Further Journeys Around the World

Credit: Unknown Internet Posting, Not Brian Chapaitis

Spectacular Singapore City at night.  In our many Southeast Asian travels we have passed through this ultra-modern and prosperous nation, one without any natural resources!
Photos below are licensed: CC-SA  Attrib: Brian Chapaitis 
Click for enlarged photos below.

Travel Scenes (2019-2020)

Airport Lounging -

Middle Eastern Tea

Helen and I were in transit last year for a medical conference, and although the return home was rather direct, we still had a 12 hour layover, in Qatar. The airport shops were mostly tea shops, and there were no bars in sight. Here we see a satisfied Helen, probably finishing off her second cardamon tea. Our most interesting sights? Two Mideast falcon handlers, with actual birds perched on their arms about to board a plane, and while dressed in perfectly white flowing clothes. And a severely toned-down "Victoria's Secret" shop from the West, with no actual customers in the shop.  Hamad Int'l Airport, Doha, Qatar.  March 2019

Learning New Skills -
Radio Production

My adorable sister, Lisa (right) helps Ms. X. (left) and Mr. L (center) as they learn audio recording skills from a week-long workshop. The workshop exercise was to produce an interesting radio "talk show" type interview and format. The source audio was in another language, but there was the desire to mix in an English audio transcription into the show. Lisa's voice was chosen for the English part. This exposure to missions and technology inspired Lisa to join GEM, and she is presently raising financial support to produce movies in Europe at this time. Want to help? Let us know. SIL/WBT trains in the use of various tech tools in this venue.  A certain technical convention, somewhere in the Netherlands.  April 2019

Language Technology - Dealing

with Orthographic Challenges

People from utilitarian "English", ask me about this weird term: "Language Technology", not realizing that for computers and mobile phones rendering any of the beautiful scripts from the "Fertile Crescent" (languages rife with a heritage of rich, expressive, written scripts already), pose significant challenges to our work. If you are a typesetter laying out for the first time, God's Holy Word...   it deserves to be rendered in the most beautiful way possible in the given language. It is so special. So how exactly does modern software handle this? (Ans: "With great difficulty") Hence the need for highly trained specialists to come and join us in the work. We presently have 70 technology career slots available around the world. Come join us!  Rīḥān is a tiny place south of Beirut, Lebanon half-way to the Sea of Galilee.  Dallas Museum of Art, January 2019.

Thai Suki Restaurants -
Cook Your Own Meals

Thai food is always a special treat, but in Thailand itself there is an innovative restaurant chain "MK", that specializes in "suki pots" that are brought to your table.  Guests are allowed to order fresh meat, fish, or vegetables and then cook over a portable grill. There are hood vents above each table not shown here. A great opportunity to socialize with friends, in this case, Dr. Jen Bunnow and her daughter, Amelie.  Back in the days of travel, at a Christian Medical meeting, Chiang Mai, Thailand.   March 2019

Wonderful Doha Art -
"Small Lie"

Capturing "disappointment" in life, a breathtaking all-wood sculpture by Brian "Kaws" Donnelly, is discovered in the airport while Helen and I were passing through the Middle East. Said to come from the artist's relationship with wooden toys while growing up, "Small Lie"  gives a warm sensation to this mighty giant, displaying an "emotional tension of strength and kindness." The airport is filled with the works of other sculptors, including some very nice playground works for children to amuse themselves, during those long international layovers.  In Concourse E, Hamad Int'l Airport, Doha, Qatar.  March 2019

Widow Doris -
The Lord's Faithfulness

Years ago, Doris lost her husband, pastor David Sakipa, to cancer. Life is very hard for widows in PNG; they have no stature in society and very little support. But here, Helen finds Doris continuing to live faithfully in and through a great deal of personal hardship and suffering, as Doris gives her testimony of God's goodness and provision at a church service. Her attitude and faithfulness have taught Helen a great deal about how to truly live for Christ, while raising 7 children. An EBC Church service, Ukarumpa village, PNG. February 2020.


(Helen was back teaching the PNG clinic nursing staff this year)

Pastor Manuko -
Hold Lightly to What You Have

Manuko is an old friend who put himself through Bible school in his late 30's. One Sunday morning I (Helen) was both blessed and challenged as Manuko shared a bit of what it had recently meant to him to follow Jesus.  He owns a pickup truck which he uses to transport villagers to the hospital and for other ministry purposes. The previous week his truck battery and tires were stolen while he was away doing some Bible teaching in another village. He was very, very angry when he discovered the theft, but then the Lord reminded him it was just a part of "taking up the cross." He stated that we all need to hold very lightly to the things we have on this earth - they won't save us. Suffering WILL HAPPEN, but it's OK because Jesus is far greater and better than our stuff and the hardships of this life. A good reminder from someone who lives a difficult life and has had his share of trials over many years.  EBC church, Ukarumpa village, EHP. PNG.  March 2020

The Family Mascot -

Clown Fish

If you know Dr. Helen, one of her motifs is "clowns" as in Dr. Patch Adams, the "clown doctor" (Gesundheit! Institute). So the family fish is the "clown fish" seen here in it's natural symbiotic habitat of the stinging sea anemone (flower polyp). There were a dozen multi-colored varieties in the very warm waters of Papua New Guinea, and we never grow tired of seeing these colorful fish. They are part of God's great Creation; don't forget that we are the "steward-gardener" (Genesis 1).  Dallas Aquarium, in the days when one could travel anywhere, January 2019.

A Medical Conference - The
Global Missions Health Conference

The amazing Global Missions Health Conference (GMHC), attracted 3200 University students who are considering a future in overseas missions.  Workshops and seminars abounded.  There was even an attempt to re-create third-world experiences using AR/VR technologies in a simulated environment (above). Wycliffe had a booth there.  Louisville, Ky.  October 2019

Helen Back in PNG -
Visiting Old Friends

Helen has recently traveled half-way around the world and back to Papua New Guinea, to teach at the Ukarumpa Centre clinic. Her Paediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) class is in high-demand. She immediately stepped into an "on call" situation as one of the doctors there was away on medevac duty, and they are short-staffed. Meanwhile, the Romanian missionary couple, Marius and Michaela Taciuc, invited Helen for lunch at our old house, now their house. Wonderful!  Our old backyard, Ukarumpa, EHP. PNG.  February 2020  Photo: M. Taciuc

Helen's on the Move -
Actually God Is!


After a nail-biting, 45 minute wait on the tarmac for tower clearance to fly to Singapore, Helen and new friends finally left Port Moresby and ascended the skies to land in Changi airport. Because of the pandemic, it was only a few hours before the Singaporean Government closed the airport to all transit travelers that midnight. Now on to Jakarta, Narita, and Newark NJ. It was our forth itinerary change to get her back home!  Praise to our King!  Singapore, March 2020