Thursday, July 7, 2011

Nieces . . .

 My nieces are such a blessing to me.  Josey is the oldest and I love spending time with her!!!
Of course, I was excitedly awaiting the birth of my second niece, and even wondering if she would come on my birthday =)

She didn't but was born 2 days later!!! 
I had the privilege of holding sweet little Nora when she was only 3 hours old. 

I am so thankful to be living in Indianapolis right now and having this wonderful privilege of
 being a part of my nieces lives right now!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

a banana and a man on the sidewalk

life has been moving at a very fast pace the past couple years.  recently God has shown me through a couple different circumstances how important it is to be looking for opportunities to reach out to those around me

the first was in kenya:
While at one of the stands at the market we were given free bananas. Well, I think, I didn't pay so maybe they weren't free??? But, we all ended up with a banana. I was excited to eat it and would have as we were walking home, but my hands were full. I was walking slightly behind the other girls when a young girl - best guess 9 yo, was walking the other direction. I smiled and said hi and she shyly smiled back. Then she stopped and turned around and I could tell that she was starting to follow me. I turned back to smile at her and she softly asked me for 5 pence. I told her no and kept walking hating every minute of that feeling of being helpless to do anything for this child. Then I remember that banana. It wasn't much - but she could eat it, and needed it more than me. I offered it to her and she gladly accepted. She followed me just a short distance longer until we crossed the street and then she stopped and watched us walk away. I know because when we got to the other side I turned around and she stood there watching us - so I waved and she returned the wave.

the second was in indianapolis: 
I am frequently running late for work and rushing in at the last minute.  I'm trying to do better with getting to work early.  One day I actually left earlier than normal meaning that I should get to work early as well.  I was excited as I drove through green stop lights instead of having to stop at all 15-ish red lights during my 10 min. commute =(  However, as I was driving I noticed an elderly man laying on the sidewalk and a young girl standing next to him.  My thoughts - "what is going on, should i stop, if i stop i will be late for work, oh i have to stop".  So, I got turned around and went back to the scene.  A college-age granddaughter was out for a walk with her grandfather.  He slipped on the curb and fell.  The granddaughter said that she didn't know what had happened because she was listening to her Ipod and was walking ahead of her grandpa (is that quality time or what!).  As I was talking to them another stranger stopped by to help and I asked him to stay so that the two of us could help up this man.  With the help of the other stranger, we had him up and standing in a couple seconds.  After a few nursing type questions I felt comfortable that the man was ok and I could continue on my way.  I ended up at work the same time as always, but still not late that day. 

Neither of these circumstances required any real sacrifice or really any real inconvenience.  They just required me being willing to see a need and realize that God had given me the resources to meet those needs. 
Made me think, what other opportunities have I missed??? 
A dear friend once challenged me not to live with regret, so then I need to live with open eyes to see the needs around me and open hands to whatever God wants to have pass through them.

Some days I have no idea why God has placed me where He has and giving me the things and the opportunities that He has given me? But what I do know is that with great blessing there is great responsibility.
And since I have been greatly blessed, maybe the most important question is,
What am I doing with that great responsibility God has given me????

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Eldoret, Kenyas

the past few days in kenya have been amazing! we have been all around the city and have been trying to process everything that we are experiencing! the kenyans that we have met have been so friendly and welcoming! rose is an amazing host and it's exciting to see her life here! we were able to see the hospital here and it is overwhelming to see how many things could be improved and all the changes that need to be made! i've read about people having to share hospital beds but have never seen that in person until this week. we have also had the opportunity to interact with some street children here. they have such a hard life and it is neat to meet people who care about them and are investing time in trying to change their hopeless future! we have also been to the market, church, the great rift valley, ate roasted goat, and have eaten lots of wonderful food! we leave tomorrow for safari which will be a whole new great experience!

i find myself constantly comparing this place to guatemala. there are a lot of similarities and yet a lot of differences. i did not bring my computer so it will take me longer to get photos and details uploaded but i will as soon as possible. for now if you want to read more about our trip you can go to a fellow travelers blog: or for some insight into eldoret and the hospital you can read rose's blog:

Monday, March 7, 2011

On my way to Africa!!!

I have wanted to go to Africa for a long time! I remember choosing Cedarville because they had a cross-cultural nursing minor and I could go with a nursing team to Togo, West Africa. However, the year that I was able to go there were a lot of people and I was an alternate. I then tried to make other plans which also fell through. That summer though was a summer that changed my life! I ended up going to an orphanage in Albania for 4 weeks, but since it wasn't nursing related I had to find another cross-cultural nursing internship. I requested to do my internship at the Pacific Garden Mission Homeless Shelter Clinic in Chicago where I had been volunteering on my spring breaks with the women and children for the previous 2 years. I was granted my request and loved my summer in Chicago and working at the clinic so much that I sensed God was leading me there after graduation. I volunteered at the homeless shelter for the first couple years after moving there, but eventually was part of the full time nursing staff for about 2 years. It was an amazing place to work and I still miss the people that I worked with there and love to go back to visit!!!

Anyway, so that being said, I've never gone to Africa!!! I've been to China, Europe, Central and South America, and some of those places multiple times . . . but never Africa!
God has given me the chance to go for 2 weeks in March to Kenya!!!
I hesitated a lot on deciding to go on this trip. What was God's will in all this??? Let's just say I felt like God opened every door imaginable and then let me feel a peace about walking through the door to go to Africa! I pray that my heart stay open and teachable to all that God has for me on this trip!!!

I originally was joining 3 other girls but one had to cancel due to an injury to her ankle =(
So, now I will travel to Kenya with 2 friends and we will get to spend our time there with a friend who is working in the IU/Kenya partnership hospital for 6 months. I heard about and studied this Kenya project during my masters studies, so I'm excited to get the chance to see it in person! We will also travel some and go on a couple safaris as well as to a coast city which is on the Indian Ocean! I am so excited for all that is in store for us during this trip!!! I can't wait to come back with a million photos and stories to share!!!!

My mom has been to both Ghana and Uganda and I still pray that one day I have the opportunity to travel with her and meet the people that she has grown to love!!! I believe God will give me that opportunity one day!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Reminders of Guatemala

A couple weeks ago I sat in a room with refugees from Nepal and Somalia. One family arrived from Nepal within the previous 12 hours. As I walked by them there was the oh so unforgettable smell . . . the smell on the clothing of the Guatemalan women and children that we would see in our clinics. Evidences of hard work and hours spent cooking over a fire and living in smoke filled homes. It's not that the smell is good or bad, it's just one of the reminders of Guatemala. Then this past week I got to spend a couple hours helping to run a student nurse run clinic for some of these refugees. We had a room full of 50 or so refugees representing many different countries. Languages were flying, we were making due with limited supplies, and yet there were many smiles and thankful hearts for the little that we had to offer! One of my favorite parts was the few minutes I had to play with the children!!! It brought back many memories of the clinics I was able to be a part of in Guatemala!!! I never would have imagined that my trips to Guatemala would help me to do a job in Indianapolis - how amazing is that!!!

So, what about Guatemala???
My last trip to Guatemala was now about 3 years ago. It is so hard to believe that so much time has gone by since I've been to that country that I love!!! When I moved to Indianapolis 3 years ago to complete my masters in Community Health Nursing I thought I'd be done in 1.5 years and as soon as I finished I'd be off to Guatemala to live there long term. So, while I'm learning to trust God's timing and not my own, God knows just when I need some encouragment and gives me some occational reminders that He has not forgotten the desires of my heart.

In the fall I was able to attend a conference about global medical missions. Talk about an encouragement to the soul!!! But, it was also a time of releasing my heart's desires to the Lord and remembering that I live to serve God in whatever and wherever He has called me, even if that means going somewhere besides Guatemala. That comes with a lot of fear, questions, doubt, tears, etc . . . and yet there is peace because there is no fear in love!!!

How humbling it was to stand before the large wall sized map (can't get the photo to upload) and be reminded that God is at work around the world, and God needs workers around the world!!! This was the challenge:

Where will you be involved???