Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What a friend we have in Jesus

It's really challenging, but good, to be away from all your close friends and family. Lately I've felt the tug on my heart to know and trust that Jesus is enough. I've been struggling with trying to be friends with everyone, all the while ignoring God. In my quiet time tonight Jesus spoke to me about friendship through James 4:4-6. Don't get me wrong, friendships are very important. But when friends supersede (v. to replace in power, authority, effectiveness, acceptance, etc. as by another person or thing.) your friendship with Jesus, something is awry.

James 4:4-6 You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

To quote Beth Moore "friendship with world is vastly more convenient because we live on the crowded pinhead of it's epicenter...No one who lives in this world is a friend of God accidentally. We make a choice where we want to be most present. A hard choice."

What is so beautiful is that God actually desires friendship with us! Exodus 33:11 paints a beautiful picture of this: "The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. We have a natural propensity to flip the verse and picture Moses talking to God like a friend. The great significance is the reverse.

That's all for now, just reflecting on what it looks like to be a friend of Jesus, and not the world. It will look different in my life, than others, but its always good to ponder.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

It's been so long since I've blogged, I don't even know where to start to update all 3 of you! It's been a bit since I've put up pictures so I'll put up some pictures of the sweet kids I've taken care of lately. These pictures are from a recent trip to the Hope Center. It's where our patients can stay if they live far away and need wound care, or are having surgery coming up and need a place to stay. It is so amazing to see their transformations. Some of them I met on screening day, others I met in the ward.

The very first kid I've taken care of! He had surgery on the Africa Mercy before so he was not keen on Yovo's or nurses in general, hence the look on his face.

There is a long story that goes along with this patient, maybe I'll tell it soon, but for now all I have to say is it is a miracle that she is still alive, and that we have been able to help her. God has worked miracle after miracle with her.

Lovely *Alisha. She is the sweetest thing! When she was on the ward she was so serious, and rarely interacted with us. Right before her discharge to the Hope Center is when we finally got to see her personality! On this visit she told me she wanted to be a nurse and live on the boat! I almost cried, it was the sweetest thing.

Oh *Comon! I need not say much, the mischievous look on his face says it all. He and his mom insisted that he is 17 years old, but nobody was buying it! I'm pretty sure he's under 13. That's beside the point. It was such a blessing to see the transformation in the relationship between him and his mom. When I first took care of him, his mom was so angry and frustrated with him. She would hit him, and he would cry and throw tantrums. By the time he left she was so joyous, and singing praises to the Lord!

Oh sweet *Luminaire, her name fits her so well! She is such a joy and her laughter is absolutely contagious.

Funny *Yani, she was burned when she was a baby and we first took care of her a couple years ago when the ship was in Togo. When I first took care of her she was really shy and wouldn't look me in the eyes, but after her surgery to fix her eye and reshape her nose she was laughing and playing with all the other kids! It was so sweet to see her personality unfold.

Another sweet, sweet child. I admitted *Pru and got to take her to surgery and pray with her before surgery. It was the most precious thing to see her bundled in a blanket, being carried down the hall by her dad and praying over her.

All of our patients receive mirrors with their admission packs. You couldn't imagine what an impact a mirror makes. *John was burned on the left side of his face to the point his eyelid was not functional. We were able to fix his left eye so that he could blink and have full function of his eye. When we took off the first dressing all did for nearly 3 hours was look in the mirror at his new eye. His smile says it all.

*Names changed for patient confidentiality

Thursday, March 1, 2012


There's so much that's happened since my last blog post, but I want to jump ahead to my shift last night and then I'll catch you up later!

Today I heard a resounding, be JOYFUL. It started with bible study in the morning where we talked about anguish morphing into joy. Not just physical anguish, but mental, emotional torment type of anguish that steals joy. It occurred to me a couple days ago, in stark contrast to the Africans I take care of, that I have very little joy. Despite having much to be joyful for, and they little, I remain incapable of expressing joy. I started my evening shift with a little anguish because it was my first day on the Plastics ward, with new translators, new patients, new coworkers, and a heavier patient load. After dinner some of the kids on the ship came down to visit the patients in the ward. We broke out into a full on worship concert. I took a step back to drink in the scene around me: Beni, one of the volunteers on the ward, guitar in hand; Jeff, a Canadian crew member, and Fred with jimbaye drums ready to start on queue; a few patients confined to their beds, wrapped in bandages that support their new faces and limbs; and the rest, mostly kids, dancing in the middle of the ward. The guitar starts, the drums follow quickly behind, and the patient's and caretakers all join in to sing worship songs to the Lord! Nurses, mom's, and patients dancing and singing with JOY. Nothing compares. There's nothing better to set your heart to JOY than singing, worshipping, and dancing with your patients! It's amazing what God can do through worship. How he aligns our heart's with His. I sang. I danced. I was filled with joy.