It's an incredibly busy time for me, as evidenced by my quiet blog... I think back on the days of old, when I was able to write every other day or every three days... wow. I'm lucky if I can find the time once a week! Yes, its really busy, and I can find myself wrapped up in that entirely, not seeing anything but the (perceived or real) crisis in front of me... But...if I take the time to step back, take a deep breath, and really see what is around me; where I am, what I get to be a part of, and who I get to do it with... I can only stand in awe. This place is gorgeous. These people are incredible. This thing I get to do? Amazing.
A few photos from my Easter weekend getaway - all courtesy of Deb Louden.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
I have a half-written Easter post filled with joy and smiles and the lovely abundance of favor I’ve felt lately… but shortly after writing it found myself gasping for breath as my heart was broken.
I went out to the HOPE center today to hang out with patients and met a beautiful little girl. She and I just chatted back and forth a bit, I learned her name and age and how many siblings she had, and told her who I was. Another Mercy Shipper came over to join us, one that knew a bit of her history, and I came to find out she has already had a consultation with us and her case is being evaluated, but doesn't look good. Now she’s just waiting to find out if we can fix her broken face.
Then she looked me straight in the eye and pleaded with me, Please don’t forget me. Please don’t forget my case, please help me. Every day it’s always the same thing and it hurts me when I’m sleeping and when I’m awake. Please don’t forget about me.
I felt my heart break, right then and there. I wished I didn’t speak French. I wished we could go back to chatting about her little brothers. I wished I could hold her tight and tell her with all certainty that yes of course we could help and we would and everything would be okay and she could live the normal life she dreamed of living… that her dreams for her future really could come true.
I took a deep breath, translated her words to my colleague, and quickly turned my face away from them into the afternoon breeze… no amount of clenching my jaw and holding my breath would stop the tears from stinging in my eyes and eventually rolling down my cheeks.
A bit later as we were driving home and again I was unable to control the tears, a battle raged in my head. One side was thinking pull it together! You’re fine! Suck it up, STOP IT!... and I was surprised by the intensity of the physical pain I was feeling for this little one.
And then the still small voice whispered It’s okay. My heart is breaking too.
And I remembered that song that I’ve sung hundreds of times that has the line in it –
Break my heart for what breaks Yours*.
And this is it.
My heart was not the only one breaking, God’s heart breaks with mine. We were not created for this… we were meant to enjoy paradise in Eden free of pain and tears and broken faces. And I’m glad it hurts - because I don’t ever want my heart to become hard towards the people I’m here to help and the suffering and pain and broken faces in the world.
And once again I am glad I can feel… because that means I am alive. And I will still find the joy and celebrate life, even in the broken moments.
I also believe in a God that still performs miracles, and that the power that we are celebrating today in His resurrection from the dead rests upon each one of us that call on His name. Please pray for this precious little one, that what can’t be healed by the hand of man will be healed by the loving touch of the Father.
*Hosanna by Hillsong United
Thursday, April 17, 2014
I’m very seldom at a loss for words; but every time I’ve tried to write about what’s been going on lately, words have failed me.
Every time I start to think about things… how’s it really going? … I get totally overwhelmed with gratitude, with awe, with amazement at what I get to do, what I get to be a part of; at how I am blessed beyond measure, loved and appreciated, with incredible friends, family, and favor…. Even now, I’m failing at words.
These last few weeks, the weeks in the red, that I had been dreading much of the field service, that I had imagined the worst case scenarios happening and wondered if I could really do it… Well, as it turns out, my God is not a God of the worst case scenario. These weeks have been some of the most fun weeks I’ve experienced in this chapter of my story; I’ve met and worked with the most incredible people, laughed the most, and got to be a part of leaving an impact beyond measure for the people here in Congo, the people I worked with, those I will work with in the future, and the people they will impact. When I start to go there, to think about the ripple effect… speechless, once again.
This weekend is Easter already, which means we get a couple extra days off and I’m heading to a beach somewhere with some lovely people to enjoy some space to breathe and salt water therapy and the sound of waves crashing on sand keeping us company in our dreams. It’s a welcome break and a much-needed rest after many weeks of long days filled with details and logistics and plans and travel and language and I’m really looking forward to putting my new hammock to good use.
I’m sure much time will be taken to reflect on the blessings of this year; this season has been difficult but I sense with joy the end of that season and the beginning of a new one; I feel the birth of a season of hope, joy, confidence, and peace. I’ve been stretched this year, that’s for certain; but I’ve also been blessed beyond measure. I didn’t plan or budget any flights to the States this year and ended up going twice, and somehow I still have enough. I didn’t know how my roommate situation would change and as it turns out they’re incredible. I can’t tell you the thousands of times in the last year that I’ve said “I’m not sure how that works but I’ll figure it out” and then I was able, with the help and support of an incredible team, to actually figure it out.
I look forward, with great expectancy and anticipation, to the next season. We’re finishing up here in Congo in just six more weeks; I’m then heading to France to study and improve my French language ability, followed by a tour of my ancestral homeland of Sweden with a lovely friend… after that is still a bit fuzzy but eventually I’ll end up back on my floating home with plenty of time to sail to Guinea and take the Education program to the next level. Oh, the excitement of it all! Blessed beyond measure, no question
Thank you, friends, family, supporters, and readers. You are my heroes, I couldn’t do this without you. Much love - krissy