So before she finalised her flights and set out, she spent time with God, seeking his peace and courage in the face of the uncertainties of international travel and of life outside NZ in these times.
“God gave me the peace I was after,” Paula says, “and I haven’t lost it since. He has been completely faithful to the trust I placed in him.
“And the best thing about being here is the closeness I feel with God, being dependent on him in a way that doesn’t happen easily in New Zealand.
“None of my pre-arrival fears have been realised: My flights worked out; I didn’t have to spend an indefinite length of time in lockdown on arrival waiting for a work visa; my on-call nights in the hospital so far have been quiet — apparently usual for senior doctors these days as we have a number of experienced junior doctors, because Covid has prevented them going overseas to train elsewhere.
Knowledge I gained last time I was here is coming back to mind more easily than I expected. But two days after I started work, the paediatrician was off for a whole week, and I was in charge of the paediatrics department! I felt very inadequate, but trusted God and had faith in my prayer partners. By God’s grace all went well.
When we are weak we can see his power at work.
Here’s another example of God’s care: travel through the mountains in the monsoon is something most people try to avoid, as sudden landslides and floods are common. When another doctor and I had to go to the capital for Medical Council interviews, we had a heart-stopping moment when the hospital vehicle in which we were travelling came to a narrow stretch of road where the outside edge had fallen away into the river very far below.
Just as I was starting to breathe more easily we were stopped by large rocks blocking the road. As we surveyed the scene, more boulders rained down from the loose cliff above. Some brave men from another vehicle quickly pushed enough rocks aside to allow our vehicles to pass. I was very aware of God’s protection and peace, despite these scary circumstances.
- God’s continued care of all the details in Paula’s placement
Paula’s rapid acquisition of knowledge and confidence in paediatrics and in diseases that are common there but not in New Zealand.
Control of COVID in that country.
Improvement in Paula’s language ability; this has improved but she still struggles to understand when people speak fast.