Tuesday, February 25, 2014


You know that verse in the bible that says that God will give you peace beyond understanding? It's a pretty incredible promise, right? But, the underlying premise that accompanies this promise is that you'll be in a situation in which you need peace.  Well that's been my week.  Over the past 2 weeks since arriving on the ship I've been preparing for the VVF ladies to come.  I've educated the nurses, day workers, and just about any one that will listen, about VVF.  I've made their discharge cards, and planned ahead for what they'll need at home.  The ward has been cleared of Plastics patients, cleaned and ready for the ladies.  The surgeon arrived on Sunday (total blessing!) and E ward transformed into the best patient exam screening room ever, and yet here we are Tuesday having only examined 4 patients! Two of which were not candidates for surgery.  The government in Congo has taken on the responsibility of transporting upcountry patients to the ship, which is all the way on the coast.  24 VVF ladies were supposed to have been transported via plane to Pointe Noire on Saturday.  And on Monday they were no where to be found.  The government officials were conveniently not answering their phones. Hmph.  This would understandably be a situation in which one might get frustrated, even angry.  But amazingly throughout the entire day I felt at total peace with it. Granted I wasn't super impressed with the government and their job at transporting the patients, but I knew they would arrive.  Today rolls around and I'm told that the ladies are in Brazzaville and will be put on a flight to arrive this evening, buutttt.....there are only 5 ladies on that flight! Definitely not what I was expecting to hear.  Yet, again I'm filled with peace.  Instead of worry, I was filled with joy because my day was filled with unexpected blessings, like rocking a 5.75 kg cleft lip baby to sleep in my arms; and holding my VVF patient as she was getting her spinal, calming the fears that first time surgery brings; and having our prayers answered that the second surgery would be straight forward instead of the difficult case we thought it would be.  I'm so excited for what God is doing here, even when I don't understand the why's.  Tomorrow 15 more ladies are planned for examinations-I can't wait to meet them and see how their lives are going to change! 

Be at peace ya'll.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Oh hey, hi! I made it to Congo on Sunday afternoon after traveling for 24 hours! I was supposed to leave on Wednesday, but thanks to booking my ticket in the middle of winter out of New York I was delayed because of the weather.  Ha! Silly woman. Luckily South African airlines rocks, and they called me on Tuesday morning to let me know my flight was going to be cancelled; I re-booked for Saturday right then and there- on the phone, in the comfort of my home and pj's! It was such an incredible gift to get to spend a few more days with my family and especially my sweet niece. I stole a million kisses, giggles, and cuddles in those few days, and I'm so thankful for it! God knew I needed it after all the griping I was doing about leaving her in the first place!

I thought I knew what sacrifice was when I went to Africa the first time. I had sold my car, quit my first ever nursing job, and sold everything in my storage unit. I left my family, friends, and church behind for the first time in my life to go by myself to a big white ship in Africa where I knew no-one. That was a piece of cake compared to now! Leaving my niece was probably the single most difficult thing I had to give up for God. And I did it kicking and screaming! Anyone that asked if I was excited about going back to Africa was met with "Yeah, BUT..." and a big long explanation about how I was being ripped from my niece, and a city where I just started to feel at home. How dare He do that!? HA! God gently reminded me that being a Christian is about sacrifices, it started with the biggest sacrifice, a Life.  Something I had to remind myself is that God is not malicious; He is isn't sitting up there looking for ways to make us suffer or "ruin" our lives. He is good. And it makes Him delighted to give us good things. So I came to the conclusion, pretty much as I was strapped into that plane seat, that if God is good, and He is for sure calling me back to Africa, then this must be good. No matter how much it hurt to leave my friends, family, and most specifically my sweet Harper Lee. 

What have you had to give up for God, and it turned out to be good in the end? Or maybe you haven't seen the "good" in your sacrifice yet...keep looking. 

this is what all the griping is about!