Skip to Content
You are here:
Home /
/ Posts from Papua New Guinea: 2014 mission trip

Posts from Papua New Guinea: 2014 mission trip

Posted: Jul 02, 2014


"Tonight, we went to another missionary’s house and spent time singing, talking and praying with them." — Lisa Rizzo (Photo by Melody Long)


"I was able to observe the surgeries from a nurse’s point of view which was a new experience." — Amanda Oden (Photo by Melody Long)


“Yesterday, we participated in a mumu. A hole is dug, and then different layers of food — chicken, greens, plantains, coconut, sausage — are added, separated by layers of banana leaves. Rocks that have been heated in a fire are then placed throughout the food, and everything sits for a few hours. When it is done cooking, the banana leaves are pulled out, and you eat the food using banana leaves as plates. It was very good!” — Jonathan Elliott (Photo by Melody Long)


"Tonight we are going to sing at a women’s meeting with the national women. Then we will spend some time together and relax before our last work day." — Amanda Oden (Photo by Melody Long)

Location:Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, Papua New Guinea (PNG)

Dates: May 12 to June 3, 2014

Dr. Mike Pyle, professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Mrs. Nancy Pyle, professor, School of Nursing and Health Sciences
Mary DeMent (senior, biology major, Quincy, Illinois)
Jonathan Elliott (senior, biology major, Petersburg, Indiana)
Katie Fitzgerald (senior, mathematics major, Duncanville, Texas)
Allison Javorka ’14
Rob Johnson (senior, nursing major, La Grange, Illinois)
Teresa Kamper (senior, nursing major, Pickford, Michigan)
Jonathan Kee (junior, nursing major, Yorkville, Illinois)
Melody Long ’14
Amanda Oden (senior, nursing major, South Elgin, Illinois)
Lisa Rizzo (senior, biology major, Bartlett, Illinois)

Following are excerpts from the team’s journal entries made during the trip.

Monday, May 19

Allison: I had an awesome day shadowing Dr. Pyle. I was part of the hospital rounds with two other doctors. The first patients we saw had been in a car accident the night before, and they were the ones who survived. One had pneumothorax, another was partially paralyzed and another had a possible ruptured spleen. In the afternoon, we saw a woman with an ectopic pregnancy.

Wednesday, May 21

Dr. Pyle: I got called about 11:30 a.m. for a stab wound. This gentleman’s two wives were fighting, and he tried to break it up. His reward was a single stab to the right lower chest, just above the rib margin and to the right of the sternum. Later that day, I operated on a five-year-old boy with extensive osteomyelitis (bone infection) and a woman with an advanced type of breast cancer. I repaired a left inguinal hernia and did another breast cancer surgery. I was exhausted by the end of the fourth case.

Thursday, May 22

Teresa: I was in the clinic today with Dr. Susan. I saw a variety of cases – abdominal tuberculosis, HPV, an infant with HIV and TB, an infant with malnutrition and a skin condition. The days are full and exhausting, but I love every bit of it.

Jonathan K.: Yesterday I helped out with a C-section. After delivering the baby, there was a short scare because the newborn was unresponsive. I worked with the student nurses in helping bring the baby back. We applied oxygen, and I helped with a bag valve mask. I dried and swaddled her, and after a few suctions, she started crying. It was a cool experience to witness life coming into the world, and to assist with it was even more rewarding.

Mrs. Pyle: I see more and more brand name “western” food items every time we come to PNG. I thought about making Rice Krispies treats, but nixed that when I saw the price of the Rice Krispies: $20 a box!

Friday, May 23

Melody: Today was my big day. I shadowed Dr. Pyle as he made rounds in the ward full of post-op patients, checking on and discharging them as necessary. He’s a super great teacher. I was also able to see my second C-section of this trip. This time I actually got to help!

Sunday, May 25

Dr. Pyle: Our team accompanied two of our young missionaries — ONU grads Jordan ’08 and Rachel (Baranow) Thompson ’07 — and their infant son on an hour-long climb to one of our bush churches (Kondu). We had worshiped there on our first visit in 2004. The service lasted about two hours. The sense of connection, in Christ, to a worldwide church and mission is always a highlight for our students.

Jonathan E.: The beauty of the landscape here cannot be captured in a picture. The church was a small, one-room building with no benches. Everyone sat on the floor, with men on the right side and women on the left. They sang some songs to start the service, and it was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard! After church, they gave us a bunch of bananas and oranges, and climbed up a tree to pick some sugar fruit for us.

Katie: I had an incredible opportunity to meet one of the few people in the Kudjip area who remember when my grandparents were here. Wi was a “doctor’s boy” for my grandpa back in the 1960s when my grandpa was serving here as the hospital’s first doctor. Wi was the first local to work in the hospital. When we went to Wi’s house, Dr. Pyle asked me to explain my connection. All I said was, “My grandpa was Dr. Dudley Powers,” before the man broke down in tears and immediately hugged me. That is unusual in the PNG culture. Through his tears, he explained how my grandpa was like a father to him. He didn’t receive any formal medical education, but my grandpa taught him everything he needed to know to work in the hospital.

Dr. Pyle: As I was leaving the hospital after rounds today, I made a last pass through the ER. An elderly woman had just been brought in. She was the victim of an assault. “Chop-chop” is the term for injuries produced by machete. While on her way home after decorating her church with flowers, she came across some men who were attacking a relative. When she called out, they assaulted her. Your reflex when someone swings a machete at your head is to lift your arm in protection. In this case, it probably saved her life but resulted in a near amputation of her left arm at the wrist.

Teresa: The Lord has been teaching and speaking to me in so many ways during my time in PNG so far; I can hardly find time to journal about it all. He has been teaching me so much about all of the different roles, experiences and sacrifices that come with working on the mission field.

Dr. Pyle: There are three full-time chaplains who record their visits to patients, and Dr. Jim monitors this actively. Today, on medical ward, we found a man who had been hospitalized for five days without a chaplain visit. Dr. Jim summoned the head nurse. He suggested a review of all charts to find any patients who had not yet had a visit. The gospel takes center stage here.

Melody: I saw the beheading of a chicken (which I later ate), stargazed, met a missionary family’s pet tree kangaroo named Wilson, tried a cream pastry, and had my first Coke in weeks.

Thursday, May 28

Mary: I made a friend with a little girl in the clinic. Her grandmother was sick. The little girl climbed into my lap, smiled at me and held my hands like we were old friends. She was so sweet! Tonight I ate my first banana spider. Whether it will be my last remains undecided; it wasn’t as bad as I thought! I know I will miss this place when I leave, and I am trying to soak up as many experiences as possible. God is good, and this trip has been simply amazing!

Saturday, May 31

Mrs. Pyle: After getting soaked by a wonderful rain as we walked back to the car, we headed home. Finishing leftovers and playing games ended the day for us. What a great birthday day. Thank you, Lord, for such wonderful people to spend it with! Thanks again, parents, for your sons and daughters who made it so special for me.

Sunday, June 1

Dr. Pyle: We had a wonderful closing time tonight, a time we call the Overflowing Heart. The students shared what the Lord had taught them over the past weeks together. Then we prayed for each of them, one by one.

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).


Cadets enrolled in Olivet's Roaring Tiger ROTC Battalion