Monday, February 28, 2011

A Plea

We just discovered that the school here in Tansen (that educates the missionary kids) will be without a teacher as of June 2011.  This could be quite a stress for the parents of these kids.  If there is no teacher willing to come, the parents may have to give up their service at the hospital.  Please pray with us to the Lord of the Harvest that He might send out more workers (who happen to be teachers)!

Thank you!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Inspiration from the Psalms

Yesterday, in church, we read a psalm that seemed to speak to my heart and give encouragement.  I want to share some of it with you.  Psalm 147 (in part):
“Praise the LORD!
How good to sing praises to our God!”
  (Sometimes even singing in Nepali my heart swells with joy.)
“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.”  (I’ve written about my heart breaking, or aching, and my small pain is nothing compared to what I see around here: LORD, please heal the brokenhearted of Nepal!)
“He counts the stars and counts them all by name.”  (We’ve had many nighttime walks home from the hospital, when we’ve forgotten the flashlights, and the view of the stars is fantastic.)
“How great is our Lord!  His power is absolute!  His understanding is beyond comprehension!”  (No further elaboration necessary.)
“The LORD supports the humble.”  (May we be humble in your sight.)
“He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the grass grow in mountain pastures.”  (Ana and I went to pick up the kids from a friend’s house in the midst of a tremendous rain and hail storm yesterday.  There were rivers flowing along the dirt path.)
He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might.
No, the LORD’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love. 
(I fear Him.  I put my hope in his unfailing love.  May you know the LORD’s delight!)


Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I have really struggled this week with the realities that I am facing here at the hospital.  I feel so ill-equipped to be of significant help here, yet I am rapidly learning, so I hope to be more helpful in time.  Just to give you a taste, here is what we faced this week (this will be full of medical jargon, so for the non-medical, I apologize):  On Tuesday, I was helping to manage the Maternity Ward and the Female Outpatient Department.  There was only one other doctor (a very talented resident) assigned to this task.  So, there were about ten deliveries that included the following complications: two cervical tears, two post-partum hemorrhages, and two cases of thick meconium.  There were also two hypertensive pregnant women.  (It seems that everything came in twos.)  Those were the inpatient cases; meanwhile, we still had 100 patients to see in the outpatient department, just the two of us, while also running back to the ward for every emergency.  I’m not really ready for obstetric emergencies (I’m getting up to speed after 15 years of outpatient work) and I struggled with the Nepali language in the midst of the chaos (they weren’t talking slowly enough for me).  So, I thank God for a very skilled and calm resident.  Please, LORD Jesus, send more workers to your ripe fields!

I came home an hour late from this challenging day to find Ana quite ill with the norm for life in Nepal: vomiting and stomach pain.  I was out all day, Dave had been out all day, and Ana was struggling to get out of bed.  I am so thankful for our wonderful kids who self-managed all day long.  I got to see maturity in Nick that night as he cared for Ana in her sickness after the rest of us fell asleep.  If anybody understands stomach ailments in Nepal, it is Nick.  I am happy to say that Ana is recovered now, so thank you to all who lift her up.  I must also say that her attitude was wonderful through the whole sickness.  There is nothing like living in a third world country to prepare one to embrace suffering.  She is truly a blessing to our family.

Today, I went on inpatient medical rounds, so that I might be prepared for tomorrow when the regular internist will be having a day off.  In three hours, we got through about two thirds of the patients (at which time I needed to go, while the other doctors treated their own hypoglycemia) and the severity of illnesses has sent my mind and heart reeling.  Just for a little taste, here are some of the diagnoses:  multiple cases of meningitis, two cases of DVT, two possible cases of bacterial endocarditis (still awaiting echocardiogram; we have nobody to perform this test today), aplastic anemia (with a hematocrit of 6%!), end-stage alcoholic liver disease, severe nephrotic syndrome (with total body edema, he cannot even open his eyes), multiple cases of rheumatic heart disease, multiple cases of rheumatoid arthritis, a new diagnosis of HIV with multiple infections, and the list goes on.  All these cases are for one senior doctor, two residents and two interns.  Again, I do not feel adequate to fill in for the senior doctor tomorrow.  I look to the LORD for strength.  Surely, there must be more skilled doctors out there who enjoy a challenge and have compassion for these suffering patients.  Surely these Nepalis are just as important as all the patients in America; and to think that I hear rumors of medical companies/clinics competing for patients in my home town.  My heart is breaking again.

Finally, my heartache broke to tears this morning as we prayed about the adoption.  Every door we’ve knocked on so far has been closed, and yet we’ve had multiple people approach us to tell of children who do not have parents to care for them, and I want to say “Yes, we’ll love them.”  Yet, we’ve been told from many angles that the governments who need to approve (Nepal and U.S.) will not allow us to care for these needy children and take them home with us.  I feel so strongly that we were called to try this, and yet I cannot see the channel through which we can give the love that we feel we have to give.  Imagine desiring to give a good home to some needy children, seeing them all around you, and then being told that if you care for them, you will have to leave them behind when you return to your home country.  The darkness of this world, the unequal distribution of resources, and the sheer weight of the suffering brings me to my knees and wrings my heart with an ache that I must learn to endure.  Come quickly, LORD Jesus!

Please pray for us all to walk in God’s will, to find our role in relieving the suffering but to find a place of contentment knowing how little we can really do, and to never lose hope in how much God can do.  And in the end of His story (history), we will truly see how He has been weaving it all together, according to a good and perfect will that cannot be thwarted by human sin or apathy.  The day after tomorrow, Dave, Nick and Nate will leave on a five-day foray into the Chepang area.  Again, they will have to confront poverty beyond the imagination of most of us.  They must carry enough food for themselves (and our colleagues) for the entire trip, as these people do not have enough food to sustain themselves year-round, and we well-nourished westerners can’t even conceive of eating what little food they have.  Please pray for my “men” to be a blessing as they assess how the project is going.

Thank you for joining us in this journey.  We cherish your prayers and your partnership.
Kimberly, for the Beine Bunch

Monday, February 21, 2011

A view of school in Tansen:

Kitten Nate Beine

The other day our teacher, Ana, discovered that a cat had birthed baby kittens in a box on our balcony.  When I came out onto the balcony, Ana was reading, with 4 tiny, cute baby kittens on her lap.  They were all curled up together in a ball and when we took one out it started mewing and scratching us with its tiny claws. All of the kittens had their eyes closed and Ana said that they won’t open them for a couple of weeks. Ana had the idea that we could keep one.  My mom’s fine with that but says that it has to stay outside, but my dad does not want a pet cat.  I told him that it could eat the rats, but he still doesn’t like the idea.  I think that having a kitten would be cool because we’d have a pet in both countries.  My dad also said that it would die when we left because it couldn’t find food for itself, but I’m sure that one of our friends here could take care of it.  Ana also thinks that it would be a good idea to get a snake which I agreed with since I’ve wanted one for a couple of years.  Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for my mom.  Thanks to those of you who pray for us and be sure to add a cat and snake for us to your prayer list.
From Nate

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One for the Beines!

The battle ensued underneath the refrigerator...
David, the triumphant!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I have so much to share.  And I have to run off to the Bazaar so that we can eat dinner tonight, so I’ll share some brief snippets…
Is your work busy?  Yesterday, one senior doctor, two residents and one intern saw 130 outpatients, managed the maternity ward and taught two medical students.  And we still found time for tea and lunch.  I am beginning to get the hang of the faster pace in the outpatient department.  I only get slowed down when the language is Hindi instead of Nepali.

That is fresh chicken!  Today, I stopped to buy some chicken for dinner and while I was waiting for it to be cut, 32 live chickens arrived, all hanging from one motorcycle.  The delivery man had just come in from the village where the chickens are grown: all free-range, no hormones, and who knows what they are fed!  (See photo.)
Beines vs. Rodents.  We’re having a competition with the rodents for our precious food.  The rats like to move our potatoes to their nest in my towel drawer.  The mice like to chew on my apples and relocate my peanuts.  They both like to eat my plastic bags and release their contents.  So, we’ve declared war.  Our renters (who were here just prior to our arrival) caught one big rat on some glue-coated paper.  We snapped one giant rat in a trap.  Dave beat one rat ruthlessly with his flashlight in the middle of the night, but it still got away.  And this morning, when Josh woke up, the first thing he saw when he opened his eyes was a rat foot hanging out of a crack in our burlap ceiling (the burlap keeps the mud from falling on our heads).  Subsequently, there was a scurry of feet across the burlap.  I think we’re ahead on the score, but it is hard to tell when you don’t know the exact number of your opponents.
A theology of suffering?  I wonder sometimes if I have removed suffering from my theology.  The Scripture doesn’t do that.  As a team, last weekend, we pondered the feeding of the 5000.  In Mark’s gospel, he records that the disciples had just come back from a stint of hard work.  Jesus offered them a getaway for rest.  However, when they reached their remote getaway venue, a crowd was waiting.  I might have felt frustration and disappointment.  Jesus felt compassion; he saw the individuals in the crowd as sheep without a shepherd.  He turned to his disciples and asked them to feed the crowd.  Some rest, eh?  Of course, He also came through with a miraculous supply of bread and fish.  Do I look for the miraculous in my exhaustion?  Am I ready to serve with compassion when I was expecting rest?  Do I understand that this life is hard, and heaven promises delightful rest?  I wonder…
Thankful for immunity.  Herd immunity is great, isn’t it?  What is that?  That is the freedom to choose whether or not I want to immunize myself or my children because the vast majority of people in my environment are immunized and I am protected from so many illnesses spreading epidemically.  Here, in Nepal, we have chosen immunization for protection as the “herd” is not well-immunized and not so protective.  I am thankful for the option.  In my first two days of clinic, I saw a case of measles, a case of mumps, and a case of suspected typhoid.  I am so fortunate to have immunity to each of these (through immunization) and now I can keep on serving patients.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Nepal…the country where my heart aches.

We’ve been back in Nepal for eight days now, and we’ve had wonderful opportunities to meet with a variety of different people.  The reunions with old friends have been wonderful.  When we have asked how things have been in our absence, stories have surfaced that rend my heart over and over again.  I hope that we can bring a ray of hope and light into this dark world.

There is the young lady who just took a chance on marriage to a man from a completely different culture with a different language, different foods, different customs, etc.  She doesn’t know the man well, but she is hoping for something better.  Why didn’t her parents arrange her marriage in typical Nepali fashion, you ask?  Well, you see, at eleven years old, she was sent to the big city, to make money that her family could take.  She was lucky; her sisters were sold into prostitution.  She has worked for more than fifteen years, so that her family could have her money.  Have they thanked her, or shown her tender loving care?  No; they have simply used her for what they could get.  And since it costs a family much to marry off a daughter, they haven’t chosen that.  So, taking a chance on a foreign man sounded better than her life of lonely servitude in Nepal.  I wonder how she is coping with culture shock, let alone all the adjustments of married life.

Then there is the family with three children, ages three through eight.  They look like they may be two, four and five; they are so small and undernourished.  They have no clean clothes and no regular meals.  They sit in feces and sometimes sleep on the street.  Nobody can tell if they have ever been bathed.  People recoil from them, treating them more like animals.  You see, their mother ran off when she could no longer tolerate the beatings from her husband.  And in his drunkenness, he has failed to provide basic care for his kids.  The Christian neighbor, along with some of the local missionaries, has noticed the plight of these children.  They have washed the children, given them clean clothes, fed them and offered them alternative shelter for one month.  The father does not choose to relinquish them.  Perhaps he truly loves them; it’s just that alcohol has mastered him and he seems unable to choose well for the kids.

There is a new friend of mine here who is raising her three children by herself.  She had an extensive stay in the mission hospital many years ago, after a severe beating, if I understood her correctly.  During her months in the hospital, she heard the Gospel preached; she saw the Gospel lived.  In time, she came to believe that Jesus came to give her life also.  So, with hope now, she works and raises her children by herself, a daunting task for a woman in Nepal.  I do not understand all of the reasons, but her Muslim husband has left her to fend for herself and care for their children.  God watches over the orphans and widows (of sorts).
At church on Saturday, we were challenged to consider Stephen.  He was faithful in the little things, like the distribution of food.  And he was faithful in bigger things, like continuing to love people even in his hour of death.  Like his LORD, Stephen prayed that God would forgive his assailants, choosing not to count their sins against them.  Stephen was in an intimate relationship with the LORD, and it showed in the way that he lived.  I hope that my relationship with the LORD will someday bear similar fruit.

Lord, Jesus, please turn my heartache to love and use me to shine your light.  I find myself wanting to relieve the suffering in some way.  There is so much pain all around me; come near, Lord Jesus.