12 Year Dream

I love people who think outside of the box.  Who dream big dreams and think creative thoughts. Whose minds spin in many different directions. I am married to someone like that.  I also work under someone like that.  Dr. Diane, whom we all affectionately call, Dr. Di. 

She has dreamed a dream for the past 12 years.  A dream of offering a workshop to the village health workers who serve and work faithfully where they are, but who have not had the opportunity to receive more advance training.  A week long workshop.  Free to them.  With many different topics.  From dental, to HIV to respiratory to hypertension to wounds to IV’s to maternity care and much more.


When a 12 year dream becomes reality, that is really exciting.  This week, here in Papua, it is happening.  Sponsored by the GIDI church the health workshops have concluded day three and have 2 more full days of scheduling.  Village health workers from very far places have come to learn.  They are eager for knowledge. 


Dr. Di asked if Wendy and I would be willing to teach the Helping Babies Breath program.  We were game!  Ibu Jeane was our excellent interpreter.  Both Monday and Tuesday afternoon we presented.  Not knowing how many participants we would have, we asked the girls in the mission community to lend us their dolls for practical hands on application.  Look how the girls responded….



On Monday we had 5 older men, one older lady (who had been a “village midwife” for over 25 years) and 2 middle age women.  They were all shy to practice and our time was reduced so we condensed our lecture into 1 hour and learned how we could present better on day #2.





Tuesday, we had 6 younger ladies and one very old village health worker man.  Whom we learned, takes care of his village people.  Often buying them medicine, if they cannot afford it.  The ladies shared with us that often in their villages that the women go off on their own and give birth all by themselves.  Can you imagine?  Nobody to help you at all?!!!!



We taught them what to do if the baby is born with meconium present and what to do if the baby is not breathing.  Along with how to prepare for the delivery and cutting the cord, etc.  There was much laughter as they would practice each step. We all especially enjoyed each time a “Mommy” would deliver a baby and the expressions of pain and personalized “getting through it”. 



We enjoyed listening to their stories and some of their beliefs.  One lady shared about a young girl who has a protrusion at her belly button.  We all know that as an umbilical hernia.  Quite a common condition in children.  However, they believed it was because the nurse that cut the cord did a bad job.  So they are afraid that they will cut the cord wrong.  They feel anger towards this nurse.  We tried to explain that it was not the nurses fault. I’m not sure that she believed us or not.

It was a great two afternoons of being with the local people.  Language learning.  Teaching new skills.  Laughing and sharing together.  Growing.  Understanding the culture more.  And being part of a dream.


We returned all the babies to their “Mommies”.  Little Mommies who are dreaming their own dreams of real babies and having families some day.  Sometimes dreams that are long hoped for are the best kind of all.  Dream on……dream on.  And sometimes it is really special to be part of other people’s dreams.



  1. How exciting to be a part of that dream coming to reality! Amazing Ruth!


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