Saturday, December 27, 2008

Location


Hope Children's home (the orphanage that Show Mercy works with) is in Gganda Village about 10 miles outside of Kampala, the capital city.
This is where we will be working and I think we will be staying in Entebe, outside of Kampala. At least while the rest of the group is there. It may change once they leave.
The property that Shom Mercy purchased is in Kaliti Village. When it is finished it will include short and long term volunteer housing, multiple children’s cottages for orphans as well as medical facilites, schools and farming.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas to all and to all joy!

This year more than any other, I have felt sad and sympathetic when anyone told me they were not enjoying the season or didn't look forward to Christmas. I love this time of year- but I grew up knowing why we celebrate and feeling the joy of the season. But, really why do I have this joy this time of year? How do I pass it on? As I was pondering this around midnight Christmas eve I realized part of the answer was right there in front of me sitting open to Luke 2:14- the second half of the angle's message. Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests. The joy that fills me up is because my God is here and he cares about me- He made that enormous trip from heaven to earth because His favor rests on me.
Emmanuel- God with us. The God of this universe cares about us his creation and is a part of my life. He wants to be a vital part of who I am and what I do! The joy, peace, love, grace and mercy that is so evident this time of year, this season- not about shopping or parties, of gifts- well, only one gift. The gift that made God accessible to us!
So there is the first part of my question. But how do I share it without sounding like a nut? I want one more person to tell me that they don't look forward to Christmas so that I can attempt to share just a piece of my joy. How can I not? Emmanuel- my God is with us!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Just Christmas

Strip all the stuff away. Santa, parties, red and green, snow, decorations, caroling, frosty, garland, lights. Just give me Christmas. It is so much more (and so much simpler) than all of the "stuff" that we pack into it. It is about the baby in the manger- the baby who ended up nailed to a cross just a few years and miles from where he was born. The best gift I will ever receive. Emmanuel. That is all I want- just give me that. Merry Christmas.
Luke 2:11 A savior has been born to you and He is Christ the Lord!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snowed in

Some times I think God wants us to be snowed in. In my head I know that Sunday is to be a day of rest and even with my words I attest to this but rarely do my actions confirm. Well, this past Sunday God said "You will rest." I was snowed in, along with the rest of the city and all my plans for the day needed to be set aside (and don't worry- I had lots of plans for the day). I live close enough to my family right now that we managed to all be snowed in together. We made cookies, took naps, had meals and watched movies- some may say we "wasted" a day- we certainly didn't accomplish much with only 3 shopping days until Christmas. But it felt great. Thank you Lord for snowing me in. Help me be "snowed in" and enjoy the great gifts that you have given me more often.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hey Team!

Exciting communication from the team leader:
Hello Team Uganda !

We now have our team in place. We are so excited to have each of you joining Show Mercy as we reach out in love in Uganda this January. It is hard to believe, but the trip is less than one month away! We are really looking forward to getting to know each of you on this trip. We are confident that all of us will leave Uganda different that when we arrive. We also know that each of you have a valuable part to play on this mission. Not only will our lives be changed, but I am confident that you will make a lasting impact on the people of Uganda . What a great opportunity to share the love of Jesus!

Our plans will include spending a lot of time with our beautiful kids. We will be spending time at Hope Children’s Home where nearly 100 children who have been orphaned or abandoned are living. Some of you know how wonderful these kids are. They have gone from a life of hopelessness and heart ache to a life of purpose and destiny with people that love and care for them. One thing that they love more than even their provision is to meet and hang out with our teams. Love never fails. Food can fill your belly and a shelter can protect you from the rain, but a touch from each of you will bring life and joy!

We will also be doing some outreaches in the village including visiting our neighbors, praying for them and helping encourage and strengthen them. Along with that, we will visit at least two hospitals where we will minister to the sick, praying for healing. This includes a children’s cancer ward. We have a heart to eventually build a medical clinic that will care for those who are hurting. There will also be a chance for each of you that would like to do so to share at a local church. We encourage everyone to stretch yourself and plan to share.

You are part of my team! Are you ready? We leave in 25 days!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The cost...

As I've been thinking on this cost thing (See the post a couple of days ago) Here is something else I've read and want to share.

"Is there always a cost involved in responding to that insistent demand in our hearts to express to Him our love? Would I be willing to pay a cost if asked to do so? Do I believe that as my Saviors He has the right to demand such a response to His love if I would really love Him as He first loved me?

Momentarily I had felt this the night the rebel soldiers first took me captive. Beaten, flung on the ground, kicked- teeth broken, mouth and nose gashed, ribs bruised- driven at gunpoint back to my home, jeered at, insulted, threatened. I knew that if the rebel lieutenant did not pull the trigger of his gun and end the situation, worse pain and humiliation lay ahead. It was a very dark night. I felt unutterably alone. For a brief moment I felt God had failed me. He could have stepped in and prevented this rising crescendo of wickedness and cruelty. He could have saved me out of their hands. Why didn't He speak? Why didn't He intervene? And in desperation I cried out against Him: "It is too much to pay!"

Yet His love for me cost Him His life. He gave Himself, in that one all sufficient atoning sacrifice at Calvary. He so loved the world that He gave all. His sacrifice was the expression of His great love.

But His sacrifice had achieved something. He had saved lost mankind from their sins. What was I achieving by suffering brutality at the hands of rebel soldiers? If I died (which seemed probable and imminent) no one would even know of the suffering. What was being gained? God, why, why?

In the darkness and loneliness, He met with me. He was right there, a great wonderful and almighty God. His love enveloped me. Suddenly the "Why?" dropped away from me and an unbelievable peace flowed in, even in the midst of the wickedness. And He breathed a word into my troubled mind: the word privilege.

He said These are not your sufferings: they are not beating you. These are my sufferings: all I ask of you is the loan of your body. "
(Dr. Helen Roseveare in her book- Living Sacrifice. )


I can't even make the "sacrifice" to get out of bed half an hour earlier to pray or take the time to speak an extra kind word to my patents. Are these little things that God asks of me too much? Am I really suffering for Him at all?!? Lord, help me to be bold enough to ask for this privilege.

Blankets






Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! To all of those who hand made all of these blankets - I can't wait to see how God uses them. Thank you so much!!! (Especially to the ladys at Maple Grove Church in Topeka, Indiana. You are awesome!)

Now- for those of you who have great ideas- any sugestions how I should get them in county? Roughly 50 pounds and 70 linear inches. For $150 I can check them as a third bag. (FedEx and UPS both charge more than $200 to delieve to their offices in Kampal.) Any cheaper ideas?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Teacher

I shared last week (see the post also titled Teacher) about a group I was struggling to love. I'd been praying that God would teach me to love them. Yet this week they were out to make themselves even harder to love. For some reason they were hateful to each other (being mean bullies to several of the quieter, less popular) and rude to myself and the other teacher. I don't even know what to do. Father- Please increase my love for them and help me to see them as you do.

Amen

What is God asking of me?

"I will not give to the LORD my God that which cost me nothing."



One of the speakers at the conference I was just at (Dr. Jefferson McKinney) talked about considering the cost of service to the Lord. He obviously was talking about mission work but doesn't this apply to all that we do for God? What is our motivation? Why do I do the things that I do? Am I doing the things that God is asking me to do or am I looking for excuses? My reason to do what He asks needs to become-Because I am a in such a deep debt. I owe so much, this thing that the Lord is asking of me is nothing compared to the cost that He paid.

Sometimes the things that He asks us to do are hard. We have a tendency to whine, to complain and then to quit. And that is where grace comes in. There are returns in this life and in the next. But sometimes things are still hard.

We have a tendency to ask "Was it worth it?" But this question implies "was it worth it to me?"But it isn't about me. It is about God. Philippians 3:10 says : I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.

So, I will learn to give nothing to my Lord which cost me nothing. Anyone have any insights to share?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Supply list

Here is a working list of things I've been told that I'll need. I'm sure that there will be other things but for now:

Needs:
Badage/ dressing supplies.
Antibiotic ointment
Childrens multivitamin
Prenatal vitamins
OTC pain meds (both childrens and adults)
Betadine
Gloves

Wants:
A volleyball and net
Soccer ball
Kids' shoes (used are fine)

Leaving in 6 weeks, 5 days and (roughly) 14 hours

So if God had not given me enough evidence up to this point that going to Uganda is that I'm supposed to be doing (between the strong desire, the support and encouragement of great Christians and the abundance of funds) now I have been told that nearly all of my shifts at work have been covered. Now I don't have any guilt for asking from my employer for the time off. (not that I had much guilt, but I did have a little...)
So preparations have begun in earnest. I have someone to house sit. I have begun gathering supplies (see the next post if you want to contribute). I think we have someone to bring us to Chicago and pick us back up. And there is now two inches of snow outside and is is 90 and sunny in Kamapal right now. Lets go!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Crocuses


Over the past several weeks several things added themselves to my life. I somehow ended up on the Prayer Leadership Team (PTL) at Remembrance, I acquired some books that have had quite an impact on me and I have been studying spiritual disciplines, the power of the Holy Spirit, listening prayer, spiritual warfare and lies of the devil. All of this combined with some quality time with God and I felt like I could burst with all that He was teaching me. I wrote in my journal "I feel like I'm going to explode trying to contain all that you are teaching me. Like something new is looming ahead of me but it is still just slightly too dark to see it. The dawn is coming, it is slightly pink on the horizon. Last night I was convinced that I'm entering a season of a huge change. The ground is thawing and I'm about to be able to move forward. It is spring!"

Last week in anticipation of the mission conference I felt led to spend the week prior to leaving fasting and praying. I have fasted several times in the past but it has never been anything like this. For the most part I didn't desire food, only time with God. I gave up TV, computer and food for three days and continued to feel more full and occupied than I had in months. Needless to say after that I was fired up about where God was going with all of this.

One of the first times of worship at the mission conference the worship leader led us in prayer for each other related to the season that our ministry is in. For example the first was summer- your ministry is going well, producing fruit, few difficulties. Or winter- things are slow and cold, the work is hard. I got so excited! God had told me clearly that I was in the spring of my ministry only days ago. Funny how he works like that. Now I'm back to being patient. My journal yesterday: " Yet sometimes spring feels so long! The snow melts and the sun is out for a few more hours, only to be followed by a week of damp and chill, and that one last wet grey snow. But this is the time the crocuses push through. Lord, please give me patience!"

To wrap this up, as I read what I've written I sound like a nut. Not that long ago if I had read this on someone else's blog I wouldn't have finished it, so thank you for everyone who hung in there to all of my mental wandering. I guess I'm getting more weird but really I don't care and as a matter of fact I like it. God is so good. I can't wait to see what is next!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Prayer Requests

So I'm back from the medical mission conference in KY and I'm so ready to get on the mission field that I may have gone straight from Louisville to Kampala if my mom didn't need me to share the driving home. Stay tuned as I have some great God given insights that I can't wait to share....
In the mean time I want to ask y'all (I was down south- what can I say) to be praying that as I prepare to head to Uganda (only 6 weeks away now!!) that I will be seeking God's will for this trip not my desires.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The book I'm currently reading...

"If you think you have come to the mission field because you are a little better
than others, or as the cream of your church, or because of your medical degree,
or for the service you can render the African church, or even for the souls you may see saved you will fail.
Remember, the Lord has only one purpose ultimately for each one of us, to make us more like Jesus. He is interested in your relationship with Himself. Let Him take you and mould you as He will; all the rest will take its rightful place."
- Dr. Helen Roseveare in her autobiography Give Me This Mountain.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Show Mercy International

So the application has been sent, tickets are being purchased, I know where my passport is and I've even started packing. But I need to defend that last one. I was putting away the summer clothes to make room for the sweaters and thinking that I may want some tanks and skirts left out for the equator IF I go. And because I was leaving them out where better to put them than in the bag that I MIGHT be needing... lets face it, by the time I admitted to myself that I was packing I could admit to myself that the decision had been made. I'm going to Uganda in January!!! (http://www.showmercy.org/)
The place where I'll be serving this time is an orphanage outside of the capital city of Kampala. For those who still read this and occasionally pray for me I'd really appreciate it if you would lift this up. Also my brother Ben and his wife Christina are thinking of going but finances are much tighter for them. We all are trusting that this is what God is calling us to even with the economy the way that it is...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Selfishness

What does it mean for me to die to myself today?
Philippians 3:7-10 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.

On the mission field

"Living on the mission field may be hard at times, but it forces me to
stick close to God. I have to depend on Him in a way I fail to at home. I
LOVE being close to God. I fall more in more in love with my Savior the more I
read about Him in His Word. He is God! He is love, peace, my refuge, and hope. I
wish everyone knew God like this, He does too. God makes it so clear how we are
to live here in Uganda. His joy and the blessings He gives is worth every
hardship or sacrifice it takes to live for Him daily. "

I just read this on a post from a missionary family working in Uganda right now. She summed it up so well. I wish it was an experience that every christian could have! Their blog is at http://shaarda.blogspot.com/ if anyone else wants to read.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

No one is talking about his very poor choice, only the tragedy.
Here is something that I've been struggling with and trying to get some divine insight into and just don't know.... It seems like Nick and I have gotten ourselves in trouble already (Sunday School teachers less than three weeks…) Some of the parents (and obviously some of our students) are very upset about how we talked about the suicide of one of the kids in their school. I’m not even sure what the correct way to respond to their outcry. First, I think how clearly these parent are helping their kids hero worship and idolize this kid. What message does this send to every other kid in the school thinking about suicide?! “Look at all of the attention that he got! I can do that and be important too!” We need to point out that this kid made a mistake! He sinned! It cannot be made to look pretty and tragic or too many others will fall into that trap!
I had no intention of scaring the kids while talking about hell but our God DOES pass judgment on us and we do need to fear that! It is not for anyone to say that this kid is in heaven or hell but I tried to say that he will need to stand before his maker. We can not and should not quickly gloss over the mistakes we make and talk about our forgiving God with rose colored glasses. This is just as much a trap of Satan as the lies Travis listened to that death was the answer. .... So on Sunday we need to address it and I don't really know how. No one wants us to talk about his poor choice, only the tragedy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I biked to work today! I've done this before but now that I live about 14 miles from my place of employment it is much more of a challange. I'm not sure that I'll be able to figure out how to do it consistantly but for now I'm happy with it. http://www.usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=251636

Monday, October 6, 2008

Prayer

  • Prayer does not fit us for the greater work, prayer is the greater work. --Oswald Chambers
  • God's answers are wiser than our prayers. –Unknown
  • Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, pray for powers equal to your task. --Phillips Brooks
  • Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one's heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell God your troubles, that God may comfort you; tell God your joys, that God may sober them; tell God your longings, that God may purify them; tell God your dislikes, that God may help you conquer them; talk to God of your temptations, that God may shield you from them: show God the wounds of your heart, that God may heal them. If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs, troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. Talk out of the abundance of the heart, without consideration say just what you think. Blessed are they who attain to such familiar, unreserved intercourse with God. --Francois Fenelon
  • God does not stand afar off as I struggle to speak. He cares enough to listen with more than casual attention. He translates my scrubby words and hears what is truly inside. He hears my sighs and uncertain gropings as fine prose. --Timothy Jones
  • Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude—an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God. --Arthur W. Pink

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Some things I learned this week-

#1- The cast cutter is cool and something I'm actually good at! (Thanks Dad for all those lessons on the dremil, the band saw, the electric grinder, the circular saw- they all have made me a better cast remover!)
#2- 40 + patients in an 8 hour shift is A LOT.
#3- I still have lots to learn. (To get an RSV sample you actually spray saline into their nose.)

I'm really starting to feel comfortable out at SW and liking this job!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Never lasts....

My contentment never lasts. For roughly a month now I've been content in my current circumstances. In retrospect though I've been "uncomfortable". I've spent many of the last weeks of summer boiling my water, hunting for fire wood, running and biking long hours and working for each meal while sleeping out in the damp with bugs and being generally uncomfortable- and happier than I am at any other time. Now as life gets comfortable again I'm not seeking my Savior's face as often and am more discontent. Beckie was talking today about Show Mercy Uganda. http://www.showmercy.org/ Rumor has it they are building a clinic and will need nurses. Maybe I'll go with Beckie when she goes the middle of next year. I can have more than enough funds raised by then and will have been at SW about a year. Maybe I should talk to God about this and get His take on it....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Work

I haven't written about this new job recently- I guess that means that I'm settling in. I'm getting more comfortable everyday. I had a few things that have made me think. We had a 14 year old- STD's. He seemed pretty relaxed about the whole thing- until I asked if he wanted an HIV test. (Not really our policy to ask, or do it for that matter, but I needed something tactful to try to drive home how harming this behavior could be.) 14?!? I also told him he had to tell his partner that he had gonorrhea and chlamydia. He gave me a slightly blank look until I added that he would need to tell ALL of his partners... he nodded. 14!! Where do I even begin?!

1st annual silent retreat





We backpacked into Nordhouse dunes again. This time we had a time of silence where there was no talking allowed. It was pretty much only 6 hours but you try collecting wood, getting water, making a meal and just generally not talking for that long. We had been discussing how much noise is in our lives and how it all drowns out God's voice. I've been working lately at listening more for God's voice daily. It is hard- much easier out in the woods- no IV, no radio, no cell phone. But still I am distracted by things, like trying to communicate. Why can't I just enjoy the inflicted quiet and listen to God? Maybe if He was easier to hear...
Anyway... enough reflection. Here are some photos of the trip. Hiking in, finding a site and pitching tents in the falling dusk.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hike

More pictures of Nordhouse.

Eikceb

I have this friend (she calls herself Eikceb sometimes) who makes me think. I often find myself coveting her spiritual insight. (Is it still a sin to covet if it is directed at a closer walk with God?) She often teaches me things. We met for coffee the other day, odd if you know that neither of us drinks the stuff, but we had a few minutes, her after work and me before, and we just talked. Now there were no deep philosophical insights shared- mostly we talked about biking to work. But she still taught me. A man at a table next to us got up and moved so he could plug in his laptop. But his hands were full and he left his cup on the table. MY friend jumped up and took his cup to him. Now, there was no reason that he couldn't have come back and gotten it and I'm sure he was going to but she did it anyway. And she does stuff like that all the time. A few weeks ago we stopped at Meijer and ended up in line behind a mom with small kids and a very full cart. While I prided myself on not getting impatient, Eikceb set her stuff down and bagged all the mom's stuff. This Mom was so harried that she hardly even paused from yelling at her kids and she didn't even really say thanks, but my friend saved her 10 minutes. I noticed. Why don't I do stuff like that? It is not about making the world a better place or "random acts of kindness". It is about doing what pleases my Lord. And I don't do it often enough. Yet I complain about not being on the mission field. I pay lip service to the fact that all around me is a mission field yet I don't live that way. I have some things to work on.
And once again, thank you Eikceb for teaching me.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back on IIU

The pager says a stab wound to the chest and an elevated blood ETOH level. ... I must be back on IIU. I love my new job but nothing this "exciting" happens. (Exciting is tongue in cheek: I don't like stab wounds because nice people don't generally get stabbed and I don't like drunks because, well, they are drunk. I know there are "nice drunks" sometimes that won't curse me out when I try to provide care but they generally try to grope me and I'm more of a DON'T TOUCH ME kind of person. ) Anyway, I'm only on IIU once a week now and that is OK. Oddly enough we haven't had a drunk yet out at Southwest. (Pretty sure we never are either.) I'm getting the hang of it out there. The pace is generally pretty quick as I've discovered I'm working the busiest shifts. We can easily see more than 20 patients in the evening. One doctor and two nurses. Let me do the math for you... that is a lot of things to do in an hour. But I like being busy and seeing a little bit of everything. I'm slowly getting better with the kids stuff... though yesterday I was reassured that I still have no idea what I'm doing. I triaged a 3 year old who was holding her wrist and crying. Pretty sure I couldn't mess it up, I ordered the wrist x-ray and waited for the doc to go in to see her. Well evidently in that age elbow injuries look like wrist injuries and they don't even need films. You just put the elbow back in place and watch the kid for 20 minutes or so. If they start to use it again you discharge them home... I'm learning. (BTW: It is called Nursemaid's Elbow and shouldn't happen after age 5. )

Sticking around a little longer?!

A guy I work with now has really got me thinking and dreaming about being overseas again. I really thought I had improved the "be patient" thing but I guess not. I've started praying with a renewed passion about my next mission field. This new job is doing well keeping me busy and content but obviously not quite content enough. So, I'm back to looking for mission and stocking away for airline tickets....

The good news is that I'm reminded almost daily that I still have a ton to learn. But I can now tell scarlet fever from contact dermitis... if only these were things I would see in Burkina. I have not yet seen malaria or parasites at Southwest. I guess I have to stick around a little longer.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Triathalon

So I raced this weekend and it felt really good. I took 8th in my age division and 221st overall with a finish time of 2:00:56. (My goal was under 2 hours and by my watch I made it.) The swim was one of my best yet, even though I got kicked so hard it brought tears to my eyes (or would have if I wasn't face down in the lake. If you want to see the bruise just ask... ) I was in and out of the water in 16:00 minutes flat. The bike course had about 16 more hills than I remembered and took more than an hour. I made up serious time on the run though with two miles under 8 minutes. I did all 4.5 miles in 39 minutes so I'm quite pleased.
Some of you may have heard the story of the dad who has finished an Iron Man with his handicapped son. (I you haven't you have to see this video http://www.myteamtriumph.org/) They raced this sprint tri in preparation for their next big one and that was fun to be a part of. It increased the number of cheering spectators if nothing else!
The results are posted here if you know anyone else who did it. It was the "Tri Del Sol" http://www.tridelsol.com/index.php Thanks to all who were cheering me on. My next one will be slightly less competitive at Cran Hill.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Follow up to last post





So we made it 120 miles!!! It took us 5.5 hours to get there at 6.5 to get back. BTW the path is NOT paved the whole way.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It looks heavy.



Beckie and I are planning to put in about 100 miles this weekend. To Big Rapids and back. (So I got some sweet pannier bags. She'll carry the tent and I'll carry our "stuff".) She thinks that we can make it in less than 5 hours- I thought about reminding her that we have to turn around and come back in just over 12 hours but decided not to. This could be interesting.

$1,000 later

So the "new" bike is finally done. A bit more than I thought I was going to invest in this piece when I first saw it. I hope to race on it next weekend but I really should put some serious milage in on it first....

I remember when I was good at my job...

So yesterday was technically my first day out at Southwest. I hate this feeling of not really knowing what I'm doing (but I keep assuring myself that it will pass quickly... I hope) We didn't see too many patients, just enough to remind myself that this is not a patient population that I'm familiar with. At one point my preceptor opened the chart on a new patient and said something like we'll take the ear infection. As we headed to the waiting room I saw the chart and thought she was looking at the wrong one - "Not eating and diarrhea". Nope, sure enough- by the time the doctor was done with his assessment the baby had a diagnosis of an ear infection. I have a lot to learn.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Change!

I know I have not posted in far too long but life was pretty status quo- felt like nothing to write about. Then Jenn left for Denver and Rachael to New York- I though I was going to lose it but God blessed me with a new job opportunity and consequently new writing material!! I'm going to be an ER nurse. So I have only three charge shifts left on IIU and to say I'm counting the hours would be an understatement of grand proportions. I have very few details about my new job except it will be 8 hours, 4 days a week. I hope to have some good stories....

Monday, June 2, 2008

Frustrated

So I've been chewed out for not posting more often but I just don't feel like life here is nearly as exciting as life, well..., anywhere else. I mean who wants to hear about my continual frustration with being in charge every freaking shift, being perpetually understaffed and having an never ending supply of patients here out of their own stupidity. (Yes, if you don't pay your prostitutes' pimp he will make your life miserable and if you get drunk and stoned before you decide to seek medical attention and make my life miserable by cursing at me every time you see me, I refuse to work extra hard to help you back out of your misery!)

Maybe my biggest frustration is that I just don't know what God has in store for me. I was so sure I'd come back from west Africa with a clear plan for the future. I just don't feel like He is clearly calling me back to the mission field right now. So.... what am I supposed to be doing? Lord, what is my purpose?!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

8 weeks

So I've been home 8 weeks already... I really need to write the return letter to all of you that have supported me but I have been putting it off thinking that any day now I would have a clearer idea of what the near future held. I really wanted this letter to let everyone know my next step but I would have to know that to include it so that won't be happening. This holding pattern has no end in sight so I'd better get cracking on the letter regardless. I can't really even contain my frustration yet I have to wait on God's direction because it is not about what I want. So for now I will continue to practice Patience and in the mean time get my letter in the mail....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

things I found...

Here are some of the random things I found while cleaning the clinic...




A biohazard clean-up kit, two disposable high temp cauteries (that I couldn't figure out how to dispose of) a container that held scalples in cork, a HUGE box of condoms (the kids were all under the age of 14), trays of glass syringes, ASA measured in grains with no expiration dates,

an LP tray that had lido in it that expired many years ago that also had a glass syringe, an ambu bag that cracked on both sides when I picked it up, a "quick trach" kit that seemed like it would cause more harm than good, a gas mask, 10 liters of saline that were older than me...



Saturday, May 10, 2008

shelves





Just more pictures of the crazyness at the clinic and the end result.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Superheroes

I seem to always need a project and the next big challenge ahead of me is camp. As most of you know I have done kids camp every summer for something like 10 years now (if you count the years I was a camper I think I'm up to 14 years). This year I agreed to do the material which is proving to be a big challenge. The theme is superheroes and spiritual warfare. Two topics that I don't really consider myself highly knowledgeable about. For kids 3rd to 7th grade, an age range that I also don't consider myself proficient with. So once again I have to admit to my Lord that I'm unqualified for the job in front of me. The good news is that anything good that comes out of this will be his work, not mine. Father God- please use me. Speak through me. For this to have any effect whatsoever it needs to be your words not mine. Please guide and direct as I attempt to write these words. Thank you for the answers that I know already that you will provide. Amen

Friday, April 18, 2008

UNO

I have not played UNO in more than three weeks. I think I'm going through withdrawal. So Sunday I made my sunday school class play with me. Thanks guys for putting up with me.
I can't seem to stop myself from continually comparing cultures:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Before and After

As I've been telling people- my most time consuming activity was organizing the clinic. A picture is worth a thousand words so here is a description of hours of work....

BEFORE:



AFTER:
I can't get the pictures of the shelves to post and some others need to be rotated which seems beyond a function of blogger but I think you get the general idea. Eventually I'll have to post my list of the most ridiculous things that I found.... (see the shake it off post)

Friday, April 11, 2008

It is all in how you look at it.

So I had lost perspective. In the proces of transitioning back to life in the states I seemed to forget that the lessons that I learned in Burkina are just as applicable here. I'm still nothing more than an empty vessel, a reminder that I need more often. I may be more comfortable here and seem better equiped for my daily tasks, yet I'm really just as in need of my savior to guide and direct me all day long- and as long as I'm working 3rd shift all night too!
A few of my co-workers know of my struggle here at work. I feel like it is time to get some more experience that I can use in the future on whichever mission field I end up on but I'm afraid God's telling me to stay where I am for now. I'm trying to be patent and listen to God's direction but it is really hard. This is just another lesson I thought I had learned in Burkina yet seem to have forgotten. Something may be hard but abiding in my Lord will give it purpose and I don't really need to know why- even though I may ask over and over.
I'm looking at orginizations for long term placement but I'm back to where I was before I left. I have so much to learn and so many possibilities yet so few options that really feel feasable. It all seems so overwelming sometimes....
Father- I give all of it to you. Please continue to teach me to abide. Show me open doors but also help me to be willing to wait if I need to stay where I am. You have a plan that is better than anything that I could come up with and I know that you hold the ultimate design for my life. This will bring more peace and joy than anything I could do on my own. Thank you Lord. Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a man's heart
but it is the
Lord's purpose that prevails.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Run or hide (most likely run)

I can't do this, it is too hard. My second night back at work, it was worse than the first. I can't interact with my co-workers, roommates, patents. I just want to run or hide. I find myself practically locked in my room for hours at a time or doing endless circles on the track. What is wrong with me? I tiny part of me wants to just "go back to how it was" because this hurts too much. But the thought of just settling back into life and work is even worse. I can't stand feeling like this but it must mean that I'm a changed person which is good right? Like it is pouring rain and the sun is shining so there must be a rainbow somewhere. (Meanwhile I'm soaking wet and cold and searching the sky for that elusive spectrum of color.) My friends ask how things are going and I mention my difficulties but it is with a smile on my face and a chuckle in my voice. Why?! This is not what I'm feeling! I think it is neither funny nor something to smile about. I feel like I'm cracking up inside and just can't describe any of it.
I'm honestly not sure why I'm sharing all of this in this forum but if anyone is still reading this and praying for me please.... I guess, I don't even know what to ask.

I keep going back to II Corinthians 12:9. I clung to this verse in Burkina for one reason. Now I cling to it for another.
But He said to me "My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pat this one is for you

The library that you worked so hard to set up seemed to be a huge success. The day that I took these pictures was a thursday afternoon (the kids have this one afternoon off with no class- usually they like to go out "into the bush". )


There were no empty chairs and they were keeping your librarian busy!
This is unlike anything else they have to do in their "free time".