Thursday, August 21, 2014

It'll Be Like Herding Cats?

First, let me say that coming up with a title for a blog posting can sometimes be the most difficult thing about it.  And this one, all I can come up with is "Missionary Position," but I just don't feel that would be appropriate, so hopefully something will come to me by the time I'm done writing this.....

The other day I had my final Hepatitis A & B booster shots before my trip to Honduras.  My arm aches and my head hurts and it's more than 48 hours later, but I still feel better than I did after the first shot!  Now, my appointment was with the nurse, no need to see the doctor for a booster shot – don't suppose insurance would appreciate that, eh?  But next Friday, the day I fly out, is my doctor's final day before retirement.  And while I sort of wanted to make an appointment to see him one last time before he left, again, I didn't think the insurance would like my doing so… I'm thinking the words "insurance fraud" might apply.  So Annette, my friend who is also the phone nurse at my doctor's office, must've told them that I wanted to see him to say goodbye because when I (finally) got taken back, they put me in a room so that I could see him between patients. 
I was so pleased to be able to give him a hug and wish him well.  I truly intend to go and get him a "congrats on your retirement" card, but I haven't had a chance to go anywhere other than the Dollar Tree and they didn't have any appropriate cards.  Maybe this weekend.
Also trip-related, we had a pill-packing party a couple of weekends ago.  The medicines that we take are donated or purchased in bulk, so the pills had to be divvied up into like 20 pill packages.  We were encouraged to bring family and friends along a) so as to inform them about the trip; and 2) because the more people doing it, the quicker it gets done!  When I got there, I'm thinking there were just three people from our church going, but I sat down to help a table packing Tylenol-esque meds and the girl beside me asks if I'm from Westwood.  I'm like, yeah, .. why? what've you heard?  And she says she is too!  Who knew!  Now we have four people from our church going.  Her name is Jamie.

We discovered that we are going to be a traveling trip.  Normally, the teams stay at Faith Home orphanage and travel to and from the villages where they go, or the people come to a clinic they set up somewhere.  But our team will stay the first couple of nights at Faith Home and then pack up and travel several hours south and set up a base there.  We'll spend three or four days from the base to villages around there and back before traveling back to Faith Home for a couple of days before flying home.

We have also been informed of our tentative assignments.  Now, before I tell you what MY assignment is,  you have to think... "What would be the most fabulously funny area for Rose to be assigned?"  Got an answer in mind?  Well, here goes... I'll be helping with children's church.  Yes, that's right CHILDREN's church.  I'll pause here for you to get over your laughter.

Finished?  I went to go pick up my team t-shirt and Buck and he asked me what I thought about children's church.  I said, "Well... while I would never volunteer to do something with children, I will do whatever you need me to do.  That being said, if the Lord places it upon your heart to have someone else do that job, you feel free to follow His will."  Although the assignments were listed as "tentative" in the email, I haven't heard anything different, so I'm guessing Rose'll be doing children's church.  He did assure me that for the most part it'll be watching the kids while their parents are in adult church, and I figure it'll be more like herding cats (since I don't speak Spanish and I'm guessing they won't speak Rose), but also it'll only be for a couple of hours and then I can go assist in other areas.  On the bright side, I have an excuse to pack some of my more fun t-shirts, right?  :)

This coming Sunday, Daniel, of the "Mission Moment with Daniel" portion of the service, plans to have the four of us come up to be introduced to the crowd and be prayed over.  He emailed me for the names of the four of us, which I provided along with email addresses, and told me of his plans.  I responded that I was fine with it as long as he did not expect me to do more than be eye candy on the stage because I would not be speaking, and that I was pretty sure I could speak for Annette as well....  that I didn't know Jamie well enough to speak for her, but that Annette and I took a vote (before we knew about Jamie) and we'd elected Brandon our spokesperson.

I have all the stuff that I'm supposed to smuggle (and for any federal authorities who might be reading this, I say that in jest) across the border and now I just need to wander upstairs to find my big suitcase so I can start packing!  Once again, we'll be checking luggage, so I don't have to worry about small containers of liquids!  (yeah!)   So my next posting may be from Honduras... we'll see...

Monday, August 4, 2014

Leaving on a Jet Plane, part deux

Last January, at our church, during the “Mission Moment” in the morning worship service, it mentioned that there would be teams going to Honduras this summer and fall, and that if anyone was interested in going, to contact the "Mission Moment" guy, Daniel.  I’ve always wanted to go on a mission trip, but never felt that I was in a place, either financially or professionally, where I could afford to do it.  So when Daniel mentioned this, I started thinking about it and wondering if this might be the year. 
Then life intervened, my uncle got sick and passed away, and I forgot about it.  But Scott Strouse, the guy who organizes and leads these teams for General Baptist International Missions, came to our worship service and spoke with Daniel about the mission trips, and again, I was just feeling like this was something I should do.  So during prayer I told the Lord that if this was something He wanted me to do, I was game, but He needed to make sure that my tax refund would cover the expense for both this trip and the plane tickets to Ireland (which I’d just purchased online the night before!)  I talked to Scott after the service and got the information about the trip (specifically, the cost) and then went home to do my taxes.  Of course you know that God made my refund come out almost to the penny! 
I told Mom that I was thinking about going to Honduras on a team – her response was, “well, you’re going to Ireland this summer, maybe you should think about going next summer.”  So I told Mom about my discussion with the Lord and how I felt I was supposed to go THIS summer – her response was, “well, I guess you’ll be going this summer!”
Now, here it's less than a month away, I’ve had my shots, and I’ve got my passport warmed up.  I will be among three people from my church serving on a medical/dental mission team going to Honduras this fall.  We’ll be leaving on Friday, Aug. 29th and will return on Saturday, Sept. 6th.
I realize that those of you who know me well are saying to yourselves “but Rose, you don’t like children and aren’t particularly fond of people in general! What up?”  And you’d be right!  But then I figure the Lord knows that too, and I’m sure He knows just the perfect way to use me.
Although the team will be using Faith Home Orphanage as a “home base,” we will traveling out during the days to villages where we will set up clinics to provide medical care from real doctors and nurses, dental care, eye doctor care, and medicines to the inhabitants – some for the first time in their lives.  Medical care and dental are one thing – one very good thing, don’t get me wrong – but I am blind as a bat without my contacts or glasses.  And frankly I cannot imagine living in a world where everything was so blurry and out of focus with no hope of ever seeing the simplest of things… unless said thing was like an inch from my face!  I would think that being given the opportunity to have glasses would be almost as terrific as it was for the blind guy when Jesus put the mud on his eyes and then when he washed it off he could see.  Makes me goose-pimply!
Of course the true purpose is to bring the Gospel Message about Jesus to the people.  All persons coming to the clinics will attend an adult or children’s worship service where a clear Gospel Message is preached in their native language, and each family receives a Spanish Bible.  (I think it would have been nice of the Lord to bless me with the gift of speaking/understanding Spanish for this trip, but he hasn’t felt the need to do so as of this writing… should this change, I’ll let you know immediately.)

So would you like to help?  Please pray!  We’re going to a third world country and I’m sure there is danger - heat, bugs, bizarre viruses that my safe American body has no defense against - and what about restless natives!?  I know the Lord will keep us safe, but prayers to that effect would be nice, too.  And prayer that while we’re doing our thing, the Lord will be doing His thing and reaching those in need.  What else?  Well, as I said, we’ll be staying at Faith Home, but the goal is for us not to drain their resources in any way, so we cover the cost for everything (meds, food, Bibles, etc.) and it's something like $11,000.  Per our last team email, only about $3-4,000 has been donated so far.  God will provide.  But if you feel that you have the resources to help out financially, please make your check out to “GBIM” and put “Medical Team” on the memo line.  Checks can be either given to me directly or mailed to:
Scott Strouse, Summer Medical Team
701 Colony Rd.
Evansville, IN 47714