Insanity... and the numbers.

28 August 2012

Good Morning!
Sorry for the long blog-hiatus. My life is pure insanity right now... and I love it!

I spent two weeks in Minnesota - A few days in Duluth, my hometown, a few at my family's cabin in Nisswa, and then finished up the 'farewell' tour in Minneapolis, visiting my grandpa, extended family, the Minnesota State Fair, and Mall of America.  All in all, it was a good trip, and I was able to see/say goodbye to everyone I felt I needed to!

I just got back on Friday night, and the last three days have been more insanity.  I was honored to have a send-off by Eastside Foursquare church, went to a wedding shower, have had great meaningful conversations with friends, and made an airport run!  I leave tomorrow morning for the OC... awesomeness will surely ensue.

This morning I'm trying to catch up on paperwork, and spent a considerable amount of time crunching some numbers.

A question I've faced many times in the last few days - "How much money do you still need?" - is a somewhat awkward one for me.  Partially because I still have quite a few people who have made verbal commitments, but I haven't actually received any monetary commitments. (if you're one of those, simplify my life and click the 'donate' link above!) Partially because in this line of work, or life calling, I will ALWAYS have need. 

The other reason I have trouble answering this question is because I feel my job is to present the opportunity for you to join me in mission, but the amount is up to you! What you give is between you and God, or you and your conscience, or you and yourself. 

However... because I know so many of you want specifics - my biggest need is right now I need about $3k to come in before I arrive in Texas in 16 days.  This will cover the remaining fees I have to pay for Gateway, for my travel to Gateway and my travel to Africa (this is the big ouch...).  Beyond that, I still have need for monthly donors as well as one-time gifts. If you want even more specific information, feel free to email me and I can get more specific. 

Click the "donate" link right here on my blog and you will be taken to my "crewmates" page. There, you can click "donate" again and it will go directly into my account, and you will get a tax reciept at the end of the year!

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, or comments.  I'm extremely grateful to everyone who has given, who will give, I'm honored that you see the potential in me and in the mission of Mercy Ships.


(Photos of my time in Minnesota will come... eventually.)


12 August 2012

Today I ran and finished my first half marathon.  I strained my calf muscle a few days ago and wasn't sure if I would be able to finish... and I did. So there. Bam.  (where's the ice pack??)

Thanks to Bob and Katie for making the day a memorable one!

The real reason I ran was for the pile of guilt-free pancakes afterwards, smothered in obscene amounts of butter and syrup. Heavenly.

Tomorrow - to Minnesota!

Peace out. K

Five weeks.

10 August 2012

Five weeks from today I go to Texas to begin Gateway training.

In the meantime I'm spending eleven days travelling all over Minnesota, spending six days in southern California, running two half marathons and hopefully a Mud run, packing up and getting rid of lots of stuff, speaking at four different churches and presenting Mercy Ships to other groups, and saying goodbye to like a million people.

There will be lots of laughter, joy, tears, pain, excitement, nervousness, and probably every other emotion sometime in the next five weeks.

Right now I've got my leg propped on an ice pack. I strained a calf muscle in my last training run on Wednesday. And I'm supposed to run my first half marathon tomorrow.  Rest, ice, compression, and elevation is the order of the day.  Along with packing, as I head to Minnesota on Sunday night/Monday morning (redeye).  

My life is crazy... and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Choose adventure, run to win, and love well. 


The blind can see!

02 August 2012

Family of Five Receive Sight

Sitting on the long wooden benches, many children waited to be examined at a Mercy Ships eye screening in Togo, West Africa. Many of them suffered from congenital cataracts.

As Dr. Strauss and Dr. Wodome examined child after child, they reached a bench with five children sitting very close to one another. All five children were from the same family Рfour siblings and one cousin. The man standing protectively behind them was their uncle. All of the children, ranging in age from 6 to 15, had never been able to see. They lived on a farm on the outskirts of Lom̩, Togo, with their extended family. Their blindness prohibited them from attending school. So, they worked on the farm, performing simple tasks that did not require them to move around much. The long tedious hours were hard on them.

Their uncle had expended great effort to bring them to the screening. Now, they sat silently with expressionless faces, waiting to hear the verdict.

All of the children were sick with malaria when they came to the Mercy Ships dock. The hospital staff onboard the Africa Mercy worked hard to get them healthy enough for surgery before the ship left port. It was a close call for some of them.

Finally, the surgeries started. The youngest child received the first surgery. As soon as he could see, he clung to his siblings and helped care for them. Next, two more of the children received surgeries. Again, the ones who could now see helped care for the others. “They have always had each other, even though they are all blind,” their mother explained. It was a great relief when all five children had their cataracts removed.

A week later, the children returned for a post-operative checkup. It was quite a different atmosphere this time – the tension was gone. When the oldest boy stood to have his vision checked, he read the smallest line on the eye chart. The crew erupted into cheers! Every child was tested successfully and received the same enthusiastic response.

The horrible darkness was gone! It was replaced by the sounds of children playing and the music of children’s laughter.

The mother looked at her children and said simply, “I am so happy for them and so thankful they can now see!”

All of the children sit in a row, waiting for the results of their examinations.

Slowly, the crew start to remove a boy’s bandages.

Slowly, the shock starts to wear off, and Yawa starts looking for things he has never seen before.

Even though he has just regained his sight, he is already reaching out for his sister and playing with her.

15 May 2012
Written by Nicole Pribbernow
Edited by Nancy Predaina
Photos by Debra Bell
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