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Friday, October 30, 2009

Real life...


Our time feels like it is flying by here. We are officially done with our first month. I can’t get over how beautiful it is here. I think there is a different sky over Africa. Every time I am walking down the path I feel like I am walking into a picture. It is like a painted blue sky with fake fluffy white clouds. It is getting extremely hot and it isn’t even summer yet! It has been so much fun eating all the fruit here! I have learned about jack fruit and sour sap. Sour sap is my new favorite!

We finished our first week in the hospital in town. It was a world wind of emotions, situations, learning, and realizations of harsh truths. We learned a lot this week about life, midwifery, what it means to be without and the implications it causes. The hospital is moderately equipped for an undeveloped nation and is very understaffed. There is around 50-80 births a day. There are three different wards at the hospital that our school rotates through. Labor ward, pre - labor and post delivery ward, and then ICU ward (which is just post c-sections and pre - eclamptic mammas).

This past week I was in the ICU ward. It is the slowest of the three wards. There were on average around 14 patients (not including babies) in this ward with ONE nurse. I fought a lot this week with knowing what it is like to work in a hospital in America and then seeing the way they work in this hospital here. God really opened my eyes and broke through my own judgements to see the enemy at work. The people that work in this hospital are working as hard as they know how to work. The workload is overwhelming, the death rate is overwhelming, the hours of work are overwhelming, yet they still work and push forward with a patience and dedication about them that is so amazing. I was letting my own judgements and ideas about what it should be like get in the way of doing what I could do to improve the situation and loving the people like I should be. I listen to this podcast this week that said Jesus is pro-people, He is not pro everything that people do but He doesn’t let the things that He doesn’t like that they are doing get in the way with loving the people. I was letting these situations skew my view and interrupt what I am here to do. Love the people, the patients, the staff. I can’t improve things if it doesn’t come from a heart of love, my heart can’t be a heart of love if I am looking down with judgement. God broke my heart and showed me the desperation these staff are in. The amount of death that they see, and the fear that comes over them when things go wrong leaves them to attempt desperate measures to save lives.

Things by the end of the week were starting to look better. Coming in with new eyes that were clear and a change in my heart helped me serve. I can see and know that in these next two and a half months we can really be a light in this place. There are 16 students and 4 staff that make up our team. We make a scene every time we arrive at the hospital. By the end of our week, the number of prayers were starting to increase with every patient we took care of and the more questions the staff began to ask about our prayers and ask us to keep praying. God is ready to move, I think the staff are ready, and I know our team is ready. Pray for open hearts, pray for more workers, and pray for life. It may sounds crazy to pray for something so general as life but there is so much death in that place. That spirit just lives there, and I pray in these next couple of months we would see that change and replace it with the life of Jesus.

Just a little note, I haven’t delivered any babies yet. We got to observe so many before we started delivering are selfs. I am in the labor ward next week and look forward to putting into practice what we have been learning. Praise Jesus we did see healing this week, babies that were resuscitated, and moms that had so many prayers spread over them. God is good and is here!

You are blessed to be a blessing.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Extra long but good stuff...


I made it to Tanzania! We had great travel, and all of us and our luggage made it without any problems! Thank you for your prayers! It is beautiful, hot, and the people are so friendly! We are living in community, in very simple means. I am exciting to experience bucket showers, squatties, and cooking over fires for the next couple of months. We do have beds, electricity, and clean drinking water! Praise the Lord!

The base is on 81 acres on land that was all donated. On base there are programs like a preschool, a vocational school that teaches carpentry and sewing, a clinic, and then the base that we live on. The house is two stories and huge. This is a beautiful place. We have monkeys for pets, huge coconut trees, and lots of bugs! haha... I love bugs.

We live in a village and have already been making friends in the village. It is very exciting to learn to speak Swahili. Most of the people in the village don’t speak English but the people on base do speak English. Many of them are very fluent in English and those that aren’t are dedicated learners. Three girls from my team and I have made friends with this mamma that lives down the road. She has welcomed us into her home twice, and we have loved getting to know her and trying to bless her.

My team and I have begun observing the midwife and doctor in the clinic on base. We are waiting to get approved for our work visa so we can start working in the clinic and in a near by hospital. We are in anticipation we should be approved by Wednesday or Friday of this week. Pray for smooth handling of all our paperwork.

I am learning a lot from my new living environment and meeting Jesus every step of the way. I am learning that He loves to meet you and teach you through issues that you never would have thought. Like taking bucket showers, or eating new foods that might not be easy to eat. He has been giving me a joy that I can’t explain everyday. God is so faithful, and I am seeing a tiny tiny piece of what it means to die to myself and live for Christ. It is more exciting and fulfilling that I ever could have imagined.
I am going to leave you a quote from this book I am reading. Thanks huckabee’s, I am really enjoying it! The book is called “A Hole in our Gospel” by Richard Stearns

Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours,no feet but yours,Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion for the world is to look out;yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good;and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now.
-Mother Teresa

You are blessed to be a blessing.

Blog #2 -
I’m in love. First with Jesus, who loves me unconditionally. Then with life. Pregnant African mamma’s and their babies. The life that is miraculously developed over nine months, and then awakened and transitioned into this world. The intricate details God uses in the development and the process a baby is born is amazing. I saw my first two deliveries here in Africa. Two little boys. It is a privilege to experience the journey of seeing these little lives come into this world. Their is something within me that is connected with God and His kingdom when I can bring comfort, education, communication, patience, love, or hope to these women in their most intimate, and vulnerable times of need.
This strength and desire to be here with these women and care for them, comes straight from God. This time could be overwhelming, and may be marked with pain. When you look at the statistics of women and children dying in this country on a daily basis it is overwhelming. When you live amongst them day after day and get to know them, then it just makes you sick. He gives me a new heart everyday to be here, to keep fighting. He leaves me needing more of Him. More of His love, wisdom, and spirit so that I never grow cold, tired, or fearful of the work that He is allowing me to be apart of right now. I know that in this season, God has called me and given me the skills to even just bring one women into His kingdom. That is the life that I want to fight for. That is the life that I want God to break my heart for over and over again. Psalms 51:16-17 “You do not delight in burnt sacrifice or I would bring it... The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart...”

We are still awaiting our worker visa’s. We are still praying that they come this week. By friday. It is just the permit to start allowing us to go and work in the hospital and clinic. Right now we are observing in the clinic, having lectures, and spending lots of time in the village.God does not waste time and His timing is perfect.

Since we aren’t in the hospital, we have been able to really reach out into the village these first two weeks of being here. Just recently we went into the village and split into four teams. Hitting all the hot spots in the village we drew crowds through songs, dramas, and taught the kids a simple health care lesson then the gospel message. My group taught on hand washing and then how Jesus can wash your heart. We had a group of about 40 kids. They loved the songs and dramas. The fact that we can sing songs about Jesus at the top of our lungs and share openly about Jesus in the village is amazing to me. So easy. These kids are there everyday, just hanging out. Then these crazy munzugo (white people) come in and keep sharing about this Jesus. Pray for these kids and their hearts. I have a strong belief that kids can change whole families and even communities. Sorry to post two blogs at once.

I have to pre-write then go to the internet and post. I have to so much to tell you guys that I had to write more!

You are blessed to be a blessing

We received word that we got our work visa’s! This is exciting! We should be in the hospital working within the next week and a half hopefully! The immigration office still has to write out all the paperwork and stamp our passports. So pray all that goes quickly.