After many requests, I'm finally getting around to an update. This post has been a long time coming. I had originally started this site because I figured it would be an easy way to share my experience in Liberia with those still at home. Well, now I'm home, and still occasionally get requests for updates. I've procrastinated, mostly because I figured if I'm not in Liberia any more, I don't have that much to say. That may be true, but I suppose I can find something to talk about. Life still goes on, it's just changed in many ways.
Seven months ago I thought that by this point, I would have already been back on the Africa Mercy, looking toward at least a year of service there. It's a Sunday evening, and I'm sitting in Fort Wayne, Indiana. So here you go Nicole.........
I really don't know what the plan is from here. As I said, the plan was to go back to Liberia. I read a sign recently that said, "Want to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans!" Apparently, He's having a laugh. I don't think it's a spiteful laugh or a cruel laugh, it's an "I want you to hold onto Me, and nothing else" laugh. I don't know if/when I'll be returning to service with Mercy Ships due to some health issues. It's nothing life-threatening, but I'm not sure that I will be able to return, at least for now. It's taken a while to be OK with that and really trust God on this one. You could probably tell from my previous posts that I loved being in Liberia and what I was doing there. He's faithful, though, and it's time to readjust and go from here.
For now, I'm still working at Surgery ONE and living life. I've been out of town a LOT in the last 2 months, at least on the weekends. I was at Central, where I go to church, this morning for the first time in 3 or 4 weeks. It was nice to reconnect, even though nearly half of the congregation seemed to be in the Sunshine State today. Hmmmmm....just a bit jealous. I did spend a long weekend in the Miami area 2 months ago, though, so I certainly can't complain.
As I was telling Nicole, I feel like I don't really have much exciting to say lately. I just realized, though, that now that I have a faster internet connection, I could share some of the pictures from my time in Liberia. As I think back, there are so many patients that I fell in love with and would love to share. So many of you that read this can enjoy it as well, knowing that your prayers and support helped make it all possible. I'll try to do a few pics and a new patient's story each week for a while.
I also wanted to get word out that there is going to be a show on PBS in May titled "A Walk to Beautiful". I saw a portion of it while I was on the AFM. My primary assignment was caring for VVF patients. You can check out some of my earlier entries to understand a bit more about VVF if you're not familiar. The movie is about a fistula hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The documentary is very well done, and does a wonderful job of explaining the shame and suffering that the women go through. As of now, it's scheduled to air on May 13, 2008 at 8pm. I definitely recommend it!