Posts Tagged ‘Family’

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Maasai Medical Camp

June 12, 2009

Wow, it’s been such an awesome week! This past week our team traveled to Kajiado, Kenya. Kajiado is in the rift valley province of Kenya, and there were some spectacular sights as we drove out to the middle of nowhere. We stayed with a missionary couple, Josiah and Sarah Kirisuah. Josiah and Sarah are of the Maasai tribe, and they live on a beautiful piece of land that overlooks a valley where Josiah’s native tribe of ~400 live. Josiah is a pastor at the local church that they started, in addition to the church, the Kirisuah’s also started a primary school for the local Maasai children.

Sarah and Josiah showed us such hospitality. For each meal, Sarah created wonderful dishes that filled our stomachs and our hearts. She also took the time to explain many recipes to us so we can replicate them when we return home 🙂 Josiah and Sarah have an extraordinarily beautiful piece of land, and it was so neat to hear Josiah talk about the land as God’s portion for him and his family. God has truly blessed this family with many talents (their daughter, Neema, is an extraordinary award-winning singer), great dreams (they hope to open a medical clinic, Neema hopes to open a school for arts), and outstanding relationships with their Maasai family and friends. If you Google “Maasai”, you’ll probably see a picture of a tall, lean warrior with a red and blue plaid cape over his shoulders. You’ll probably find stories of how the Maasai drink blood and how they are a ‘culturally preserved’ tribe. You may or may not find that the Maasai people are some of the kindest, healthiest (they live on meat and milk, yet have no heart problems?), most genuine people you can ever meet.

We helped out the village with building a dam so that they could one day have a large water source. The dry summer tends to be very difficult for the heardsman and farmers, and the dam offers hope that they can continue to make a living the way they have for hundreds of years. We helped by hauling huge stones (the area is FULL of rocks), we also had an assembly line where we passed cement up to the dam wall. It was great to mix in with all of the Maasai, and we had no idea what they were saying- because they speak Maasai, so the little bit of Kiswahili that we know was basically useless. But the smiles and funny interactions exchanged made us all instant friends. I’m not going to go on and on about how awesome the Maasai are, you’ll just have to come out to Kenya to experience it yourself 🙂

I got stung by a wasp on my first trip to the restroom, and I wanted to document the moment. This is such a beautiful picture, Nemma, the singer, decided to hold my hands- and this beautiful picture is the result!

This past week was filled with the extraordinary wonders of God’s creation. The landscape was beautifully filled with tall, thorny Acacia trees, towering red termite hills, sparse shrubs and blue skies that went on forever. At night, we got to watch the moon rise (I’ve NEVER seen a moon rise before), and I swear we could see each of the stars in the Milky Way. This past week was full of relaxation and beautiful sights, but we also did some hard work. Like I mentioned earlier, we helped to schlep materials for building a dam. The day before we left, we set up a small medical camp (which we advertised when helping out with the dam). We opened up the small church and about 150 people ended up coming! We held the camp from about 10am-4pm. My job was to do an ENT(ears, nose, throat) examination, and I also checked the eyelids for paleness that could suggest anemia. Here are some realizations:

-Children do not like ear scopes. In fact, they are terrified of them. The children like to slump to the floor, which makes it necessary for me to go down to the floor to get a peek into their ears and nose- all in all, it often looked like I was pinning a child on the floor, I promise I was only trying to help.
-The insides of peoples’ noses look different from one another. I mean, seriously, there are so many different inner-nose structure types. It was pretty interesting. But, when the interesting nose structures were inflamed or incredibly snotty- that’s when things got kind of gross.
-Apparently elderly Maasai women don’t have people asking them to open their mouths very often. Whenever I would demonstrate how they were to show me their lovely tonsils, they would laugh quite a bit. The women, lovingly called the “grandmothers’, also giggled when I proceeded to look up their noses.
-I know absolutely nothing about eyes, ears, noses and throats. I mean, I can tell if something looks bad, but I have absolutely no training to diagnose anything. But no worries, once the patients passed me and Ben for blood pressure, they went to fake Dr. Daniel and then proceeded to the pseudo-pharmacists Lauren and Courtney. No worries though, we did have Pamella, an LIA staff member and registered nurse on hand. So we were semi-legitimate.

The people needed basic medicines: de-wormers, pain relievers, antibiotics, anti-fungal medications- so our lack of knowledge about most things medical didn’t matter too much. The medical camp was a fun experience, though Daniel and Ben are feeling a little under the weather today, so keep them in your prayers.

Some fun experiences I had in Kajiado:
– We watched a goat castration (i.e. vasectomy) and we documented it with video and pictures
– We watched a goat become our dinner (I wrote a detailed how-to list for how to have goat for dinner)
– We drank copious amounts of Kenyan tea (tea, milk, water and sugar- mmmm)
– I got to take some AWESOME runs– my shoes are now a terra-cotta red color from the beautiful Kenyan dirt
– I fully intend on going back to Kajiado, and I told Sarah and Josiah that I would be back to visit them. Who knows? Maybe I can work in their dream clinic someday 🙂 P.S. It’ll take about 4 million Kenyan schillings ($50,000) for them to get the clinic up and running- if you happen to want to donate, let me know!
– I miss e-mailing Daniel. We didn’t have any internet access this past week, and I’ve missed talking to him. He arrived safely in California last week, and he’s been going through his orientation these past few days! It’s been so nice to finally read e-mails from him. Keep him in your prayers please!

Tomorrow we are headed back to Kibera slum to do a school outreach program with Nairobi Pentacostal Church. Pray that we’re able to have some good interactions with the children- as you may have read in the last post, the slums are a difficult place to be. We’re also not really sure what we’re doing, and we don’t know how much of a language barrier there will be, so I’m just praying that God leads us into some awesome fellowship with the people we meet. And I also want to thank God for the work he’s doing in the lives of people back home. I’ve been praying for many things this summer, especially for my family, and our Lord is faithful! Prayers are being answered!

What a beautiful picture of joy and laughter

What a beautiful picture of joy and laughter

God bless you all!
Holly

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Mi2 Application Essays

March 10, 2009

I just wanted to share what I wrote for my essays when applying to the Mi2 Internship to Kenya:

1. Explain an attribute of God that has highly influenced your life?

God’s faithfulness is one characteristic that speaks volumes to me. I accepted Christ in 6th grade, and up through high school, I was a comfortable Christian. I attended church, I was a part of small groups and I always prayed at dinnertime with my family. I always knew that God was with me growing up, but I had not yet experienced His authentic love and his eternal companionship.

My first year at college was a definite breaking point for me emotionally and spiritually. My family moved out to Colorado just as I began as beginning college, I felt like they abandoned me, and in turn, I didn’t put much effort into my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I distanced myself from both new college friends and Christian friends from home. I secluded myself; I did not seek help from God or from any other Christian friends. I was not allowing the Holy Spirit to fix the brokenness in my life. I was shouldering all of my struggles and trials, and the weight was crushing me.

This stage of my life went on until the end of my first year of college. During the summer of 2007, after realizing how alone and miserable I was, I longed to have a relationship with Him. I started to read my bible, I felt God in church and I began to reconnect with my Christian friends from back home. Before school began, God allowed my family move back to Kentucky.

Heading back to college in my second year, I was a completely different person, and people began to take notice. I was back to my happy-Holly self. However, I’m human, and the stresses of school began to weigh me down again. Even though I knew the Lord was always present and all knowing, I had not asked Him to reveal His omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence to me. Part of me knew that living as a comfortable Christian was unacceptable, yet I didn’t quite understand how to change that. During the summer of 2008, God revealed so many aspects of Himself to me. I finally began to understand that God craves a relationship with us. He wants us to be 100% about Him because He is ALL about us.

God has been teaching me so much about forgiveness, love, friendship and relationships in the past few months. Even though I am in the midst of my parents’ divorce, God has continues to put wonderful Christian people into my life who offer love and advice to both my family and me. I am finally realizing that giving everything, everything to my Father in heaven is the best possible way to live my life. The Lord has always been present, no matter what situation I’m facing. And in the darkness of this world and the struggles that come along with being human, my Father’s pours out His light into my life without end. He truly is faithful.

2. How do you expect this internship to impact your worldview?

The Lord created everything out of nothing. There are essential biological processes that every human being on the planet shares. Our Father meticulously and carefully planned out every complexity that we, as His creations, possess. There is an elemental connection that binds me to every single person on this planet. There is such a vast array of people on our planet that I am continually astounded by the creativity of our Father. Yet my heart absolutely breaks for those who don’t know this wonderful Creator.

In my opinion, Christians growing up in America are often sheltered from the world. I’m not talking about being guarded from questionable television shows or music with explicit lyrics; we are so immersed in our culture that we don’t realize that the world is full of people who are very different from ourselves.

I was blessed to go to Poland for three weeks in the summer of 2004 on a mission trip. We took inner-city Poles camping and hiking and we had opportunities to share our faith with them. I’ve also had opportunities to go to places like Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and even other cities within the States. Every place is unique, and in each place, it is indescribably awesome to me how God loves and cherishes each and every person.

I honestly don’t know what to expect from participating in this internship. My prayers have been for the Lord to open and soften the hearts of the people that we will come into contact with. I’m tearing up thinking about the little children with distended stomachs from being hungry, or about the mother who has worked hours on end to provide shelter for her family. Do they know that there is someone who always loves them? Do they know that there is a Father who always provides?

I think that we as Americans often have preconceived notions about people in other countries. I don’t know what to expect from interning in Kenya. I began to pray from the moment I heard about this trip that God would use me in remarkable ways. I also pray that He reveals himself in ways that I’ve never seen before. I pray that my heart opens up even more to the people of this world, my brothers and sisters. I want the Love for our Heavenly Father to be the blood that runs through the veins of every human. I want the family of those who love the Lord to pulse with one rhythm, to the song of Life that the Lord has given us. I want to go beyond the elemental bond that all humans share; I want every person, in the farthest corners of the earth to be connected to the unbounded love of our God.

3. How do you view missions are a part of your calling in life?

I’ve had a strong conviction to show God’s love and compassion to other people. I know I’m not cut out to be a minister, a professional songwriter or an incredible author. I do know that I can serve people. I know that God loves when we decide to use our individual talents and unique abilities to praise him. This call to missions has become my passion, and if it’s God’s will, I would be so blessed to be in the mission field for the rest of my life. I want to bring light to those who live in darkness; I want to bring love to the broken. I want to help people rebuild their lives while laying the solid foundation of a life set upon Christ our Savior.

I am well aware that it is not my actions that will bring people to Christ, but it is the Lord who draws people near as He accomplishes His work and His purposes through me. I am nothing, and He is everything.

I’m at one of the many points in my life in which I’m not sure where God is taking me. I’m nearly finished with school, unsure about my future. Experiencing the fullness of life through missions would be a humbling and insightful opportunity to better understand God’s plan for my life. I think people, me included, are too accustomed to doing what is comfortable. Missions aren’t convenient; they often require you to leave family, friends and familiar places. Missions aren’t simple. Missions aren’t cheap. Missions aren’t a “typical lifestyle”.

Missions are our calling as followers of Christ. If I am to be a disciple of Christ, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

We are to follow Christ’s actions of selflessness, service, compassion and love. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2). This is our call from the Lord. This is my call to missions.

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Lake post 1

August 4, 2008

I had an awesome weekend at the lake! It was full of adventure, friends, “family” and immense amounts of fun. It’s been said before, but Friday night/Saturday morning was pretty awesome 😀 I realized that I’m not meant to jump off of high rocks, my rear likes to hit the water first. That doesn’t usually result in any “good” feelings in the tail bone region, so I think I’ll stay away from super-high jumping rocks for a little while. Daniel, Angela, Jake and I took a trip to Narnia. It took an ATV and a go-kart to get there. We needed 2 ATV’s as the go-kart became stuck time after time.

It was amazing to see the stars at the lake. I always thought I had a pretty good view of the stars at home (even better when we were out in Colorado), but I was wrong. Every teeny-tiny star was out, God designs some awesome stuff. Sitting on a gently rocking boat, listening to Jack Johnson, sitting next to someone pretty awesome- it was the perfect cap to the weekend.

I cannot begin to explain how great it is for me to see functioning families. I was surrounded by married couples, and you could just see their love for one another, for their families and for God POUR out. I don’t really know if the Brewers know how much it means to me to see that type of relationship, but I hope that I’ll get to spend more time with them in the future, and perhaps one day I’ll be able to show my gratitude.

I was so excited about the events of the weekend when I came home, so I began to tell my parents all about my adventures. I told my mom and dad that if they were ever invited to go to the Lake, they should jump at that opportunity! My dad immediatley replied “I wouldn’t go if you paid me.” I asked him why, and he said “I don’t trust people. I can’t trust people anymore. I’d rather be alone.” I was shocked. I didn’t hold my tongue, I responded to him by saying that isn’t a way to live life. God put Adam on the earth, but he gave him a spouse, another human being. God did not intend man to be alone. The conversation didn’t go past that point, but after my dad left the room, I told my mom that I wasn’t going to take much life advice from him- for the sake of my own happiness. I pray that God gives my dad peace and a hope. I want him to feel wanted. i want him to feel loved. He needs the awesome, unconditional love of our holy Father. I pray that some awesome Christian men will enter into his life, to show them how life with Christ can be fulfilling. Life with Christ is the only way. The only way.

I did find this website http://www.handsandfeet.net/Updates/Updates.html. This site just makes me excited about God’s plan for the future 🙂