Today “I” attempted to take her own life.  As this attempt was based on assumptions, decided rather quickly, and not very well thought-out, it was unsuccessful.  I and her husband have their share of marital woes, not the least being the way his family thinks of I.  “T’s” sisters frequently inform him that he should divorce I and move on.  It seems difficult for him to stand up for his wife.  Over time this wears on a woman.  Then last night through a series of innocent events, he had a knife in his hand when the power went out.  At that time, “I” had been ragging on him about something or other and he decided to go outside.  She grabbed at his hand and the knife cut her thumb.  She felt that he had bad plans with that knife.  He didn’t.  But as the people of this place are very emotional, decisions are frequently made based on the emotion of the moment alone.  That was the case here.  There was no sign this morning that she would do something drastic.  I returned home from playing hockey and bandaged up her cut and she seemed fine.  She lied about how it had happened of course.  Later I left to go teach PE and did not see her again after that.  At 4:00, a few guys came and told me that “I” had drunk bleach and her husband was taking her to the hospital.  I got the household in order and hopped in the car and went over.  She was in a tremendous amount of pain and was lying alone on a stretcher right at the entrance to the ER (if you can call it that).  Her husband was purportedly out purchasing milk.  I spoke with the one and only doctor working and he said that milk was necessary.  A nice girl walked me over to a little kiosk nearby so I could buy some condensed milk.  I brought it back and the doctor took it and said they had to mix some medicine with it before giving it to her.  There was only one nurse helping him at that time and every stretcher bed had a patient on it, so they were a little short-staffed.  I prayed with I but could not get her to respond to me in any way.  Seeing her like this as a result of her own actions, shook me to my core.  I have never ever had to deal with anything like this before.  I went outside, I couldn’t bear to see her like that.  Her husband was with her and he and his two friends got her to drink the milk/medicine potion.  She threw up some which was the idea.  During that time a drunk man with a stab wound came in dripping blood all over the floor.  A gloveless cleaning woman cleaned it up.  (mops here are wrung by hand…)  Later a few local guys came in and took a quick look at the fellow and took off again.  I guess they wanted to see if he was still alive.  Then a woman came in having given birth in a taxi on the way to the hospital.  Taxis are like little mini-busses and a cheap form of public transportation.  Not the most sterile place to give birth.  Following the consumption of the nasty looking concoction, “I” was lucid and communicative and we were able to find out just how much she had consumed.  It appears she only drank about 1/2 c or so.  She quickly perked up and once I had purchased the prescribed meds and they had withdrawn the IV line, we (her and hubby and I) hopped in the car.  Once in the vehicle I inquired of them the reason behind her actions.  We had a good chat and then headed home.  They have a difficult life.  All married couples have their problems, but here their problems are exacerbated by constant outside influences.  Neither I nor T has parents who were a good example so they don’t know how a good marriage is supposed to work.  Please pray for this couple who is struggling so much!  And please pray for I that she will see God’s hand in her life and be able to turn to Him!


About Erica Feunekes

Myself, my husband Hugo and our five kids live and work in Sentani, Papua, with Mission Aviation Fellowship.
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