A New Chapter

There’s no easy way to say it.

We have decided to end our time with Mercy Ships after the Guinea field service.  It’s been an extremely difficult decision for us, but we feel it’s the right one.  It’s hard to even type these words!

We did not take this decision lightly.  After much prayer and discussion, we feel like this is the direction God is taking us right now.

We have loved every minute of our time on board.  It’s challenging to describe what it’s been like to be a part of such an extraordinary organization and community.  Of course the patients and the surgeries have been amazing, but it’s also been pretty incredible living with people from over 40 different nations.  We can now look at a world map and point to so many countries where we have friends.

The bizarre thing is that as much faith as it took to say “yes” to Mercy Ships, I think it’s taking just as much to return to the US.  Of course we miss everyone back home, but the ship has become a new home.  Jamie and I and the kids are all comfortable here.  And now, there are so many unknowns.  Where will we live?  Where will I work?  Where will the kids go to school?

I feel like I’m planning two futures.  One for the ship (finding a new Anesthesia Supervisor and making sure the anesthesia team is staffed well), and one for our family.  

Please pray that God would be leading us as we make these decisions.  Sometimes so much uncertainty can lead to worry.  The good news is that the Lord is faithful.  When He calls us a certain way, He is faithful to provide.  He has done that through our Mercy Ships adventure, and He will do it again.

Please pray for us as we prepare to make the transition back.  Our commitment with Mercy Ships goes through the beginning of June.  People have warned us that returning home after 4 years away will be a shock.  Things will be different than we remembered.  People’s lives have moved on, and we’ve been changed by our experiences abroad.

Please also pray that we would finish well.  That while we are making plans for the future, we would also be present here and enjoy our last few months on the ship.

Thank you to all of you who have accompanied us on this journey.  It has been an unbelievable ride!

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January & February

Wow writing an update is difficult, there so much going on all the time!  We’ve had our friends the Andersen’s leave the ship and go back to Australia, our Tulsa friends the Beasley‘s visit, Chinese new year, Hannah got to blow the whistle on the ship to test the whistles and so many miracles through the healing of patients!  We’ll have specific stories of patients soon, we just need to make sure we don’t share anything confidential.  So, most of these pictures are of just us.
I wish you could all see Brian work with our patients and local anesthesiologists.  I’ve never seen anyone with such a great balance of professionalism and goofiness that puts everyone at ease.  He is such a great teacher.  God has gifted him and uses him daily.
I (Jamie) have been working in our chaplaincy department this past year and got the chance to speak at our church service on Matthew 7.  It was a great new challenge and I actually really enjoyed it.
One of our patients recently left.  He had become friends with Brandon and he spoke English. He is such a remarkable young man who has persevered through so much.  I’m hoping to share his story soon.
 Brandon has been taking a fishing class on Fridays through the academy’s “student life” program.  He has really enjoyed it, and even gets up many days at 6am to go fishing!  More info soon!