Far from what I once was, but not yet what I'm going to be

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ships and Anchors

Hebrews 6:19 says "We have this hope as an anchor for our souls, firm and secure."

If our souls contain the anchor, then my heart is the ship. And right now I am shipwrecked. But there's hope. There's always hope.

I'm shipwrecked because I am no longer in Uganda, but I sure as heck ain't home. Where is home anyway? Home is just a word we use to describe a feeling, isn't it? "Home is wherever I'm with you." "Home is wherever we are if there's love here too." The list goes on. . .

But me -- my heart is in so many places, with so many people. My love is all over the world. Part of my heart is in America, part of my heart is in Jamaica, part in Guatemala, and part is in Uganda.

I'm shipwrecked. I'm a nomad. A wanderer; without a home. But that's okay -- I'd rather it be that way and have love. I'd rather be a nomad without a home and have parts of my heart in different countries than only be in Phoenix.

My life is full this way. The journey is long. Sometimes it's dark. Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes you fall. Sometimes I'm scared. Sometimes I feel alone. But I have hope. I know I will eventually see light. I know my burden will lighten. I know my Father will pick me up. And I know I am being held ever-so-tightly.

I saw a lot when I was living abroad -- a lot of things that were heavy on the heart. But nothing compares to the emotions of coming home. It's the hardest part of the whole trip. I struggle with anger, anxiety, deep sadness, and other emotions I can't even put into words.

I didn't want to leave Uganda. I never wanted to leave. I don't want to go back to "normal" life in America -- where people feel entitled, where people complain about anything and everything, and where we have way too much. I don't want that life.

I want a life where I eat beans and posho everyday because that's all I can afford. I want a life where I live in a hut that I have to smear cow dung on. I want a life where I rely on The Lord for my every need -- instead of relying on myself.

But I'm learning that I can live like that anywhere. I don't have to be in Africa to live a life fully reliant on The Lord. I don't have to be in Africa to live a life that is poor in the world but rich in the kingdom of God. I can live like that anywhere. And what a statement to live like that in America -- where it's all about money, material things and "making it" on your own. I will not conform to the patterns of this world.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)

My heart hurts coming home. But God is good. He knows my heart. He understands my pain and he knows my suffering. He hurts with me and comforts me. He is teaching me so much.

I'm thankful for this storm that is weathering my heart. I am thankful He is my anchor. I am thankful for the hope He gives me each day to carry on and know that loving His people is all I'm called to do. I am thankful for the ship that is my heart -- even though at times I feel shipwrecked, I will never sink.

Thank you Father for sharing your people with me for 7 weeks. Thank you Father for showing me Your heart. Thank you Father for letting me love like you do.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Goodbyes aren't easy.

Have you ever been to the beach, standing in the waves just admiring the beauty around you - when all of a sudden, the most powerful wave comes out of nowhere, catches you off guard and completely knocks you off your feet?

That's how I feel right now as CURE Children's Hospital of Uganda disappears in the rear view mirror of our van.

I feel blindsided and completely knocked off my feet. A wave just crashed into me out of nowhere when I was minding my own business admiring the beautiful people and beautiful places around me.

My heart hurts as I leave people behind not knowing if I will ever see them again; people who have left a mark on my life forever.

Goodbyes are never easy. Words never seem sufficient for my love and appreciation for the people I have met and built relationships with. But I consider myself so blessed to have built such deep friendships and sweet relationships that it makes saying goodbye so hard.

Is my heart wrecked? Absolutely. But I'm thankful for that. I'm thankful because it means my time in Uganda was well spent. The tough goodbye means my friendships are real and I have learned much and loved more. The difficult goodbye means I have been impacted greatly. What more could I ask for?


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Leap of Faith

Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:22-33 ESV)

I just love this story. What most people remember of this story is Peter's fear, which made him begin to sink. But what I see here is Peter's faith in the first place; Peter had to take a leap of faith to even step out of the boat, onto the water. Peter did have faith. Yes, he let fear and doubt creep into his mind once he looked at the storm around him -- like many of us do in our lives -- but he took the initial steps.

It is so important to keep our eyes on the One who does not sink.

On my adventure here in Uganda, I took a literal leap of faith. I went bungee jumping. 152 feet over the Nile river. You may think it's silly, you may call me crazy; but this was a leap of faith in my life.

This experience wasn't just a touristy thing for me -- it was symbolic. I often struggle with wanting to be in control of the situations in my life. I want to know the outcomes of scenarios and direct my own steps. But that's not how life works -- it's not how God intended it. I have to trust that His plan is perfect. So I leap. I leap into His loving arms, trusting in Him. I take a leap of faith.

As I stood up on the platform ready to take my leap of faith, the man who tied my feet to bungee cord asked me if I was nervous. I replied with, "yeah, a little bit." Obviously I was terrified. I have never been so scared in my life. He looked at me with a smile on his face and said, "You will be fine. In the name of Jesus Christ, I say you will be just fine." It's just what I needed in that moment.

I chose to tandem bungee with my gal pal Tina. Yes, I was still afraid as Peter was. But I took my leap of faith. And in the name of Jesus Christ I say, I am just fine :)

I pray you take your leap of faith; whether it's a literal leap, or just trusting The Lord with His plans for your life. Let go and let God.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Rafting the Nile

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is hardened; he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is going out to the water. Stand on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that turned into a serpent. And you shall say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, “Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness.” But so far, you have not obeyed. Thus says the Lord, “By this you shall know that I am the Lord : behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn into blood. The fish in the Nile shall die, and the Nile will stink, and the Egyptians will grow weary of drinking water from the Nile.”’” And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, their canals, and their ponds, and all their pools of water, so that they may become blood, and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’” Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded. In the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants he lifted up the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile turned into blood. And the fish in the Nile died, and the Nile stank, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. There was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. (Exodus 7:14-21 ESV)

I rafted the Nile. The very Nile that was once blood. Now, you may tell me that it was only turned to blood in Egypt, but just let me have this -- please.

My adventure that was rafting the Nile was... Terrifying, invigorating, incredible, and just downright legit.

I never realized I had a "scared face" until I bought the professional photos that were taken of us going down the rapids -- and I saw my facial expression in EVERY.SINGLE.PHOTO. I look like I'm about to cry // I am close to death. Mark joked that if a couple of the photos were cropped, it would look like I just received some really bad news. I'll let you decide for yourself.

Even though it was terrifying, it was SO much fun. We were on the water for a total of 6 hours -- with a lunch break somewhere in the middle. We went down different rapids, ranging from grade 3 to grade 5. [To put this in perspective, a grade 6 rapid is known as "suicide" and no one (not even the guides) are allowed to attempt them.] So grade 5 is pretty intense, to say the least.

I am so happy we got photos of this incredible adventure. It is an experience I will never forget in all my life. The Lord really created a masterpiece when He made the Nile. It's amazing.

Now, feast your eyes on these awesome photos. Courtesy of Nalubale Rafting.

Thank you for following my adventure // journey


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Learning and Journeying

It's been a journey, this whole process.

I've been gone exactly 44 days now and it's been the most incredible time of my life. It's amazing how 44 days can change you.

In 44 days I have loved, I have learned, I have laughed, I have cried.

44 days and I'm not the same girl that boarded the plane in Phoenix that day. My eyes have seen things, my ears have heard things, my heart has encountered and felt things I never could have imagined.

It's hard to process everything that has happened, but as I sit here in the comfort of the guesthouse on the CURE hospital grounds, I feel at peace.

The journey that is my life in Uganda began long before I boarded the plane in Phoenix. It was weeks and months of preparation for such a monumental time of my life. It seems that with every big, monumental spiritual journey I go on with The Lord, I happen to go through the dark places first. And this journey was no exception.

It was hard leading up to this trip. I was nervous, I was anxious, I was broken and hurting. But in the dark places is where the Lord's light always shines the brightest. He never fails. His love is sufficient. He is enough. He never ceases to amaze me.

I read a book while living here in Uganda. This book is called "Kisses from Katie" and it is written by a young woman named Katie Davis who left her life in America and moved to Uganda. She moved here to become a teacher for what she thought would only be a year - but turned out to be permanent. She adopted 13 precious daughters and now runs a ministry called Amazima that helps support women in her village in Jinja get back on their feet.

In her book, Katie's words spoke deeply to my heart as I was beginning my journey. She said,
"I have learned along my journey that if I really want to follow Jesus, I will go to the hard places. Being a Christ follower means being acquainted with sorrow. We must know sorrow to be able to fully appreciate joy. Joy costs pain, but the pain is worth it. After all, the murder had to take place before the resurrection.
I'll be honest: the hard places can seem unbearable. It's dark and it's scary, and even though I know God said He will never leave or forsake me, sometimes it's so dark that I just can't see Him. But then the most incredible thing happens: God takes me by the hand and walks me straight out of the hard place and into the beauty on the other side. He whispers to me to be thankful, that even this will be for His good.
It takes awhile sometimes, coming out of the dark place. Sometimes God and I come out into a desert and he has to carry me through that too. Sometimes I slip a lot on the way out and He has to keep coming back to me. Always, on the other side is something beautiful, because He has used the hard place to increase my sense of urgency and to align my desires with His. I realize that it was there that He was closest to me, even in the times when I didn't see Him. I realize that the hard places are good because it is there that I gained more wisdom, and though with wisdom comes sorrow, on the other side of sorrow is joy. And a funny thing happens when I realize this: I want to go to the hard place again. Again and again and again."

So the weeks leading up to my trip were hard. They were emotional and at times they were dark. But The Lord took me by the hand and led me out of that place. He took me on a journey across the world to a land with broken people. He showed me His heart in a way I have never before experienced. And on this journey, He has taken me out of the dark places and brought me into His light. He has brought me such joy. Because on the other side of sorrow is joy.

Let us remember that The Lord uses everything and wastes nothing. He doesn't waste pain.

I was learning these things on my way to Uganda -- and these lessons have been so essential to my everyday life.

I see children with hydrocephalus and spina bifida everyday. I see children with brain tumors. I watch as mothers hear the news that their child has cerebral palsy and cannot be treated here. 

But The Lord uses everything and wastes nothing. God doesn't waste pain. It's in the dark places that His light shines the brightest.

Here in Uganda, I have experienced life and death in ways I never had before. I woke up one morning to the loudest wailing I have ever heard. A mother had lost her 22 year old son in the night. He passed away in surgery. It was a trauma case and this particular patient came to us in very bad shape. I later found out this man was married with 6 children.

But The Lord uses everything and wastes nothing. God doesn't waste pain. It's in the dark places that His light shines the brightest.

Do not forget in the darkness what you have been promised in the light. Christ shares in our sufferings. He does not apologize for our heartache, but He shares it -- even better.

"He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in The Lord."
(Psalm 40:2,3)

I wouldn't trade my journey for anything. There has been heartache and there has been pain; but those things have brought me to where I am today. The dark places bring me closer to the one who is the Light of the world. And for that, I am forever grateful. If it takes going through the pain and the dark places to know the love of my Lord better, then take me to the pain and take me to the dark places.

The dark places allow me to relate to the brokenhearted. The dark places allow me to have insight into what sorrow and pain look like; and I have learned how to cling to the One who will never leave or forsake me. Through this journey I have learned much that I can pass on to the broken and hurting mothers and families here in Uganda.

Thank you Lord for my journey. Thank you for the struggles; thank you for the pain. You have never left my side.

"When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then I carried you."
Footprints in the Sand


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Not Hydro

I will now take a break from my light-hearted posts of funny memories and moments of the trip to reflect on the deeper and more meaningful, life-changing parts of this journey.

Day one working in the hospital, I was working with Dr. John and we took a patient and his mother into the medical examination room. The appointment started out normal - just like the previous 5 patients we had seen that day.

This patient was 9 months old and lay there in his mother's arms expressionless. As the mother explained to Dr. John her concerns with the child, she seemed hopeful and joyful -- for she was at the best neuro hospital in the country and knew her son would receive great care. This mom spoke Luganda - the native language - so Dr. John had to keep translating back and forth between me and the mother so I could understand what she was saying. Throughout their whole interaction, all I could do was just stare at the beautiful baby boy laying in his mother's arms. He lay motionless, expressionless; the entire time.

This didn't seem like hydrocephalus. She didn't mention a growth on the back indicating spina bifida. What did this precious boy have?

Finally, Dr. John looked at me and said "I think this child has cerebral palsy." We ran some tests to confirm. He was sure. He then translated to the mother and explained the condition of the child to her. I watched as her face dropped. The smile I had seen throughout the entire appointment was gone - and I wouldn't see it again. She didn't look Dr. John in the eye. She didn't look at her sweet son. She stared out the window with a stern face.

Dr. John proceeded to tell her that CURE does not have the resources available to treat cerebral palsy patients and we would have to refer them elsewhere. After explaining this and the child's condition in great detail -- still without any eye contact from the mom -- Dr. John asked her if she understood. She grunted in agreement and stood up and walked out the door.

My heart broke in that moment. The mother that came in to our exam room so hopeful and joyful, walked out a different woman.

I see so many success stories here at CURE -- so many. But this particular case on day one really hurt my heart. Could we do nothing for them? Did we really have to send them away? I know the regional and government hospitals are poorly run and they would not receive great care. But CURE is such a specialized hospital - and cerebral palsy doesn't fall into the category of treatments done here. 

But my heart.

And then I think of the success stories we have here at CURE. Every day we have victories and triumphs. Everyday lives are saved and healed because of Jesus Christ and because of His power in those who work here.

Sometimes it hits me. The immensity of it all. There is so much need - and I am one person. I am inadequate. And I knew that coming here. But sometimes when I work so hard to make one child smile or make one child feel loved, my heart breaks all over again for the thousands that live each day without knowing what being loved feels like and that go a whole day without a smile lighting up their precious faces. 

And then The Lord comes in a still small voice and whispers to me that this one is enough. It's enough that this one is feeling His love. Because that love is eternal. Eternal.


Monday, June 9, 2014

That One Time... PT. 2

This post is a continuation of "That One Time PT. 1." More memories. More laughs, tears, friendship and fear. Join me as I reminisce.

That one time I killed the demon cockroach. The team and I were sitting at the dinner table making a recording of our memories of the week, when we saw the biggest, scariest cockroach of our lives! And to make matters worse, it started flying. But I saved everyone's lives and killed it myself! :)

That one time Adam lost "what are the odds" and had to drink a whole jar of pickle juice.

Drink up!

That one time Jonathan lost "what are the odds" and had to eat a fish eye 

That one time Adam lost control of his body and slipped in the pouring rain... Hilarious

That one time we ate ants

That one time Tina was feeling sick and thought she had malaria... So she got a malaria test; it was negative and Dr. John laughed at her for thinking she had malaria

That one time Miriam ACTUALLY got malaria

That one time Mark and Jess poisoned us all with their cooking... 

That one time Ryne threw up 3 times on Sipi falls (because of said food poisoning)

That one time we went to Delicious Dishes (an Indian restaurant in town) and there was an explosion in the kitchen. Everyone, I mean EVERYONE fled the restaurant - except the 6 of us.

That one time Miriam said "You have a sunburn? Oh, I heard those hurt."

That one time Edwin tried his first pickle and HATED it. He thought it was going to be so good because he said he watched a "How I Met Your Mother" episode about how good pickles are.

That one time Adam held a chameleon on Sipi falls... And paid the boy who owned it because the boy said he needed to feed it rice. (Um, do chameleons even eat rice? Doubt it.)

That one time the president came through town -- right past CURE

The presidential parade

That one time Miriam told us that when the power goes out, it's because the president steals the power (meaning the electricity)... And we all believed her

That one time Adam shaved his beard for the first time on the trip, and he was afraid it would clog the sink and there was no trash can; so he kept the beard shavings in a plastic bag.

That one time Adam was on national television while we were in Uganda. (that's right, people. Adam was on "The Price Is Right -- and he WON A CAR!!)

That one time I cut an avocado in half with my superhuman strength (the pit and all)

That one time I thought I saw Christiano Ronaldo in the London airport

*NOTE: When I don't have my glasses on, it's common for me to mistake strangers for the wrong person... This has happened too many times to count

That one time I saw the favoritism in Dr. John's eyes shift from me to Ryne when he discovered that Ryne survived meningitis as an infant

That one time the van got stuck in front of the boys' apartment and they had to push it up the hill

That one time I had several women threaten to pour acid on my face... The threats come daily. Dr. Stewart says he will protect me - but I'm not too sure.

That one time Jonathan gave the wrong guy money on Sipi Falls. 

Sipi Falls

That one time Tina and I jumped in the natural swimming pool at Sipi Falls

That one time we went to get rolexes for dinner and we got swarmed by street children. All of us girls had our hair grabbed and pet and kissed, while Adam had his beard caressed.

That one time Tina and I were boda buddies and our driver decided to take the "scenic route;" a route we had never taken before. We had a moment of panic thinking we were being stolen 

Boda buddies - taking the scenic route

*This has been "That One Time PT. 2." Please stay tuned for more fond memories and hilarity! I am not yet finished :)


That One Time... PT. 1

This is a blog post completely dedicated to the fondest memories of my trip. From the laughter to the cry-worthy moments, all the way to the times when I thought death was upon us. Join me in the reminiscence of the time of my life -- living life abroad in Eastern Africa.

That one time at the Phoenix airport, the people who check the bags asked us "what's in the boxes?" And we had no idea.

*NOTE: We had several boxes sent to us from CURE headquarters that we were traveling with because the mail service can take over a month to be delivered from the States to Uganda. It's much more reliable to have teams bring supplies to the hospital when they are traveling.

Rule #1 of traveling: ALWAYS know what is in every bag and/or box you are traveling with.

That one time Lizzie kept saying "bomb" and "guns" and other taboo words in the Phoenix airport

Rule #2 of traveling: NEVER say words like that in the airport. Just don't do it.

That one time Tina asked Adam "Did you get rid of the evidence?" in the Phoenix airport.

**Can you tell yet how much of a struggle the airport was for us?

That one time we got a free bus ride in London because we didn't know you had to buy tickets

That one time The Tube was on strike, so the short 24 hour stay we had in London was mostly spent on public transportation

That one time no one's debit card worked for the machine to buy tickets for The Tube.

That one time we were leaving the hotel in London to catch our flight to AFRICA and one of the girls lost her bus ticket and got left behind

Rule #3 of traveling: always keep tickets in safe places and have them in your hand and ready to board when the bus/train arrives

That one time James got stopped TWICE going through security... #StruggleBus.

Rule #4 of traveling: check the carry on guidelines before your flight and make sure to abide by the rules -- especially regarding liquids. Don't forget to put all liquids in a ziplock bag; and bottles can't be more than 3oz each.

That one time I saw a grown man doing a potty dance on the airplane...

That one time we arrived in Uganda and the airport security asked us "what's in the boxes?" (AGAIN?! REALLY?!) and someone replied with "I don't know... Medical supplies, I think. Like syringe tips. Needles maybe." And he still let pass. THANK YOU LORD

Rule #5 of traveling: refer to Rule #1. Never forget this rule.

That one time our driver picked us up from the airport in Entebbe, Uganda and told one team member to ride in the taxi with our luggage to ensure our luggage made it to the hotel... And Jonathan tried to get into the driver's seat of the taxi.

*NOTE: in Uganda, the driver's seat is in the right front of the car. 

That one time our driver asked Ryne "How's Mr. Obama?" And Ryne replied with, "I think he's okay. I don't know him personally." And the driver said, "You mean you don't sit together and share ideas?"

That one time at the Boma Hotel, we all ordered omelettes and the manager came and apologized for the wait because they had an egg shortage and had to go on a literal egg hunt in order to find enough eggs for our breakfast since there was a holiday the day before in which they used up all the eggs.

At the Boma Hotel eating breakfast

That one time Jonathan just couldn't seem to get our driver's name right.

That one time someone on the street said, "Mzungu, how are you?!" Oh wait, that's several times a day -- everyday

*NOTE: Mzungu means "white person" in Uganda

That one time we got pulled over for speeding... TWICE in the same day and our driver was asked to get out of the car the second time and we all thought he was going to get arrested. There we were, no means of communication. But he just got a ticket.

That one time (the same day as above) we got a flat tire and had to change it... To the most rickety spare tire you ever did see.

Waiting for our driver to change the tire

That one time Miriam was so  concerned about Adam because he's an only child; and she mentioned that when children are seen by themselves in Uganda, it means something is wrong

That one time we had our first bathroom experience in The Bush

That one time we ate mystery meat off a stick that we bought through the window of our bus passing through a town on our way to Gulu

That one time we went to Gulu -- a place that was a war zone just a short time ago because Kony and the LRA passed through and killed countless people

That one time we stayed at the Mwokka Hotel Gulu and woke up to a rooster every morning that crowed every 10 minutes... The rooster was INSIDE the hotel

That one time in the village in Gulu, Miriam asked us if we wanted tea at the end of the long day and we said yes. So we waited 30 minutes for her to boil the tea and then found out it was just boiled milk... Thanks Mark for the heads up! 

That one time I mentioned it was a dream of mine to catch a chicken, so they released two chickens and the people gathered around and watched as I chased them and failed to catch either. But we all got a great laugh from it :)

Photo Credit: Mark Barrett

That one time we bought two live chickens for dinner, and Tina and Jonathan each slaughtered one; Chelsea and Adam plucked them, then Ryne and I chopped and gutted them.

Photo Credit: Mark Barrett

That one time we barbecued our own goat.

That one time we learned to make chapati

Photo Credit: Mark Barrett

That one time my bathroom at the Mwokka Gulu was infested with bugs every night because the window wouldn't close

That one time Ryne's room and my room both got flooded at the Mwokka Gulu from the crazy rainstorm that blew our windows open

That one time we shoved twice as many people in the bus than could safely fit.

That one time Chelsey so eloquently described the dating process to Simon Peter and how it progresses to engagement and then marriage

That one time someone asked Adam, "Where's Eve?" Oh wait, that happens all the time.

This has been "That One Time PT. 1" ... Please stay tuned for the next post with juicy details and memories of my trip that surely won't disappoint. There are many, MANY more to come. 


Friday, June 6, 2014

Hospital Days

If you know me a little, then you know I've had a dream for many years -- a dream to do medical missions in Africa.

It has been an honor and a pleasure to be able to live out my dream the past several weeks in Uganda; working at CURE Children's Hospital of Uganda -- a pediatric neurosurgery hospital.

Photo Credit: Mark Barrett

Here is what a day in the life of a pre-med intern looks like at CURE:

8am - morning devotions/worship

8:45am - neuro ward round with Dr. John, Dr, Stewart, Dr, Tomson, Dr. Edith and Dr, Joyce.

9:30am - OPD (out-patient department) to see patients for consultations, follow up and referral.

10am - tea time

11am - back to OPD to see more patients with Dr. John, Dr. Stewart, Dr. Thompson, Dr. Edith and Dr. Joyce

1:15pm - lunch

2pm - OPD

5pm - off for the day

*throughout the day, we take patients to CT or X-Ray, we will visit ICU to check on patients, and we often go to the ward to check on patients or watch Dr. John do CSF tapping (cerebrospinal fluid tapping)



I have learned so much about medicine while being here -- it's like being in a classroom 24/7; but there's no studying -- it's amazing. Dr. John is the best teacher. Dr. Stewart is hilarious. Dr. Tomson knows so much about life. And Drs. Edith and Joyce are incredible examples of strong, smart, beautiful independent women.

On Monday, a patient came in and told us all of her symptoms. Dr. John looked at Ryne (another pre-med student from GCU) and me and asked "what do you think it is?" We both said with confidence, "Rheumatoid arthritis." He looked back at us and said, "yes, I think you are correct." *que fireworks* It's official - my first diagnosis!!

It's so cool to be living out pathophysiology class IN REAL LIFE.

On special days, I get to go to the OR (operating room.) These days are so special to me.

Photo Credit: Mark Barrett

Photo Credit: Mark Barrett 

I think Ryne and I have the greatest position on the whole team because we work mostly in OPD, but we also see the kids in the ward and in ICU. The nursing students just rotate between the ward and ICU and then they also get their special OR days.

However, I think being a part of OPD is so special because Ryne and I see the patients as they come in and we hear their stories. We are there when they are admitted to the ward. And when we get to witness their operations -- it's SO special because I feel like I've been on a journey with this child. I've heard their story in OPD, I've admitted them and ordered their labs and CT scan. And now I get to be a part of their surgery. Then I get to see them recover in ICU and get back to the ward before they are discharged. It's an incredible journey to go on with each patient and it's so special to be even a small part of.

This is Treasure in ICU. He recovered well

Sweet 12 day old baby in the ward

This is my dream. And The Lord blessed me with this opportunity. He promises to give us the desires of our heart - and He fulfilled His promises to me.

"Blessed is she who believed that the LORD would fulfill His promises to her!"
Luke 1:45