Happy New Year! I feel that I am on the edge of a mountain with Jesus and I just want to fly with Him. And I want to give everyone the opportunity to experience Him in all His glory! Since I made the decision to stay my full service, My biggest prayer was asking that the Lord use me to the fullness of the potential and purpose He created me for- all for His glory, not to waste a moment of opportunity that has been entrusted to me, to have a heart wide open to the spirits guidance, and to embrace every drop of His majesty He created for me to enjoy. With complete control- The Lord has moved mountains! I have led bible study, went on outreaches to orphanages, spoken in church, prayed patients wounds healed- pain away- and teeth out, taught arts and crafts, shared scripture with them, loved until it hurt, and so much more!
The Lord has been so sweet to me. To show Himself to me in a way I didn't know possible. I have learned to see His beauty through new eyes. I can't help but smile as I feel the essence of His presence all around me when I hold His children close and shower them with prayer. And even on hard days, I rejoice in the promise of His nearness when anything familiar feels ages away. Things that have stood out to me lately all have the same theme word: confidence. I see confidence bursting in patients here as they realize they are worth more than gold to a Father who placed every hair on their head. I see confidence shining in the crew as they branch out to take mercy to a new level each day making it possible for more and more children to experience the love of Jesus. And I feel confidence growing inside myself as I stand firm on the foundation of my faith and take action as the opportunity arises to give the lost a chance to know how great is my God.
Two of my dear friends that arrived the same time I did left the ship last week as their service ended here. There is a special bond with the people you arrive with, it was a heartbreaking goodbye but I am forever changed by their beautiful hearts and they hold a very special place in mine. I am thankful the Lord divinely placed us here together. After they departed, that only left 2 of us that arrived together. An older man I call grandpa and myself. He is so stinking precious to me. We make it a point go out of our way to see each other at least once a day and he makes sure to take care of me. "Be careful and mind your manners" he will say when I leave the ship, or "here take this rain jacket just in case and you better put on sunscreen more than once!" This dear grandpa of mine is not a Christian and I want with my whole soul to give Him the Jesus that loves him so much! We have had several conversations but I am always careful to be sensitive to his feelings because I don't want him to write me off like the "ones who talk down to him" as he says. Just the other day he told me with tear-filled eyes, "McCall, we may not agree on some things but I truly respect your devotion to what you believe so strongly and I just think you are amazing, I am really going to miss you." We exchanged email addresses and even discussed his future travel plans when he may be passing through Texas. I am confident my Lord has graciously used me to plant seeds in my sweet grandpa's life and I am thrilled to continue this relationship.
A crew member arrived last week that I happen to be working with and he is not Christian. Our first conversation was a little awkward but I left it with confidence. It went a little something like this:
Man: "Hi, my name is ____, what is your name?"
Me: "Hi! I'm McCall, its like the last name but its my first name.. Nice to meet you!"
Man: "Nice to meet you to, where are you from?"
Me: "I'm from Texas, where are you from? Have you done missions before?"
Man: "Im from Norway.. umm.. (awkward pause).. no......"
Me: "OH HOW EXCITING! You are going to LOVE it! I am so glad you are here! What brings you here?"
Man: "I am here for humanitarian reasons, I am not religious."
Me: "oh, ok. (awkward smile)" (I was thinking- actually, God sent you here)
Man: "what brings you here?"
Me: (really big awkward smile) "welllllll... Jesus brought me here."
Man: (smiling respectfully) "yes, that is nice."
He is an intelligent kind man and we work very well together. He told me the other day that I was a very good nurse and he was impressed with my character, willingness, leadership, and compassion. I had the opportunity to inform him that those qualities come from a God much bigger than I. I had no idea he was observing my daily walk, my reaction in hard situations, and my interaction with patients. You really never know who you are ministering to so it is so important to be joyful and it is so important to be confident in your walk of faith.
I want to introduce you to Rovele. When he came here 3+ months ago, the shy teenager wore a scarf over his face to hide the place a flesh devouring disease that stole his confidence. He had not attended school since he has acquired this problem. He had been an outcast for who knows how long and when he walked up the gangway into this safe haven he had no joy. He would spend the next several months going through numerous surgeries, set backs from infection and skin grafts that were too stubborn to heal, and emotional turmoil. Nurses, doctors, surgeons, and countless caregivers spent hours upon hours investing in him. We didn't just treat his wounds, we treated his soul. We didn't just administer medication, we ministered with prayer. After dozens of connect four games, craft sessions, high fives, English lessons, and more love than can be explained, we have watched Rovele evolve from a frightened joyless boy into a confident joyful child of God. His smile beams from ear to ear, his laughter fills the room, and his jokes were played on every nurse at least once.. I've seen him dance, mentor new patients, and befriend the lonely. I see a sparkle in his eye that was far gone when he arrived here and that only God can create. Rovele left the ship last week, he is healed and it was time to return home. He was sad to leave and anxious about what may lie ahead of him. He wanted to keep his dressing that covered his face. So with a bittersweet goodbye, we prayed him up and he told us how thankful he was for what all the Lord has done. That day as Rovele walked down the gangway into the uknown, we were all there to send him off and with prayer, hugs, and love. He left without his dressing covering his face, that sparkle in his eye, and his head held high with confidence. A piece of our heart left with him and I know he will carry it with him forever, and so will we.
I can not believe I will enter my final week aboard the Africa Mercy next week. Praying for a week filled with more mighty miracles, I am confident the Lord with provide. I will see you all soon, Texas :)
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in
you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:6
This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 1 John 5:14
In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge. Prov 14:26
For the LORD will be your confidence And will keep your foot from being caught. Prov 3:26
Blessings from Africa and LOTS OF LOVE!