This is the blog for Gavin and Carrie Jones and family. We live in Papua New Guinea and are working to see lives transformed by the living Word of God through Bible translation. Gavin is a helicopter pilot. Carrie, who has her degree in Public Health, is the lab supervisor and one of five lab techs at our busy rural clinic. Our son, Isaac, was born in 2004 and our quintuplets, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, and Grace, were born in 2012.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. The you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:3-6

Monday, June 27, 2016

Way overdue update on Seth . . . and a trip to the Islands.

Thank you all for your prayers for our Sether (or "Seffers", as some of his siblings say.)   As of last Friday night (over a week ago), he started turning the corner.  Though he still was coughing a lot and needing a tiny bit of oxygen for a few more days, he was markedly better only hours after we sent out the call for prayer - praise God!

I (Gavin) left this past Tuesday for a 4-day trip to New Ireland, New Britain, and New Hanover, flying for five different New Tribes Mission families in several places in that large and remote chain of islands.  As always (but more so than normal), I was blown away by the beauty of this country-- and the harsh reality of trying to survive and thrive in it.

Incredible waterfall series near one of the NTM tribes

I keep thinking that I've seen the most brilliant rainbow ever -- then I see another . . .

The incredible reefs between new Ireland and New Hanover

Suited up and ready for ditching . . .  yes, the South Pacific waters are warm, but if I had to land in them, they'd get cool quickly-- thus the flight suit (and other flotation and survival gear).

Glenn and Jeff, the fathers of two families I moved to the bush.  They were all grubby after building 7 loads for the helicopter, which sprayed them with dirt every time I came in for a landing.

That waterfall is coming out of the mountain.  The river goes underground into a sinkhole a few miles away.

There's a small rainbow over New Hanover
Standing with Jon, the NTM missionary and many Mete Kavi speakers.  A New Testament translation was completed there several years ago and now he is involved in discipleship, teaching, and training, seeing fruit in exciting ways!

Dazzling reefs everywhere!

Mt. Ulawun or "The Father", an active volcano.  What a massive thing to fly so close to (on the upwind side).

Carrie left on Friday morning for a few days' break and to escort her parents to Brisbane.  Our Papua New Guinean friends handily looked after the kids during the hours she was gone and until I came back.  Though I'm having fun with the kids, I'm more than looking forward to having my wife back and doing this parenting thing as a team!

Heading to bed.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Seth is doing better

Thank you for praying! He's requiring no or very little oxygen, running and playing and eating and being goofy with his siblings. It's such fun to hear and see him back to normal, albeit with an oxygen cannula dragging behind him for the times he needs a bit of oxygen (as in sleep).

Please keep praying he's off by tomorrow, Lord willing, as his daddy leaves early Tuesday morning. I'm very encouraged, though, and praise God for how far He's brought Seth, in particular because Friday night it seemed he was really taking a turn for the worse again. I was thinking we'd have to be med-evaced on Saturday morning, but the Lord was very gracious and really did amazing work in his little body.

The other kids are all fine, thank God. I pray they stay so so that we can all enjoy Grandma and Grandpadad's last four days here!

Tonight Marcie put all the kids to bed, one by one, starting with Seth. She transferred his cannula to the small portable oxygen tank, then wheeled it to bed with him, telling him it was time to go to sleep. Then she put Gracie, Will and David to bed, one at a time, calling them "Honey" all the while, and lastly put herself to bed! What a little mother she is! I think it's funny they allowed her to parent them like that. :)

Love and gratitude,

On the way to the Clinic Saturday at noon. He checked out great!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Still on oxygen

Hi all,

Seth has caught a second cold (as have several of us), so he's still requiring oxygen, suctioning, prednisone and three inhalers. Thank you for praying for us, for strength and stamina and joy during a time that can be really wearing. I am SO glad my parents are here! I don't know how I would do this without them. God's timing is very merciful! They are here for one more week. Gavin is also an invaluable help, as always, but he leaves on a long trip to outlying islands on Tuesday, so I am praying Seth will be off oxygen by then. (Gavin is the one who takes the canisters to Aviation to refill them, for one thing.)

Grateful for good medical care where we live!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Pray for Seth please

There is a pretty severe cold going around our community right now and it has hit Seth pretty hard. He is coughing almost continuously when he is awake and is pretty miserable. He is also on a bit of oxygen to keep his saturations up. Fortunately, his lungs don’t have fluid on them, but he is trying to cough up all the nasty “stuff”. We, as always, would highly appreciate your prayers for all during this time. Several of the other quints have had the cold, but it has affected them much less.

Seth looks especially pitiful, because the day before he got sick a friend’s dog yanked on our rope swing, which smacked the wooden seat right into Seth’s eyebrow, resulting in a pretty impressive black eye.

We are incredibly thankful for Clinic staff here who make house calls and the availability of oxygen when so many here have little to no access to medical help.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Grandpadad as guest blogger!

We are alive and well, despite the lack of news. We've had some serious connectivity issues with our computers thanks to some change-over, so we apologize that it's been a record length of time since our last post! Thankfully, my dad has picked up the ball and wrote a lovely email with photos that I've turned into a blog post. My comments are in brackets when I've added to or clarified something.

It's been so special and fun and HELPFUL to have my parents here! My mom cooks and bakes quite a bit, giving me a much-appreciated break, and cleans up after supper, and my dad does serious bath and bedtime duty. They are always on call to come babysit when I need them, or take a couple of kids at a time down at their house just below ours. All five there at once is a bit much to manage as their excitement level shoots through the roof when they are at Grandma and Grandpadad's house!

My parents will be here another two weeks. We'll treasure every day!

Now, here's my dad:

Dear Friends and Family,

Last week I was able to ride in the helicopter with Gavin for about an hour over the land of Papua New Guinea (PNG). The weather at the landing site never cleared so we couldn’t land, but we had a nice fly about! Below are some of the pictures I took during the trip.

Gavin has to carefully check everything about the helicopter because there is little room for error! These images give you some idea of the challenging nature of the terrain and why a helicopter is so critical.

We also visited the Clinic to see our daughter Carrie at work.

This machine runs all kinds of chemistry tests on patients' plasma: cholesterol, uric acid, glucose, liver function, etc. I draw the blood and spin it to separate the plasma first.
[We use the microscope to identify malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy, kidney disease, infections of various kinds, some STDs, and even possible blood cancers.]
She is looking for indicators of disease to help the doctors know how to treat the wide variety of sick people that show up everyday. She works with some sophisticated machinery to provide quick and accurate analyses of blood and other body fluids. [I used the wrong tube to draw blood the other day and came up with results that suggested the patients were well past dead, so the "accurate" isn't always true, but I'm learning quickly! Thank God for knowledgable staff around me who can say, "Um, that number isn't possible. S/he would be dead."]

At times, Gavin and Carrie’s roles come together. A PNG man had a slice wound across the stomach exposing intestine in a remote village and needed to evacuate as soon as possible to a hospital. Gavin was the pilot and Carrie brought to the airport the nurse who would travel with the injured man so he could receive in-flight treatment. Such a serious wound, without the helicopter, would likely lead to death.

Gavin has to give every passenger travel instructions and emergency information should the flight crash. The quints look up to their flying father! (He was flying overhead in the photo below.)

We have been enjoying our grandkids as we “family” together with the Joneses. I’m able to keep teaching since all my classes are online for I’m also preparing to teach a new class online starting in August so I’m working the Internet from here!

Jane was making her every popular banana bread and the girls got a front row seat! I often travel with Carrie in the car and the kids fall asleep with all the bouncing on the rutted dirt roads!

David and Marcie (taking my cleaning lady home)

Since the quints are enrolling in beginning (3-year-old) preschool next month, we took them to the class open house this week. They were all excited to see the new activities in store for them! Pictures are a bit blurry since the quints were on the move and hard to capture!
David "teaching" with the pointer finger
Gracie on the play computer

I’ll close for now. Thanks for your prayers for us here in the land of the unexpected and we certainly appreciate hearing from you and getting your prayer requests as well!


Neal for Jane and the Joneses 

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

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

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