Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Take a look around.

Last Saturday a group of 10 of us went out of town.  After four hours winding through the greenest tropical mountains I've ever seen we made it to Dolisie. I think my favorite part of the trip is that none of it was planned. Well, a group was planning on going and I decided to join them, but besides that many of the details were unknown till we decided there in town. It's actually one of the reasons I wanted to go so much. Everyday my job revolves around planning and having things prepared so this was the perfect opportunity for spontaneity.

When we arrived Saturday we walked through town not knowing exactly where we were going, but in the direction of a restaurant that we had heard about from people that had been before. In the day and age of cell phones interuptions and 30 minute meals we managed to get up from the table three hours after sitting down. I don't think I heard a single complaint. We were just enjoying our time, having good conversation and tasting crazy new foods like gazelle, wild boar and antelope.

Sunday morning we headed even further out of town. At the end of our 30 minute taxi ride we made it to a small village. As we drove up the children were yelling  "Mondeli, Mondeli" aka "white people, white people" in the local language. After a little bargaining we had two guides take us up to a beautiful waterfall. One day I hope to make it to Victoria Falls and Angel Falls, but I was happy to be taking in the view what was before me. It was nice to feel the cool breeze coming down with the water and even nicer to be standing in the knee deep in it taking some great pictures. On the way back I was reminded to take in my surroundings. It's a message that God has reminded me many times over the last year. As I was walking down the path to many times I found myself looking at the feet of the person in front of me. I wanted to make sure that I didn't miss any steps, but every time I looked up I was amazed at the views before us. I was focusing to much on the next step and not enough on where God had me.

Today as I booked my tickets to return home God gave me that nudge again. Take a look around. My time on the ship is limited, the end is near. In less than 60 days I will step down the gangway and into what God has for me next. I'm not sure what it is yet, there's a possibility in the works, but for now I think I'll dig a little deeper before I plan away my time here.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Blessed are you when people hate you...

I think this quote and verse are worth sharing. I came across them in a book I've been reading. Hope it can speak into somebodies life.

If Jesus had tries to make everyone happy, we would all be lost. If self-centered people are angry at you, it means you are learning to say no to evil. If mean people are displeased with you, it means that you are standing up to abuse. If Pharisaical Christians judge you, it means that you are becoming like your Savior. If your parents don't like the decisions that you as an adult feel God has led you to make, it means that you are growing up.    - Dr. Henry Cloud

"Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil on account of the Son of Man!Rejoice in the day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets."     Luke 6.22-23

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Things were going pretty steady in January and the first half of February then my parents came for a visit. I think somebody pushed the fast forward button when they arrived. From the 14th of February till the 4th of March things seem to have gone in a blur.

Those first six weeks of the year before my parents came I was constantly thinking about what I would do this year, weather I would go home or stay on for another field service. It was very nice to think of the opportunities coming available on the ship, but at the same time I was balancing that with what else I thought God might have in store for me. Many of my friends will be coming back to the ship and going back to Guinea would always be exciting, but I never could get the peace about coming back. One night while sitting in my bed reading I came to the conclusion that it was time to stop struggling with the decision. When God told me that if I followed His call to Mercy Ships He would take care of everything else. Through my time in 2011 when I decided to come to the ship there was a definite peace about the situation. Every step of the way was very natural and without regret. So, at that time I decided that when I leave the ship in May it will be goodbye for now. This wasn't any easy decision. I'm still not sure what to think about leaving my home of 2+ years. My normal, which is actually pretty crazy, is about to change again.

The next question then comes to mind, if not Mercy Ships then where. It shortly crossed my mind to look for a land based clinic in Africa to work in. Maybe The Luke Commission or something like that. My friend Tiffany is volunteering with them and having great experiences. After contemplating that for a while I decided that it's time to be in the United States again. Currently I'm looking for a Conference Center or Retreat/Camp type place to work. Three years ago I had just heard about Mercy Ships and two years ago I wouldn't have ever expected to be managing a small shop that does $750-$1000 in sales every day. I imagine that what I do next will be in the Guest Services/Support Staff/Food Services realm, but I don't want to limit God to that.

In the mean time I'll be finishing up my time here on the ship over the next 8-10 weeks. They're hoping to have the next Sales Manager picked out so that I can hand-over to them and pass on some of my experiences. Leaving my friends here will be very tough and I'm not sure how excited I'll be about that, but I am excited to be traveling between here and home. I'm looking into traveling for a week or two to see some of the parts of Africa that I haven't been able to see over the last 2+ years.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippines 4.4-7