Saturday, November 16, 2013

Where in the world is Cheryl???

The last month and a half is really a kind of blur.  I left Tanzania on October 2nd to go back to the states for a 5 week furlough.  The goals of the trip were:  1) see family; 2) raise funds; 3) go to a CHE seminar.  I knew that 5 weeks would go by fast, but fast does not describe what actually happened.

As we all know, God's plan is perfect and he knows before we do what is before us.  When I arrived in Oklahoma, my mother had just had a simple outpatient rotator-cuff repair on her right shoulder.  What we thought would be no big deal turned into a roller coaster of medical issues for her. Over the time I was at home she went through 2 surgeries, a multitude of other health issues and was in the hospital for 3 weeks.  We all are so thankful to God for having me already in the states when all of this occurred.  Mother is now recovering at home and getting a little stronger every day.  God is good!!

So goal number one was accomplished as far as spending time with mother and daddy, but NOT what I call fun time.  We never really even discussed issues going on in each other's lives.  We were only focused on getting mother better.  I missed visiting with my daughter and grandchildren.  I spent very little time with my sister, brother and my nieces and nephews.  All in all, thankful for visit, but NOT what I had expected.

Goal number 2 - raising funds.  I was able to visit the NYA church of Christ which is the sponsoring church for Chimala Mission.  They prepared a wonderful potluck lunch for me to share with them and I enjoyed talking with them about my work at the Chimala Hospital and plans for mobile medical clinics.

I also had the privilege of visiting a new congregation to me....the Northridge church of Christ in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  My visit was short and I was only able to meet with the Elders and leadership.  However, the visit was very productive and hopefully will help to build better relationships in the future.  I wish I had had more time to visit with them.  They were a great group of people.

Unfortunately, these were the only two visits I was able to make during my stay in the states. So goal number 2 had a little action, but again not what I expected.

Goal number 3 - CHE Seminar.  I did attend the CHE seminar while I was home.  CHE stands for "Community Health Evangelism".  It covered ideas which many have been successfully using for many years combining Medical Mission and Evangelism together.  This is my focus in my work.  I found the seminar to be very informative and added many ideas to how I should proceed with my work.  I was blessed by this opportunity.  Goal obtained!!

I have now returned to Chimala.  I am so grateful to be back in Tanzania.  I am looking forward to getting back into the trenches so to speak.  I will be updating my blog for you to follow on a more regular basis and so hope you will follow My Journey with me.

If you or someone you know would like to volunteer at Chimala or would like to help with my support, please contact me at cheryl.bode@yahoo.com.  Or if you would just like to be a pen-pal, I would welcome the encouragement.  May God bless you and yours.