Pride, get out of the way

Guess what?  I live on a ship in a beautiful country meeting amazing people each day.  However, I STILL get bent out of shape about stupid things.  Two of our friends are leaving this weekend.  People had warned me about the difficulty in people coming and going, but I wasn’t prepared for how hard that would be.  I guess the emotions of that has me bending out of shape a bit more easily.  We went to a goodbye dinner with these friends.  It was on a Wednesday, which is our family night.  We took our whole family to this dinner, but our kids were the only kids.  Several events transpired on our way out, in which I will save you the details.  But it meant we had some cranky people (including me).  As we walked in the restaurant, all three kids were whining…loudly.  I was humiliated.  What was probably 5 minutes into sitting down, I couldn’t handle it anymore.  I asked Brian to take us home.  I could not handle the fact that our family was making this special dinner for great ladies very uncomfortable.  We started to walk out and the kids all promised to change their attitudes if we stayed.  I have no idea what the right thing to do in that moment was and what I should have said and in what tone I should have said it, but we stayed and I held my breath.  Within a few minutes the kids had completely turned it around.  We all had an amazing time, had a great meal and got to spend time with some friends whom we all really love.  But, let me tell you, those moments of whining in a nice restaurant in a group of professional adults felt like an eternity.  I cannot believe we almost missed out on such a special time because I was embarrassed.  I am also wondering in what other areas do I need to suffer a little embarrassment in order to uncover something really great.

Another silly example…On Sundays we attend church at our Hope Center.  This is a place that our patients go to after they have surgery, but aren’t quite ready to go home yet.  I love the atmosphere of this place.  However, some of our family don’t agree.  Let’s just say the kids don’t necessarily jump out of bed excited to go to the Hope Center on Sundays.  For one, the service is outside and it is HOT.  Really, really hot sometimes.  And the preaching and songs are in Malagasy, even though there is a translator for the preaching.  There aren’t any awesome dramas, lights, games or amazing kids stuff like in our home church.  It’s just sitting outside listening to a sermon in a language we don’t know.  However, we get to see the patients that just left the hospital.  It is like seeing an old friend again.  Their legs are straight, some with casts off, tumors smaller, bigger smiles.  We have kept going as much as we can because we felt like that is what God wanted us to do.  Someone is usually crying as we walk out the ship on the way to the hope center.  We really look like the model missionary family…dragging our kids out of the ship kicking and screaming.  People greet us and our kids stare at the ground and cling onto our legs.  Not exactly what I pictured our Sundays being like.  This past Sunday, God answered a prayer in a big way. Each kid found a special friend at the hope center and played, laughed and worshipped our God in their own special way.  They even said they had fun.  What a huge breakthrough in which I am so grateful.  My friend said she visited the hope center later in the week and Maya’s friend kept saying “Maya.”  I don’t know how to put into words what an answer to prayer this is for me.   Please pray for us through the embarrassment, ups, downs and that we will remember we aren’t called to be the model missionaries but to just obey one step at a time, even if those steps are with a screaming child.  Also, if you could pray that our kids could cry quieter that would be awesome.  And for me to chill out.  thanks!  Love, Jamie

Also, a sweet patient, Olivia needs your prayers.  She had surgery on her face and needs her wounds to heal.  She has her two daughters and her mom here on the ship with her.  Her oldest daughter is 3, and is Hannah’s little friend.  Please pray for them.  You can read more of her story here: http://debsheartinafrica.blogspot.com/2016/01/we-need-to-see-miracle.html?spref=fb

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A Small Part

We are so grateful to be a small part of an organization that thinks it worthwhile to care for kids like Sandrins.  You might think we are feigning modesty when we say “small part” but it’s true.

When you watch the video, you’ll see lots of volunteers.  What you won’t see are the thousands more that make it all possible.  There are cooks, carpenters, electricians, housekeepers, engineers, teachers, mechanics, plumbers, information technology experts, finance gurus, bankers, the security team, supply coordinators, and chaplains amongst many others.  And how about the Communications Team that created the video?  These are just some of the people on board the Africa Mercy.  

Then there are those off-ship at the various Mercy Ships offices around the world that work tirelessly to oversee and support the mission.

And finally, there is you, our friends and family.  You lift us up in prayer.  You partner with us financially.  You send us Christmas cards, letters, and care packages!  You make this possible.  Like it or not, you are on this journey with us!

We are grateful for all the people involved and are so happy to be here.  We play a small part, but continue to be blessed in big ways!

By the way, if you’re interested in seeing some of the other small parts that make up Mercy Ships, click here.

 

Pictures

 

Things have been busy around here!  I’m hoping to write an update soon, but here are some picture updates!

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During the advent season, we are able to light a candle and do a reading.

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Playing with patients and friends on the deck

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