On Saturday we had to drive to Mount Hagen to purchase supplies. Dr. Jim Radcliffe and his wife, Kathy and the resident physician, Dr. Maggi, and me all went together. Dr. Jim was helping me explain what I needed to the store clerk and then Dr. Jim walked away. All the people around me started talking in Tok Pisin saying, "That is Dr. Jim from the hospital in Kudjip. He is a great doctor." All of them were looking at him with admiration and speaking very highly of him.
It is no surprise that people would look at him and speak so highly of him. He truly is one of the most devoted, selfless and skilled physicians I have ever met. The photograph was taken last week in the clinic when suddenly I heard a trumpet reverberating "Onward Christian Soldiers" through the walls of the brick walled clinic. The music was coming from inside Dr. Jim's exam room, and I turned the corner to see Dr. Jim playing his trumpet in between patients.
Jim was in medical school doing a rotation here in PNG in 1979 when he learned that he had matched a general surgery residency program. At that time he believed that God was calling him to spend his life here. He graduated from Mount Vernon University from undergraduate and Ohio State Medical School. He met his wife, Kathy, who is herself a medical dietetics major, while they were at Ohio State. They were married in 1976 and have lived in Papua New Guinea since 1985. Kathy has delivered four of her six children (Ben, Rebecca "Becca", Tim, Priscilla "Cilla", Josiah "Joe", and Lydia) here in PNG. In a few hours we will watch Cilla receive her high school diploma. She graduated as the valedictorian of her class - although she was the only person in her high school class!
We have come to love Jim and Kathy and their family. Indeed we feel like we are part of their family, as well as the all of the missionary families here at Kudjip, when we are here and even when we are away. We cherish their friendship and example of missionary service.