Tuesday, December 20, 2011

God At Work!: CHICK-FIL-A

On November 16th we had our Chick-fil-A fundraiser. I was overwhelmed by the love and support of the hundreds who came from Beavercreek, Dayton and the surrounding area.
Chick-fil-A reported it was the biggest missions fundraiser they've seen, bringing in over $1,400 in food sales translating to over $200 in support to get me that much closer to Gabon!

A big thank you to:
Hillside Chapel
Faircreek Church
Church of the Nazarene

and all the individuals who camped out, brought friends, ate both lunch and dinner, had staff meetings, passed out flyers, youth group gatherings, young adult meetings, brought a big group of people last minute at 10pm to help out and just plain got the word out, THANK YOU!

THANK YOU Chick-fil-A!

Praise the Lord! I am one step closer to Gabon!

Thank you for praying!

God at Work!: Hillside Chapel

On Friday, November 11th, 
Hillside Chapel gathered for an evening of international food, fellowship and displays of missionaries from around the world. I stood in front of my display for Gabon, the fellowship hall bursting around me with color, familiar faces and the aroma of delicious food. It was surreal somehow, after 12 years of following God's call to the mission field, to be standing as one of the "missionaries" for the evening, in front of my little table for Gabon. 

I did not yet know what was in store for me that evening, but as I entered the sanctuary for the
evening service, I was overjoyed to be met by my extended family and many of my friends in the Dayton area. The service began and I still did not yet know what lay ahead.

Coming into that evening, I was at about 7% of my monthly support.
A January 1st departure was not looking promising.
The C&MA national office was aware and was waiting with me to see what God would do this final weekend before making a decision of whether or not a January departure was realistic.

That night at Hillside, after sharing how God has and is leading me to teach nursing in Gabon, our Pastor, Chuck Moore came out to announce that they had been planning this evening as a surprise for quite sometime, and that to date, over $21,000 had been raised by Hillside Chapel!
I could hardly believe my ears, to think that my church family had raised so much and been planning this for so long, their love was overwhelming.
As if that wasn't enough, that night an offering was taken,
another $12,000 was given, in addition to many generous monthly and yearly pledges.

A total of over $33,000 was given!
God had brought me from 7% to 75% in one night.
I was leaving in January.

I remain amazed at God's hand at work in every step of this process.
I am honored to be partners with my family at Hillside in reaching the people of Gabon.
I am reminded that it is God who calls,
God who equips those He sends,
and God who will bring those yet unreached to Himself.

Praise God for His hand at work through the faithful love and obedience of the church family at Hillside and the many other individuals who have so sacrificially given.

Praise the Lord!

Still going to the Jungle =),

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

God at Work! : MEDSEND

Hello to All! 
Recounting God's hand at work these past few weeks...
1. Project MEDSEND!!! 

On the last day of SPLICE training I received an urgent email. 
I had been in the process of applying to MEDSEND for their loan repayment grant. God had very clearly provided a way to attend Cedarville University, through a new student loan that had been released. I graduated in 2009 with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and double minor in Cross-cultural Nursing and Bible, leaving me well-equipped to head out into the nursing profession, but despite numerous scholarships, in debt around $67,000.
The past 2 years that have followed, I have been living as simply as I can in order to pay off the school loans, by God's grace I was able to reduce that debt to $34,500! 
However, this remaining debt would still prevent me from leaving for the mission field. 

That's where Medsend comes in. 
Medsend is an organization of Christian medical professionals with a heart for missions.
They have sacrificed and put together a "common pot" where they are willing to pay for school loans of medical professionals while they are on the mission field so that they are able to serve the Lord in medical missions.

So on that last day of SPLICE, a couple weeks ago, I received an urgent email to call Medsend. I wasn't really sure what they were going to say, but it didn't look good. 
On the phone with them it was made clear that they wanted to approve me but there was a snag with the format of one of the loans and they weren't sure they were able to approve me for the Parents Plus Loan- the loan that had allowed me to attend Cedarville in the first place and constituted the largest portion of my debt. 
They told me they were having a meeting in the next hour which would determine their decision. 
I realized in that moment that this very hour they were deciding not only whether or not I would receive the grant, but whether I would go to the mission field at all. 
It was a long hour. 
I announced it to the class at SPLICE and during that hour we prayed as our activities went on.
The end of the hour came.
I gave them a few more minutes....
they called back. 
They had found a loop hole regarding the loan and were able to approve me for the Medsend grant!
I was still going to Gabon after all...

I remain amazed at how God uses the body, with each of our individual gifting, to accomplish HIS purpose- to bring those unto Himself, and to make HIS name great among the nations! To each of you reading, you are all part of His purpose along this journey, thank you!
Thank You to Project MEDSEND and all who worked so tirelessly to find that loop hole! 
Thank you to our Great God, who works all things together, according to HIS purpose!

With Joy,

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Slice of SPLICE and C&MA Headquarters.

Hello Everyone! 
These past 14 days have been a whirlwind as I've returned from 3 weeks of SPLICE training in Colorado and attended Pre-field orientation at C&MA headquarters. 
God has been doing amazing things in the days since being back, and the countdown to departure gets shorter and shorter! 
I have a few days to catch my breath, so I'm excited to share with all you what our Great God has been doing! 
But first............a brief slice of SPLICE, a snapshot of the 3 weeks =)

C&MA Headquarters, Colorado Springs
 The afternoon following the end of SPICE, the couple other C&MA international workers and I headed for C&MA headquarters, just a 30 min drive or so from where we had stayed for SPLICE. We spent a day and a half in orientation at the National office for some necessary paperwork and in-services before leaving for the field. We really enjoyed getting to know each other, fellow C&MA family, during our 3 weeks in Colorado.

MTI Training Center
Where we lived, studied and played and some of the people who made it memorable =)

The sunrise outside my window one morning...

...a great way to worship at the start of a new day.

Our dedicated instructors, Tim and Robin =)

Another lively and challenging lecture from Robin
Sarah, ministering with her family to the Native Americans

A fellow redhead ....=)

Stones of testimony - that we may not forget what God has done these 3 weeks!

To remember when the road is tough...


My sisters in Kenya...totally coming to visit! ;-)

Growth group....Love you girls!! =)

Mandy with her family to Uganda

Fellow nurse =) Jean to Ethiopia

I LOVE airplanes!

My friend Grace and I enjoying lunch at an airstrip restaurant with her family.

Saying Goodbyes....

Our SPLICE family.
Thank you for praying for these 3 weeks!
They were indispensable as I prepare for the mission field.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Hello from Colorado!

 Hello Everyone!
Two days after the conference in Florida, I flew to sunny Colorado for SPLICE training at Missions Training International. This is a 3 week program of targeted spiritual, cultural and emotional preparation before heading to the field. A week and a half in and the 37 of us living at the conference center have become well acquainted. Our days here are filled with challenging hands on learning dealing with topics such as conflict, expectations, adversity, stress management and cultural adjustment. 
 For more info check out their website: www.mti.org

 On the weekend I was able to visit with Grace, one of my best friends from college who lives near by. We drove up the mountains and took a nice long walk around Dillon Lake. It was wonderful to be out in the chilly air surrounded by such beautiful mountains!
I did come down with pink eye and a cold over the weekend, but Grace's family just took me right into their family for the weekend- contagion and all. Thank you Sims! =)


-As I wrestle and grow with these important concepts before heading to the field
-That I would be teachable and pliable before the Father
-France Visas
-Financial support to be able to leave in January: 
Financial Deadline is December 20th
-Prayer warriors: that God would prompt specific people to be part of a small prayer team
to receive prayer requests from the big and broad to the nitty gritty as I'm on the field
(if you would like to partner with me in this way please email me! =)


Thank you all for your prayers! 
Feel free to email and keep in touch =)

Love from Colorado,

Monday, October 17, 2011

ECHO- Last Day

Lodging at ECHO, our cute little rooms were at the very top.
Friday marked the end of our time at ECHO in Florida. We had some very meaningful and helpful discussions in our final sessions. We also shared communion together before parting ways to our various places of service. It was such an encouragement to learn and fellowship with fellow believers, sharing a common purpose, to know God and share His story with peoples in the far corners of the earth.

Hard at work with Dr. Dan Fountain

Enjoying the night lights on my way home...

Thank you for all your prayers during this week of training. 
God has provided more friendships and tools for the adventures ahead...

Love from the plane,

Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 4 - And One Day More.

Hello to All!

"Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.."
So that dirty water we talked about yesterday in the Duck-Tilapia Eco-system, how do we make that water suitable to drink? 
Water, the most essential component of physical survival, and yet much of the water around the world is contaminated causing life threatening diseases - especially in children under 5.
What are some practical solutions?

1. Water collection: just getting water can be a huge struggle in rural areas...

Variety of PVC water pumps

Pumps can be used to gather water from lakes, ponds, rivers and from wells.
Catching rainfall from the gutter.

 Another easy and practical solution in areas where rainfall is relatively frequent.

A crank pump using old wheels
A treadle pump

This pump uses a stepper mechanism to pump water from the ground to the surrounding crops. 

It's definitely exercise! But it uses the strongest muscles in your body, so you will be able to pump a lot more water than a crank or rowing pump using your arms. 

2. Sedimentation, filtration and decontamination...
Filtration system you can make at home

This water filtration is easy to make and relatively effective, but must be replaced every 5 years.
It involves a large bucket with 16 inches of coarse sand and a layer of gravel on the bottom. The pvc tube must be at least 2 inches taller than the top of your sand layer, and you must still have room at the top of the bucket for pouring in water. 

**Family or Hall Dorm Project: try making this bucket filter together and ONLY using water you've filtered for a day, a couple days or even a week! It might change the way you view your faucet.
Pray for the people of Gabon as you filter!
The process is a good lesson in patience =) I'd recommend staying ahead on your water supply.**

Water filter options.

 Left: ceramic candle filter (used frequently by the International Workers in Gabon)
Middle: system for purchase using local business- a local skilled worker in ceramics or clay would need to make the filter inside, particular specifications need to be followed. A layer of colloidal silver can be added for disinfection of the water.
Right: This filter can be purchased for about $75-100 and will last for decades. It is effective for all three steps of water purification (sedimentation, filtration and disinfection) and the filter is small enough to protect against even viruses.

Not Wasting Waste....

Four year old Johnny comes running, "Mommy! Mommy! I watered the flower beds!" 
All you mothers out there know Johnny didn't have access to a watering can....

But maybe he's being more of a help than you think (as long as you're not in Central Park or something =).

A dry waste latrine on the ECHO farm (and yes we did have indoor plumbing this week =)

This latrine separates waste into dry and liquid components (using the throne shown below). This method not only has less flies, less odor and less chance of water table contamination, but the waste can be collected for fertilizer. 

Urine has very nutrient rich properties including Phosphorus and Nitrogen (I might just stay clear of the lettuce bed), and of course all our noses can testify to the use of manure. 

I can almost hear the laments of protestation and disgust, but stay with me if you will =)

In a country where we can run to a store to get food 24 hrs/day it's easy to not really see a need for such a resource.  But in a place where natural resources, even rain, is limited, and crops are the only food you have to feed your family for the next 6 months, not wasting even your waste seems pretty important.

   A new friend...
Jodi and Myself

Jodi is one of the other nurses I met this week at ECHO.
We found out we'll both be at the same language school in Albertville, France in January pending financial support!
Jodi is going to a hospital in Togo to teach Nursing students and set up their OR.
I'm going to a hospital in Gabon to teach Nursing students and set up their ICU.
Who would have thought we'd run into each other in Fort Myers Florida?
I'm continually amazed at God's faithfulness in the details as I prepare for Gabon...

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
Pvbs 3:5-6

Love from -one more day in- Florida,

'Mixed' Lagos Spinach - (well, the flowers of the spinach - I love the purple =)