happiness is...

happiness is...
kenya 2010

Saturday, March 17, 2012

oh YAY!!!! oh CRAP!!! oh YAY!!!!....

watch what you wish for, right?

that old addage that you had better be careful what you ask for because you just might get it has come to my mind more than once over the past couple of weeks. i have finally gotten the only thing that i truly want (for myself) and that is the opportunity to be a full time cross-cultural medical missionary. last week, i was notified that i am "qualified and accepted to be a full time missionary" with an organization called TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission). they have been around since 1890 and are in 40 countries. for me, it is the best of both worlds. they are a faith based organization whose mission is to spread the gospel, and they do that through service (like medical service- yay!!). i can use my nursing skills and my love for god and people at the same time. for me, that's heaven on earth!                                                                                                

Nepali mother & child
pictures are taken from HDCS-TEAM hospital website
my destination isn't set in stone, but for the past 5 or 6 months i have been dialoguing (spell check tells me that's not a word but i choose to keep it. haha) with TEAM missionaries in dadeldhura nepal. there is a mission hospital there, and TEAM has been operating it for 50ish years. they are also rolling out a CHE (community health evangelism) program that focuses on disease prevention and community based development of public health initiatives in impoverished countries. that is where my heart lies- in promoting wellness and not just stomping out illness. this region of nepal has a very high malnutrition rate, and still struggles with diseases like TB and leprosy.

Deepak on arrival to our hospital
This is Deepak. Because of the presence of TEAM hospital and staff (and the grace of God), Deepak was given a chance at life- and survived!

it seems that there is a place there, for me, if that is where i want to serve. i always envisioned myself in africa, but my prayer was that i open myself up to god's will and pursue his agenda and not my own. this is the path that cleared, as a result. in may, i will go there to do a "vision trip" and see if the fit seems like a good one in person as well as on paper. if so, that will be my path. if not, there are 39 other countries to choose from.

i am filled with joy, with uncertainty, with excitement, and with the tiniest bit of dread. the joy, uncertainty, and excitement i saw coming. the dread surprised me a little bit. suddenly i find myself looking around at my belongings and picturing life without most of them. i look around at the faces in the hallway or meetings at work and feel a twinge of sadness that many of those faces i will never see again. i get a sinking in the pit of my stomach as i ponder relying on god and the generosity of others to sustain me and provide for things like my housing, my food, my everything. i think about the fact that i may have just signed up for a life of singleness. i know, i know...being single is good and healthy and all those other things my married friends often tell me... and if i had chosen a life of singleness, i would rejoice in it. truth is, though, that regardless of what i want in terms of marriage or a relationship, my new  vocation may take the choice away from me. that is a little harder to swallow.  life as i have come to know it sooooooo well over the past 43 years will dramatically change. that part i embrace- but i dread facing some of the demons that i know will accompany such a drastic life transformation. i will find out who i truly am. i pray that i am not disappointed to find out who that is.

this will not happen overnight. the average time from acceptance with TEAM to departure for the new country is 22 months. in the meantime i will downsize my life here, attend orientations and trainings as recommended by TEAM, make preparations, and fundraise.  if you are inspired to help or know someone who might be, please let me know. i literally can't do this alone. i need to raise all the funding to sustain me for 2 years before i go. while this is not nearly as expensive as living here in the US, there are lots of things that need to be covered- housing, food, travel, health insurance, a small stipend, etc... some people were blessed with the desire to go and do (um- that's ME!) and some were blessed with the resources, no matter how limited, to help people like me go and do. if that's YOU, please click here and you'll be taken to the TEAM giving page. At the drop down menu, select "missionaries and staff" and at the subcategory drop down, select F, Karin 011057. you can make a one time donation or a recurring one if that works better for you. of course, this is all tax deductible. please don't think any donation is too small. it will all add up- like loaves and fishes! :0)

even more important than donations is prayer. please add TEAM, their location in dadeldhura, nepal, and my ministry to your prayers. that, more than anything, is what will sustain me.

what an amazing journey i have before me...

YAY!!!! and oh CRAP!!!!!