Hiccup

Remember how I said that the Malawi trip was happening during my already scheduled vacation?

Turns out I was wrong.  Oops!  I started to freak out a little bit in my head, but then I remembered that if this is what God has called me to do, somehow, some way, He will make it happen.

Turns out that a woman that I work with wanted my vacation week and hers was the week I thought I had… so we switched!

God is so good!

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More on Malawi

Want to learn more about my trip to Malawi?  Then read on!

My passport application is nearly finished (just waiting on a certified copy of my marriage license), and my application to go on the trip is turned in.  Now all I have to do is get the typhoid shot (??) and pay!

I still have a lot of fears related to this trip, but I just can’t ignore how God has orchestrated events so that I can go.  Every time I think of a new excuse not to go, He just shoots it down and tells me to shut up and trust Him.  For instance, one of the biggest obstacles in my mind was getting the time off from work, but wouldn’t you know it, the trip is scheduled during my already planned vacation time!  Um.  Yeah.

My next biggest obstacle is finances.  For one thing, my sister needs to raise $40k+ in the next three months so that she can move to France to work for Campus Crusade for Christ, so there is no way that I want to take any financial support that might otherwise be given to her; plus, I hate asking for money.  However, I have already had friends ask me to send them support letters.  That just blows me out of the water.

Summit (where I go to church) works closely with Children of the Nations, which is a ministry that works in several different parts of Africa full-time.  The specific trip that I will be going on is something that I am really excited about.  We will be working with special needs children and their families, more specifically, planning a retreat for them.  We are going to take them on safari (so stoked about this!!!) and then to a camp (think along the lines of Give Kids the World).  Basically, we are going to give them a week to remember!  The things that we will be doing with these children and their families are especially important because of the attitudes about the disabled that are prevalent in Africa, and really, around the world.  Many times people with disabilities are marginalized, but we are going to show these kids and their families that they are not a mistake and that they matter to God and to us.  In addition, we will be providing education and support to caregivers and family members regarding specific health issues that are relevant to their lives and well-being.

I am excited about the prospect of going on safari (hello, who wouldn’t be?!?!), but I am even more excited about how God is going to work through our team on this trip.  I don’t want to falsely elevate this team, we can’t accomplish anything without the power of the Holy Spirit, and I know that the people we meet will make just as much an impact on us (or more) than we will on them.  I’m nervous, but I also can’t wait to meet these people on the other side of the planet and show them the love of Christ in a tangible way.

As I prepare my heart (and a host of other things) for this journey to Malawi, I covet your prayers.  Without prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit, no amount of work will matter.  If the Lord places in you a desire to support this trip financially, I would be incredibly grateful for that as well (all contributions are tax-deductible).  The cost for me to venture across the ocean is $3,000, and each participant is also asked to raise money to send a child to camp, about $450.  And while money is important, that is not why I wrote this post.  I wrote this to share my excitement and to recruit prayer partners, so please don’t feel any obligation to give financially unless the Lord lays it on your heart.

Thanks for reading about my trip to Malawi… I’m sure that it will become a frequent topic for me to blog about 🙂

Jesus is Alive!

Hallelujah, Jesus is alive
Death has lost its victory
And the grave has been denied
And Jesus lives forever
He’s alive, He’s alive

He’s the alpha and omega
The first and last is He
The curse of sin is broken
And we have perfect liberty
The lamb of God has risen
He’s alive, He’s alive

Hallelujah, Jesus is alive
Death has lost its victory
And the grave has been denied
Jesus lives forever
He’s alive, He’s alive

He’s the alpha and omega
The first and last is He
The curse of sin is broken
And we have perfect liberty
The lamb of God has risen
He’s alive, He’s alive

Hallelujah, Jesus is alive
Death has lost its victory
And the grave has been denied
Jesus lives forever
He’s alive, He’s alive

He’s the alpha and omega
The first and last is He
The curse of sin is broken
We have perfect liberty
The lamb of God has risen
He’s alive, He’s alive

Hallelujah, Jesus is alive
He’s alive, He’s alive
He’s alive, He’s alive
Yes, He’s alive

“Jesus is Alive”–Hillsong

Happy Easter!!

Answering the Call

Okay, I’m going to Malawi.  God has been sending me some pretty clear signs that I am supposed to go and that He has ordained this, so it’s time for me to answer the call and stop fighting Him.

I know that God has called me to do this, but I’m still scared to go.  I mean, I’m really excited about the idea, but I’m not enthralled with some of the more practical aspects of the trip.  For instance, I’m not excited that there are crocodiles in the lakes, that I will have to get a vaccine (still debating), that it costs a lot of money, that I will be away from Andrew for nearly two weeks, that I will be surrounded by flies, that I might not have access to a real bathroom, that I might not have a real bed, etc.  But I also know that in spite of my insecurities, fears, and failings, God is going to be at work.  He is going to move me and others.  And He will provide!

Ahhh!!!  I’m going to Malawi!!!

Newsworthy

  1. My sister is going to Paris!  Tracy is going to Paris for {at least} a year with Campus Crusade for Christ International to do work with them.  More on the specifics later.
  2. I’m considering going to Malawi.  Summit has about a gazillion trips to Malawi planned this summer and I am considering going July 29-August 9.  They issued a call to medical professionals a few weeks ago for this specific trip, and Sunday was the information session.  I about keeled over when I heard the price, but when I heard the dates I got chills.  I already planned to have that time off from work.  I’m still feeling really hesitant, but I’m pretty sure that God has orchestrated this so that I can go.  What’s holding me back from turning in my deposit?!?!?!

One Thousand Gifts

One Thousand Gifts is a book written by Ann Voskamp that I recently picked up at the recommendation of my sister-in-law.  She likened it to The Shack, and since I love The Shack, I was really excited to read it.

The premise of the book is that the author would find one thousand things for which to give thanks.  They didn’t have to be big things, in fact, it is better if they are small.  So Voskamp started a list.  She found that “eucharisteo,” the Greek word meaning to give thanks was the key to closer communion with Christ.  And giving thanks doesn’t stop with the things that we consider good gifts, but it’s the learning to be thankful in the “bad” and difficult that is where growth occurs.

The subject of this book is excellent and it offers up a good challenge (chapter 8 is amazing), but to my dismay, it was really difficult to get through.  I’ve said before that any book that is challenging in its content usually takes me a while to read to completion; not so with this one.  Yes, the subject is tough, but it was so hard to get through this one because of the writing style!  The author jumps around excessively and writes prose as if she were writing poetry.  I’m sure she’s a great story teller in real life—but I am just not a fan of the writing style here.  She just didn’t come across as very down-to-earth and practical to me.

So would I read this book again?  Probably not; as another reviewer said, it became a chore for me to finish…. so much of a chore that I just decided to give up because I began to dread picking it up to read.

Subject matter = A+, but writing style and readability = D for me.

Don’t take my word for it, though.  At Amazon.com you can read the first chapter for free and form your own opinion.

Honored

Today I had the opportunity to speak to a group of about 15 prospective adoptive families about the possibility of bringing home a baby who is premature or who was exposed to drugs and/or alcohol in utero.  I was so honored to be asked to give this presentation, and I was excited to be able to interact with prospective adoptive parents, especially since adoption is something that I would like to use to build our family.

I started to get really nervous last night as I finished preparations, but as I began to speak this morning, I became very comfortable with the group that I was speaking to, and as it turned out, I (sort of) knew one of the families that was attending this orientation.

What an honor to talk to these families and help them sort through information and help them make informed decisions.

I love days (and weeks) like these.

Good Day

There are many joys in my job, but one of the biggest is placing a baby in the arms of his or her mother for the first time, more specifically, kangaroo care.  Being a part of that special bonding time is an honor that I cannot put into words and it is something that I was able to do for a mom and baby just this Tuesday.  It is such a joy to be a part of now, and I can only imagine what I will feel when I am a mother myself.  In the last few decades, neonatology has recognized the role of the family, namely the mother, as central to the baby’s growth and development and it’s amazing to see how even these tiny babies thrive when their mothers are able to properly bond with them and treat them appropriately.

The second great joy in my work is sending healthy (or mostly healthy) babies home with loving families.  Today I sent a baby home with parents that love and adore her and are so excited about her arrival.  I wish that everyday were like that.

My heart is so full this week simply because of these two joys.  These are the days that make it all worthwhile.