Tuesday, August 5, 2014


The first half of this post was started almost two weeks ago. Busyness has prevented me from finishing it till today.

I've been wanting to blog but there has been a bit of a writers block. Three weeks ago I arrived on campus here at Glorieta and it's been pretty busy ever since. Filled with settling in, forming new friendships, working in various job positions and starting to process things from my time on the ship.

Last week was the three year anniversary of the first time I walked up the gangway of the Africa Mercy. It's a day I'll never forget. Sometimes I imagine that I that I think about the ship to often, but then I remember how much it changed my life. There were things that I never could have imagined.
Recently I was listening to a pastor and as he was talking about spiritual warfare. One part that stuck to me was he said that when you're in a spiritual battle there are always wounds. It's probably one of the least talked about things on the ship. With a field service at 10 months and the crew trying to make the biggest impact for Christ you know that Satan is going to try and stop it in as many ways as possible; parts break, flights are missed, patients don't show up, and wounds delaying to heal. It's hard to imagine how many forces that the devil could have going against us, but I know many many people that were at home and praying for me on a regular basis. Multiply that by all the crew and their supporters and it's obvious the size of the fight that's going on to keep the ship running. As I talked to some friends in Atlanta it began to hit me how these next few months will be a time of restoration and  processing of my time with Mercy Ships.

As I started working here in New Mexico lots of processing has been going on. I'm a pretty big processor with just normal stuff. So you can imagine how much I would be thinking about things on the ship, friends that I miss and what was my normal life for the last 2.5+ years. The transitioning covers things that you wouldn't imagine. I think it's been a little amplified by moving to a new setting. Figuring out local grocery stores, visiting churches, getting used to living 7,000 feet above sea level. That's a big difference than the 40 feet that my room was at before.

Something else that really has been on my mind since arriving has been the mysterious disappearance of a good friend and supporter of mine. Lynn Messer vanished from her house in the wee hours of July 8th. Before going to bed she had been talking about plans of watching her grandchildren the next day and getting things done for VBS at church. Her husband, Kerry, woke up at 4:00 AM with no signs of her anywhere. Local police and state authorities combed over their large rural farm that day and every day since many local friends and family have showed up to assist the Messer family in finding Lynn. Eighteen days (one month now) and nothing has been figured out. Lynn was one of the last people I saw from church before starting my road trip to Glorieta. She helped me make my first quilt in 2008, the one that has been on my bed since the day it got finished. Her heart for missions has been made evident as the leader of Mission Friends, a class for pre-school age children, for several years and the numerous  mission trips that she has been on. Several to Ecuador, one even in the last year. Please pray that God would move in that situation and that the Messer family would be able to find Lynn.

Today: 5 August 2014

Life continues to be busy. Sometimes I wonder how camp workers manage to make it through the summer. 12-14 hour days and often working 6 days a week keeps me pretty tired even if it isn't the hardest work I've done.

When I first started to write this blog post I wanted to finish with the fact that I know that this is the place that I'm supposed to be. It was 11:00 on a Friday night and I had just left a worship session with the group camp.

Group camp has been my favorite part of Glorieta since the day that I worked with them during my orientation week. You might be confused by the name; Group Camp is pretty much just church camp, but it's not limited to church groups. Any type of group can come. They start at breakfast in the morning and are busy with activities throughout the day and into the night . There isn't the slightest little bit of free time at this adventure camp.

I had finished my job in the working in the kitchen with inventory and ordering that day and I decided to go over and hang out with my friends a group camp and assist them with their evening activities. When I arrived to the field I was told "hope you don't plan on grilling, it's my favorite part of the week." SO I just helped them set up and then clean up. When the kids were finished eating the had time to run around and play some games. There was a game of soccer(football) going on and a lot of other fun things going on around the field. The speaker corralled them all together and talked to them about how God will continue to work in their lives after they leave camp if they give Him the opportunity. From that point they were dismissed in their groups to do some debriefing. Around 9:00 they met up at the building where they had been meeting all week, but the Group Camp Staff had turned it into a dance party. Surprise! Who ever expects a dance party at church camp? Well after about 45 minutes of  the kids dancing and jumping around it turned into a worship session. This is when it hit me how much I was enjoying my new "job". Up on stage was two of my house mates leading the kids in worship and back behind all the kids were 5 or 6 of my friends singing just as loud or louder than the kids praising the name of Jesus for all that He had done through the week.

Flash forward to yesterday.

The ship is on my mind everyday. I dream of the day that I will once again walk up the gangway of a hospital ship. I think it consumed about 50% of my thoughts yesterday. As I was getting ready in the morning I received an e-mail from the Supply Manager on the Africa Mercy. If I had stayed on the ship I would have been working with her with keeping track of supply usage a reordering supplies. In the e-mail she said that this week her and her husband would be leaving. Some medical problems made it so that they felt that this was the right time to return to the U.S. At that point I think I would have jumped right on a plane and headed to the Canary Islands. I had already known that several of my friends will be returning to the ship, but with this unplanned departure my longing to serve on the ship almost consumed me. What followed was me sending a few messages to see how things would be handled with a gap in staffing and then a few more messages to close friends asking for prayer that I would be obedient to what God has called me to do.

Back in late February when I made the decision to leave the ship at the end of May it was because I knew that God had other plans for me. I wasn't sure what that was at the time, but I knew that my time onboard was finished for now. As I talked with a friend about the decision I had made I told him. Maybe I'll get home over the summer and  God will be like "ok, thanks for listening, now you can go back now".

He hasn't told me that yet, so I'm still here in New Mexico working hard at Glorieta. I pray that one day I will receive my calling to go back to the ship but for now I will be obedient to where He has me today.