Thursday, December 27, 2012

The lost blog.....

I really can't believe this...but I just finished writing a really good post about Christmas.  I spent about an hour writing it and ended it with I John 3:16-18.  And then.....it was gone!!!

Now I am tired and going to bed, so you will just have to grab your Bible, read this passage and imagine what a wonderful blog I must have written.   :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

About Tanzania and Chimala

Where is Tanzania?  Tanzania is in East Africa on the Indian Ocean.  On the map below, Tanzania is located on the right just above the island of Madagascar.



Tanzania is bordered by Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Republic of the Congo,  Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and the Indian Ocean.  Whew, that is alot of borders!  There is a small island just off the coast of Tanzania which is a part of Tanzania (and not seen in this map).  This island is one you have probably heard of....Zanzibar.  The primary language of Tanzania is Kiswahili, although, those who have received education speak English as well.  There are two capitals of Tanzania....The official capital is Dodoma since 1996; however, Dar Es Salaam (harbor of peace), is the largest city, the commericial center, and the major seaport for the country and its land-locked neighbors.  The population of Dodoma is about 85,000 when the population of Dar is about 3 million.  Many people consider Dar Es Salaam to be the capital.


Where is the Chimala Mission?  Chimala is not on the above map, however, it is located just to the east of Mbeya.  Mbeya is in the southwestern part of Tanzania just north of the Zambia/Malawi borders.  The population of the Chimala area is around 24,800.  The sun rises at at 6:20am and sets at 6:59pm and the time is 9 hours ahead of Oklahoma time.  The average elevation of Chimala is 4,000 feet and the average temperatures range from low 40's for lows and low 70's for highs year round.  The rains come from late October to late April with the average rainfall of around 5 inches per month.  The rest of the year is dry.

This is the shape of Tanzania using the colors and design of their flag.

That is a little information about the country and the village.  How about a little information on the Chimala Mission and Hospital.  The mission sits on about a 100 acre section of the 300 acres owned by the mission.  The site includes a primary and secondary schools, a Bible College and a hospital.  The schools began in 1998 and currently around 900 students attend the schools with about 500 of them living at the mission.  The Bible College began 2004 and an average of 15 men graduate with each class. 

As you can imagine the hospital will be where my biggest interest lies.  The hospital began in 1963.  It is a 120-bed hospital which sees about 20,000 patients and delivers about 2,000 babies each year.  However, this past year has seen a big increase in the numbers especially the number of babies which are born.  The hospital includes 2 minor and 1 major surgery theaters, a female ward, an OB ward, a male ward, children's ward, an outpatient clinic, a well baby/mother clinic, a tuberculosis clinic and an HIV clinic which currently sees more than 1,600 patients. 

For more information about Tanzania and the Chimala Mission and Hospital, you can go to www.chimalamission.com.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ready, Set, Go......

Two Months.....It has been two months since I last posted and talked about the "waiting room" which I found myself in.  These last two months have been very emotional for me.  Why? you ask.  Well, it is difficult when you feel so convinced that you are on the path which God is leading you to and yet, having to wait on others.  For instance, when I left Tanzania in July, I was expecting it to take about 8-10 weeks to obtain my residency permit which I would need before I could return.  However, I have only now received news that it should be completed within the next 2 weeks.

Other factors involved in the "waiting room" are decisions regarding what and how much training should be done prior to returning to the mission field. One very big lesson I learned while in Ghana was that missions are not easy and do not have a "How to" manual to follow.  Of course, I truly did not expect anything different, but now I am even more aware.  So I found that many people have many different views on what type of training and how much should be done prior to going on the field.  This is an area where I have no experience to draw from.  However, I have done many things to attempt to make sure I am as prepared as possible. 

Even when we prepare and prepare for new beginnings, I believe we all find ourselves involved in challenges which we never thought about.  This is true for any "new" beginning we take on.  Whether it be a new job here in the states, moving to a new home, going to school to increase our knowledge or going to another country to serve others.  Someone recently gave me an outline of a lesson on "Listening Effectively".  Below are some of my thoughts and findings as I reviewed this lesson.

The focus was "Listening to God".  This lesson included 7 questions which we should ask ourself as we contemplate whether our decision is one from God or maybe just our own thoughts or maybe even something Satan is directing us to do.  I like these 7 questions and would like to share them with you.  As I share the questions with you, I will also share my answers to the questions as they relate to my decision for medical evangelism.

1.  Is the decision or solution consistent with the word of God?
      Luke 10:2  He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore to send out workers into his harvest field".
       Luke 12:33  "Sell your possessions and give to the poor."
      Matt. 9:35  "Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness."
      Matt. 4:23;  Matt. 4:19-20; Acts 2:45; Romans 12:6-8

2.  Is it a wise deision?  In your own heart and mind is this the decision/solution that Jesus Christ himself would agree with?  Throughout the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we are told of Jesus going from place to place healing and teaching.  There is no doubt in my mind that going into a poorer country to serve and teach is exactly what he would do and the right decision for me.

3.  Are you confident in asking God to enable you to achieve this solution?  This is also a question which I can answer with a strong "Yes"!

4.  Do you feel that it is a God given solution?  Deep within your heart do you feel or sense that this solution/decision is the Will of God?  Again, I have felt this was God's Will for me for many years.  I have never once doubted I should use my gift of nursing and my love of God to help others, especially those who are born in countries of extreme poverty.

5.  Does this solution fit a child of God?  From all you know about God, does this solution/decision fit a person who truly loves, believes and trusts God?  I believe my decision to work and serve in Africa fits me as I believe, trust and love God.  Others have other gifts to give to God and His kingdom through their belief, trust and love for God.

6.  Does the solution fit God's overall plan for your life?  Throughout my walk with God and all He has blessed me with, I have felt He guided me to nursing for a reason.  Nursing is my way to reach out to those in need to help with with their physical needs.  Once their physical needs are met, they are more open to hear the story of Jesus and God's Love and plan for Salvation.

7.  Does this solution honor God?  In all I do, I will seek to bring Honor to God.

I ask that you be a part of this journey with me.  This is not a journey God is sending me on alone.  He has blessed me with a big, wonderful christian family.  He will use us all working together to bless those less fortunate.  Please pray for all the work being done at the Chimala Mission as I join them.  Pray for the other Americans who will be working with me; the Wagner family, Garry Hill and the Stinsons.  I will be introducing you to the others on my team as we go along.

My leave date has been set for January 6, 2013!!!