A couple days have passed by since the return of our team from the country of Kiribati. (Joel, his wife Karen and Bethany) all accompanied me on this three week mission trip to Kiribati. Time went by very quickly. It is always challenging to go to an undeveloped country to provide service, because you never know what you could face on the road, with each trip encountering something new :). This time we had trouble in customs and our passports where confiscated. it’s not something we could have ever expected, but we had a great experience in trusting God, and in the faith to see God’s hand with protection and care each day. The Passports where confiscated due to required paperwork not being submitted to the General Hospital and Immigration office by certain people who were in charge. After 5 days we had approval to do medical work on the islands of Kiribati. Our work begin on the outer Island of Abaiang. Among us we had a local doctor, nurse, and four helpers which were all volunteers. Five days in a row, village after village we were able to see patient’s in the Maneaba’s (place of gathering). In five days we were able to visit one isolated island Ribono. We had 5 stations where different services took place, back adjustments, dispensing of medications, and two stations where the local doctor and a nurse saw their patients as well as a station for prescriptive glasses. After we returned from the outer island of Abaiang to the main Island of Tarawa the work didn’t stop. During our time on the island we visited a couple SDA churches where patients where being treated from those particular villages. On our last day of work we went to one of the Islands main centers to do medical check-ups, where we got to reach many people successfully. Another way we got to serve the people of Kiribati was through a portable photo printer. Watching how happy the people were when they received their photos was a real highlight of the trip. Some of the most touching moments I had was when we were able to pray for the patients, and tell them about Our God Jesus Christ who loves them and cares for them. Watching tears and joy from the people, and feeling Gods presence melted my heart. Creating thanksgiving to Our Savior who was always there for all His creation to give them hope and a future. A lot of work has been accomplished but much more is ahead of us.
I would like to express gratitude to our families who supported us. Big thanks’ to all of those who were supporting this trip with prayers and the giving finances making this trip possible! We will continue working together and glorifying our God in all we do!
Hello dear friends! It’s been a while since we’ve shared anything on the blog, but the work hasn’t stoped. For a while now a team of four, myself included, were preparing for our upcoming trip to Kiribati, beginning in October 24th. Once again we are going there to do medical work. This time it will be only for a little more then 3 weeks. The Lord has been blessing us and even the little details are working out great! With the help of many we got donated and purchased medications, as well as donated supplies and glasses. We have been able to purchase Welch Allyn otoscope and ophthalmoscope device and do services for autorefractor (machine for eye examination for prescription glasses).
I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for taking part in this. For those coming along, donating money, medications, glasses, and other supplies. May the Lord pour His blessings on you and your families and provide you with all your needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus!
The last couple of months we were preparing for our upcoming trip to Kiribati. Our initial plan has changed. We can’t visit Nauru islands in October but will continue working on the governmental approval.
If you are interested in joining our team in the upcoming October trip to Kiribati, we will be happy to welcome you on board 😊
Please continue to pray for our forming team. Work on the islands of Kiribati can be challenging due to the hot climate and anti-sanitary environment.
For the first time we decided to try out our new bought LifeStraw mission purification system which can filter 18,000 Litters of water. In the hopes of not having stomach issues with the rain water intake.
In our previous trip to Kiribati and while staying there for one year, our family tried multiple brands of chlorine purification drops which irritated our stomachs and we end up with drinking rain water straight from the water tank. Not alway pleasant and refreshing a specially when u see mosquito larvae swimming in it and a slimy after-taste but enough for our survival (a little taste for you before you go) 😊 And like I mentioned, I can’t wait to try out our new system 😀
If you have any questions you can email me directly @ email@example.com
Keeps us in your prayers and see you on board!
Hello everyone! After a few weeks in Washington state, we are back in Alaska! Home, safe and sound. God is so graceful to us and we see His providing hand by being accepted and receiving jobs at Interior Alaska Medical Clinic.
We are happy to announce that the two volunteer boys that helped us the whole year in Tarawa Health Center are now in Fiji! They are going through the course of natural medicine. They are enjoying the time they get to learn and are hoping to come back and help the people of Kiribati.
We are home but we aren’t done with our mission work. Our plans are to continue our work in Kiribati. The next planned trip is possibly this October and Lord willing, will continue once or twice a year.
The clinic there is open to anyone who wants to serve and do medical work, even without us there. A big thank you to everyone who prayed and supported us and still is through all this work!
— We have a prayer and financial request. The Tarawa Health Center is currently very low on basic medications such as Analgesics, Antibiotics, and much more. We are looking at possibilities of purchasing and shipping the medications to Kiribati. Please pray for doors to be opened so that we can accomplish the task with God’s help. We know that He is the provider of all the resources needed for Tarawa Health Center to be open and to continue providing medical care for those in need!
Huge thank you to Frances and Pete Hallgren for your financial support and prayers. With your and others financial support we were able to renovate the building which is now a fully functioning clinic. May the Lord bless you for everything you did and do for this mission.
Tarawa Kiribati: 2016/2017
Arriving home 3 days ago from Tarawa allows me to reflect on the trip which started the evening of December 13 and ended the early morning of January 6. Having been on a trip to the Island in 2014 there are some obvious changes in the geography. The most obvious is significantly improved and surfaced roads through the Island. Many side streets are also blacktopped now. The people are the same. They are the most friendly smiling fun loving people I have ever met anywhere in the world. People have been wonderful in the country of Peru, Guatemala, Mexico and Interior Alaska, where I have done mission trips. Though these other places are wonderfully friendly and the friendship is delightful there is something that is over-the-top with the Kiribati people. The weather this time matches what I experienced as an adolescent in Missouri during the months of July and August. The temperatures were running in the 80s and the humidity was high. It felt the same as when I was back in Missouri. This year the expected rain at this time has not occurred and it is very dry. It only rained twice during the time spent on the Islands. The biggest adjustment , is adjusting to the different foods prepared for us with such loving hands. Every place we served the medical needs of the people, it was a new and different day and style of medicine. Getting there and back was the most difficult trip I have made . This trip allowed God to demonstrate His miraculous presence many times, and it was worth going just for that experience with God’s hand moving in our behalf. As usual, there are lots and infections of every part of the body. Only saw one case of lepersy. Removed one facial teratoma. Saw lots of bronchitis for which we were informed afterward that there was an outbreak of TB in that site…suspected several cases but were unable to test for TB. The northern portion of the outer island of Abaiang has facial features of the Europeans and it was the first island that missionaries came to. The care of the people on the outer islands require carrying all the meds and items you need along with you, for the “clinic” run by a local nurse is not available nor equipped to service a sudden influx of 2-300 cases needing meds and supplies. We did contact and got the blessings of the local clinic nurse before barging into her territory of responsibility. The biggest surprise was the extensively decay of the teeth of the people on the northern portion of the island of Abaiang. A few miles to the south, on the same island and on the main atoll of Tarawa, had very minimal tooth decay and the teeth are shining white. They say the teeth stay white because they use the inside of the banana peel to rub their teeth and gums with….also chewing of the ripe pandanus fruit cleans the teeth like using dental floss.
The newly established Tarawa Health Center, has been the daily work of Nadia and Serge Domas and family along with many local nationals. It is well organized and a delight to work in. There are nurses and assistants to help anyone coming to work for these people medically. A trip to an outer island is planned by Gary Morgan of “Search for One”. It will start in February 14 and end about one month later in March 2017. I am planning on going back again this year, probably for three weeks during the October 2017 time period and would be happy to encourage others to go along…seems to always need the number of willing volunteers that God sends to the battlefront of service for His Kingdom. The style of the medical work is really different at the Tarawa Center, were I would see about 35 patients/day, as compared to the outer island work sites , where up to 100 patients would be seen each day by each medical provider. Nurses and other medical personnel were able to see and treat patients, which is really “foreign” to our US medical systems. More charting at the “Center” and much less paper work for the outer island patients. My, mostly unpadded skinny behind, became sore each day from sitting on a hard plastic or metal chair for the many hours in patient care. Patients would line up for the visit to the provider and the next group of patients to be seen sat in a circle listening and learning about whatever the current patient’s issues were. No HIPPA out there, all a big family with nothing secret or hidden. We had several stations for medical care providers set up and a “pharmacy” and a treatment area where ear wax plugs would be removed, or back and spine adjustment were provided.
I did not have time to get in touch with my emotions while in the “trench” working, but the moment the Fiji Airplane broke ground on the way back to Nadi Fiji, I was overcome with emotion. These people are family to me and I love them…I must go back again and again. Hopefully, in October of this year. All the nearly 24 hours in actual flight and the additional 5 days I spent on the ground sleeping on the concrete floor hoping for passage on the next flight to Tarawa,and the two weeks in care for their needful bodies, seemed to wash away my sore behind and tired body and bronchitis . Service to any underserved group, is a privilege, but when the served are really happy to have whatever you are able to bring and express their praise and thanks, it really creates a joy within my soul that only experiencing it could ever do justice to.
There were many following along my journey as I FB sent out messages and pictures. So many of my friends prayed us through this trip for which I am sooo very thankful. As for now, May the Lord Bless all those praying, organizing, raising and giving funds and those on the “ground working”. In God’s way of doing everyone has a part and every one is blessed when playing their part.
See you on the next trip for God’s biding?
Ray Andreassen, DO
PS: My 11 ½ y/o, granddaughter Ruby went along and turned out to be a great medical assistant…she is welcome to go along anywhere with this “grandpa” medical provider.
About one month ago we applied to the immigration services to extend our working permits and visas here in Kiribati for another full year. With the new President rules and regulations have been changed. The applications where declined about a week ago. We are still able to come short term as much as we would like. We have to leave the Country in order for them to review our request for the full year permits. In a couple of weeks we would leave anyway, but my thoughts are always bringing me to the conclusion of how truly Big our God is. He let us come here at the right time and let us stay here as long as He wanted us to, so we could do what He planned! Just even the thought amazes me of how powerful and mighty the God we serve is!
To those who are interested when we are coming back to the US, and why we coming so soon?! 😊
OUR WORK IN KIRIBATI IS NOT FINISHED 😀 this is just the beginning!
Our plan is to be in US, WA state at the end of January. Both of our daughters are graduating this school year, and we physically have to be presented in AK, it was a previous agreement with their homeschool. To admit it, I would love and wish to stay longer, and planned earlier, but our family situation is moving us home together 😀 which we are all happy about!
Things are going very well here at the clinic. We are seeing patients Monday – Thursday 9am – 4pm. Staying longer and seeing patients over the weekend if needed. Like I mentioned in my previous update, we have local nurses and volunteer boys helping. From the beginning of the next year we are planning to have a full time nurse who will take charge of this clinic.
Our volunteers (young boys) are accepted in the Fiji New Start (natural medicine) school. Their course will start mid February and will last one year long. After school they will be able to return to Kiribati and serve their people.
I got my Kiribati RN registration, after volunteering at the Hospital for a month and a half. This registration gives me a green light for work on our next visits to Kiribati. The registration and license are given for a lifetime 😊 Should I just move here permanently!? 😊😊 It seems like I’m the first “white” nurse in the history, with overseas RN license who has a Kiribati lifetime license. For sure the Lord moved it that way, for His purpose, and I’m very thankful for it!
Serge and I are planning to visit Kiribati once or twice a year. A lot of work is ahead of us and we feel God’s calling to continue! If any of you would like to join us with our next trips to Kiribati, we would be happy to discuss our plans when we get back to the US.
I can not not mention that our family is eagerly waiting for Dr. Andreassen and his granddaughter Ruby from Alaska! – They are COMING!!!!
I want to thank each of you our friends and family who has been and still is continuously supporting us financially and in your prayers. This is not easy but at the end of the day rewarding for yours and our journeys.
“…..Everything we have has come from You, and we give You only what You first gave us!” 1 Chronicles 29:14
One month passed by after we had the official opening of Tarawa Health Center. Serge and I are very thankful to the volunteer, retired nurses as well as two young guys for their time and dedication to their clinical daily work. Serge is seeing patients at the clinic and is staying very busy. Currently and this past month I have been volunteering at the local Hospital. I have to admit, I’m very thankful for the experience of work I’m having at the Hospital which can’t be compared with anything else, the cases I’ve seen and the severity of the problems. And it’s exiting to make new friends among doctors and nurses of Kiribati. A great thing that our Lord gifted us is the ability to share, learn, and experience.