How can this be?
Syria. Ukraine. Iraq. Horrific injustice, innocents slaughtered by others who were once innocent and then programmed to hate and kill in the name of their god or their leader. Kids killing kids, devastating hurricanes, cancer taking out those I love, and the ever present, lurking evil called Ebola fill my thoughts, swirling together and twisting in my gut and the tears pool in my eyes as I fight to hold on to that which I know to be true.
God is still on the throne.
Can I be really honest? I want to rage against Him. At the top of my lungs with my tears streaming and my anger boiling in my chest, I want to yell WHAT IS THIS? HOW CAN YOU LET THIS HAPPEN??
Then I let out the deep breath I have been holding and fall to my knees in repentance, gratitude, and worship.
He knows. And His heart breaks with mine. And somehow, He will work all things for good, He will redeem the years the locusts have taken, He is not surprised by these things, and in the end, love wins.
I appreciate the concerned emails and facebook posts I’ve received lately in regards to the Ebola question. I’d like to put one thing into perspective –
Ebola is horrific, no doubt about it, but it’s still infinitely more dangerous for me (or any of us) to get into any motor vehicle, or go swimming in the ocean, or any one of a number of seemingly harmless but statistically dangerous things that we do on a regular basis.
I’m grateful I don’t have to be one of the decision makers in this organization, those people who have been having meeting after meeting, researching the latest information, in touch with a number of international organizations and governing bodies to best guide our direction and actions over the next few months. Ultimately, I trust this organization and those making that decision – or I wouldn’t be here.
05 August 2014 Press Release
As its hospital ship, the Africa Mercy, prepares to leave for its ten-month mission to perform life-changing surgeries and train local healthcare professionals in Benin, West Africa, Mercy Ships continues to be acutely aware of the Ebola situation in the region. The organization is taking appropriate steps to protect its volunteers and staff. In April, Mercy Ships redirected its upcoming mission from Guinea to Benin out of caution for the safety of its crew. Benin has no reported cases of Ebola.
The Africa Mercy is the world's largest civilian hospital ship, designed to operate as a surgical specialty hospital. It is not configured to provide the type of treatment required by Ebola patients. In addition to having changed its itinerary, Mercy Ships has also implemented strict travel restrictions to the affected areas and will continue to monitor the situation closely, making programmatic adjustments as needed.
Founder Don Stephens commented, “The well-being of our patients and dedicated crew is our greatest priority. It is fundamental to our continued service to the forgotten poor in Africa. Our prayers go out for the countries impacted by Ebola. These are places and people we know well because we have served them in multiple visits over more than two decades.”
Unless things change, we’re heading to Benin on Friday, and in the meantime I’m going to fully embrace the joy that is all the hugs and returning crewmembers, meeting the new ones, and settling back into this crazy place called home. I really love my job and it feels so great to be back in it; to get to be a part of this incredible place that does amazing things every single day is such an honor and a privilege. On Thursday night the speaker at our community meeting really did an fabulous job of reminding us all of our unique calling; of the millions and millions of people in the entire world who could do my job, many millions of whom could do it likely much better than I can, I get to be the one to do it.
And that thought puts me right back on my knees in gratitude.