But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him and his righteousness with their children's children . . . Psalm 103:17

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Adventures in the PNG bush

Gavin's recent motorbike trip way back into the bush. The people were so thrilled to be visited by anyone, they waved small branches to greet them!
Here in Ukarumpa we live right up against the breathtakingly beautiful forests and mountains of PNG. Our cleaning lady and babysitter (her daughter) live in a village about 30 minutes from us, and yesterday I drove them home with the quints in tow as Gavin was still at work. The quints are such a hit out there, it's hilarious! Little and big kids along the road know our car and our kids, and they make all kinds of flower arrangements, leis, garlands, and even gather petals to throw on our hood. We come home with our dashboard and floor just covered with beautiful tropical flowers. It's so sweet!
Gavin took this photo a few weeks ago. This was a paltry amount of flowers compared with yesterday's gifts! Seth is sitting in the other front seat. The dirt roads are really rutted and slow-going here, so it's very different to driving in the First World. It's more like four-wheeling, but slow and without the danger of tipping over, thankfully!

The people of PNG think the quints and I are such a miracle. They can't imagine how a woman can carry five babies; I have to explain that they were born three months early and would have almost surely all died if born in PNG, and that Seth nearly did die! Many have asked if this is the first set of quints in the world. We explain it's really not that rare in the U.S. because of fertility medication [Aside: I was told there was a slight possibility I could conceive triplets, at most, so imagine the absolute SHOCK of quints!!! Statistically, I had only a 33% chance of conceiving at all!] The most they have heard of here in PNG is triplets. A couple of decades ago my cleaning lady actually had triplet girls born at 5 months, tinier even than Gracie. They were born dead. She went on to have many more thrivingly healthy children, thank God!

People in these villages and many others surrounding our mission center have prayed for our babies since we first announced I was pregnant with five. My cleaning lady, who is like family and has been since Isaac was younger than the quints, distributed photos all around the mountain after the kids were born, showing how God had answered the prayers of SO MANY. I was already well known up there because of having gone along with our clinic van on their monthly mother and child health outreach trips for several years. I have weighed most of the kids on that mountain at one time or another! It's fun to see them growing up, and it's especially fun to see the joy my kids give them and vice versa. The quints love the attention! They think Papua New Guineans are the best! :)

The kids always ask to see pigs when I take them to the village. The pigs are not impressed, but the quints are! Marcie with a balloon in her mouth. She loves to "blow them up" (not really), over and over again. Balloons are definitely one of her favorite things. (Once they burst we remove all the pieces.)

Gavin, Carrie, Isaac, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, & Grace Jones

Gavin, Carrie, Isaac, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, & Grace Jones

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