Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Reading & Remembering

Today the power went out.

I had taken my boss to meet the bus at the gas station, she was going to the ship for a week, and came back to the house. With no airport arrivals the rest of my day was empty. I wasn't quite sure what to do.

It's the first time I had been in the house with nobody around and nothing to do. Last week I was busy learning the ropes of working on what we call the "Tana Team". Tana is short for Antananarivo which is the capital of Madagascar. Madagascar is Madagascar, it's not the Africa that many of us with Mercy Ships has come to know. Dropping people off at the airport at midnight and getting up at 5 or 6:30 leaves for long days and short night. Last week 3 short days were spent on the ship and I was able to meet with my wonderful friends there. It was great to see them all and be back in the place I've called home. I paid my bills yesterday, the bank account is empty now. Waiting for the donations to come in for next month. The ship is going to South Africa in June for maintenance and my job in Tana will be finished. What will I do? There are some positions on the ship that I'm interested in. My Mercy Ship e-mail is acting up, I wish things would work themselves out so I can contact a few people.

My brain never shuts down. All these things and many more have been going in and out of thought during the time I've had between arrivals, departures and going to the city center to get paperwork processed through customs and immigration. Each day as I sit in front of my computer scrolling through Facebook and checking e-mail my anxiety level rises. Trying to figure things out and plan for an unknown future. It happened again for 3 hours until the power went out.

After cooking some food I finally sat down to read. I knew there would be a lot of down time so there's a stack of 5 books to be gone through. My reading style is not your average. I make my way through the pile reading a chapter or two of each because I've found if I rush through a book it doesn't sink in. I thought I'd share with you a little bit of what I gleamed as went through today.

7 : an experimental mutiny against excess
Jen Hatmaker is going through a 7 month process of fighting against greed, materialism and overindulgence by attacking a different section of life for 30 days. Food, Clothes, Spending, Media, Possessions, Waste & Stress

  • She's talking about possessions and makes this comment
  • "I have no idea what this means, but my hands are opening. I know my next phase of life is not going to look the same. I'm scared. Hmm When I first typed that, I accidentally spelled sacred. Perhaps those have always been the flip sides of a coin. Like my friend says "Obedience isn't a lack of fear. It's just doing it scared." "
  • Exactly!!! I'm scared. I don't know what God's up to. I have to take each day one at a time.
Donald Miller is telling a story about knocking down the old walls to create a healthy mind, a strong family and a satisfying career. And it all feels like a conversation. 
  • Talking about 3 things that he's learned about relationships from swimming in a pond
  • "To be intimate I'd have to jump" "Then it occurred to me what it was. I wasn't afraid to jump in or swim or to feel the sudden coolness of the water. I was afraid of change. On the dock I was warm and dry and in control. I knew once I jumped I'd be fine. I'd enjoy swimming around. But it was still a change" After jumping: "I felt better in the water than I had on the dock. I thought about that, then, about how much I fear change, even change for the better. I thought about how many lies there are in fear. So much deception. What else keeps us from living a better story than fear?"
  • I'm seeing a trend here. I'm scared of the unknown.
John MacArthur provides a collection of scripture readings and prayers.
  • Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. Ephesians 3:17-18
  • "Nevertheless, we come with a deep sense of spiritual poverty, marveling that we can be so loved and lavished with such grace when we are so often forgetful of your goodness and so prone to self-indulgence.  Lord, we thank you for that endless forgiveness that comes to us, and we praise You for having prepared for us a glorious eternity.
I need to share a patient story with you before I go any further.
After three days of walking and another four hour journey in the car Sambany showed up on the doorstep of the H.O.P.E. Center carrying one of the largest tumors we have ever seen. 

Knowing the risks, the medical team and Sabany reached a decision, they would go ahead with surgery. The night before he went into the OR Sabany said, "I know without surgery I will die. I know I might die in surgery, but I already feel dead inside from the way I'm treated. I choose to have surgery."
After 12 hours of surgery the 16.45 lb tumor he carried for nearly a third of his life was finally removed. When he awoke after his surgery he said, "... I am very happy, because I am saved. God helped me to become like this. God saved me."


Sabany was living life everyday in fear of when he would die and I'm worried about my future? His surgery was while I was on the ship last week. All day people were praying for him. At dinner people were asking if there was any update. Many people were going to bed and the O.R. was still busy in surgery. When I was finally making it down to my room after midnight I stopped by D ward. One of my friends was working and I wanted to hear what the status was on Sabany. Lucky me I got to look in and see him there. Just over an hour after surgery I could see his chest breathing. Incredible. Over ten people donated blood to keep him alive during the long surgery.

I need to remember people like Sabany. I need remember where the Lord is there is freedom. I need to remember that there is no fear in love. I need to remember obedience isn't a lack of fear. 

Obedience is love, where the Spirit of the Lord  there is Freedom.  

Finally I sat down and made a list. A tangible list of things that I will pray for everyday. My days can't be wasted worrying about these things. I'm praying that the freedom in these decision will be given from the Lord. One day at a time I will present them to Him. One of my tangible things is finances. If you would like to help check out my Support Page.

(oh yeah. After dinner we realized that the neighbors had power. So we went over to the electric meter and at the push of a button the lights came on. The power outage was only at our house. That's okay, His ways are not our ways)