Dr. Jim and Kathy Radcliffe are my PNG papa and mama. The first time I remember meeting them I was a student at Mount Vernon Nazarene College. As a pre-med with a call to missions, I was awed by the stories and pictures that Dr. Jim shared with the science majors. And of course we share the same Ohio State alma matter. Dr. Jim is a hard core Buckeye fan, even from the other side of the world.
Thanks to my Radcliffe connections and their encouragement, I made my first visit to PNG as a fourth year medical student. I volunteered for three months, working in both the hospital and with CBHC. It was during that trip that the Radcliffes became part of my family. They had me to dinner more times than I can remember! They have always been so gracious to adopt stray volunteers :).
Here I am with Dr. Jim and Kathy and Tanu during my 2005 trip to PNG.
Fast forward a few years to 2010. On July 4th weekend, Dr. Jim and Kathy celebrated 25 years of service in Papua New Guinea. I wonder how many people they have blessed over the years. I am just one. There are so many more. Can you imagine how many surgeries have been performed? So many lives saved. Wow... what an incredible legacy.
To Dr. Jim and Kathy and all of your family... thank you for your service. May the Lord bless you many times in return.
"Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men."
~ Ephesians 6:7
P.S. If you happen to wonder why the title of this blog entry is "25 Christmases," let me explain. In a place where time and dates aren't really that important, years are marked by the passing of Christmas. So rather than ask how old someone is, you ask "How many Christmases are you?"