Big news: As of yesterday, Oct 7th, my monthly financial support has reached (just over) 100% of my goal! This is very exciting, and I want to thank all my supporting churches and families for making this possible. Thank you, too, to the many churches and individuals who have given one-time donations, as these funds have been accumulating to help with all the moving and "start-up" expenses associated with transitioning to a new country. The plan is still to move to Honduras the 3rd week in January, and it can't come soon enough!! I have a busy schedule between now and then... an online class, a national exam, a family wedding... etc, etc. Will do my best to keep people in the loop.
Missionary Medicine Intensive:
On Sept 23rd I returned from an excellent 10-day, Missionary Medicine Intensive training course provided through Equip International in Marion, NC. It was definitely the best education I have received regarding 3rd-world medicine and treatment, to date. We discussed treating snake bites, malaria, STDs, broken bones, tuberculosis; assisting child birth; personal protection; and a host of other related issues. An important issue that was brought up repeatedly was even deciding whether to help in a given situation. In the US, where first aid and hospitals are a call away, this idea seems foreign and unchristian, but in a 3rd world country where both supplies and man-power are limited; cultural views of healthcare are different; and helping can even put one or both parties at risk; one is sometimes forced to make difficult decisions.
Having a healthy, consistent relationship with the Lord as well as maintaining a good working relationship with fellow missionaries were emphasized as crucial to maintain balance.
(Pictures: Top right - I was one of the "guinea pigs" for the dental lecture.
Left - two classmates making a splint to put on my arm.
Bottom Right - suturing practice)
Speaking of fellow missionaries, I had a wonderful treat on Sept 24th when my future coworkers, Matt and Dallita Goins, and their 3 boys, were hosted at my home church's missions emphasis weekend. Though we communicate regularly through social media and long-distance conversations, it has been 9 months since I've seen them face to face. What a blessing it was to participate in several activities, as well as the same church service together! Looking forward to working with this great family (and several other families) in a few short months.
Thank you for your prayers as preparations take shape and I anticipate a lot of transitions in the next few months.