So it’s just been decided tonight by the authorities that be (which would be ‘us’) that this blog is just going to be FULL. We have so much to share about what this trip has been for all of us that we’re just gonna spill it out here as much as we can, and let whoever happens upon this wade through the overflow. No apologies. (or trust me, they’ll make you put a quarter in the “I’m sorry” jar. The struggle is real folks).
It’s Wednesday evening on this side of the world. Literally only DAY TWO of our work time here at the hospital, and yet it feels like we’ve been here – in this community, walking these halls, with these AMAZING people – for SO much longer.
If yesterday was our “get our feet” wet day, today would be the day we dove in head first and swam full speed towards the other end of the ocean in front of us.
Today, we watched Susan participate in SURGERY people. SURGERY. With Sue at her side the whole time.
Today, we watched Tony and Bud travel through the town alongside Temesgen, this man they only met yesterday and with whom they’ve built such a strong camaraderie that you’d swear they’ve worked side by side for years.
Today, we watched Josh find his sweet spot, loving on the missionary kids that spend all their days in this place, bringing joy to their hearts in a way that only Josh ever could.
Today, we watched Tim dig in and serve like a true leader, painting and assembling and doing every single thing that was put in front of him all the while building relationships with every person that couldn’t help but stop and talk as they passed by.
Today, we watched Kym spend time with some of the young orphan girls from the area and share the love of Jesus with them.
This place can’t help but bring out the best of who God made us to be. It’s an absolute HONOR for each of us to have been given the chance to be the first team sent here from Lakeland, because we’re absolutely CERTAIN that this place not only captured our hearts, but that it will capture the heart of each and every person who is able to listen to any of our stories.
I would like to introduce you to one of my stories.
I would love to tell you the names of these precious hearts we’re meeting everyday, but I can’t pronounce most of them, let alone begin to figure out how to spell them.
While I went in and out of rooms during the OB and Pediatric rotation this morning, I was introduced to a little 11 year old girl who was on a fold out bed in the hallway because there was no vacant beds in any of the rooms in the ward.
She laid there, staring at the wall, listening to the head nurse translate the doctor’s words, telling her that the huge mass they just removed from her abdomen is quite possibly malignant.
Her mother was visibly broken, but trying so very hard to stay strong.
She was only the 3rd patient I was introduced to on rounds, and the OB had softly prayed for each patient on his own as we moved to each case. Since this was my first time EVER on ’rounds’ with a doctor, I didn’t want to interrupt and say ‘excuse me sir, may I pray?” even though everything in me wanted to wrap this aching momma in my arms and pray for her right on the spot. So I kept following.
Thankfully it only took me 1 more patient to get up the courage to ask if I could pray.
As soon as rounds were finished, I grabbed the head nurse that spoke amazing English and had an equally amazing heart, and headed to the hallway to meet that scared momma and the little girl that was laying there so bravely.
The mom thought I had come to pray for her daughter, but I felt this overwhelming urge to pray first for HER, the momma that was watching her little girl and feeling completely, totally helpless.
As I kneeled down beside her daughter and reached for the mothers hands, the strong face I’d watched on rounds crumbled before me. Tears flowed from one momma heart to another, and I was given the gift of being able to pray strength and courage and fearlessness into this woman’s heart before turning to her daughter and speaking life into every ounce of this little body that’s struggled for so long. Not every prayer we pray here is translated because of time or just plain translation ability. But I wanted her to hear this. I felt like her heart needed to hear that she wasn’t alone.
Holding hands on the floor of this dimly lit hospital ward hallway, I watched the Lord hold this woman in His hands by using mine. I watched Him melt some of the fear she’d been holding in so tightly and watched her realize she’s never really alone when she’s part of the body of Christ. I watched what can happen when you step out in faith and trust the call God has on your life and just say “I’m in.”
I walked out of that hallway and into room after room after room for the entire rest of the morning, praying and talking and laughing and crying…doing the exact thing that I always dreamed I’d be able to do on this trip. As I walked from one patient to the next this morning, I asked my sweet new friend, the head nurse Lakech, how *I* could ask someone if I could pray for them instead of always relying on her.
“Lees – sa- lee” she says.
“No, my name’s ‘Lisa'” I said.
“No no no. ‘Lees-sa-lee.’ That’s how you ask “may I pray for you?”
Can you believe that????
7,500 hundred miles on the other side of the world from where God first grew this passion in my heart to pray for His people and watch Him work, here is a group of people speaking a language so foreign that I can clearly not even ATTEMPT to spell correctly, and I find out that their language has MY NAME smack dab in the middle of the phrase asking if someone wants prayer.
I’m not sure anything has ever made me feel more special in my whole life.
And to think, if I didn’t step out and trust this call that I felt on my life to come to Soddo, I would have NEVER seen this amazing gift He’d been planning loooong before I was even a thought in my mom and dad’s heart.
Whatever He’s calling you to today, trust Him. And take that first step. It will blow your mind just how riDICulous His love for you really is. He’s already gone before you anyways, and He’s promised you, “It’s good.” Don’t miss a second of the beauty He has in front of you. And pack a lunch. ‘Cause once you see His heart for you, you’ll be running after Him the rest of your life, too.