewhat   unusual for a cat. She had diarrhea which I thought would just go away   but didn't so we ended up giving her flagyl for a week and she still had   it, so we changed her diet and finally had things firming up in that   area. She was also starting to gain some weight. Cherise went every   morning to let her out of the shop, one of the rooms in the hangar where   we kept her at night to keep her safe (mostly from other cats as there   are holes where the big hangar doors meet up where cats can get in and   out, or maybe from the rats that are as big as she is! Just kidding!)   and every evening to put her back inside. She spent quite a bit of time   playing with her and being a good kitten she loved to play. Cherise was   thrilled with her.    Then Wed morning Cherise went out and played with her for a while and   let her out as usual and then while we were eating breakfast Jason came   running in and said to Cherise, "Come out to the hangar quick. CJ has a   bad cut on her side. It's really bad!" Well, the kids tend to be a bit   dramatic and I never know if I will find someone with their insides   hanging out or just a little scratch and he didn't ask me to come, but I   decided to go anyway. When I got out the gate I met the kids coming to   get me. When I got in the hangar she was sitting by the back wall with a   big triangular shaped wound open all the way to the muscle, but when I   got closer, I could see and hear air going in and out of the wound - her   lung was punctured. In medical terms it's a sucking chest wound. I look   at Cherise and said, "Oh Honey, she's not going to make it!" (Big   mistake- poor Cherise was crying for the next 30 min probably!) I   started looking around for some plastic but quickly realized everything   there is dirty, so ran back to the house for seran wrap. The temporary   solution to this problem is to cover the wound with a square piece of   plastic and then tape it on 3 sides so that air cannot go into the   wound, but can escape. Then of course you rush to emergency surgery for   a chest tube! Well, I just came back with my seran wrap and held it over   the wound. I really did not expect her to live more than a few minutes.   I was surprised she was still alive! I didn't really even want to move   her, but she was just sitting there alert and awake, so eventually I   picked her up and held on one arm, but had to keep the other hand over   the wound to keep the air from getting in. Try sticking plastic to a   bunch of hair!    Well, I'll spare you the details of the whole day, but let's just say I   held her most of the day (Cherise helped some, but had a harder time   keeping her comfy and sitting still herself!) until finally in the   afternoon, I was able to put her down and she slept. She was in so much   pain that before that she wouldn't relax and sit still, but she was   weak. She also had a couple of other wounds so it was obvious a dog had   gotten her, and Jason told us that Lucy (our dog) had been out by the   hangar and he had put her back in our yard, so she is my chief suspect   as she LOVES to chase things - especially cats. So that was hard for   Cherise to get past as well, but the cruel facts of this world...Anyway,   Cherise was in tears and very distressed most of the day. I really   didn't think CJ would make it til night, but she did. So then what?   Well, Cherise just put her mattress beside her on the living room floor   and we all slept. I was pretty sure CJ wouldn't make it through the   night. (For the nurses she had nasal flaring, and crepitous up in her   neck and shoulder.) But by that time Cherise thought she was going to be   ok. I don't know why, because she was still really struggling and in so   much pain.t I was somewhat distressed by this time because Gary thought   I should try to put CJ under and shave her so I could take the plastic   on, but I was fighting getting sick and feeling lousy and how could I go   running around town and try to find this med that they probably wouldn't   give me anyway, and even if I did get it how would I shave her with a   huge razor and not get hair all in the wound! But I knew she was going   to die if I couldn't keep this wound closed. Well, by this time I had   discovered that if I wrapped the seran wrap all the way around her it   would stay closed most of the time. But since it was just laying there   technically I was hoping air could still escape (it's bad if it can't).   But since it is still hard to seal plastic on hair sometimes it would   start leaking and she would cry out in pain! So, I just couldn't handle   undertaking surgery, but I felt like I wasn't giving it my best shot.    I should mention that during all this Ruth, who is also a nurse, had   come over several times and helped reassure me that I was doing the   right thing. I was really thankful for her support because, sure it was   only a kitten, but Cherise was really upset about it, and it just ended   up being very emotionally draining! We had talked during the day about   whether we should just put her to sleep, as that was our doctor's   solution, but we couldn't bring ourselves to do it. We decided that if   we were praying for Jesus to heal her it wouldn't be showing very much   faith to put her to sleep, but it was really hard to see her suffering.   When I went to bed Cherise had left a note on my pillow that said, "Hi   Mom. I love you. I thing CJ will be ok. XOXOXOXO..." Well, I was very   touched, but I just started crying because I thought that there was no   way CJ would survive the night and she was having so much faith and she   was going to be crushed in the morning. I finally just had to leave   everything up to God - Cherise and CJ and thankfully we all slept! I   woke up in the night to go to the bathroom and decided I wasn't going to   check on CJ because I didn't want to find her dead, but then after   laying awake for a while I decided that it would be better for me to   find her then and take her away from Cherise's bed and it would be   better for me to tell her in the am than for her to find her when she   woke up. But low and behold she was still alive!    In the am she was still alive too! I forgot to mention that already she   was really stinking. To keep a wound moist and warm is the worst thing   for it, so with our seran wrap we were creating a perfect breeding   ground for infection. I ran out first thing and bought antibiotic. We   started forcing her to drink coconut water as we had given her nothing   the day before - I just didn't see the point in putting her thought more   torture, but now that she had survived the night, we were going to do   what we could. She was also cold, so got a heating pad from Ruth and   that has been her bed ever since. Thurs I would say she still wasn't   doing good, and we had to get back to school, but Cherise was diligent   in giving her coconut water and calling me when the wound would start   leaking air again.    Friday morning she was still alive and Cherise called me, "Mom, CJ just   walked from the school room into my room!" Sure enough, she followed her   all the way to my room, then to the kitchen and then back to the school   room. I was simply amazed! That seemed to have tired her out, and she   spent the rest of the day in her bed, but showed some great promise! She   still was not eating/drinking on her own, and was fighting us more with   the coconut water, but we kept going. It was obviously giving her   strength! Ruth came over and helped us clean her up some while I held   the plastic in the puncture with my finger, because the wound had been   leaking fluid this whole time which is just matting up all the hair   under the plastic. She smelled so bad we could hardly be in the same   room with her! That helped a lot and CJ actually seemed to enjoy it.   Probably felt like her mommy licking her and she even started cleaning   herself up too. It was so amazing to see her actually being like a real cat!    So today, she is still slowly improving. I took the plastic off this am   and could barely hear air movement, and that only some of the time, so   the wound is mostly closed! I worked on cleaning her up some more which   again spurned her into licking herself and by the time she was done, it   was leaking more air, which I was afraid of, but maybe by tomorrow we   can take off the plastic. Which will be great news for the wound to be   able to heal and get rid of the infection. She still isn't   drinking/eating on her own, but is seeming thirsty (licking her lips   like they are dry) and she did eat one little bite of cat food but I   think maybe it was too heavy to start out with, so she didn't eat any   more. Tomorrow I'm hoping to get some chicken broth from Ruth (she feeds   chicken to her dogs) and I'm hoping she'll like that...But she walked   around the house again this am and then again this evening, so she's   seeming more and more alive every day, and definitely less and less in pain!    So that's our miracle of this week. And I'm learning lessons on faith   from Cherise!  Love you all,  Wendy    PS. So the pics are the wound the first day and then CJ just now. She   wasn't real happy that I turned the light on in her eyes, but she has   come out and is crawling around in my lap and computer now! :-)        

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Remembering Dad

I'm sure by now most of you have heard that Gary's father, Bob Roberts was killed in a plane crash on the 9th of April in West Papua, Indonesia where he was a mission pilot for 22 years. I am so happy that I was able to become part of his family and get to know him before he died. He was an amazing man, and of course I would say that since Gary is a lot like him! :-) We were able to travel to Indonesia in time for the funeral on Friday morning. It was truly amazing that we were able to make it here so quickly. Gary and his brother Eric are very involved with the investigation, though there are still many unknowns. It has been good to be together during this difficult time. Please pray for Adventist Aviation Indonesia now and that God will direct in how things continue here. Also, please pray for Stephanie, Gary's sister, as she has been having health issues for several months now, and this is a hard enough time without added complications. Also, please pray for guidance and direction for Jan as she moves forward on her own. Ruth Boyd, who lives and works here on the same campus has written a really nice blog about Dad and that day. You can see it here:

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cherise is well

Someone posted somewhere that Cherise was very sick and please pray for
her, so we have had a few emails wondering how she is doing.

I'm not sure she actually had malaria. I was sick with a very nasty flu
(?) bug and had the worst sore throat I've had in ages. I ended up
taking an antibiotic as I was afraid it might be strep and I felt much
better within a day or so of starting that, but I thought it was
probably just coincidence, and the virus had run it's course. Then just
as I was feeling better (after about 5 days), Cherise got the same
thing, but since it is accompanied by a high fever we tested her for
malaria and it was positive, so we treated that, but she never got a
sore throat so didn't give her antibiotics. This bug seemed to have a
five day course, and after 5 days Cherise was doing some better, but
still dragging. Then on Sabbath, which was the 8th day, she didn't play
with Lyol and Zane at potluck, like she usually does. I could tell she
wasn't feeling well. Sure enough, on Sunday afternoon she got a very
high fever again. We weren't sure what to do, but Gary realized the only
thing I did differntly from her was to take the antibiotics, so we
started Cherise on them and the fever broke in the might Sunday night
and hasn't been back. She was still not 100% Monday, but since then has
been back to her old self.

So, thanks so much for your prayers. We were a bit worried as to why the
fever had come back, but are very grateful that it was a relatively easy

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I just thought I would do a little update on Cherise. She is six years old now and a fun little girl. In fact, she is involved in everything that is going on and if she isn't she isn't happy! She is a big help to me at the nutrition center, or the market, or whatever else I'm doing, and she loves to help Daddy in the hangar, fueling up the airplane or whatever else needs to be done. She also loves playing with her local friends, their favorite past-time right now being climbing trees. I've just included a few pictures for fun. She's really the life of our party!
Written 6/4/12 He was in a pathetic state. About a year previous he had become paralyzed from the waist down, whether from an accident or from some kind of curse, we never could ascertain, but lack of proper care and sanitation had left him with sores on his back and legs that oozed the infection that was sapping his strength. His wife brought him to us to see if we could help him, but there was nothing we could do. He had already been to Béré Adventist Hospital just 4 Km from us, but he was too far gone. Thankfully, Gary, was touched by his plight and felt that there were some deeper issues and so that Sabbath we went to visit him at his home. When we arrived he was laying naked on a mat, the refuse he was laying in attracting flies by the hundreds. His father, Phillip, quickly washed him and covered him up. Phillip said he had turned his back on God and the local evangelical church wouldn't even come pray for him. As he struggled to breathe, Gary assured them all that God never turns his back on His children and gave a simple, beautiful explanation of the plan of salvation. He then prayed for him and immediately his breathing calmed and a peaceful expression replaced the previous turmoil. He died the next day, but Phillip told us he believes he made his peace with God. Now we are holding a branch Sabbath School and midweek bible study at Phillip's home. He is eagerly seeking truth and reading his bible. Please pray for Phillip, his family, and neighbors that they will be freed from the darkness in which the devil has held them so long.

Babies, Babies!

Written 8/25/12 It's been almost two months now since we accepted our first inpatient malnourished babies at the center created from Kaleb's memorial funds. Constructions is almost finished, just some finishing touches and screening need to be done on two of the three buildings, but we have been working around the masons as they have finished things up. They are also still working on the wall surrounding the property, in between the rains, but we were seeing so much malnutrition that once the buildings were livable we decided to start with what we have. So, on June 27, though not officially open, we accepted the first three babies. Soon there were more. I can not describe for you the craziness and stress of trying to figure out what we were doing and trying to get everything functional. Looking back, I can see how far we've come, and am happy with our progress, but we still have a ways to go. At first we were trying to feed the mothers as well,and even though the mothers were actually doing the cooking, it was taking all our time going to the market and trying to keep them fed since we don't know how they prepare food here, and they are really stuck on you have to eat this particular green with peanut butter, and this other one with beans, etc. So, we decided to make the mothers bring and cook their own food, and then we can focus on feeding the babies. Well, several of the moms were unhappy and left, but this is the way they do it at any other hospital in the country so especially since all the treatment for the babies is free, it really isn't asking too much of them. We were having a lot of trouble with ladies leaving. They would come for two or three days and decide it's too much work, and then just leave (taking our dishes, etc with them!). Well, this had to stop since the first 2-3 days are very intense and a lot of work for us, and then they are wasting resources since it isn't benefiting the baby to be there for 2 days only. So, we've made it harder to get in. They have to go to the hospital for a consultation and medicines since all of them need treatment for parasites, probably malaria, and some vitamins, then they need to go home, get everything they need to stay for a month and come back on a certain day of our choice. Many of them never come back, which is really sad, but at least then the ones that come are the ones who are actually willing to do what it takes to save their baby. It is so hard for us to imagine, but most of them are not willing to wake up every two hours at night, and coax and cajole their child to drink when they don't want to, or use a stomach tube if necessary. But then that is why most of them are malnourished in the beginning. It would be too inconvenient to take the baby to the farm with them, so they leave a very small baby with an older sibling who gives it water all day to keep it's belly full until mom gets back. Or it would require a lot of work to prepare three healthy meals a day, so they just buy deep fried flour balls on the side of the road, if the kid is lucky! So, we do see a lot of sad things, but we are starting to see some rewarding results as well. I had one lady who was coming to me for baby formula because for some reason she wasn't producing breast milk. So, normally this is Tammy's specialty, but since she was in the US I decided to help this lady. So, the rule is they have to work four hours for a can of formula which lasts from 4 days to a week depending on what stage the baby is at. This lady had been working for her formula for a month or two, when one day she and her husband show up at the nutrition center with their baby who is two months old, a two year old sister, and a 5 year old brother - all malnourished! The sister being severe. So, I admitted them all and at first the mother wanted to go home, but eventually she buckled down and did a great job. The sister, her name is Lundi (which means Monday in French), we called the lonely child at first. We would constantly find her sitting somewhere all by herself doing nothing, just alone. She was always happy though if you would pick her up and haul her around with you. The older brother, Jean, would also beam with delight at any attention given him. They are super sweet kids, and we all love them! But they did really well, we worked with the mom on feeding the baby and the older two kids eat and eat, so last Friday we finally let them go home. It was really exciting for us to look back at a picture of when they first arrived and see the difference!
This is Lundi and Jean on my right, I'm holding Samuel, and Kousmia is on my left. Another bright spot in everyone's day is Samuel. He is supposedly 4 years old and his father brought him in several weeks ago. His mother died when he was two. I tried to work with him by sending food home with the father because I didn't figure the father would stay with a bunch of women and babies! But after a couple weeks, he developed edema in his feet which is a bad sign, so I told the father that he really had to stay. The father said there was no one to stay with him, but said he would stay by himself. He is absolutely adorable and a little parrot! He will say whatever you say - in any language. He is so funny! He doesn't walk yet, which is really sad, but he should be gaining strength and we have him stand some every day. The problem is his father leaves him at home alone all day while he goes off and works in the fields. So, we are trying to find an aunt or grandmother who can take him. Not long after we started, we had some drama with the women. We had one lady with a very sick boy that we were really struggling with. She had a hearing problem, and so had to be looking at you to understand you, and from the beginning the other ladies treated her like she was stupid. She was really struggling, and wanted to go home, but Bronwyn convinced her to stay a little longer. She was really a nice lady and we all liked her. But one morning she came over to the office where I was working and someone told me that she was outside crying and I better come; they thought she was packing up her things. I went outside and she told me that when her mother had come to visit her the day before she had given her 2000 francs (about $4 but several days wages for them) and that she had put it in a specific place last night but now it was gone. She was really upset, but I assured her we would find her money. So, I called all the ladies into the building and closed the doors and told them that I wouldn't open the doors again until we found the money. My translator, Krya walked up just as all this was happening, for which I was very thankful. Immediately one lady who had just arrived the night before brought over a 100 franc coin and said, "I came with 200 francs and then I spent one on this oil for my baby's skin (the baby's skin was sloughing off and full of sores) so this is all the money I have." I thought that was a bit strange since I hadn't asked or accused anyone. I just told everyone to start looking for the money, but everyone just sat there, so Krya and I started with the girl who lost her money and looked through all her stuff to make sure it wasn't there. It wasn't. So, we started a systematic search through everyone's things, Krya on one end and I on the other. I did wonder what we would do if we found 2000 F, because the woman could just say it was hers. But the lady said it was only one bill, so that at least helped to narrow it down. Well, we went through everything and found only a few random coins, but this lady that had showed me her 100 F at the beginning kept talking and acting a bit strange and all the other women were saying it was her. The entire time it was a big buzz of all the women talking excitedly and giving their opinions. One lady was telling me that we had to take the lady's hand and put it in boiling water (I couldn't figure out how I was to know which woman, or if I just started with one and whoever got burned was the one who stole it, or once I found the culprit that was the punishment) but I told her no, we weren't going to do that. The babies got upset from all the ruckus and I tried unsuccessfully to calm the women down. So, after I had finished searching and found nothing, the women said it must be one of the women sleeping next to her. Since the women who was acting guilty was sleeping on one side of her, I figured that was as good a place as any to start and also all the other ladies had been there for some time and we'd had no problems and this lady had just arrived the day before, so she was my chief suspect, but I didn't want to just single her our without reason. It is really really unforgivable if you accuse someone falsely here! So, we took the two women sleeping on either side of her, and I basically made them strip down. They tie money up in the corners of their wrap around skirts, so I checked that. Neither one of them was wearing a bra! Then Carlie, the nurse who was working then said, "What about their head wraps?" "Good idea. Hand them over." So, they did. The suspect had on a nice velvety piece of cloth that was double thickness. When she handed it to me I shook it, but nothing fell out, so I almost gave it back, but instead ran my hand down the length of it. When I got to the end I found a small folded piece of paper between the layers. Krya was watching me and when I felt it she was so excited she grabbed it from my hand and fished it out. Sure enough. It was the 2000 francs! So now the women really went wild! I told the lady that she would have to leave. I tried to find a way to help the baby anyway as it was so pathetic with the sores and very malnourished, but she had had an attitude with us from the beginning and lived a long ways away, and she didn't seem willing to stay nearby and come to my house or anything. So, I had to let her go. It's so sad to see children suffer from choices that their parents make. On a funnier side note though, we have now dubbed the building where they sleep as "The Dorm" because of all the drama that goes on there! So, some days are good, and some days are bad - we have had a few babies die, which was really hard. They were so bad when they came in but we had to try. But every day, we are very busy. We are in desperate need of help, if you or anyone you know would be interested in coming to volunteer with us, please let me know. I am especially looking for nurses and someone with a nutrition background focusing on a diet that is whole food plant based.